New Wheels for Charlie!

“No longer able to care for my pet” is often a reason we hear for people surrendering their animals to us here at Stafford Animal Shelter.  In the case of 9 month old Terrier Mix Charlie, her previous owner was not prepared emotionally or financially to handle her special medical circumstances and thought rehom­ing her would give her a better opportunity at life. So far, his wishes have come true thanks to our staff, a special business partner and non-profit who have pitched in to help.

Little Charlie was born with congenital malformation of the spine, pelvis and hind limbs leaving her back end paralyzed. Although she can not walk on all fours, she pulls herself and hops around to maneuver where she needs to be. She was evaluated by our medical staff and they determined that she is healthy and not suffering with her condition at this time. Despite her disability, right now Charlie is a happy girl who loves greeting our guests at the front desk, playing with the other dogs, cuddling with our junior volunteers and she even loves swimming.

To make her more comfortable we started taking her to see Darcy Cook at Black Dog Rehab to help with mobility and she has been donating her time to help Charlie through massage & dry needling. Since Charlie responded so well to using Black Dog’s hindquarter harness, we thought it was best to look into getting her a wheelchair too. Realizing caring for Charlie is a large expense for us, we researched online for discounted wheelchairs and found Jason Parker and his non-profit “Gunnar’s Wheels” which was featured on The Today Show. They provide free wheelchairs to dog’s in need around the country. His organization was inspired when his beloved dog Gunnar was hit by a car and he and his wife Stephanie needed to spend $7,000+ on surgeries and wheelchair for their best pal. Their friends and family started a GoFundMe page to help raise the money and buy Gunnar a wheelchair. From that moment, he said he would “pay it forward” and to-date the auto parts salesman from Wisconsin has raised over $70,000 and shipped out 130 chairs including a pink one to our girl Charlie!

She is learning how to walk in the chair and is doing well with it, matter of fact we need to put a leash on her so she doesn’t tear off too fast across the yard, nothing is going to stop this determined little lady. A generous gift has given her a new sense of freedom which she’s never experienced and now Charlie is ready to roll into a forever home.

She is currently up for adoption at the shelter but we are looking for a foster home for her right away.  She is “potty trained” in that she knows when to tell us to let her outside,  but sometimes she has accidents.  We are doing the best we can at the shelter but we do not have the resources to provide her the care needed and worry that we cannot provide her the quality of life that she deserves here due to limited staff availability and the demands of the other animals we care for here at the shelter.  Also,  we have these fabulous new wheels and donated treatments by Black Dog,  but we must supervise her when wearing them and train her to use them, right now she’s only getting about 30 minutes a day of practice and we need help running her to appointments.   She did have a great foster home and was doing very well there but they just found out that they adding a baby to the family and realize they cannot give Charlie the attention she deserves.  Charlie currently weighs 38lbs and would need to be fostered/adopted by someone is capable of lifting her in and out of her wheelchair.   Wanting to help a dog in a wheelchair is an easy decision…taking on the day to day commitment is difficult, but it is completely rewarding. We know opting to help Charlie was the right choice until we can find her the perfect companion or rescue group who can give her the proper medical care and attention she deserves so she can enjoy her life. That beautiful big smile and joy on her face when she’s “running” around is definitely worth it!   Please share Charlie’s story far and wide and let’s help her roll on out of the shelter! We are willing to relocate her and help transport from Montana.  Please understand additional screening will be required on this special needs adoption to ensure she has a healthy and happy home.  Thank you to all the dedicated staff and donors of Stafford Animal Shelter,  Black Dog Rehab & Gunnar’s Wheels who have helped her get this far!




2017 Bark in the Park! Save the Date – August 20th!

Obedience Classes Offered!

Tony ClassStafford Animal Shelter in Livingston Montana is now offering basic dog obedience class instructed by Tony Marcuzzo, our staff Canine Behavior Consultant and Evaluator. Most of you who have adopted a dog from the shelter have probably had the pleasure of meeting Tony or have seen him at outreach events or at “Downtown Dogs” with adoptable pets. He conducts behavior assessments on all of our dogs to determine their level of safety before adopting them into the community. He also offers continued post adoption behavior support for all of our alumni. He comes to the shelter with 7 years experience training and handling animals in kennel and shelter environment as the behavior assistant for 5 years at Heart of the Valley Animal Shelter in Bozeman, MT where he honed his training and evaluating skills. He also has guided sled dog rides for two winters where he was responsible for up to 18 dogs and 5 guests at a time in remote locations.  Not only is Tony experienced with canines,  he is the resident volunteer caretaker of horses and goats at M.A.E.R.A. Ranch (Montana Awareness, Education and Equine Rehabilitation Association) in Paradise Valley.   Tony is an excellent resource for the shelter & the community and we’re happy to have him teach the course!

