(Contest Nominee) AURORA ANIMAL SHELTER Rescues Thousands of Lost & Neglected Animals from Streets

Citywide Banks Community OutreachAURORA ANIMAL SHELTER is one of seven local charities nominated in Citywide Banks’ Charity Hand-Up Contest taking place from March 1-14, 2013. The Denver/Boulder community is invited to vote for a nominee and enter prize drawings. Citywide Banks will donate $7,500 to nominated charities based on voting results.

Aurora Animal ShelterAs the only full-service animal shelter in Aurora, the state’s third largest city with 335,000 residents, the Aurora Animal Shelter (AAS) has become a vital caregiver for more than 5,000 lost or neglected animals each year. The shelter relies solely on donations to care for these stray animals, despite its affiliation with the city of Aurora’s Animal Care Division.

 “When people think of a government organization they think that tax payers are paying for everything and that’s not always the case,” explained Cheryl Conway, public relations specialist for AAS.

AAS is managed through the city of Aurora’s Animal Care Division. It has been around in some form since the division was established in the 1950s in response to a historic rabies epidemic. The organization leased space from other shelters and veterinary clinics until 1983, when the current shelter facility was built. As they outgrew that shelter, the city of Aurora approved a new shelter to be built in 2004. However, due to economic reasons the plan was revised and the current shelter was renovated in 2005 instead.

The shelter takes in more than 5,000 animals a year, including dogs, ferrets, fish, birds and cats. Some animals are strays; some are confiscated by the Animal Care Field Division because of cruelty or neglect; some animals are left behind after their owners move or are evicted; and some are lost pets that are never claimed by their owners. There are a multitude of reasons why an animal ends up in the shelter, but they are all well cared for and, hopefully, eventually, adopted by a loving family.

Every animal receives a physical evaluation and temperament test. The shelter has a veterinarian on staff so any animal that’s in need of medical care, gets it.

“When someone comes into adopt an animal they get one that’s in great shape and well cared for at no additional cost than the standard adoption fee,” said Conway.

The shelter relies heavily on donations from the public and local businesses.  Conway explained that taxpayers pay for the Field Division Officers, who enforce city ordinances pertaining to pets and are involved in any public health aspects related to animals. Taxpayer dollars also cover the shelter’s facility and its trucks. However, everything else related to homeless animals such as food, veterinary care, spay and neutering comes solely from donations.

But the AAS doesn’t let its lack of funding limit its capacity to help find homes for stray animals. AAS is part of the Metro Denver Shelter Alliance, a consortium of 13 animal shelters and rescue groups in the Front Range. As needed, the shelter taps into the resources of this alliance to help an animal.

“It’s a cooperative environment since we’re all working towards the goal of 100 percent placement of adoptable animals,” Conway said.

For example, if a dog has been in their shelter for an extended period of time, they can transfer that dog to another shelter within the alliance. Being in front of a different group of people increases the dog’s chance for adoption, explained Conway.

In addition to financial donations, the AAS is in great need of in-kind donations like pet food, blankets, pet shampoo, and cat litter. You can visit www.auroragov.org/animal for the full list of items.

The shelter is also in need of volunteers to foster immature animals, since the law states that animals need to be eight weeks old before they can be adopted, or injured animals. As a foster family, you take in the young or injured animal and care for it (with all the necessary supplies donated by the AAS) until it’s ready for adoption. They also need dog walkers and an editor for their newsletter, and are always in need of families interested in adopting a pet.

Conway also mentioned that AAS has a Breed Wish List so if someone is looking for a particular breed that isn’t available currently in the shelter, can be alerted when one enters the shelter.

A $5,000 donation from Citywide Banks will go directly toward vet care and to spay and neuter homeless animals. For more information about Aurora Animal Shelter and ways to donate your time or money, please visit www.auroragov.org/animal/.

Vote to Give Aurora Animal Shelter a $5,000 Hand-Up
As a Colorado owned bank focused entirely on the Front Range, Citywide Banks shares a commitment to our local community with Aurora Animal Shelter. Through our Charity Hand-Up Charity Hand-Up Contest Contest, we are proud to spotlight the great work and ongoing needs of Denver/Boulder nonprofits. Based on the results of a 14-day vote on Facebook, the local community will determine how $7,500 is split among seven Colorado charities nominated by Citywide Banks employees. The charity receiving the most votes will receive $5,000 and the runner-up will receive $1,000. The remaining donation amounts will correspond to the voting results for each nominated charity. The voting public can also enter to win 1 of 10 prizes, including dinner for two at some of Denver’s top restaurants. Official prize drawing rules are available by clicking here. For more information about the contest please visit www.CitywideBanks.com/charity/.

How to Cast Your Vote – March 1 -14, 2013
The voting will take place at Facebook.com/citywidebanks. Users will need to make sure they are logged into their personal Facebook account. If a user doesn’t have an account, it only takes minutes to set up a new Facebook account and it’s free. The online voting form will only be accessible for Citywide Banks Facebook Fans. To become a Fan, simply click on the “Like” button on top of any of the pages on Citywide’s Facebook Fan Page at Facebook.com/citywidebanks. Then, click on the link for the ”Charity Contest” tab to access the online voting page. Each Facebook account will be permitted one vote during the 14-day voting period.

Spread the Word about Voting for Aurora Animal Shelter
Tell your coworkers, friends, and family in Colorado to cast their vote for your favorite nonprofit. Use the sharing buttons above this article, on the Facebook voting page, or throughout Citywide Banks’ social media pages to help spread the word.

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