Rifle resident forming animal sanctuary
Rifle resident Lu Anne Herman searches Craigslist.org for the sad stories in hopes of creating happy ones.
The founder of Greta’s Kingdom, an animal rescue service, scours the site searching for Western Slope pet owners giving their animals away for free. Some pet owners are out of money and can’t afford to pay a shelter a pet relinquishing fee, Herman said. Others don’t know how dangerous it can be to give a stranger a pet.
“Especially when you’re offering puppies or kittens for free, you never know what they’re going to be used for. They could be used for snake food. They can be used in training for dog fights. It happens,” Herman said.
Herman’s goal is to intervene before that can happen. She contacts people who place ads for free pets and offers their dog or cat a foster home between Meeker and Rifle without having to pay a relinquishing fee. Herman also works with area animal groups to aid in the fostering and adoption process.
She’s at capacity for now, but Herman said she plans to take more animals, mostly dogs and cats, as new foster “parents” sign on.
She’s working on paperwork to make Greta’s Kingdom an official business and hopes to some day have a facility that can house pets and handle adoptions on site.
Herman estimates the fee for adoption will be $30 to $90, depending on the animal, if it is spayed or neutered, and if its vaccinations are current.
Herman has no medical background in pet care, but said she has been around animals her whole life. Her love for cats and dogs spurred her to give pet fostering a try last year, when she housed two sets of kitten litters. She started seeking other foster home volunteers this spring and has eight kittens and one dog involved in the rescue.
The name of the service comes from a Greyhound Herman rescued 10 years ago. Greta died this spring at age 13. She came to Herman as a retired racing dog who was timid and didn’t know how to bark or play until she found a loving family.
“She was a model of a dog that has been abused and the potential they have once they’ve recovered,” Herman said.