Animal shelter begins busy season

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— Two days after the ski season ended, the Steamboat Springs Animal Shelter had four dogs surrendered.

That's more than what it typically receives in a week.

"Four in one day is incredible. If we get four a week, we consider it a lot," Animal Control Officer Sanne Pollak said.

But Pollak was not that surprised by the increase in the number of dogs brought into the shelter after their owners could no longer take care of them.

The end of the ski season is usually the busiest time of year as winter workers make plans to move on, or change jobs and realize their lifestyle no longer fits owning a pet.

Although the four dogs that arrived on Tuesday were the only pets the shelter took in this week, Pollak said the stream of pets coming into the shelter will probably continue.

"I'm positive it's not over yet. We have another month of people deciding what they are doing," Pollak said.

While some people who leave Steamboat might drop pets off at the shelter on the way out of town, Pollak said others are less courteous and leave pets unattended.

It costs $15 to surrender pets at the animal shelter, which gives owners the chance to pass along names, vaccine history and other information.

The four dogs that were brought into the shelter have been adopted, but Pollak said there are six cats and two dogs that are still available. Those numbers are still good for this time of year, she said.

To prepare for the onslaught of new animals after ski season ends, Pollak had been turning down dogs that were brought in before last week.

She asked the owners to put out ads in the paper to find new homes for their pets before bringing them back to the shelter.

The increase in the number of animals is right before the summer season starts, which also means more animal control calls.

But right now Pollak said the greatest challenge for the shelter is finding money to help injured pets.

Without any funding from the city for injured animals, Pollak said the shelter relies strictly on donations.

In the last two months, Pollak said there have been five to six injured animals brought into the shelter.

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