To enroll,  please download the registration form here, complete and email back to, fax to (406) 222-8752 or drop off at the shelter during business hours.Enrollment for our classes are open to the public. Class size is limited in order to give individualized attention to you and your dog (so sign up soon).

Our next class starts July 20th, 2017.  This course is 4 weeks long, 1 hour each. Cost for the entire course is $40 for Stafford alumni, $60 for altered dogs and $80 for unaltered dogs. Proof of vaccinations is required (rabies, kennel cough, and parvo/distemper vaccinations) and (human) participants must be at least 18 years of age.

Tony will contact you to approved your dog.  Once approved,  you can pay in person at the shelter,  via credit card over the phone or online by clicking “donate” button here.  You do not need to have a PayPal account to pay online,  click the “donate” button and be sure to leave a note at check out that you’re paying for classes.  $40 for alumni, $60 for altered dogs, $80 for unaltered.  Please wait to be approved to pay for your spot in dog training class.  All classes must be paid for before the night of class.

If this session doesn’t fit into your schedule,  be sure to sign up for our next session.  Feel free to email Tony at or call (406) 222-2111 with any questions.  All proceeds from classes benefit the shelter, thank you for your support!

Tee Up for Tails! – Golf Fundraiser at Overland

We are excited to announce that Overland Golf Course is hosting us at their “TGIF Friday Night Golf Tournament” on June 16th, 2017 and donating 100% of the proceeds to the shelter!   The event will start at 5:30pm at their beautiful 9 hole course in Big Timber overlooking the scenic Crazy Mountains.  The entry fee of $30.00 per person will include a casual dinner in their clubhouse afterwards while mingling with other shelter supporters.  We will have door prizes, raffles and fun contests like, Longest Drive,  Closest to the Pin, Longest Putt and more!   Golf Carts and beer will be available at an additional charge. To reserve a spot in our tournament,  please contact Erik Sveum at Overland directly at 406-932-4297.  We are also looking for businesses who would be interested in being hole sponsors, if interested please contact our Development Director at  Don’t get caught in the “ruff” and miss your opportunity to join us for fun and fundraising,   RSVP by June 12th!

Overland Golf Course Poster_Small

SOLD OUT!! Luxury Raffle Tickets

SOLD OUT!  AS OF 5-18-2017!!  What’s better than winning a fabulous prize?  Winning a fabulous prize AND helping homeless pets! Win, win!

Our popular luxury raffle is back for Fur Ball 2017.   It’s a great way to support the shelter even if you can’t make the Fur Ball event or live out of town. (Choose one of our fabulous trips for a good reason to visit Montana…)

How it works?

  • We only sell 100 tickets for $50 each.   That’s a 1 in 100 chance of winning.
  • We draw the winner the evening of Fur Ball right before the auction 5/19/17.
  • Winner gets to choose ANY one of our Live Auction items and it is removed from the auction block.
  • Winner does NOT need to be present to win. (shipping will be arranged at winner’s expense if necessary. Items can be stored at shelter until winner can arrange to pick them up.)

How to buy?

  • Stop in the shelter Wednesday – Sunday from Noon-5:00 and purchase at the desk.
  • Call and purchase over the phone 406-222-2111.
  • Purchase your tickets online by using our “donate” button. When checking out, please be sure to include a note that says “luxury raffle” and indicate which item you’ll be choosing if you win.
  • All prizes must be selected at the time of purchasing (online, in person or by phone).  Due to the nature of the raffle, if an auction item is not selected by the winner ahead of time, SAS management will select the prize on behalf of the winner.

Interested in bidding?

  • We are taking absentee bids this year on Live Auction items.  We will accept maximum bids up to 5:00pm MST on Thursday, May 18.  Please call 406-222-1313 for details.

5-9-17 Raffle Ad