Welcome to the home of Little Guy’s Puppy Mill Rescue and Rehabilitation!
We just signed a 2-year lease on the coolest building. It’s our own little earthship. Currently, it is inhabited by a daycare, but we will be the new tenants on July 1, 2017.
It’s the perfect building for us. Just look at it!
Its shape makes it very energy efficient. It’s around 6400 sq ft, and utilities are approximately $550 per month for a daycare with 100 children using the facility every day. We think our usage will be lower.
And we have three (3) yards for the dogs! It was almost impossible to find any location zoned for a dog shelter that had even a small yard, and this one has three large yards securely fenced with pea gravel. If we wish to plant grass in some areas later on, we can do that.
We have more than adequate space to house our initial goal of 50-60 dogs in program at any one time. Once we get our systems of operations down—so many moving pieces—we will be able to take in maybe 20 more dogs, but our real goal for expansion is to expand to other cities in Colorado, such as Denver, Boulder, Parker, Castle Rock, Pueblo, Canon City, Durango, Grand Junction, etc. That will expand our volunteer and adopter pools.
In addition to adequate kennel space, we have a beautiful kitchen and laundry area, offices, and spaces for overnight caretaker’s quarters, vet room, grooming room, meet and greet area, quarantine room, and education room for our visiting guests. It even comes with indoor safety cameras so we can monitor the doggies all at once. Once we get established, we’ll include outdoor safety cameras as well. We can’t wait to show you pictures.
All we really have to do to get the place ready for our little ones is to build the kennel spaces and convert a bathroom into a grooming room.
The grooming renovation will require labor, a grooming tub, and grooming table, but no major plumbing changes.
We will be building kennel spaces divided by 4’ walls. We have three rooms wherein we will build the kennels. The labor will be volunteer for this project. As you can imagine, a round house makes for interesting calculations, so we will make 20 kennel spaces anywhere from 24 sq ft to 36 sq ft. The vision is to have kennels along the perimeter of each room with an open space in the middle for socializing. Every room has access to a yard, and we will make a staging area at each doorway so that dogs cannot rush out the door. Each kennel will house 3 dogs. Remember, our dogs are going to be 15 lbs and under, so three will fit comfortably in each space, and we will put the larger dogs in the larger spaces. Please join us in this project!! Call 719-685- 4858. Leave a message and tell me how you would like to help.
If you are interested in helping fund these renovations, please become a Guardian of the Mission for $10/month. Thank you so much!Donate
Guidelines for Visiting and Serving at the Facility
For safety reasons, all visits to the kennel are by appointment only whether you are regularly serving at the kennel, meeting a potential pet, coming as a group to offer your skills and talents, or just want to check us out. Schedule your visit so we know that you are coming. For example, if you are a potential adopter, you have to have filled out an application and heard back from us to make an appointment if you want to meet a dog. You just can’t see a dog online and drop by to meet him or her. Please make an appointment if you want to come to the shelter.
It is important for you to know that we screen all regular visitors to the kennel. This includes Kennel Tenders, vets and vet techs, overnight caretakers, groomers, office personnel, and others.
We are pretty sure you would want it that way as guardians of our mission. We will help all visitors, especially regular ones, with scheduling. If you make an appointment to visit, say to meet a potential member of your family as an adopter, please keep the appointment or give us a call to cancel or reschedule.
When you come to the shelter, we feel that everyone should have the same expectations and operate within the same guidelines in order to create the best atmosphere possible for our animals, who are in the healing process, and other rehabilitators. Please prepare yourself to agree to the following:
1. Our shelter is a sanctuary, a place of peace and comfort for the wounded. When you enter the shelter, you will notice that we have gone to great efforts to create a tranquil yet joyful atmosphere in which everyone can interact, feeling secure and stable. This goes for animals and people alike. We are an interconnected community. Please be mindful of our shared mission at all times.
a) Please be mindful of our shared mission when interacting with the dogs. Approach each dog with love, with a soft voice, with soft touch, and with plenty of praise (especially when they go potty outside).
Be mindful that our animals have had minimal socialization if any. They may be very afraid. They may growl at you. They may nip or even bite you. You are responsible for your decisions to interact. If an animal makes you feel nervous or afraid, back off and find another dog to love on.
Be mindful that our animals may have health issues. All animals in the common kennels will have been cleared by the vet to be there, but know that health issues may arise, such as kennel cough or skin issues.
We will be monitoring every situation for every dog in good faith from behavior to health. But know that you will be asked to sign an insurance waiver. You know it’s what we have to do.
b) Please be mindful of our shared mission when interacting with other people. Approach one another with love and a soft demeanor, a kind word. Avoid contentious issues, such as religion or politics. Don’t ruminate on the evil done to our dogs and hate the abusers. We don’t have time or energy for that. Think twice before criticizing. We’ve all made mistakes, some of us more than others, but our mission is a place of redemption. Let it go. If something or someone gets your goat, take a BIG breath, walk into a kennel room, and get your bearings about you. Go pick up a dog and love on him or her. We are saving lives. Those lives and our love are the only things that matter. Go to your love. Let the strife fall away. Let’s welcome everyone who joins us in Little Guy’s legacy. We all have gifts that can right the wrongs that our animals have endured. We all have gifts that can right the wrongs that we ourselves have endured, and healing often comes from the most unexpected places. Our mission is to find the good in all things and nurture it.
