Humane Society casts wide search for owner of stray dog found at top of Rabbit Ears Pass
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Routt County Humane Society is looking for the owner of a stray dog found Saturday, Jan. 18, at the top of Rabbit Ears Pass, about 20 miles southeast of Steamboat Springs.
A passerby noticed the dog, a male mini Australian shepherd, wandering around the turnoff for Dumont Lake, according to Elaine Hicks, executive director of the Humane Society.
Hicks said the dog had no tags or microchip, which has made finding its owner nearly impossible. The animal was severely emaciated and appeared to have been lost for several days.
The dog has a brown and white coat with brown, freckly spots on its nose. It weighs about 20 pounds. Hicks said the dog is friendly but has been shy at the shelter and appears to be an indoor pet.
Mikhaila Hobbs, the shelter manager at the Humane Society, said it is not uncommon for stray animals to be found on Rabbit Ears Pass. Many of them are livestock dogs that get lost or left behind while working with herds.
The public has voiced a keen interest in adopting the stray dog.
As of the afternoon of Wednesday, Jan. 22, a picture of the animal posted on the Humane Society’s Facebook page had been shared almost 4,000 times. More than 130 people commented on the post, many of them wanting to adopt the dog.
“There has been interest from people all over the country,” Hicks said.
The Humane Society will continue trying to find the dog’s owner until Friday. To claim the dog, the owner must provide identification and proof of ownership, such as veterinary records or a photo of the animal.
If no one claims the dog by Friday, it will be put up for adoption, Hicks said. Due to the high interest, the Humane Society is evaluating the best way to determine who takes the animal in that scenario.
“We just want to make sure we are fair and give the dog the best home possible,” she said.
Hicks encourages pet owners to keep their pets on a leash when outside and to microchip their animals. Pet microchips, implanted just under the skin, are a technology made to reunite animals with their owners. Each microchip contains information about the animal and contact information for the owners.
“We encourage people to be responsible and make sure their pets can find their way home if they do get lost,” Hicks said.
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Though the city of Steamboat Springs saw a slight decline in 2020 sales tax revenue as COVID-19 hit Routt County, the city is expected to catch up to its 2019 revenues.