County residents hope to start a humane society

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Last year Josie Dean, president of the Routt County Humane Society, visited the animal shelter in Craig and was surprised at what she saw.

"I discovered there was an overpopulation of animals in Moffat County," Dean said. "I was moved by how many animals were at the shelter."

Because of her experience in Craig, Dean and other members of the Routt County Humane Society have budgeted $500 and agreed to attend a year's worth of meetings in Moffat County to help start a new humane society in the county.

"The bottom line is we want to act on behalf of the animals," she said. "We saw a need and we wanted to help. We don't differentiate between animals of Moffat County and animals of Routt County."

A group of about 10 people that included local veterinarians, animal lovers and the local animal control officer, met with Dean and another Routt County representative Thursday night to discuss what needs to be done to get a humane society set up in the area. Dean explained that Routt County's humane society, which has been in existence for more than 10 years, meets once a month.

It's goals include:

Educating the public on animal care and health.

Promoting spading and neutering.

Preventing abuse.

One recent accomplishment of the group in Routt County is the development of a low-cost spade, neuter program with veterinarians in Routt County, Dean said.

The group receives funding through fund-raisers, grants and receives some city and county money, she said.

Craig resident Sandra Kruczek, who teaches dog training classes

in Craig and Steamboat Springs

and whose husband, Ron, is a veterinarian at High Country Veterinary Clinic in Craig, said she was excited

to jump on board when contacted

by Routt County representatives

about starting a new humane

society.

"They came to us and we said let's talk about it," Kruczek said. "There's so many things a group like this can do for the community. It gets people together in the spirit of doing some very useful things."

There is always a need for education and increased awareness regarding animal health, Kruczek said.

She said she would like to see a local humane society help people with training and behavior management of their animals.

"I foresee a stable organization of people who like to help other people and animals," she said. "When you educate people, everyone wins. I really try to emphasize that when you have a healthy relationship with your pet you'll have a better relationship with your family."

She said foster care for animals in transition is also something the society can do for the community.

"There's a lot more that can be done to enhance what our animal shelter can do," she said. "We want to aid in taking some of the responsibility off of the shelter."

Thursday's meeting was the second held by Routt County representatives with Moffat County residents interested in starting a humane society.

The next meeting will be at 7 p.m. July 18 at the Holiday Inn.

The suggestion was made that more effort be put into publicizing the meeting next month in order to get more community feedback on what the mission of the new humane society should be.

Officers also might be elected at the meeting.

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