Large animal shelter open in Calhan for fire evacuees

Volunteers operate shelter at El Paso County Fairgrounds

POSTED: 06:39 AM MDT Jun 13, 2013    UPDATED: 11:35 AM MDT Jun 13, 2013 
CALHAN, Colo. -

El Paso County has opened a shelter to meet the demand for large animal care generated by the Black Forest Wildfire.

The shelter opened Wednesday at the county fairgrounds in Calhan.  Space is filling quickly because of the demand, but the shelter provides space, food and water for horses and other large animals.

The shelter is operated by the Community Animal Response Team, a volunteer group organized for that purpose.  Ted Keller of CART says arrangements to find more shelter will be made if the fairground shelter fills up.

As of late Thursday morning, the shelter had 86 horses -- plus an assortment of llamas, alpacas, goats, pigs and poultry.  Also, 11 evacuees are camping at the grounds to be near their animals and assist in caring for them.

Keller said the shelter is available for anyone affected by the wildfire.  For more information, contact the county Sheriff's Office dispatch at 390-5555.

The shelter needs donations of water buckets (the type used for horses) and medium-sized dry erase boards (to help keep track of feedings).  You can bring donations to the fairgrounds in Calhan.

Because of the temporary shelter, the El Paso County Speedway races scheduled at the fairgrounds this weekend have been canceled.