Wrapping up Work with the Humane Society of Fremont County

Beyond Rescue has wrapped up our work with the Humane Society of Fremont County.

Ajax waited over a year to make it out to foster in Fort Collins. (Photo credit: Erin Thames)

In early April, the shelter lost their manager and our long term partner, Kelly Ramos, along with a significant percentage of existing staff. Since then, the director has hired a new manager, increased staffing, and has hired on a new trainer to provide behavior evaluations and staff and volunteer training programs. The director is confident that they have addressed all past issues and deficiencies in shelter operations and feels that the new team is exceptional and makes strides to improve every day.

We are very happy that the shelter has finally been able to obtain the support that they have desperately needed over the past years. We wish them the best of luck.

Our work with the Humane Society of Fremont County goes back to March 2016 when Pete Stevenson met Kelly Ramos while evaluating potential foster dogs to take in through another Fort Collins rescue organization. Marley got a lucky ticket out of Canon City and was adopted 9 months later. Several dogs who were evaluated earlier that spring were still living at the shelter in desperate need of a rescue foster. HSFC didn’t have the staff or funds for their own local foster program and rescues were unwilling to take in their long term residents. So Pete started fostering directly for HSFC and took in Smokey (now Theo), Boss, Ajax, and Winnie.

A major challenge getting dogs transferred out of HSFC to rescue organizations was the lack of dog social testing. They just didn’t have enough staff, volunteers, or the experience to conduct dog social sessions. In March 2017, Pete, Kim Clarkson, and Cathie Lee (K9 Wisdom Training) started making regular volunteer trips to organize dog social testing and play groups.

Boulder and Dot, previously assumed to be dog aggressive, learned how to play wonderfully thanks to Cathie Lee and Kim Clarkson.

Later that summer we started recruiting and managing additional foster homes in Northern Colorado. Over the past year and a half Boulder, Bailey, Indie, Shrimp, Julesburg, Leo, Chert, Guinness, Blaze, Durango, Cracker, and Blue all had opportunities for much needed breaks from shelter life in comfortable foster homes. We funded food, gear, medical care, and even professional training evaluations and group classes.

Molly Obert leads a volunteer training class.

In August 2018, we officially formed Beyond Rescue to enable us to raise funds and increase our shelter support activities. Molly Obert, with the help of Jaz Hendrick, designed, organized, and conducted a 6-week advanced volunteer training program. Material covered basic training and behavior, dog body language, handling safety, and hands on work with both classical conditioning and basic clicker training techniques.

At the beginning of this year, we took over the rental property (owned by HSFC) next to the shelter to enable us to spend more time working on site hands on with both the shelter dogs and the staff and volunteers.

Between January 15th and March 31st, we put in 200 hours of on-site volunteer work including hands on training and behavior evaluations, dog social testing, volunteer training and activities, coordinating and assisting rescue transfers and transports, post-adoption training support, and even kennel cleaning.

Sunny chilling out at the “Mutt Hut”

9 different dogs had an opportunity to spend 38 nights plus many other days out of the shelter in the “Mutt Hut” with our team. We used the house as a test environment to fully evaluate the dogs in a real home environment verifying house training and basic manners and testing and working on crate training, dog social interactions, body handling, and reactions to visitors at the door. Sunny is just one example of a wonderful dog who we were able to confidently place in a Paws Co foster home after Molly Obert spent 6 days working with him in the house.

Paws Co Mobile Spay and Neuter Clinic

We also had the opportunity to host two Paws Co Spay and Neuter clinics providing lodging for their medical team. The rental house was an ideal home base for the medical team with a full kitchen, laundry, and plenty of sleeping space just a few steps away from their medical van and the shelter. In the first 2 clinics, the Paws Co team spayed and neutered 283 community animals. This included 68 resident animals from the Humane Society of Fremont County at an estimated cost of $3300. Paws Co will have one last opportunity to utilize the house this memorial weekend.

We will miss working with the wonderful community volunteers from Canon City. Their small but extremely dedicated team of volunteers has made some amazing accomplishments.

Kazoo is one of many dogs who have undergone a truly remarkable transformation thanks to the dedication of volunteers like Kathy McGregor.

But we are excited to move on to new projects.

On our way out from HSFC, we’ve taken Durango with us and he will be our first adoptable foster dog available through Beyond Rescue. Pete Stevenson and Kim Clarkson have been working with Durango since he arrived at the shelter as a stray in August, 2017. We are looking forward to finally providing him with the long term foster care and training that he needs to find his perfect forever home. Stay tuned for more updates about Durango!

Adoptable Durango! (Photo credit: Erin Thames)


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