Finding Nemo a home: Dog found on Rabbit Ears up for adoption next week |

Finding Nemo a home: Dog found on Rabbit Ears up for adoption next week

A passerby found this mini Australian shepherd wandering near U.S. Highway 40 at the turnoff to Dumont Lake last weekend. The Routt County Humane Society plans to put him up for adoption on Friday at the earliest, pending medical treatments.
Courtesy photo/Routt County Humane Society

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A stray dog found on Rabbit Ears Pass last weekend has garnered thousands of inquiries on social media, but animal shelter workers are waiting until Friday, Jan. 31, at the earliest to put the him up for adoption, pending medical treatments. 

Nemo, a male, mini Australian shepherd, was found near the turnoff to Dumont Lake on Saturday, Jan. 18. A five-day stray hold on the animal has ended, but the Routt County Humane Society is waiting until he regains strength and gets neutered, according to shelter manager Mikhaila Hobbs. The timeline for his adoption availability depends on his health.

“He is super skinny, and we need to make sure he is putting on weight before he leaves the shelter,” Hobbs said.

The Humane Society has cast a large net to try to find the dog’s owner, but no one has come to claim him.

Nemo should have no trouble finding a new home, Hobbs added. As of Saturday morning, more than 450 people had reacted to a Facebook post showing a photo of the stray dog and his story. The post has been shared more than 4,300 times.

For the past two days, Hobbs said she has fielded about 50 phone calls and another 50 emails from people across the country wanting to adopt Nemo. 

“This guy has just completely taken off,” she said. “I can’t quite pinpoint why.”

It is not the first time a stray has been picked up on Rabbit Ears, Hobbs explained, and plenty of other animals at the shelter have heartfelt stories of how they got there.

Take Baloo, for instance, a 9-month-old, black-colored cat that came into the shelter nearly dead about a week ago, according to Hobbs. He had an untreated urinary blockage that his owner could not afford. On top of that, he is blind. 

The owner surrendered Baloo to the shelter, and he has since been making a speedy recovery, Hobbs said. 

A litter of about 11 puppies also arrived at the animal shelter, she added, in preparation for all the visitors who come to inquire about adopting Nemo. It is Hobbs’ hope that the celebrity status he has achieved will usher in a wave of adoptions for his shelter mates.  

Sally Baltazar, a Montrose resident, is one such person who initially wanted to adopt Nemo, until she saw the hundreds of other people interested in taking him. Baltazar still plans to make the drive to the Routt County Humane Society this week, but she will consider some of the other animals there to rescue. 

“Maybe Nemo’s fame is for a bigger purpose,” she said. 

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