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Arvada shelter raises funds for rescued retrievers

Annual event helps dogs receive veterinary care

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A purebred golden retriever, Lola, now 9 years old, spent the first part of her life mothering pups at a breeder’s in Colorado Springs.

Because of this, and lack of proper care, she’s suffered, contracting pyometra, a life-threatening infection of the uterus.

Lola is one of more than 30 Golden Angel dogs seen each year at Golden Retriever Rescue of the Rockies (GRRR), a nonprofit dog shelter in west Arvada. She, along with others, has more than $1,000 in medical bills each, costing the organization more than $100,000 annually.

“These extraordinary medical needs are what set these Golden Angels apart,” said Russ Jones, rescue volunteer and Golden Angel owner.

As each dog comes into the shelter, a veterinarian gives them a full medical examination.

“A lot of the dogs that come in, especially the young ones, come in as strays that are picked up, and we don’t know what they have,” said Kevin Shipley, the rescue’s executive director. “Through our evaluations we discover lumps, hip problems and different types of maladies.”

On average, Golden Angels are 5 years old or younger and they most commonly suffer from hip and ACL injuries and cancer, Shipley said.

To help support them and the nonprofit, GRRR is hosting its fifth annual gala, A Golden Salute, on Saturday, July 18. The event, themed around the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disability Act, which helps individuals receive service dogs, features a presentation by Capt. Luis Carlos Montalvan, a Purple Heart recipient and author, with his service dog, a golden retriever named Tuesday.

Four greeter dogs, service dogs and four Golden Angel dogs will socialize with attendees throughout the event, which is expected to see about 200 guests and raise $75,000 for the Golden Angel Fund.

Shipley said he hopes by bringing light to service dogs, the Golden Angels and other golden rescue dogs, the gala will attract community members to not only give to the rescue, but also adopt a rescue dog of their own.

“We all want to help dogs and we’re really fortunate to have this facility where we can keep them while they’re recovering,” he said. “What I really hope people take away overall, whether it’s golden retrievers, Weimaraners or Dachshunds, is that you don’t have to go to a breeder to find the best fit for you and your family.”

For more information about the rescue, visit www.goldenrescue.com.

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