Downvalley dogs in need of help |

Downvalley dogs in need of help

Tim Mutrie

Fifteen dogs in Carbondale need to find a new home soon.

The pooches are presently being boarded at Preshana Farms, near the Catherine Store. The ranch was recently taken over by new owners who have ordered that the canines be removed by June 30.

Ursula Shepherd, the woman behind Valley Dog Rescue, is desperately seeking a place to keep the dogs sheltered until they can be placed in homes or a new, permanent shelter can be located.

“I’ve been saving these animals because if I didn’t, they would be put to sleep,” said Shepherd, who has taken care of homeless Garfield County dogs for eight years. “I’m their last safety net and their only safety net.”

Buzz Dopkin and Isabel Herron, of the Pitkin Animal Welfare Society, are helping Shepherd in the effort. They are asking valley residents to help in any way possible. A piece of land with a shelter that’s not too close to other houses would be ideal, said Shepherd. She can provide the kennels, chain link and other items necessary to keep the dogs safe.

Another idea is to find people willing to take dogs on a foster care basis until better arrangements are made. People could also help by pitching in money to pay for kennel costs if no solution is found.

“Ursula’s been an animal lover in the mid- and lower-valley for years, because they don’t have an humane society like we do up here [in Aspen], said Dopkin. “So we’re trying to help them out in a pinch, and this is a pinch. We’re trying to see if people have some land that could be used or some bright ideas – we’d go along with those.”

Anyone interested in lending a hand should call Shepherd at 963-3858, Dopkin at 925-7488 or Herron at 925-6688 (office) or 923-3884 (home).

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