By Phil McPeck
MaxFund Animal Adoption Center just feels right to Carol Bennett, much the way a scratch behind the ears can comfort or win over a dog.
Denver's premier no-kill animal shelter has engendered in her a loyalty matched only by that of a fine dog and explains why six mornings a week MaxFund can count on Bennett to be at 1005 Galapago St. to walk as many as 20 of its small dogs.
"I love getting them out of their kennels," socializing them and "letting them know they're loved and valued," Bennett said. The dogs' pictures and stories can be seen at www.maxfund.org.
Large or small, dogs awaiting adoption to a permanent home are in the shelter through no fault of their own, Bennett said, and "I feel like I'm kind of a bridge between their former life and their new life."
A new life is something she knows about. For 30 years Bennett, of Denver, was an employee of then-telephone company Qwest and essentially was forced into retirement by layoff in 2009. As a volunteer, she had worked with the Denver Dumb Friends League but found the scheduling there unworkable. Bennett said that over the course of six years she also traveled occasionally to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah, where she would care for cats in the mornings during her visits and walk dogs in the afternoons. But the travel was taxing.
In 2007 volunteering and working with shelter animals came together for her at MaxFund. Bennett also has a part-time dog-walking and pet-sitting business.
All but one morning a week, rain or shine, she starts a cacophony of eager barking when she walks into the MaxFund kennel about 7:30. She talks to the dogs as she leashes them and two by two they go on a 15- to 20-minute walk around the block or through the neighborhood on the southwest edge of downtown. "I give them all potty breaks," Bennett said. After as many as 10 such trips to accommodate 20 dogs, she takes some for "play time" in MaxFund's fenced, parklike courtyard with its artificial turf, trees, kiddie swimming pool and toys.
Hopefully life in a kennel is a temporary experience for most of the dogs, Bennett said. "I look at my own pets and they have a house to roam."
Bennett has two cats -- her own and one she fosters for MaxFund. The canine member of her family is Betty, an American Eskimo-corgi mix she rescued in 2005. Betty had been living on the streets of Denver with a homeless man who no longer could keep her, Bennett said.
Every morning walk is an opportunity to be an ambassador for MaxFund and encourage an adoption. A chance meeting and chat with a man on his way to the dog shelter led to one of Bennett's favorite stories.
The man was arriving to see about a particular dog, an older mixed breed he wanted to give a second chance. If that dog didn't work out, for whatever reason, Bennett said, she asked that he look at Delilah.
Delilah, a Coonhound, had been in the shelter for three years. "I could see she was getting depressed. She wouldn't walk far," Bennett said.
As it turned out, the retired gentleman met Delilah and the two have been together since.
And that just feels right, too.
Note: MaxFund is always looking for volunteers! If you're interested, please check the "Volunteer" page on our website, or talk with MaxFund Volunteer Coordinator Carolyn Garcia for more information.
Mary Ann Palmer
Mary Ann has lived in Denver for most of her life and has over 26 years of experience in commercial and residential lending, asset management and asset liquidation. She is a licensed Real Estate Salesperson in the State of Florida as well as a Broker Associate in the State of Colorado. Buying or selling real estate may be one of your largest financial investments and Mary Ann wants to effectively and efficiently guide you through the process. From the mountains to the ocean she hopes to be your choice for a Realtor!
Mary Ann Palmer
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Woof in Boots is a great neighbor and supporter of MaxFund. This awesome doggy daycare, grooming, boarding, and training center, located in the heart of the Arts District on Santa Fe, is offering a great deal for grooming, boarding, or daycare customers: just mention MaxFund, and Woof in Boots will donate 10 percent of the cost of the services to MaxFund! Thanks, Woof and Boots!
About Woof in Boots: Woof in Boots was launched in 2012 as a community based doggy day care and activity camp, philanthropic pet awareness center and animal art gallery where our staff, owners and customers had one thing in common- OUR LOVE FOR PETS!
Located in the heart of Denver’s Art’s District on Santa Fe, and listed as a Denver ‘don’t miss’ tourist destination on Visit Denver, we are proud to be Denver’s premier doggy day care, grooming salon, and animal art gallery. As part of our mission, we are dedicated to raising awareness and funds for 12 different pet related non-profit organizations, including MaxFund!
The Delectable Egg DTC is not just a GREAT place for breakfast or lunch. The nice folks there are long-time supporters of MaxFund as well! Now, just dine at the Delectable Egg DTC, and mention MaxFund, and 10 percent of your total bill will be donated to MaxFund! What an easy and nice way to dine out and benefit the dogs and cats of MaxFund. Thanks, Delectable Egg!