The Larimer Humane Society has ordered a Fort Collins family, on Foothills Drive, this week to provide a better shelter for their dog named Bolt amidst an Internet campaign rallying for the rights of a dog, reports a Facebook page entitled “Dog Left Outside in Colorado for 8 Months.”
For months, a neighbor Erin Doonan, had tried to get assistance. Bolt had been barking and crying constantly and despite calling the owners, their landlord, Animal Control, the Fort Collins Police Department, the Larimer County Sheriff’s Department, the County Board of Commissioners and Mayor Karin Weitkunat, everyone had systematically just passed the responsibility onto someone else.
As the temperatures plummeted and the snow began to fall, Doonan posted the following:
“We realize tethering animals is not against the law (though it should be) but leaving an animal out 24/7/365, especially now that temperatures are dropping below zero, is animal cruelty. Larimer County has failed this dog.”
According to 9News.com, Derek Brown from the Larimer Humane Society, determined Bolt was in good health with access to food and water, but has been helping the family provide better protection from the weather for their dog. The owner’s daughter, Kaylee Gleason, 15, spoke with 9News, with the permission of her mother, and wanted to assure everyone that she loves her dog:
“I just want it to be out there. We don’t abuse our dogs. We are taking the steps to give him great care.”
Kaylee stated that Bolt was a rescue dog and is used to spending time outdoors. She stated he comes into the house for a few hours a day and once a week for a bath. The family has other dogs, and Bolt doesn’t get along with them.
Materials to build a better structure for Bolt have been donated, and a trainer will be coming to the home to work with Bolt on his socialization skills in order for him to spend more time in the home.
The heartbreaking images of the dog chained to a tree and left alone for extensive periods of time for the last eight months, since the family moved in, now has animal advocates hoping to eventually change the tethering laws. Larimer County allows dogs to be chained.
Let’s hope Bolt’s position changes in the near future. At least for now, it seems as if his living conditions will be warmer. Spending his life in solitary confinement at the end of a chain is not a quality life for any dog.
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