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Coronavirus impact includes pet rescues, shelters

Posted at 5:02 PM, Mar 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-20 21:10:24-04

FORT LUPTON, Colo. — A new transfer of puppies, dogs, kittens, and cats recently arrived at the Soul Dog Rescue in Fort Lupton. They’re getting vaccinated and given medication as usual. What’s unusual is how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting the future of what they do here.

“It’s getting bad all over and the animals are going to feel it just like the people,” shelter director Shelby Davis told Denver7.

Davis and her organization take weekly trips to the Four Corners area to bring back animals from shelters there. They are mainly dogs and cats from reservations near the in the Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona border.

“We take whatever is at animal control before they get put down. Whoever’s friendly,” Davis said.

That number usually comes out to 15-90 dogs and cats per week, that are brought into the rescue, given medical treatment, and put up for adoption. Soul Dog operates a pet supply thrift store and a community spay and neuter clinic to pay the bills.

“We’re hit hard because we’re hit in all the areas we rely on,” Davis said.

As a result of COVID-19, the rescue’s thrift store had to be closed. The state’s ban on elective surgeries (which includes veterinary surgeries) could also close their clinic through at least mid April. That could limit the amount of transfers the rescue can take in from shelters in the Four Corners.

“If we can’t go down or get our animals moved, then we’re gonna have to say sorry like everyone else and they’re gonna have no choice but to put animals down,” she said.

Soul Dog is weighing their options, but will stay open for now, only taking appointments for adoptions.

But in the midst of their uncertainty, there is a potential positive. The shelter is open to the idea of loaning out some of their anesthesia machines, at the state’s request, for human use.

“We’re happy to help and we’ve got a lot of equipment that could hopefully be helpful in some way,” Davis said.

The rescue is accepting donations of dog and cat food as well as financial contributions. To learn more on how to donate, go here.