Dec 19, 2009 7:57 AM by Matt Stafford

Sled dogs taken in by several shelters, including Colorado Springs

Nearly 100 malnourished dogs were found at a sled dog racing business, near Hartsel. Eight others were dead.

100 dogs is a lot to care for, so state authorities are pooling resources to help out.

Ten of the dogs were brought to the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region in Colorado Springs to recover.

A tip to authorities on an animal neglect situation in Hartsel led to the find.

"You can see every bone in his body. His hip bone, every single rib is showing you can tell they're pretty weak," says Alice Lively of the Buena Vista Animal Shelter as she pets one of the dogs.

The animals were split up around the state for care.

"I think it's going to take 3 or 4 months at least for them to get into a condition we it would be comfortable to put them out for an adopter," explains Dr. Wes Metzler, president of the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region.

It's a long road of recovery that these dogs didn't have to take.

"We have lots of mechanisms to remedy these situations but often times they go unreported," Metzler says.

If no one says anything, many of these situations are hard to find out about.

No charges have been filed as of Friday afternoon. However, based on what he's seen, Doctor Metzler is glad this one was found.

"In most cases, if our officers were investigating this, I would really think that a summons would be issued for animal cruelty and neglect," says Metzler. "There always have been and there always will be more situations like this, and what it takes is somebody whose willing to stand up and say, 'I saw this and it isn't right'."

They're hoping you can help catch the next one.

Sam and Diane Walker, who owned the facility, could be facing charges but none have been filed as of Friday afternoon.

Dr. Metzler says since this story broke, phones at the Humane Society for the Pikes Peak Region have been ringing off the hook with people looking to help. However, he says given the time it will take these dogs to recover, adoption is not what they need right now. Metzler says the best way people can help right now is through donations to help care for the dogs.

To contact the Park County Animal Control, call (719) 836-4380.

You can reach the Pikes Peak Humane Society at (719) 471-1741, or visit their website by clicking here.


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