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Humans of CSU: Rescuing dogs, making a difference

Humans of CSU

Editor’s note: Like Humans of New York’s “daily glimpses into the lives of strangers on the streets,” Humans of CSU tells the stories of the people who populate our campus. Written by Collegian staff and told in first person from the subject’s point of view, this series aims to make each individual on campus relatable.


When I first went to CSU, I actually went there for the vet school. I actually wanted to do pre-vet, and I pretty much stayed on that course my entire way through. I joined a sorority, and so I did well in school, but probably not as well as I could have. But it’s OK because I got that social experience, what college is about, which I’m really thankful for.

(Photo credit: Sady Swanson.)
(Photo credit: Sady Swanson.)

My last year I had no idea what I was going to do because I decided my last year I didn’t really want to do vet school. I still wanted to work with animals, but I didn’t know what I was going to do. So I went to school an additional year to get my zoology double major, because it was only 27 extra credits. And to kind of just stall on time.

I’ve loved animals ever since I could remember. And honestly, in the animal industry, there isn’t a lot to choose from in terms of what you want to do. You can be a dog trainer, veterinary, you can do doggy daycare. But there’s not a lot of other things going on. Here in America, we’re lucky that we love our dogs, so more things are popping up like little shops and stuff like that, but I wanted to work hands-on with animals. As soon as I started fostering with the organization, I was like, ‘This is kind of a perfect little niche,” because I can still work with people, but I get to be hands-on with dogs every single day, and I get to see a variety of different cases and I get to directly make a positive impact on this world. At least in my world. Animals are my world, whereas some people think people are their world.

I got really lucky because I stumbled across the rescue actually as I was starting my double major. I stumbled across the rescue, kind of landed a part-time job with them as I was going into my last year in college. So I got really lucky.

To be brutally honest, my ex-boyfriend at the time had a DUI and he had to do some volunteer work for service hours, so he could foster a puppy for community service. Of course, it ended up being kind of my thing, which is fine because I love dogs. I just kept fostering even though he was done with his community service. I kept hassling (the executive director) to get more involved, and finally a position opened up and she offered it to me and I just dove right in. I guess the whole thing of getting involved within college is extremely important. I got really lucky that my boyfriend had to do community service because that lead me to (fostering). That just goes to show you that you should really get involved because it’s truly who you know, not what you know.

I started with the foster care coordinator position with a different rescue at that time. As of this year, we branched off of that rescue and started the new rescue. Essentially, we‘d get dogs in and I would have to find the foster homes and where to place these dogs, and I would deal with fosters, so if any problems came up–any health issues, anything like that–I’d be the direct contact for these fosters.

I actually became pretty good friends with my executive director. She’s only two or three years older than me, so we started hanging out outside of work, and we’re very similar. She just kind of gave me more leadership opportunities. Then when we started the news rescue, she had recently moved down to the Longmont area, so she offered the Fort Collins location and the Northern Colorado location to me. I was really fortunate to make really great connections with my higher ups. She went to CSU as well. Everyone in our organization actually went to CSU, so that’s pretty cool. All of us are CSU alums, including a lot of our volunteers and fosters.

We are a foster-based rescue. High-kill shelters in New Mexico, Texas, Missouri, Kansas, other areas of the United States reach out to us. (Their dogs) end up on the euthanasia list because they are overwhelmed, too full, don’t have the resources. There’s not a lot of good spay and neuter policies down in those areas. They essentially get on the euthanasia list because they run out of time. They reach out to us, we take in as many as we can and transport them into Colorado and place them in foster care here. While they’re in foster care, we obviously do vetting, we make sure if there’s any behavioral issues that they (have) addressed. Then they come to our weekly adoption events and we try to adopt them out. They are also on our social media sites, so if people want to meet them during the week, they can also meet them during the week.

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