Denver CO

Shilo Died. Was it Worth It?

Shilo Died. Was it Worth It?

Below is a post from Paws & Co. the evening of December 14, 20131011665_550074985108352_855951416_n


“We lost one of the newest members of our Paws & Co. Adoptions family today. Sweet Shilo was rushed to the vet for parvo on Monday and fought so hard over the past three days, but today he joined the puppy angels. We are all so sad his time wasn’t longer, but after spending the entire day on Sunday snuggling with his wonderful foster mom, we are so grateful that this little man knew love in his life.

 To all of you who care so much, who put your hearts out there when it’s not always easy, and who save lives – thank you. We will save lives in your honor, little Shilo – know you are loved always.”


When Animal Rescue of Conejos County (ARCC) formed just a few weeks ago, they launched a campaign called 100 Dogs.  The goal of the campaign is pretty limited to two specific objectives:

  1. 1.       Getting 100 stray and homeless dogs to a safe haven by any means possible. 
  2. 2.       Creating a low-cost spay/neuter and vaccination program for the community coupled with the education to eliminate the homeless dogs of the town.

I was involved with the good folks that started ARCC, the transporters that stood up to get our first transport of 21 dogs out, the rescues and shelters that were willing to take on these wonderful dogs.  It was an immense effort driven by compassionate hard-working volunteers that started the heartbeat of this little rescue known as ARCC.  Collectively, these groups and individuals are the embodiment of compassion for homeless pets.

Shilo was living in a dog house alone with his Mom doing the best she could to keep him alive.  They lived without a human companion on a ranch in Antonito ColoradoAntonito is a small Colorado community of about 800 people.  It does not have a shelter, much in the way of animal control or until a month ago a rescue.

The first transport happened on December 1.  More than 20 dogs were loaded in the morning and driven to Colorado Springs.  There the volunteers from Teller County Regional Animal Shelter (TCRAS) and Paws & Co. took possession of these dogs and to get them to a safe place until adoption.  Shilo went with Paws & CO.

Shilo was about 10 weeks old.  She came in with her mom, a little shy and scared puppy that was living outside with access to a little shack of a dog house.  Her Mom struggled to keep her and her siblings alive.  There are a lot of stray dogs in Antontio vying for whatever resources are available.  So Mom leaving a litter to find food leaves them vulnerable to predators and even other dogs.  Some of Shilo’s sibling we given to people before ARCC got into the property where they lived to rescue them.  She was the last of the litter.

Shilo was high on ARCC’s list to get on the first transport.  For the simple reason of humanity, they wanted to get as many puppies out of there first.  A cold spell was around the corner and they would have the hardest time surviving subzero temperatures.  It was a joyous moment when Shilo made the transport and found her way to Denver with Paws & Co.

Shilo was taken by a foster and for the first time in his short life had a caring person watching over him and making sure he had love, food and a warm place to sleep.  But after getting cleaned up, fed and vetted there were signs Shilo may have been sick.  And as you saw on the post above, everything was done to save this little pup.

The battle was lost.  And Shilo is gone.  And it is heartbreaking.

But as Paws & Co. said “We will save lives in your honor, little Shilo”.  Here, here!  Paws & Co. is one of the newest rescues in Colorado and I would rate them of the highest quality.  Through the leadership of Tiana Nelson and Kristin Des Marais, this organization has landed with a splash to save lives.  Saving a life every day in the first few months.

And there is the other side of this week.  This rescue took more than half a dozen more dogs than originally planned from Antonito because of the cold front coming in. 

They stepped up in a way we did not anticipate to save every possible life this week.  We couldn’t have had a better partner.  If not for this organization and their volunteers, Shilo would have died alone in the cold, exposed to the harsh weather in Antonito.  But he left this world in a safer place. A warmer place.  A loving place.  He did not die alone, cold and hungry because caring people. 

His loss is not any easier, but to think of what could have been, there is some solace in knowing the difference in circumstance that he would have experienced with your hard work and compassion.

It was worth it to get Shilo out of that place.  It was worth it to get the other 20 dogs out of the life they had.  It is always worth it.  Doing nothing is not an option.

The point of this initiative is to get these needful dogs home safely. And this initiatives needs heroes like Paws & Co.  and ARCC.  And it needs heroes like you.

In this season of giving and compassion, I ask you to send a gift to ARCC or Paws and Co. right now.

You can foster, adopt, donate or volunteer.  They need what you have.  Give them one day this holiday season, $5, whatever works for you.  Give the gift of life in any way you can.

Again I am devastated by the loss of Shilo.  It was devastating to get the news and hope we can all take some comfort in knowing he had the opportunity to be loved, albeit for a short time, because of these wonderful organizations and individuals.  We can get great joy from the many other saved dogs that got home safely on that transport.  There are more that are waiting to for our next transport.  They are on the streets and looking for the basics of food, water and shelter.  We want to go a step further and get them love as well.  You are key to helping us save these homeless dogs.

So was it worth it?

Your damn right it was.


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