Leadville Is Going to The Dogs
Animal Shelter, Dog Parks and Sled Racing
Family pet. Lead sled-dog. Emergency rescue canine. Best buddy. When it comes to man’s best friend, the roles that dogs play are as varied as the breeds! And pet-owners know living in Leadville Today know that life’s a lot sweeter at 10, 200 feet when your four-legged furry friend is along for the ride! To that end, here’s a round-up of recent #dognews.
There are lots of new and exciting things happening at the Leadville/Lake County Animal Shelter! From a new management team to volunteer dog-walkers, it’s some canine news you can use from America’s highest city!
New Management Team
There is an official new Leadville/Lake County Animal Shelter management team in place. Joining the team in November 2020 is Caitlin Kuczko (KPA-CTP, CPDT-KA, CTDI). She is a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner, Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Fear Free Shelter Certified, and holds several other national certifications and memberships. She is a Professional Responder with the ASPCA and an Anti-Cruelty Behavior Team Member. Kuczko has over ten years of experience in animal sheltering/welfare and animal training and behavior.
“I look forward to combining my passion for modern animal sheltering with my education and experience to best serve the animals in our care, the pet owners of Lake County, and the community as a whole,” Kuczko said.
Of course, many locals know Debbie, the long-time shelter employee who will continue to serve the Leadville/Lake County Animal Shelter. “I look forward to the expansion of the animal shelter and having more community involvement opportunities.”
Animal Shelter COVID-19 Updates
As many of you know, Leadville/Lake County is currently in the orange high-risk level of the state health pandemic dial for COVID-19; we will continue to be closed until the level is reduced. The staff is still tending to the animals and is available by appointment only for your needs, i.e. dog license, meet and greet, surrender, etc. Please call (719) 486-8951 to make your appointment before stopping by the shelter.
Starting in February, Planned Pethood Leadville and your shelter will partner to host Monthly Q&A with our professional dog trainer – cat questions are also welcome! This will occur the first Sunday of every month at 1 p.m. via Zoom until they are able to host it in person, starting this weekend, February 7. Anyone who has adopted from the Leadville/Lake County Animal Shelter between January 2020 to present receives free entry. Community members are welcome to attend! Community members are being asked to give a donation to Planned Pethood Leadville for the shelter expansion fund and then the meeting link will be emailed to them.
This year the animal shelter will begin partnering with national organizations such as the ASPCA, Maddie’s Fund, ASPCA Pro, PetSmart Charities, PetCo Foundation, and other nonprofits to gain access to continuing education for our staff and grant opportunities.
According to a recent press release, beginning in March, the shelter will have its Volunteer and Community Service orientation online. This can be watched on YouTube in the comfort of your home. The orientation will give viewers a tour of the shelter and cover the basics of volunteering. For now, they are still accepting Community Service members for those who need to complete their hours, but due to COVID-19 restrictions are limiting our volunteers. For those who need hours, please call the animal shelter to make an appointment (719) 486-8951.
When COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, the shelter plans on having a comprehensive volunteer program, a comprehensive foster program, and youth programs such as Kids and K9s or Crafts and Cats!
Want more updates? Find them on the Leadville/Lake County Animal Shelter Facebook Page. Readers can also visit PetFinder.Com to find a list of local adoptable animals. And finally, for those who don’t use computers, check out other animal shelter’s front lobby windows.
The animal shelter is located at 428 E. 12th Street, adjacent to the Mineral Belt Trail access point – the perfect start for a walk! Contact by phone: (719) 486-8951, or e-mail: email@example.com. For more information including a listing of current adoptable pets click here or visit their Facebook page.
Leadville Sled Team Represents in Wyoming
Lake County resident Tim Thiessen has been #representing America’s highest city in good stead at the Pedigree Stage Stop Race in Wyoming. The action has continued to play out all week in the Wyoming backcountry ash the world’s leading dog-sledders compete for a hefty $165,000 purse. Among the contenders is Leadville’s resident musher Tim Thiessen.
The race hits its peak the next two days as sleds kick off this morning, traversing through areas that have received upwards of more than one foot of snow in the past 24-hours as they charge toward the celebratory finish line in Tejon County, Wyoming on Saturday, Feb. 6. Mother Nature could be the true game-changer in this year’s showdown.
The Pedigree® Stage Stop Race consists of seven individual stages ranging from 30 to 35 miles each. Each day, the race is a different route, going on a groomed out-and-back trail that is typically 30 to 35 miles in total length. All routes are on National Forest lands and are part of the trail system groomed through the Wyoming State Parks Trails Program.
