Moab Happenings Archive
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Dog Daze- and Underdog Animal Rescue & Rehab’s
2nd Annual Dog Paddle Coming Right Up
by Nancy Kurtz

These Rez Dogs are very, very cute.
If you go to any Moab events you will likely run into the latest clutch of puppies and their caretakers occupying a small but riveting corner. Yes, they are very, very cute.

They call them Rez Dogs for the 500,000 estimated strays and forgotten ones who roam the Four Corners area on and around the Native American reservations.

The Underdog Animal Rescue and Rehab Center is a hands-on, extremely dedicated nonprofit devoted to providing resources such as free spay/neutering and vaccinations clinics, as well as adoptions to the stray dogs and the currently underserved dog owners on the reservation - it’s crucial, far-ranging, ultimately rewarding work.

“If we didn’t take the animals in,” says Katy Gullette, Founder and CEO of Underdog, “they would likely die.”

Gullette founded Underdog in 2017, following a lifelong dream. “I have been involved with animal welfare for most of my adult life,” she says, “and when I moved to Moab I just knew I would make it happen.” Her parents were collectors of Native American art, and early on she spent time on various reservations here in the Southwest. “Same ones we work on now,” she says.

Underdog’s gotten so big, so fast since 2017. Growing Pains? Gullette points to the width and breadth of the organization, as well as the numbers of dogs they rehabilitate, treat, and place in foster homes (estimated at 1,000 a year). About half of the dogs adopted are placed on the Western Slope, specifically, the Grand Junction area. But Underdog places dogs all over the country and as far afield as Switzerland.

As CEO and Board President, Gullette has been heavily involved in the day-to-day operations of Underdog, filling a lot of shoes, and is currently contemplating changes that will give her time to personally do more long-range planning.

Recently Underdog was awarded their own mobile spay and neuter clinic. This is a big deal, according to Gullette, for they no longer have to make arrangements with others. With the ability to offer their free clinics directly to the Navajo reservation, they can be more consistent and streamline this vital work.

Gullette also wants to enhance the nonprofit’s already generous reach. She is busy developing a seven to nine-person Board of Directors - there are currently five - that can offer a wider range of skills and knowledge of associated communities, for example -
“We’re entrusted with a lot by our benefactors and our associates,” she says. “We need to be sure the organization is strong enough to continue to do this work.” Gullette envisions Board trainings, as well as employee enrichment for the 11-person staff to interface effectively with the Board of Directors and continue to develop solid ideas from the ground up.

“And …we’ve gotten too big for the current space,” she exclaims, excited that a potential new home is already in her sights.

As always, an ambitious mission and a season of kaleidoscopic change in store for the Underdog crew. Gullette says it’s exciting, exhilarating, and sometimes exhausting. And well, the dogs really are impossibly cute.

In the meantime, now that it is officially the Dog Days of Summer, show up at the 2nd annual Dog Paddle on July 8th, 11 AM to 3 PM at Ken’s Lake: a chance to paddle around, eat, drink beers and hang out with the infamous Rez canines and their caregivers.

Nitty Gritty: Lots of ways to interface and support - offers an incredibly expansive and informative website. Also phone, seven days a week:435-260-8033

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