By Beth Dodd:
The Teller County Regional Animal Shelter is stretching out to better meet the needs of the 800 dogs and cats that pass through its doors each year.
The staff of TCRAS, Teller County’s no-kill animal shelter, has done remarkable work helping homeless animals with their limited resources, and is finally getting some greatly needed elbow room.
A new addition on the front of their building will double the size of the cat room, allowing TCRAS to both shelter more cats and give the cats more living space. All of the wire cages now in use will be replaced with proper cat kennels with separate spaces for litter boxes and living areas.
The expansion will have a quarantine room for cats as well. When new cats come to the shelter it is vital that they be healthy before they are housed with the other cats. The quarantine room will allow the staff to safely nurse sick animals with communicable illnesses like upper respiratory infections without risking the health of the others.
The additional space will also address the needs of the two-legged users of the animal shelter. For people looking to adopt a companion, there will be a meet and greet room where they can spend time with their prospective pet. The TCRAS staff will get a break room. The addition is expected to be ready for use by mid-summer.
However, all of this glorious new space has to be paid for. While TCRAS has successfully raised over $35,000, they still need another $35,000 to finish and furnish their expansion. While TCRAS is waiting to hear back about several potential grants, private donations are most welcome.
Recently, donations came in the way of mayoral votes. TCRAS held its third biannual fundraising “mayor’s election” this month. The unincorporated town of Divide has no human leader, so the animals have taken over. In the Divide Mayor’s race, unlike other local elections, you can buy as many votes as you want.
TCRAS inaugurated the third mayor of Divide, bloodhound Pa Kettle of Teller County Search and Rescue, in a ceremony at the Woodland Country Lodge on April 19. Pa Kettle replaces Walter, the three legged cat from the Animal Clinic of Woodland Park, who is retiring. TCRAS is not funded by local government, so the $12,000 raised in the mayor’s race is a welcome show of support from the community.
Two more fundraising events are planned for this fall. Be sure to check the TCRAS website for information about the Paws in the Park dog walk and the Top Hats and Tails dinner.
Another opportunity to help the shelter is their new emergency response trailer, which will be used to help animals in need during a crisis like the Waldo Canyon fire. You can contact TCRAS Fundraising Coordinator Nancy Adams to learn how you can purchase advertizing space on the outside of the trailer.
“Thank you to the community and all the many individuals who have generously donated money and materials to make this expansion happen. Your generosity makes it possible for us to care for the animals and find them their forever homes,” said Adams. Above Treeline Construction, Smith Woodland, Knop Concrete, and Woods Excavation have all contributed to the project.
The Teller County Regional Animal Shelter is located in Divide behind the Sheriff’s Office on Weaverville Road. They are open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can also reach them at (719)686-7707 or www.tcras.colorado.com.