But perhaps it’s the backstory of the Stage Stop, especially this year as the world deals with a global pandemic, that is most poignant. In 1996 Frank Teasley, with the help of public nurse Jayne Ottman, launched the Pedigree Stage Stop Race to showcase the beautiful state of Wyoming and to make sled dog racing more accessible to the public. In addition, the race worked to spread the word about the need for childhood immunizations and each year the race makes a contribution to communities on the race route for childhood immunizations.
Closer to home, competitor and Lake County resident Tim Thiessen’s passion for dog sledding began in 2003 when he was hired to work for a Breckenridge, Colorado dog sled tour company. Afterward, he put together his own team of Alaskan Huskies and competed in local races. He caught the “stage race bug” at the 2018 Eukanuba 8-Dog Classic, and this will be his third time running this race.
The Thiessens share their high-altitude homestead located in the Mosquito Range of central Colorado just south of Leadville Today, with 23 dogs, two cats, a flock of chickens, and some ducks.
After a travel day yesterday, February 4 the teams kick off this morning from Driggs, Idaho headed towards the finish line in Tejon County, Wyoming. Of the 25 teams that began, 23 remain in the race with Thiessen ranking #18. The full report can be read below. The competition peaks in the next two days as the teams charge towards the finish line! Good luck, Team Tim!
The Home Stretch: From Driggs to Teton County
UPDATE 2/5/2021 – Anny Malo of Quebec, Canada solidified her lead today by winning stage five of the Pedigree Stage Stop Sled Dog Race. Malo has won three of five stages and is now in a position where the race is hers to win. Malo has run a very smart race and seems to be on cruise control with a dog team that eats up trail miles with gleeful ease. With two more race stages remaining, Malo sits on a 14-minute lead over her closest competitor. A 2021 championship would be her third straight in as many years as a Stage Stop competitor.
Mushers compete in Driggs, Idaho on Friday in stage six and again on Saturday in Teton County, Wyoming for the seventh and final stage.
- Anny Malo 1:55:43
- Érick Laforce 1:56:37
- JR Anderson 2:00:50
- Lina Streeper 2:01:34
- Diane Marquis 2:03:15
- Maria Torgerson 2:03:59
- Alix Crittenden 2:06:01
- Elliot Rivest 2:06:43
- Thad McCracken 2:10:31
- Jake Robinson 2:19:10
- Ryan Beaber 2:20:05
- Austin Forney 2:20:48
- Bruce Magnusson 2:21:08
- Rafael Nelson 2:22:57
- Guy Girard 2:23:02
- Doug Butler 2:26:46
- Ed Steilstra 2:30:24
- Tim Thiessen 2:31:14
- Randy Dekuiper 2:31:41
- Laura Neese 2:35:53
- Gwenn Bogart 2:40:47
- Ben Barrett 2:55:42
- Chris Adkins 2:57:34
With a total combined payout of $165,000, the Pedigree Stage Race offers the largest purse in the lower 48 and draws many of the top teams from the United States and Canada. In conjunction with Angelos Media, the Stage Stop race will be posting daily video updates as well as race commentary, photography, and daily results.
As part of the race organization’s comprehensive COVID plan, spectators are not being encouraged
at any of the venues. Instead, local as well as global race fans can enjoy extensive race
coverage online at www.wyomingstagestop.org or on Facebook.
A Dog’s Life in The Cloud City
When it comes to return-on-investment for projects that have been well-planned, executed, and maintained in the past decade, the Lake County Dog Park tops the leaderboard. Envisioned in 2012 by a small group of animal-lovers, the concept went through the proper procedures and was granted a small piece of land adjacent to a well-used recreation area.
From nuts to bolts the plan was well-executed and officially opened in October 2015. The end result is a fenced ¾-acre dog park situated at the west end of Huck Finn Park located at 505 W 5th Street. The park features include a double “air-lock” gate system, numerous dog waste bag dispensers, a walking trail around the inside of the fence, a picnic table, and benches where tired dog owners can sit. Owners should bring water for their dogs, as none is available nearby.
Rules are posted on a sign at the entrance. Important rules require that owners remain in the park with their dogs and must clean up waste, using the plastic dog bags which are provided at the park. Dogs must be on leashes outside the dog park and still are not permitted in many parts of Huck Finn Park. This is a daytime facility only, as the dog park has no lighting.
Contact Leadvilledogpark@gmail.com, or visit the Leadville Dog Park Facebook page for more information and activities.