It’s Raining Adoptable Animals


Alexandria Stewart, Reporter

As the weather warms up, it’s safe to say that there won’t be any shortage of baby animals. Whether that be puppies or kittens, there seems to be a large sum, at least according to the Grand Rivers Humane Society. With more and more strays and forgotten litters, the shelters in  the Grand Valley are filling up quickly. 

Many shelters have events to promote their animals so that they can be adopted as soon as possible, creating the most humane experience for our furry friends. Grand Rivers has cat and dog adoptions every Saturday all year and have been doing this since 2005. Roice Hurst participates in many of the animal events, like the “Name Your Price” adoption event in which the adopter was able to pay whatever they wanted for the animal of their choice, and more recently, Wüffstock Music Festival at the Las Colonias Park. Harmony Animal Matchmaker also participates in several events including one at the Chow Down pet supplies store in Fruita. 

With these events there is a great need for volunteers. Nan McNees, the president of Grand Rivers Humane Society, says they “always need help at our Saturday Dog Adoption Events and help at Kitty Korner cleaning and socializing our kittens and cats. We have some FMHS students that currently volunteer with us.” 

High school students are allowed to volunteer without a parent or guardian as long as they are 16 and it is highly recommended!
Another great way to help out and ensure that the animals are at the most peace is to foster. Fostering is something that many people do but there is always a need, especially right now. “Twice in the last week, Mesa County Animal Services has asked us to find foster homes for some of our dogs living there as they were too full,” said  McNee. Every dog and every cat can benefit from a foster home where they can be more themselves and feel less caged. If you have room and the home environment to foster, it is highly recommended and appreciated by all shelters. 

Quite a few people of Fruita are involved in fostering the animals, including Rachel Lavadie, the FMHS orchestra director alongside her husband. The two of them started foster care in February of 2021 and have taken in at least seventeen dogs by now. Lavadie recalls how “my husband and I adopted a senior dog in 2020. He was deaf, going blind, and had one tooth. They weren’t sure how old he was but for sure older. We realized that we had a good home for fostering or adopting older dogs. We decided that we would be on the lookout for opportunities where we could help.” She explains how they thought they would foster older dogs but soon learned that they would foster mostly younger dogs, “we work on house training, basic commands, socializing, and give tons of cuddle time.” These kinds of activities allow for higher adoption rates and a better experience for the foster family.

Many animals are injured when brought into a shelter and it is the organization that pays to nurse those animals back to health. “We took two special needs cats from Mesa County Animal Services and both would do very well in a foster home; one is a ten year old blind cat and the second is a cat who was shot in the leg by a gun. Our vet had to amputate the injured leg and this kitty will do much better learning how to walk on three legs  in a loving foster home  than a shelter,” expressed McNee.

These procedures aren’t cheap, and even if the shelters are making less than they can pay for, they will do all they can to save a life. Donations are always appreciated,the Betty White Challenge, for example, allowed many shelters to be able to purchase more food and supplies as well as pay for both intense and routine surgeries. 

Another great way to help is to reach out! Call any local shelter or log onto their website to find out how to help, whether that be volunteering, donating money or even food and supplies if the shelter will take them. Every Humane Society’s intention is to provide the most peaceful transition from shelter to home for all of the furry friends that end up on the streets. With that, when deciding to add another pet to the family, always go to the shelter before buying straight from a breeder even if it is just fostering. Lavadie exclaims how “if you have space in your home and some extra time to give, sign up. Your house may not be as clean as it was, but it is beyond rewarding.” Many times, these dogs are even already trained and become the best companions. When in doubt, always adopt!