Friday, November 18, 2016

The dog days are here — Dogs of Downtown 2017 Calendar

Posted By on Fri, Nov 18, 2016 at 4:34 PM

The Colorado Springs Downtown Partnership rolled out its 2017 Dogs of Downtown calendar this morning — and it is adorable.

Our own Moses, office mascot extraordinaire owned by editor Matthew Schniper, makes an appearance as Mr. February, but you’ll also find tons of familiar faces from your favorite downtown stores. For instance, Bebu of Everest Nepal Imports makes an adorable Miss March and Lily from Rocky Mountain SOAP Market poses for May with her mom’s bath and body products. The calendar also features plenty of hard-working office dogs like ours who get their own chance to shine.

All twelve of these precious portraits are themed for the pup’s place of business, which is why Moses looks hard at work with a typewriter and some Indy back-issues in his glamour shot. The vision and execution is thanks to Springs Pet Portraits, who had the assumedly maddening job of wrangling the dogs in front of the camera. If you’re interested in watching that process (we sure were), you’re going to want to see the behind-the-scenes video.
Moses holds his own in the cutthroat world of journalism - TARA C. PATTY / SPRINGS PET PORTRAITS
  • Tara C. Patty / Springs Pet Portraits
  • Moses holds his own in the cutthroat world of journalism

The calendar is limited-run, only 250 printed total, so you should get moving to Hooked on Books, CJ Kard or Poor Richard’s to pick up yours. All proceeds benefit Downtown Ventures, Inc., the folks responsible for funding Art on the Streets, Skate in the Park, First Fridays and basically all the public engagement you’ll find downtown, a good cause supported by a whole pack of good dogs.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Give a few bucks for a happy dog

Posted By on Tue, Aug 9, 2016 at 1:02 PM

Take time to ponder what it must be like to be in jail without any time to exercise, chase a ball, jump in a puddle of water or chase your tail.

That's a circumstance that dogs held at the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region don't have to endure, according to a news release from the agency. Why? Because of a load of volunteers who walk every dog every day.

Now, HSPPR is seeking donations to finish its 1-acre dog park, and you can help with that by opening your heart and wallet to these homeless critters. Here's the news release:
The last phase of the Second Chance Campaign for the renovation and expansion of Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region (HSPPR) is a new dog park for the homeless dogs cared for by HSPPR, and HSPPR is asking for the community’s help.

With more than 150 active dog walking volunteers, the homeless dogs at HSPPR get as much exercise and activity as we can give them. Our motto is every dog every day, but most days, our pups will receive two, three or four walks from our dedicated volunteers. Unfortunately, our old dog park is being used in CDOT’s I-25 project. So plans for a new 1-acre dog park will feature a renovated pond, walking paths and an off-leash area. From planting a tree to adding fences and other landscaping, every dollar helps.

The projects completed at HSPPR so far through the Second Chance campaign include a new adoption lobby with reduced noise and a streamlined adoption process and a cat adoption center where adoptable cats can bask in the sunlight and show off their personalities face to face with adopters.

The new Admissions and Lost & Found Center is expected to open in early fall as well. Features of the Admissions and Lost & Found Center include separate waiting areas for cats and dogs to reduce stress on the animals, improved lost and found systems to help families locate their missing pets faster, and kennel space and materials designed to help minimize disease transmission.

To donate toward the new HSPPR dog park, please visit or text “dogpark” to 41444.

Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region is the largest nonprofit animal shelter in southern Colorado. Serving 24,000 animals a year, HSPPR provides adoption options, animal cruelty investigations, subsidized spays/neuters, a Trap-Neuter-Return program for feral cats, and other important services. HSPPR is a local, independent nonprofit that relies on donations from individuals and foundations to fund its many humane programs. For more information, visit
The Humane Society has been part of the Independent's GIVE! campaign in the past.
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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Dog collars for the rich and famous

Posted By on Wed, Feb 4, 2015 at 10:40 AM

  • Steve Jurvetson
Now I've seen everything. In my in-box this morning was an email from a promoter marketing diamond-studded dog collars. Really?
The U.S. dog jewelry company Tsavari caters to cebrities [sic] and the mega weathy with a line of dog collars that ranges from $2,500 to $73,699.

They have now manufactured a custom pink diamond dog collar that was valued at over 12 million dollars.

You can view their website here:
With people across the country not able to put food on the table, people with more money than good sense are willing to shell out millions for an ornament for Fido?

Disclaimer: I'm a dog lover, but pleeeeeeeze. Someone, anyone, tell me this is a joke.

