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Help support a Golden animal shelter that saved dog who was stabbed

Foothills Animal Shelter helps save dog with severe injuries
How to help support the Golden animal shelter that saved dog who was stabbed
Posted at 8:55 PM, Dec 31, 2022
and last updated 2023-01-14 19:46:19-05

GOLDEN, Colo. — On Dec. 22, Foothills Animal Shelter helped the City of Lakewood with an unfortunate case. A dog was reportedly stabbed by their owner, who is now being charged with aggravated cruelty.

Thanks to the medical care and support provided by the shelter, along with overnight care at an emergency clinic, the dog is recovering well and waiting for their forever home.

Help support a Golden animal shelter that saved dog who was stabbed

Denver7 Gives is starting a fundraiser to support the cost of the lifesaving care, which was paid for by the shelter.

Inside Foothills Animal Shelter, there are animals ranging from bearded dragons to guinea pigs.

“I think people think we only do cats and dogs. I'm like, there's turtles, [bearded] dragons, lizards," said Chelsea Rodgers, who has worked at the shelter for four years and said it is her dream job.

Despite the variety of animals at the shelter, Rogers said her favorite animal is a dog.

“It's like having a best friend with no judgment. You know, you're going to hang out with them all day, and they're going to love you no matter what," Rodgers said about dogs. "With dogs, it doesn't matter how many times their trust is broken. They seem to just always want to still put their best foot forward and life is still beautiful."

One of the dogs at Foothills Animal Shelter is a gorgeous and playful four-year-old dog named Esme. Based on her demeanor, it's difficult to believe what happened to her before she arrived at the shelter.


Click here to go directly to the secure Denver7 Gives form. Then in the drop-down menu, select "Support Esme's Recovery."

“She came to us after she had allegedly been stabbed by her owner," said Joan Theilen, the marketing and communications manager for Foothills Animal Shelter, pointing at a stitched-up puncture wound on the left side of Esme. “With wounds that are on the chest of a dog that close to the heart, we just wanted to make sure she wouldn't need any specialized surgery.”

The serious injuries required overnight care at an emergency veterinarian clinic. The medical care cost Foothills Animal Shelter almost $3,000 for that treatment alone.

“Foothills Animal Shelter did cover 100% of the cost of care from the veterinary hospital that we sent her to, and that [$3,000] doesn't include any of the care she's received here at Foothills Animal Shelter," Theilen said. “We have two full-time veterinarians and a great veterinary team that has continued to monitor her and make sure that she's healthy and happy, and she gets great care here with the staff and volunteers. She's definitely worth it, and she's just a wonderful dog.”

Theilen said having Esme at the shelter has been a treat, as she continues to be monitored to ensure she fully recovers. Esme has been medically cleared by the veterinarians at the shelter.

“Dogs are amazing. They have such resilient, trusting spirits. And Esme has certainly shown us all here, just exactly what that means," Theilen said.

Now, the goal is to find Esme her forever home.

"If you are interested in adopting Esme, all adoptions are done on a first come, first served basis. You can come to the shelter here in Golden and meet with her. Just keep an eye on our website at and see when she pops up, available for adoption," Theilen said.

Theilen said Foothills Animal Shelter is the only full-service shelter in Jefferson county, helping more than 7,500 pets every year.

Denver7 Gives is starting a fundraiser to help cover the cost of Esme's lifesaving surgery, which Foothills Animal Shelter funded. Money raised will help save other animal lives, just like Esme's. Click on the "Support Esme's Recovery" tab.

“Those resources that we have coming into the shelter for Esme will be able to help thousands of other animals, just like her, so thank you so much and it's wonderful. It is the best way to end 2022 and kick off 2023," Theilen said.

The kind of care provided by Foothills Animal Shelter would not be possible without donations from the community.

Denver7 features the stories of people who need help and now you can help them with a cash donation through Denver7 Gives. One hundred percent of contributions to the fund will be used to help people in our local community.

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