Today and tomorrow there is a life affirming initiative taking place in Antonito Colorado. This small community of 800 had strays wandering the streets and surrounding areas of the town. Animal control was essentially non-existent. There is no shelter within 30 miles of the town, and none responsible to take any stray or owner surrenders. These dogs were at risk from every day dangers as well as being rounded up or shot to lower the population. One person, Anna, stood up and said it was time to do something about it. And so was born Animal Rescue of Conejos County.
Anna, ARCC’s founder, did not see the dogs as a problem. She saw a community needing life affirming solution to and reached out to No Kill Colorado, local official, and other local animal welfare organizations.
No Kill Colorado worked with ARCC to start transporting these homeless strays and create a spay/neuter initiative. They started the 100 dogs campaign to pull the estimated 100 homeless dogs and start a low cost/no cost spay neuter program to address another 100 animals in the community. The execution of these goals will make the town safe for homeless pets.
On December 1st 2013, 20 dogs were saved and sent to rescues across the state. Yesterday, January 17 2014, 20 volunteers, more than half from other communities descended on the town to launch the first clinic. As of noon today more than 30 animals were spayed or neutered. They estimate they will have more than 100 cats and dogs complete by the end of tomorrow. In addition, more than a dozen will leave to rescue and shelters and again find their way to forever homes.
The power of one person to start change can improve the outcome of homeless pets, even in a community with no shelter or animal control. It takes hard work, it takes perseverance, and it more than anything, it takes compassion. One person simply standing up showed that a community, city officials, other organizations and individuals were willing to come together to change the outcome of these homeless pets.