Apr 12, 2011 8:51 PM by Stephanie Collins

Local no-kill shelter at risk of being shutdown

Mariah's Promise is a no-kill dog shelter and rescue that used to be in Divide, but in 2009 they faced foreclosure and had to find a place for their dogs. 

The shelter became very well known after taking in Pit Bulls for people who were forced to get rid of them when Denver started enforcing a ban on the breed.

They are now operating from a friend's property in Guffey, "Trying to provide the best that we can I mean it's not perfect and it's not pretty but the dogs are happy, they're cared for, they're number one," insists shelter director Toni Phillips.

The problems started when Mariah's Promise didn't notify the Colorado Department of Agriculture that they had moved, now they're having trouble meeting requirements to get a license for their new location, "Mariah's Promise has had issues with facility standards including perimeter fencing, lack of shelter for animals, record keeping violations, exercise and other types of violations; there were numerous violations," says Dr. Katie Anderson with the Department of Agriculture.

The license is part of The Pet Animal Care Facilities Act (PACFA); a licensing and inspection program for pet care facilities throughout Colorado.

Phillips admits that her record keeping has been sloppy but says it's because she's been so busy with the foreclosure and moving the dogs. The Dept. of Agriculture says the new property has been inspected three times over the last eight months. The shelter has made some improvements but they are still not meeting every requirement, and last month the shelter was served a Cease and Desist Order, "They want us to come into compliance, which were willing to do, we are willing to do that, we just need the money," explains Phillips.

When the shelter received the Cease and Desist Order they filed for an Administrative Hearing, they are waiting to hear back and say they are still working to be in compliance. In fact, they are installing that perimeter fence this weekend. The Dept. of Agriculture says the dogs still have to be moved to a licensed facility in the meantime, and they say they offered to place some of the dogs in other shelters for Mariah's Promise but the shelter didn't want to have that done.

Mariah's Promise wants this Guffey facility to be a temporary location. They plan to adopt these dogs out and keep a smaller number at their home in Woodland Park. The Dept of Agriculture says temporary or not, if the dogs are going to be there, the shelter still has to meet the requirements. "What were trying to do is ensure a minimum set of standards to ensure animal health and well being," adds Anderson.

That's something Mariah's Promise wants too, they're just having trouble getting there. The shelter is in desperate need of help, click here to go to their website.



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