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Message from Apryl – January 2020

2020. Wow. It wasn’t that long ago that I remember imagining the year 2020 and envisioning it as the year that many things come into focus—like 20/20 vision. From my viewpoint (and yes, sometimes with reading glasses…) this is exactly what is happening.

Volunteers, staff and our community are coming together in unprecedented ways to shelter, shield and heal vulnerable animals. By working together, within the last year we have addressed owned animals that are injured and sick through the Solutions — Veterinary Hospital. We have enhanced our ability to comfortably house dogs in our shelters. We have saved our 5000th dog from Oklahoma. We have created a nationwide movement around Socially Conscious Sheltering. And that was all before 2020. I am very excited about what we will accomplish together in this year of focus.

We will be updating our strategic plan. We will build a shelter in Alamosa, a rural community whose animals are in great need of progressive animal welfare solutions. We will be developing collaborations with human services organizations, bringing the concept that family includes pets to the forefront. We will completely renovate the Leslie A. Malone Center veterinary hospital, foster area and behavior spaces. We will be there for each horse that has been mistreated, providing care and training at the Harmony Equine Center. We will increase our care for owned pets who are vulnerable, with six doctors at Solutions — Veterinary Hospital and with innovative resources through our Pet Resource Center. We will connect even more with our Castle Rock community, increasing the understanding of the incredible resource the Buddy Center provides.

And then there are legislative issues that we will be addressing this year. I am happy to announce that we have hired a staff attorney/public policy advisor/lobbyist to guide us through what is looking like a landmark year for thoughtful policy (we hope!). Ali Mickelson will be leading the League’s support of legislation that enhances our Bureau of Animal Protection agent’s ability to address cruelty and neglect, a Socially Conscious Sheltering bill that creates a commitment to place every healthy a safe pet while addressing animals’ needs while in any shelter or rescue’s care, and we will be supporting the Colorado Pet Overpopulation Fund tax check off. We also expect to see legislation regulating the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores, puppy mill legislation and a bill impacting the tethering of dogs. As you can see, this is going to be an intense year for policy efforts, and I suspect Ali will be asking you to help tell legislators how important these issues are to you.

When I write “we,” I do so knowing that the League’s success depends on our volunteers, and that there is only a “we” because you choose to give your time, energy and thought to us. Our plans for 2020 are far reaching, and with your help we can accomplish all of them. Thank you for creating these possibilities for so many animals. Let’s focus together and give the animals the advocacy they deserve.

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