DIY Snow Shuffle for finding four-legged friends new homes

Colorado Animal Rescue staff Luke Barta and Erin Galbreath snowshoe with adoptable dog Tsunadi on a path near the shelter.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Colorado Animal Rescue is keeping its annual 5-mile snowshoe fundraiser alive this year, but with a COVID-friendly and DIY twist.

Erin Galbreath, event coordinator at CARE, said the nice thing about the individual aspect of the race is that people don’t have to be in the valley to participate and support – they can do it from anywhere.

“People can go to Timbuktu or Paris, France – because of the format of the race this year they can go from anywhere,” said Galbreath.

There is a suggested donation fee of $ 25 that attendees will receive a koozie, t-shirt, some hiking maps, and treats for their dog. Galbreath said all registration fees will go to the shelter and help animals looking for new homes.

“(The money) will go directly to helping the animals and the cost of toys, food and care that we provide to them at the shelter,” said Galbreath.

In the past, the shelter had a race that included bibs for participants and recognition of the winner. Galbreath said attendees can see their height, how far they hike and track their time through a free app called Strava, as this year people can snowshoe on their own with their families and pets.

“We give people a week or two to do it (the 5 miles) in their spare time … and if they give me their times or photos, I can give them a greeting on our side,” said Galbreath.

Galbreath also mentioned the community’s tremendous support since the COVID-19 pandemic began. She said her expectation is a large influx of animals in need of a home and she expects to rely heavily on volunteer caregivers, but the turnover rate for animal adoption is excellent.

“The response from the community has been amazing … at the moment we have adopted the same number of animals this year as we have in 2020 up to that point,” said Galbreath.

Another incentive to take part in the racing fun is the raffle that CARE organized with Sunlight. Two winners will be selected for two day tickets for Sunlight or six full-day tickets. Participants can take part in the raffle by sharing their results or photos on Facebook and tagging CARE at @coloradoanimalrescue.

Mix the snow now, ski later, but one way or another, go outside today to give something back to animals in need. Registration is now open and will run until February 21st. The unofficial launch weapon will go off on February 7th this Sunday.

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