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Keep your dog on a leash and away from wildlife

Posted By on Tue, Jan 27, 2015 at 2:59 PM

This deer doesn't want to be chased by your dog. - BRYAN OLLER
  • Bryan Oller
  • This deer doesn't want to be chased by your dog.

There are plenty of reasons to keep your dog on a leash — starting with the fact that you're legally required to do so in most parks.

Some people are afraid of dogs. Other dogs may not be as friendly as yours and could attack your dog. Your dog may not be as friendly as you think and could attack someone or another dog. Loose dogs can run into traffic or in the path of a cyclist. There's even the chance that some maniac may shoot your dog. Colorado Parks and Wildlife is emphasizing yet another good reason to leash your pup: Loose dogs have a tendency to attack wildlife. 

As the release below notes, "Many pet owners believe that their dogs would never chase wildlife. The fact is that most dogs, given the chance, follow their ancient predator instincts and will chase wildlife."

And that can end with injured or dead wildlife, an injured or dead dog, and a great big ticket.

Read on for more information on how dogs are impacting Colorado's wild places:


DURANGO, Colo. – Dogs chasing wildlife is nearly a constant problem in Colorado. The issue is particularly serious during the winter when dogs can easily rundown deer and elk in the snow and injure or kill them.

So far this winter, wildlife officers in every corner of the state have filed reports of chasing incidents. During the first week of January just north of Durango, one dog chased a herd of about 20 elk into the Animas River, explained Matt Thorpe, area wildlife manager in Durango.

"On a cold day those elk should have been bedding down so they could conserve energy," Thorpe said. "But because of that dog they stood in the cold water of the river for most of the rest of the day burning up calories they couldn't afford to lose."

The owner of the dog was located and ticketed. He paid a fine of $276.50.

During winter deer and elk can lose up to 40 percent of their body weight. The animals continue to feed on dormant grass and woody plant material, but dry vegetation holds little nutritional value.

"Deer and elk are barely surviving during the winter," Thorpe said. "They store up fat during the summer, but most of it gets burned off during the winter. If an animal has to run from a dog, it's using up calories that can't be replaced."

In another incident, four dogs recently killed three elk near Crestone in the San Luis Valley. Fortunately, CPW officers found the owners and wrote three tickets for $275 each. Colorado law also allows CPW to impose a fine to compensate the state for the loss of an animal.

Rick Basagoitia, area wildlife manager in Monte Vista, said that big game animals suffer horribly when they're attacked by dogs.

"So often we see injured and mangled deer that survived the initial attack. They are barely clinging to life and have no chance of making it through the winter," Basagoitia said. "Then we have to do something we hate to do, we put them down."

Many pet owners believe that their dogs would never chase wildlife. The fact is that most dogs, given the chance, follow their ancient predator instincts and will chase wildlife.

"Once a dog or group of dogs starts this behavior they rarely stop because they quickly learn to enjoy the chase," Basagoitia said.

But this behavior can also lead to a dog's demise. If a wildlife officer or other law enforcement officer sees dogs chasing deer or elk, Colorado law allows the dog to be shot.

"We don’t like to take drastic action against dogs. Dealing with the dog owners is the best way to prevent these types of incidents," Basagoitia said.

There are many reasons dogs should be kept on a leash when walking in areas where wildlife are present. One dog owner in the Gunnison area found out the hard way early in January while walking his pet in the popular Hartman Rocks recreation area.

The dog was running free and disappeared over a rise. A couple of minutes later the dog reappeared –- running from a mountain lion. The cougar caught the dog and injured it slightly before being chased off by the owner. The dog survived and the pet owner learned a lesson.

"I believe that the lion was protecting a food cache nearby, probably a deer that it had killed," said J Wenum, area wildlife manager in Gunnison. "The lion was being a lion. There's a reason why dogs should be on a leash."

Even in seemingly controlled environments like state parks, dogs are required to be on a leash. At Ridgway State Park dogs often chase wildlife, other dogs and even people.

"When we contact owners whose dogs have attacked wildlife or bitten someone, they always insist that their dog has never behaved like that," said Kirstin Copeland, Ridgway park manager. "But we know that dogs act differently when they're taken out of their normal environment."

CPW officials know that people in Colorado love their dogs. But they also have a responsibility to assure that their animals don't become a hazard to wildlife, people and other dogs.

"It's not difficult to keep a dog under control and to train it properly," said Patt Dorsey, southwest regional manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. "Keep your dogs secure when you're at work during the day. Let's give wildlife a chance"

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