Group’s work brings lucky days to some dogs
ASPEN – A new animal-rescue organization based in the Roaring Fork Valley is following a lean operations model that is proving effective – it’s already found homes for 30 dogs this year.
Lucky Day Animal Rescue Colorado relies on volunteers and foster families to take care of pets it saves and to find them good, permanent homes. The tax-exempt nonprofit doesn’t have a facility or staff. So the organizers are always on the lookout for donations and in constant need of additional people from Aspen to Glenwood Springs to temporarily take care of the animals.
“We don’t have many foster homes,” said Kelley Brenninger, a founder of Lucky Day along with Katie Solondz and Rachel Hahn. “That’s where we’re desperate.”
Lucky Day tries not to take in more than 10 pets at a time. The focus is on dogs that are facing a death sentence at pounds in Colorado and neighboring states as well as those that were in cruel living situations. The organization will take cats and other pets in emergency situations.
“We’ll take a turtle or a bunny or anything,” Brenninger said.
Brenninger worked for the Animal Rescue Foundation when it was based in Glenwood Springs. It merged with a Rifle rescue operation in 2011 so, with the blessing of her former colleagues at ARF, Brenninger helped form Lucky Day to fill the need to rescue animals in the Roaring Fork Valley and elsewhere.
They take non-aggressive dogs and work with their foster volunteers to get the dogs re-accustomed and comfortable in a home. They feel the dogs adapt more quickly to a full-time home when they transfer from a foster home, rather than a kennel or other facility.
“We just teach them how to be a dog again in a home,” Brenninger said.
They also focus on dogs that they believe will fit into the active, mountain lifestyle. “We’re really picky about who we bring in,” Brenninger said.
The foster volunteers have some requirements they must meet, like a fenced yard or arrangement to keep the animals safe and happy. They must be able to make a commitment to keep the animals until a permanent home is found. That takes anywhere from a few days to a few months. The average wait for an adoption is four weeks.
Lucky Day pays for the animals’ veterinary expenses while in foster care, and it can pay for food, though many volunteers take that on themselves, Brenninger said.
For those who cannot be foster keepers, Lucky Day can use cash donations. A fundraiser called Lucky Day Yappy Hour will be held at Finbarr’s Irish Pub and Kitchen in Aspen from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Specials will be offered and all proceeds will go to Lucky Day Animal Rescue. Future fundraisers will be held downvalley.
Donations can also be given online at http://www.luckydayrescue.org then under the “You Can Help” link.
The dogs are placed in permanent homes from Grand Junction to Frisco and from Glenwood Springs to Aspen. Potential adopters are interviewed and references are checked. They must stipulate that they will return the pets to Lucky Day if adoption doesn’t work out. The organization doesn’t want animals dumped onto other shelters.
The pets available are pictured and described at the organization’s website. As word gets out about the new organization, it’s getting busier. There were 12 dogs and cats adopted out in March. Lucky Day currently is caring for or committed to care for 14 pets.
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