Pepper is Grand Dog |

Pepper is Grand Dog

Pepper stands with his owner Will O’Donnell of Grand Lake. Ruff, the dog on the left, is Pepper’s brother who won 3rd place in 2014 for Grand Dog.
Photo Courtesy of Will O’Donnell |

As Grand Dog for 2016 Pepper’s duties include patrolling the boardwalk in Grand Lake and spreading good will, said his owner Will O’Donnell.

“We tell people about the animal shelter and Advocates, and raise money for them,” he said.

Pepper received 1,722 votes during the campaign. O’Donnell’s campaign strategy:

“Shameless promotion.”

“We had a lot of jars in shops. We had a sandwich board and had Pepper’s mug shot in all the windows on the block,” he said.

“If people didn’t vote in one store they had a chance to vote in another.”

One of the reasons O’Donnell believes Pepper won is that he is a popular dog in Grand Lake often laying in front of his office. O’Donnell is a real estate agent at Mountain Lake Properties.

“People who walk up and down the boardwalk frequently or live here know Pepper,” said O’Donnell.

Pepper and his brother Ruff are “dogs about town”, he said with a laugh.

O’Donnell found Pepper on a Border Collie rescue website and later picked him up in Delta.

He got away from his owners and was found with a broke paw in an irrigation ditch, he said.

“We adopted him at 8-months-old and brought him to Grand Lake.

“Somebody lost a good dog. I assume they did everything to try to find. But I don’t know how he got away from original owners. He’s a good boy.”

The Grand Dog campaign was a fun light-hearted, productive fundraiser, said O’Donnell.

The fundraiser began in in the spring and residents could nominate their dog. Once all the dogs were nominated voting began. Votes were collected at events throughout the summer and online at The election was held Sept. 25.

All of the proceeds from the Grand Dog fundraiser go to Grand County Advocates and Grand County Pet Pals in support of their mission to help families live safe and happy lives.

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