Every year, Foothills Animal Shelter helps more than 9,200 homeless pets. Our team cares for animals that come from all sorts of situations: like Indigo, a shy and skittish dog who eventually gained back his confidence; or Erica, a lost chicken that finally found her flock; or one of three neglected 3-week-old kittens that had to have her tail amputated; or Twister, an older dog with cancerous lumps who found his forever home on the road. Read all of their stories to see the kind of work done at Foothills Animal Shelter every day.
Foothills Animal Shelter’s chief veterinarian, Dr. Emily Hays, works tirelessly on behalf of animals in need of the greatest care. When she’s not at the Shelter, she spends her time volunteering in the San Luis Valley of Colorado, performing spay and neuter surgeries with the Colorado Animal Welfare League, Dogster and others.
Indigo, a 2-year-old Catahoula mix, was homeless in the San Luis Valley until he was anonymously left on a stranger’s doorstep. The man who found Indigo was overwhelmed and unable to care for him, so Indigo was surrendered to the care of Dr. Hays during one of her volunteer visits.
When Dr. Hays first met Indigo, he was extremely reserved and skittish. He would immediately cower down whenever anyone came near him. These traits made it quite clear he was likely abused at some point in his life, but that didn’t hold back is gentle demeanor from peeking through. “I instantly fell in love with his sweet and calming personality, and his mesmerizing eyes sure didn’t hurt!” said Dr. Hays. Without a second thought, she took him to Foothills Animal Shelter to give him the special care and attention he so desperately needed.
During Indigo’s initial intake examination, Dr. Hays found dramatic scarring throughout the inside of his mouth. Sadly, this most likely caused from someone repeatedly tying his muzzle shut. She also saw irritation and swelling beneath his left eyelid. After a thorough eye exam and collaborating with Dr. Matthew Chavkin, a partnering veterinarian ophthalmologist, they confirmed that Indigo had Onchocerca lupi, an extremely rare eyeworm parasite that was causing him severe inflammation and pain throughout his eye.
With the help of the Shelter’s skilled professionals, dedicated volunteers and generous supporters like you, Indigo received the intensive eye surgery, medication and behavioral care he needed to make a healthy and full recovery.
Indigo has since found his forever home with a young and active couple in the Denver area, and now happily spends his time exploring the outdoors. You can often find him hiking, climbing, swimming and cuddling his new mom and dad. Indigo is very loved and, because of help from people like you, looks forward to many adventures ahead.
Indigo is just one of the 9,200 homeless animals Foothills Animal Shelter helps each year. With a donation of any amount, you can make an incredible difference for so many other animals in need. If you haven’t already, please give today to help make their world safe and give them a second chance at life.