Joey needs a forever home by Thanksgiving.
The mixed-breed puppy is one of 50 dogs brought to Durango from an overcrowded animal shelter in Edinburg, Texas, to be adopted.
The La Plata County Humane Society is helping the Palm Valley Animal Center in Edinburg as part of an effort to distribute 800 dogs to other places that have room.
The #800pups project aims to offset overcrowding in Texas and save dogs from euthanization by Thanksgiving.
The Edinburg shelter took in 19,825 dogs in 2017 and euthanized 10,261 of them, according to data from a 2017 animals count report.
Rebeca Villanueva, director of development for the Palm Valley Animal Center, said it is the only animal shelter in a county with a population nearing 1 million, and there is a lack of affordable veterinary services in the low-income area.
"Any time we can save a life, our team celebrates," Villanueva said. "We're so happy that Durango is taking on 50 lives that we couldn't find a place for locally; it gives us a lot of hope to continue in our community."
Chris Nelson, LPCHS director of animal services, said Durango takes in far fewer animals than Edinburg.
The kill rate is higher in Texas because of the sheer number of animals and lack of adoption, he said.
"We're saving lives," Nelson said. "It's tragic, and these are adoptable dogs who need homes."
A good portion of the Texas dogs are puppies that include golden retriever, Lab, Chihuahua and terrier mixes, a rarity for La Plata County that usually takes in older dogs, Nelson said.
Adoption costs range from $99 to $299, depending on the size, age and breed. The price includes neutering or spaying, all vaccinations and a microchip.
Nelson said the savings amount to $450 versus paying for all the procedures separately.
Ian Altman was the first to adopt one of the Texas puppies, a small mixed-breed named Annie.
Altman, an admissions counselor for Colorado Timberline Academy, said he adopted a dog named Zoey three years ago from the La Plata County Humane Society. Zoey was also transfered to Durango from an overcrowded shelter in Modessa, Texas.
Now, he has two rescue dogs from Texas.
Altman said Annie will get to play with Zoey at his workplace, which is dog-friendly and encourages pet socialization.
"It'll be good for Zoey to learn and share a little bit and not be such a papa's girl," Altman said.
To learn more about adopting a dog from the La Plata County Humane Society, visit lpchumanesociety.org or call 259-2847.