Local pet owners have opportunities to give back to community | SummitDaily.com

Local pet owners have opportunities to give back to community

Shauna Farnell

SUMMIT COUNTY – Summit County is one of the most bountiful dog havens in Colorado, and local pet owners have some opportunities coming up to give back to organizations that benefit their animals.

When Derek Votaw’s 2-year-old heeler mix, Norman, fell victim to a hit-and-run a couple months ago in Silverthorne, Votaw sought financial assistance for extensive veterinary bills.

Norman was crossing the parking lot of Big Horn Materials when he was struck and dragged by a truck. Votaw managed to catch up to the vehicle and untangle his dog before the truck took off, but Norman underwent intensive surgery as a result of the accident.

“It was terrible to watch,” Votaw said. “Norman was crawling away, and when I took him in, I knew it was going to be a really major surgery. I decided to go with the amputation. The vet let me know about the possibilities and hooked me up with LAPS.”

LAPS – League for Animals and People of the Summit, ended up paying roughly half of Norman’s vet bills – about $1,500. Although Norman was left with only three legs, Votaw said he quickly adjusted and is doing very well.

Norman’s case is one of about 12 surgical requests LAPS receives from pet owners each month. The nonprofit organization donates $2,000-$2,500 per month for medical requests, spay and neuter costs, and assistance for pets in low-income families. The organization is holding its annual membership meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Frisco Community Center.

“We have a lot to offer low-income pet owners,” said LAPS president Sally Beerup. “We always know people need help, and we need help with our events and with our (fund base) too. We’ve almost doubled the amount of money we’re giving people since last fall, and we’re feeling it.”

LAPS is raffling a handmade doggie quilt with tickets available at the Summit County Animal Shelter, The Barnyard and Abbey’s Coffee in Frisco. For more information on LAPS, visit http://www.colorado.net/~laps.

Another way dog owners can help their dog-friendly community is to participate in the first annual “Poop Scoop” at 6 p.m. April 30 at Carter Park in Breckenridge.

As organizers point out, the spring thaw has uncovered “some dog-related problems” in the park and in the neighboring playground at Breckenridge Elementary School.

The Town of Breck will provide cleanup supplies, and pizza and refreshments will be available after the cleanup. The first 25 people to sign up will receive a T-shirt and gift packet. For more information, call Trish Kelech, community services officer with the Breck Police Department, at (970)547-3131, ext. 1672.

Shauna Farnell can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236, or at sfarnell@summitdaily.com.

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