By Sloane Quealy-Miner
Mariah’s Promise Sanctuary is run by Toni and her husband Mike who have been rescuing dogs of all breeds since 1990 in Texas, Missouri and now Colorado.
In May of 2005 their sanctuary became a safe haven for countless Denver pit bulls that faced extermination in what later became known as the Denver Dog Massacre. Denver Animal Control began enforcing a city-wide ban on owning pit bull terriers, and initiated an aggressive campaign of seizing beloved family pets, and killing them against their owner’s will. This ordinance also banned shelters and humane societies from “harboring” pit bulls, and even went so far as to forbid any US resident from transporting a pit bull through Denver with out a permit.
Mike and Toni couldn’t imagine how they would feel if someone knocked on their door and told them their dogs were going to be confiscated and killed because of breed specific legislation that was being enforced due to ignorance. And this is why they opened up Mariah’s Promise to the dogs and people of Denver. Since then Mariah’s Promise faces constant harassment from officials as well as some community members all because they rescue pit bulls. Prior to the sanctuary opening up their doors to save the Denver pit bulls they did not have one complaint filed against them.
On March 23, 2011 the Colorado Department of Agriculture, Pet Animal Facility Act (PACFA), issued a cease and desist order to the sanctuary – citing a lack of sufficient perimeter fencing and failure to provide waterproof door covers to the Igloo dog houses. This order came as a shock to Toni and Mike because they had been working with PACFA and there was a plan already in effect that would have brought them into compliance regarding these issues. This is just an example of the politics and discrimination that Mariah’s Promise Sanctuary repeatedly deals with in their quest to save lives.
Mariah’s Promise lives by the mantra “All that we can – we will” and fighting to meet these requirements before authorities try to remove the dogs in their care, is no different.
By helping Mariah’s Promise you are saving the lives of the many dogs that rely on them for care, refuge and rescue.
Dogs like Tootsie, who is now approx 10yr old. Tootsie is blind and was abandoned shortly after the Denver ban was announced, left tied to the door of a shelter. Tootsie was the first Denver dog to come to Mariah’s Promise in 2005. It appears that Tootsie’s blindness is partially due to a head trauma. In February 2007, Tootsie’s left eye was removed due to Glaucoma. Today she is fully recovered and doing great! While Tootsie is up for adoption she may very well need to live out the rest of her life with Toni and Mike if the right adopter doesn’t come forward. Tootsie is one of 50 dogs Mariah’s Promise currently cares for and each dog has their own special story.
Without Toni & Mike the hundreds of dogs that they have rescued since the Denver ban in 2005, the hundreds they rescued prior to the ban, and the hundreds they have still to rescue would not know what true love is or the touch of a gentle hand.
CALL TO ACTION If you can donate, please do. Remember, even small donations add up in a huge way when hundreds, perhaps thousands, take part. If you live in the area and are interested in helping with the actual work, or if you are able to donate supplies, please call Toni and Mike at (719) 687-4568.
The following is a list of needed supplies for an upcoming work party at the sanctuary:
Gift cards at Lowe’s, Home Depot , donations via Paypal through their site (or mail a check to PO Box 1017, Divide, CO 80814) to purchase the supplies that aren’t donated:
A very generous donor will MATCH donations up to $10,000 made to Mariah’s Promise in the month of April!! What a BLESSING!!! So now any giving will be doubled and go further for the dogs!!!”
• (9) 100-ft rolls of 5-ft field wire
• (60) 6-ft T-posts
• (10) 8-ft, 24-in round treated posts
• (35) 8-ft treated 2×4
• Wire clips (4-5 packets)
• One-ton load of pea gravel (or more if we can get it)
• Bales of straw
• T-post drivers to borrow (we have one)
• Rental or loan of a Bobcat w/auger/post-hole digger
• (16) hinges
• (8) latches
• Flexible clear rubber to cover igloo doorways
• Offset door igloo
Thank you and please take the time to share this call to action