Dog rescues ask for transportation services to be considered essential

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COLORADO SPRINGS – Low Riders of the West is a dog rescue organization out of Kiowa, Colorado.

Since the stay-at-home order by Governor Jared Polis, things have changed with their rescue.

“We want to bring these dogs to Colorado so they are out of danger of being euthanized,” Claire Sanchez, the Transportation Executive for Low Riders of the West said.

Since Governor Jared Polis put into place the stay-at-home executive order, Sanchez said they are no longer allowed to take-in and pick-up dogs from high kill shelters in nearby states.

“Hundreds of dogs in the Texas and New Mexico area are euthanized daily,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez said they have over 250 applications for both fosters and adopters through their rescue but don’t have enough dogs.

Meanwhile in Texas and New Mexico, Sanchez said they will be forced to euthanize hundreds of dogs if they aren’t allowed to transport them to the Colorado – New Mexico border. The shelters down south have seen a drastic increase in dogs since the coronavirus touched here in the United States.

“We have dogs pretty much coming in every weekend. There is never a time that there aren’t dogs that need to be brought here,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez said other aspects of rescues and shelters are open just not the transport part. FOX21 reached out to the Governor’s office. They responded with this press release from PAFCA, the Pet Animal Care Facility Act Program of Colorado.

In light of Executive Order 2020-17, after consulting with stakeholders, legal counsel, and other interested parties, we consider the order to restrict the transportation of pet animals, except when such transportation is for the purpose of providing veterinary care or relocating any pet animal as a result of an emergency closure of a facility or transporting any animal to an authorized foster home. Any other transportation is not considered critical and therefore must cease until April 11, 2020.”

PAFCA

After we received the response from the Governor’s office it was never clarified if this if this order would last until April 11th, the original stay-at-home end date or April 30th, the newly extended end date.

Low Riders of the West is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) and they work fully on volunteers.

“We aren’t able to keep the system moving and it’s causing huge problems on everybody’s side,” Sanchez said.

Several transports have been cancelled since the order has been put into place.

“This isn’t a business. This is volunteers giving their time and lives to save these dogs,” Sanchez said.

Just a few days prior to FOX21 airing this interview the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak region posted a video of an empty shelter after dozens of locals responded to their ask for help.

Just last week Governor Polis mentioned in a press conference that Coloradans should consider fostering dogs while being at home during this stay-at-home order.

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