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Pets pose for PAWS fundraiser

A contestant photo of pet "Zuku Baby," far left, submitted by owner, Michelle Tanner, and other pet photos on display at the Fine Art Gallery at Colorado State University-Pueblo. Photo by Nikki Martinez.

PAWS for Life: Animal Welfare and Protection Society held a fundraiser called “Posing for PAWS” in the Fine Art Gallery on Friday, July 16 at Colorado State University-Pueblo.

The fundraising event involved a silent auction, which included sculpted and painted artwork. There was also a pet photo contest and a mascot contest. Tickets handed out at the door gave attendees a chance to win door prizes, as well.

Pet owners gave a $25 donation per pet photo for the contests. The pet photo contest included categories like most beautiful pet, best pet smile, cutest pet and oddest looking pet, among others. The mascot contest allowed for a pet to become the PAWS for Life mascot.

Pet photos were matted and on display in the gallery, as well as 37 photos of shelter dogs needing a good home.

The event also displayed a scale model of the facility to be built with donations from the public. The facility will include a bark park of open space, an agility course, doggie day care center and an EmergiCare vet clinic.

Jeanie Schenk, an attendee, said she prefers to own shelter rescue pets.

“They are grateful to be rescued. You can tell,” Schenk said. “One of my pets was in a no-kill shelter for years. We wouldn‘t have been able to have him if he hadn‘t been.”

PAWS for Life Animal Welfare and Protection Society President Bev Kachel poses near a donation planning board at the "Posing for Paws" event. Photo by Nikki Martinez.

Though this is the first “Posing for Paws” fundraiser, Kachel said she hopes to have the event annually.

“Our goal is to get the community aware that we are here,” Kachel said, “and to get some of our dogs into good homes.”

Master of ceremonies was Craig Eliot, KOAA-TV weather anchor. Music was provided by singer Molly Cotner, a mass communications major at CSU-Pueblo, sang throughout the event. Rebekah Summers, a CSU-Pueblo alumni, is the current public relations and marketing director for PAWS for Life.

PAWS for Life is a no-kill, volunteer-ran facility. The fundraiser will benefit the construction of new facilities built around the needs of their animal rescues said Bev Kachel, president of PAWS for Life.

No-kill is a type of animal shelter that does not euthanize healthy animals due to overcrowding or after a certain amount of time without adoption. The shelter also prides itself on the socialization each dog receives at the facility so that each is ready to become part of a family, according to the PAWS for Life website.

Donations may be given at for building and operation funding.

Adoption information can be found by calling 719-543-6464 or visiting the facility at 800 N. Pueblo Blvd. Adoption costs and policies may also be found at the PAWS for Life website under the “community” link.