In October, Craig Animal Hospital was almost at full capacity with adoptable dogs and cats. Less than a month later, shelter workers report that it has been unusually quiet at the shelter with only three dogs awaiting adoption.
The change was largely thanks to the Humane Society of Moffat County, a volunteer nonprofit organization that supports the Craig Animal Shelter in a variety of ways, including providing reduced adoption fees to help animals find good homes.
Bear Creek Animal Hospital also provides space and veterinary services for the shelter while ensuring that all pets are neutered or vaccinated before they can be adopted.
Once the animals have been processed for adoption, all that is needed is a family willing to bring them home. Over the years, the Humane Society and Animal Shelter have helped countless animals. Here are some of their success stories.
Two small rain clouds
When Polly Cattoor, who works at Craig Animal Hospital, brought home two kittens, it was only intended as a temporary foster home.
The kittens were born at the shelter in a litter of six. Her mother was a feral cat who was later diagnosed with feline panleukopenia. Due to the illness, four of the six kittens did not survive, and Cattoor brought the remaining two home to nurse them back to health.
For the first few months, Cattoor noticed that one of the kittens was a bit wobbly on his feet. Both cats were diagnosed with cerebellar hypoplasia, also known as CH or Wobbly Cat Syndrome, which is passed from parent cats with feline panleukopenia to their kittens.
Basically, CH affects a cat’s motor functions. Many cats with the diagnosis can lead fairly normal lives, but they usually cannot go outside on their own and will need some help with walking and feeding. Cattoor said the best way to protect pets from the disease is to give them the recommended parvo and distemper vaccines.
Cattoor said the two kittens “were like little rain clouds” when they first came home with her, and they earned their names as Rain and Nimbus. The situation turned out to be a care mistake, and now, more than a year later, the cats have made it their permanent home and are claiming their place as queens of the house.
Rangers and Pipers
After her older dogs died, Jennie Schnackenberg had no puppies for a number of years. However, she has a good friend who volunteers at the shelter and that’s how she found out about Ranger.
Ranger, a 2-year-old Central Asian Shepherd Dog, was a livestock guard dog in Routt County before coming to the Craig shelter. He lost one of his eyes, but Schnackenberg said it didn’t hold Ranger back.
“He wasn’t a good livestock guardian dog,” Schnackenberg said. “I was told he liked people too much and was too friendly, so my daughter fell in love with him.”
The family had been ready for adoption for some time and it was really about finding the right solution. Schnackenberg said she wanted a dog that could spend the day outside with the kids and the goats and be inside with the family. Ranger did that perfectly.
Additionally, Jennie’s daughter, 10-year-old Piper Schnackenberg, was waiting for the right dog for the family so she could do a 4-H dog project.
At first, the 4-H leader thought that because guard dog breeds are bred to be independent thinkers, Rangers might be a difficult dog to train. However, in their first year working together, Piper and Ranger performed well at the Moffat County Fair and qualified for the state. Piper plans to do a dog project again this year.
Odin’s first impression
Shelly and Dave Medrano were looking for a Shi Tsu when the shelter called to say one was up for adoption. Shelly went to pick him up and had no idea the dog was going to take her on the run of a lifetime.
The drive home from the shelter was uneventful. But when Shelly got home and opened the car door to get Odin, he jumped out of her arms and ran away. She immediately ran after him, leaving her car door open.
Odin didn’t know his name at the time, and he led Shelly on a chase she dubbed “Frogger’s Nightmare Game” all over the east side of Craig. Shelly recalled screaming as she chased Odin as he zigzagged from Colorado Street to the OP Bar and Grill, up Legion Street and back to the fairgrounds.
In the end it took Shelly, Dave and two friendly strangers stopping to help everyone work together to bring Odin home.
Looking back, Shelly said she thinks it was just a fear reaction because Odin looked like he was running for his life. But now that he’s settled in, he knows his name well and runs with the rest of his pack.