Dr. Steve Smolin is a busy man. Between running his practice at Telluride Animal Hospital and co-founding the Telluride Humane Society two years ago, the Pittsburgh native appears to constantly take care of pets in the area and those in need of adoption, which he said is always a labor of love.
But while attending veterinary conferences across the country, he realized that pet foods and products were not necessarily as beneficial or healthy as they were being marketed. In an effort to provide safe and nutritious pet products to his customers, he decided to open Pet Telluride on Pacific Avenue in 2018.
The business has been a success since then, and Smolen upgraded his storefront space from 800 square feet to 1,200 square feet after recently moving to 238 East Colorado Ave.
“I feel so happy we got this space because it’s amazing,” he said.
He added that he does not sell grain-free foods because they can cause serious health problems, including heart problems. His job is to provide only foods and products recommended by veterinarians, and he is always ready to answer any questions customers may have.
“You go in there and everything there has to be safe and recommended by your vet,” Smolin.
The larger store space will also serve as the headquarters for the Humane Society, particularly as a site to receive donations and supplies, as well as a place to host events.
Eileen Williamson, who also co-founded the local humane society, said adoptions have surged over the past year, as she continues to rescue puppies and kittens from the Southern Ute Preserve.
“We feel very fortunate that we currently have a significant increase in both financial and material donations, such as funds, pet beds and food, which we greatly value. People have options when it comes to donations and we are always very grateful when they think of us,” she said. One we can say for sure is that this community emerged consistently throughout the entire year when we launched a call for pets that need foster homes and forever homes. We could never have imagined how many homes have opened for new pets this year through our efforts. It’s been a partnership with locals and second homeowners alike, and we couldn’t have achieved this year without the great support of Telluride and the surrounding communities.”
Smolin echoed those sentiments in explaining that the humane community had adopted as many as 60 pets over the past year. His hospital provides medical care for all the pets in the humane community.
“We have already done a lot of field and field work,” he said.
Williamson explained that several puppies and kittens born with two retarded legs were recently rescued from the Ute Preserve. The humane community will focus on how best to care for the new animals, including consulting Colorado State University for the best way to care for the cat, which has been nicknamed Superman and has found a forever home.
One medical initiative is to fund the surgical care of kittens born at Ute Preserve in southwest Colorado two months ago with their hind legs back. He came to our care on Halloween and the Animal Hospital in Telluride named him Superman,” she explained. “Last week, we arranged a consultation for Superman at the famous Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine, and we will fully fund his care to improve his hind legs for a better quality of life than During a surgical procedure in the next two months. Because we are 100 percent supportive of Superman’s surgical procedure, we gave him a forever home two days after his consultation and he’s now adopted.”
The humane community will partner with Rez Roads, a couple who build kennels on the Navajo Sanctuary, to create a campaign from December 1 to 31. The humanitarian community will donate 10 shelters at $50 each, and those interested in participating can find more information on the humanitarian community’s website at telluridehumanesociety.org under the “Gimme Shelter” tab. For $60, Williamson added, people can get a sanctuary dedicated to the memory of a past pet.
“It’s hard to think of the number of dogs in sanctuaries that are homeless and desperately in need. We are committed to donating ten dog homes this Christmas, however, and we’d like to donate two or three times that number in case the community is inspired to do so,” she said.
Smolen and Williamson thank everyone involved with the animal hospital, department store and humane community, including the staff and adoptive volunteers.
“We couldn’t have done all this without them,” Smolin said.
Smolen also explained as winter approaches that it is important to protect your dogs from cold temperatures and frostbite, especially smaller breeds. Keep an eye on your dogs, too, if you’re heading out skiing or snowboarding.
“The other thing we start to see as soon as people start skiing is lacerations from the edges of skiing and snowboarding. It lets us know that winter is here when we start seeing those injuries,” Smolin said.
Trimming dogs’ nails will also prevent injuries and trauma caused by ice this winter.
“I want people to know about these things and reduce our caseload. It’s all about prevention. That’s a goal for the pet store as well,” Smolin said.
For more information on Pet Telluride, visit pet-telluride.business.site.