2) Please be a responsible steward of the shelter. The upkeep of the shelter belongs to all of us, so when you notice that something needs to be tended to, please act appropriately and quickly, especially where the dogs are concerned. If you see that an animal has defecated, peed, or barfed in the kennel, quickly clean it up with the tools and supplies nearby—you don’t get to be queasy at a shelter full of little dogs adjusting to freedom. If you notice that a bathroom needs tending to, please take ten minutes and clean it with the supplies readily available to you. If you see a sink full of dirty dishes, please clean them. If you see a load of laundry that needs tending to, please take care of it. If a floor needs swept, please sweep it. If a floor needs mopped, please mop it. We are all responsible for the shelter. It’s not fair to assume others will do the work. If you are in the shelter, you are responsible to clean and maintain it as if it were your own.
3) Please do not ever feed the dogs unless feeding is your designated job and then feed only what the nutritionist and veterinarian have prescribed for them. Most of our animals come to us severely malnourished, and our first line of defense in bringing them back to health is by providing premium food to the animals. The food fed to all animals meets the highest nutritional standards. In addition, every animal will be individually evaluated so that the food given meets the special needs of the dog. This is one area in particular which all rehabilitators will have to agree upon, i.e., to follow this feeding protocol: no food or treat of any kind that is not prescribed by the nutritionist in consultation with the veterinarian may be given to an animal regardless of where the animal lives while in the program—in home or in shelter. Careful recordkeeping will abound across program elements, and this includes food intake and fecal evacuation data. If an animal suddenly takes ill, neither the nutritionist nor the veterinarian should expect to find that unauthorized food may have been the culprit. So as much as you would like to give treats, it’s not fair to the animals to disrupt the diets intended to heal them.
4) Only Kennel Tenders are authorized to enter the kennel areas either to retrieve dogs for other volunteers, vets and vet techs, groomers, and visitors or to take the dogs out for housetraining or socialization with other dogs or people. All others are invited to stay in the socialization areas while the dogs are retrieved. The Kennel Tenders spend the most time with the animals and are most apt to accurately read their personalities and boundaries. Please defer to their judgment if they feel an animal has reached his or her limits in socializing.
5) Please understand and respect our policy in placing female dogs in diapers and male dogs in belly bands. Our dogs have most likely had to walk in, lie down and sleep on, eat around, or even consume their own poop and pee their whole lives. They have NO consciousness of our notion of housetraining. Indeed, this is often the most frustrating issue for adopters and the number one reason that animals are returned: in the adopters’ minds, those particular dogs cannot be housebroken. And, let’s be real, they might be right. So what do we do about that?
First of all we help them forget those conditions of their past lives. Wearing diapers and belly bands removes the conditions that they were used to where defecating and peeing are concerned. One of the primary jobs of Kennel Tenders is to adhere to a housetraining schedule where the dogs of each kennel are taken outside at least every four hours. The more Kennel Tenders we have, the more often the dogs can be let out. While inside, the dogs wear diapers or belly bands. Consequently, their kennels stay cleaner, and we are better able to monitor their evacuations, which give the most basic health information. All of the dogs’ evacuations are monitored and the data is recorded in their health logs.
As for housetraining, most learn rather quickly that doing one’s business outside is a very happy event because of all that praise. No dog should do his or her business outside without praise. Make that a habit. But it’s asking A LOT of the animal to think that they will learn not to pee or poop inside when the notion takes them. They are not being bad when they have what we call “accidents.” They just do not possess the supple consciousness that a puppy possesses, which is why puppies do learn so readily. At the shelter, we will not scold or reprimand the dogs for peeing or defecating indoors or for soiling a diaper or belly band. Instead, we will offer positive alternatives by creating a housetraining schedule and offering endless praise for going outside.
Here is the final word on that: They lived in their own poop and pee all their lives while struggling to survive at the hands of cruel humans. Peeing and pooping were the least of their worries. They were worrying about food and water and their babies and freezing or overheating and their illnesses and injuries and forget about love or a kind word or a gentle touch. So now, when the good humans come into their lives, claiming to offer love and acceptance and to right the wrongs, some of these people scold them and reprimand them for something…what? What now? The dogs don’t understand why they are being punished, yelled at, scolded, or worse for pooping and peeing. They shouldn’t have to get it. So let’s be very clear on this point: No one in contact with our dogs is going to convey the message that after all those little beings have been through, they cannot even pee or poop right. That will not happen. Not on our watch. Please embrace the diapers and belly bands.
If you are interested in volunteering as a Kennel Tender, click here.