Routt County Humane Society to the rescue |

Routt County Humane Society to the rescue

Since the Routt County Humane Society took over the animal shelter from the city of Steamboat Springs in May 2015, the shelter has taken in about 16 animals from other communities.
Matt Stensland

— Meet Patty Mae, a friendly pit bull who simply wants to snuggle in your lap.

Adaline is a super-mellow sweetie and a new mother who had a litter of puppies before moving to Steamboat Springs.

Savannah has a lot of energy, and as for Landon, let’s just say he still has a lot of determination for just having been neutered.

The Routt County Humane Society rescued the four dogs after a woman in Vail named Becky Schweitzer sent an email to Colorado animal shelters.

“It was a picture of 13 dogs, and they had three hours before they were going to be euthanized,” Routt County shelter manager Karen Donoghue said.

The dogs were at the Amarillo-Panhandle Humane Society. Despite the organization’s efforts to help control the pet population, the shelter is overcrowded. They have 150 kennels that 350 dogs share at any given time. Between 40 to 50 stray dogs are brought to the shelter each day.

It was decided the shelter in Steamboat had room for three or four dogs.

“They just had a couple hours left, and we got the approval to get them,” said Alexis Pagoulatos, who became the Routt County Humane Society’s new executive director in July.

The Humane Society committed to getting the three dogs, and Schweitzer drove from Vail to the Colorado state line to pick them up and bring them to Steamboat.

Once here, the dog that had only been identified as E-19 to designate her kennel number was given the name Patty Mae.

Patty Mae and the three other dogs are now up for adoption and looking for a forever home.

Since the Humane Society took over the animal shelter in May 2015 from the city, the shelter has taken in about 16 animals from other communities.

“Donors really play a special part in making this happen,” Pagoulatos said.

Steamboat Springs Police Chief Cory Christensen said the city’s partnership with the Humane Society has been great, and a lot of pets have found a new home as a result.

“This is their mission, and they do a really good job,” Christensen said.

Humane Society board member Maggie Smith said many of the high-kill animal shelters are outside Colorado, and the Humane Society in Steamboat gives as much time as the animals need to get adopted.

“We want to manage the population, so that we don’t have to euthanize because of space,” Smith said.

This past spring, there was a period of time when the shelter had no dogs up for adoption, but by taking in dogs from other places, they are providing a service to the community.

“I think it’s important because we have a very animal-loving community here,” Smith said. “Often, when someone loses a dog, after a certain amount of time, they are looking for a new dog, and they come to us, and we can help them with that.”

The Humane Society also tries to bring in the types of dogs that residents in the community are looking for.

“We can’t save them all, but we can save a few,” Smith said.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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