The U.S. is experiencing one of the worst droughts in its history. More than 1,000 counties, in states stretching from Florida to Oregon and even including Hawaii, have declared states of disaster. The drought has impacted farmlands, water reserves and has created conditions which are conducive to disaster, including wildfires like those which raged uncontrollably in Colorado in June and July. Even though the fires are now relatively under control or extinguished outright, a state of fear reigned just a few short weeks ago.
Near Colorado Springs, the Waldo Canyon Fire was a disaster of massive proportions, consuming several thousand acres of woodlands and driving residents and companion animals from their homes. Adding to the heartbreak, many dogs and cats were separated from their pet parents in the fiery maelstrom.
In times of great need, however, heroes arise to help save the day. That’s why it brings us such immense pleasure to relay the story of All Breed Rescue & Training, an animal rescue organization that took extraordinary measures to care for pets displaced by the Waldo Canyon Fire.
As the inferno intensified, more than 35,000 families were evacuated from their homes and immediately tasked with seeking shelter. Fortunately, most were able to escape the growing conflagration without serious injury.
Initially, the local Humane Society (Pikes Peak Region) was the only shelter accepting companion animals, and their facility quickly swelled with displaced pets. The good folks at All Breed Rescue & Training (ABRT) recognized the developing problem, which was compounded by more and more people taking shelter where furry companions weren’t allowed.
Coordinating with the Humane Society, ABRT opened their doors to dozens of dogs and cats, after working to quickly convert their warehouse space into a functional, 24-hour-a-day sanctuary. This represented a monumental effort on the part of coordinators, who mobilized their dedicated team of volunteers and marshaled their combined and considerable talent.
Not only did ABRT go the extra mile for those impacted by evacuation, they also had to be mindful of the physical and mental demands made on their workers, who really ran themselves ragged providing top-notch care. Fueled by a steady flow of energy drinks, they created a caring, temporary environment for their four-legged guests. Enlisting the aid of additional volunteers working round-the-clock shifts, dogs were able to stretch their legs on walks around the facility and all the kitties enjoyed clean litter boxes. And everyone benefited from the occasional treat, felines, canines and humans alike.
We think you’ll agree that ABRT really stepped up to the plate, committing all of their resources to helping their local community. To assist ABRT in their hour of need, the Dr. Jane’s HealthyPetNet Foundation made an emergency donation, matching its largest financial award to date. The funds we provided helped to defray mounting costs of dealing with this natural disaster, bringing people and pets together in hundreds of small moments of triumph. Our grant enabled them to pay for escalating power bills, the transport of companion animals, medical care, food and so much more.
We’d also like to recognize the efforts of Ellen Lakin, Life’s Abundance Field Representative, who informed our Foundation’s Board of Directors of the amazing efforts of ABRT, alerting us to their dire need for financial assistance. Ellen hand-delivered our Foundation’s check, along with our sincerest thanks for their efforts to provide relief to their community. Her dedication to the Life’s Abundance team is an inspiration to us all!
When they’re not saving the day for victims of catastrophe, they’re still heroes. Every day, they do their utmost to find loving, forever homes for abandoned animals. ABRT is yet another non-traditional agency without a dedicated shelter facility, with an extensive yet incredibly committed network of volunteer fosterers (as we’ve just seen).
Founded in 1994 and serving the Colorado Springs and El Paso County communities, this non-profit agency’s mission is truly full-service. With their rescue program, they place canines in foster homes until permanent adoptive parents can be located. And their training program, “Training Thru Trust”, is offered at various levels to accommodate different needs (puppy through advanced agility). They also offer mentorship training for people who want to learn how to become dog trainers themselves. In addition to these programs, ABRT also offers counseling services with features like behavioral analysis and modification.
We send our sincere thanks to all of our readers who, through their personal donations and continued patronage, made this special emergency award possible. You’ve played a role in helping this devoted network of volunteers to achieve the extraordinary!