Wil Wellisch is a native of Minnesota and moved to Denver over 40 years ago. He was a Professor at Metro State University and taught for decades before retiring to save dogs. For almost 20 years, Wil has fostered dogs with many of the big name organizations in Denver. He has worked with almost every rescue in the area. He also runs an email sharing chain of over 1000 rescuers to help promote dogs in the hardest areas and works to save the dogs that are least likely to get out of shelters. Thousands of hours have been spent pouring over the computer to do anything he can to help.
He has fostered 165 dogs over the years and is incredibly humble about this number. He has fostered dozens of dogs for CAWL including Sophie, our blind PitBull.
Wil has traveled extensively in South and Central America and has a passion for art and photography. He has quite the sense of humor and will happily tell you about each and every dog he has fostered in hilarious detail.
Wil lives with his two retrievers Butch and Bella, who are spoiled and loved beyond words. All of us at CAWL can’t thank Wil enough for all he has done!
UPDATE 12/9/2014 – Congratulations Lewis – you will now have your leg for Christmas! We did it! Our Dr. Em is setting up Lewis’ first appointment for his initial prosthetic leg THANKS TO OUR AMAZING DONORS!! He will wear this temporary leg for 4-6 months while he gets used to it and so that OrthoPets can determine what changes may need to made to his permanent prosthetic. Part 1 funded thanks to you wonderful people. I think I’m a bit weepy now. Yay Lewis and to everyone that helped. Dr. Em will follow up with pictures and videos of Lewis’ visit to OrthoPets and we will find out how much more is needed for his permanent leg. Amazing day!
Lewis came to Colorado Animal Welfare League by owner surrender. In the middle of this summer the CAWL SNOWmobile was in La Jara, CO working on a grant to spay and neuter the public owned dog population of the San Luis Valley. In the midst of morning check in we realized there was an extra kennel with no surgery consent form attached, rather a surrender form. A man had signed his name and noted he was surrendering the dog to CAWL and had left the premises.
His kennel was filled with about 60 pounds of shy and thin, black and tan fur. Coaxed out with just a few kind noises and gentle hands and we realized it was a near full grown handsome black and tan shepherd mix that was missing half of his right front limb. He loved people and attention but was quite shy to walk with you, stumbling and fumbling, not quite comfortable with his incomplete limb. For the remainder of that spay and neuter clinic he learned to walk on leash and to accept the love and attention we all gave him. We learned that he simply adores children and always has a smile on his face. We also came to recognize that his limb was missing at an anatomical place that made it very difficult for him to not use it, but using it was not effective. Lewis rode back to the Denver area with the spay neuter team and quickly landed a great foster family. Not long after we were lucky enough to get a consultation with OrthoPets. Lucky for Lewis OrthoPets is right here in Denver and is world renowned for their mission to ”improve their patient’s quality of life through innovative prosthetic and orthotic solutions”. An initial visit to OrthoPets helped us learn a lot about Lewis: he was likely born with a partial front right limb, this boy still had some growing to do and most exciting he is an excellent candidate for a prosthetic front right leg.
The CAWL team would like to give amazing thanks and hugs to a volunteer who is very special to us. Betsy Vajtay has been giving her time selflessly to CAWL since 2011. Betsy has filled so many roles for us: official event photographer, dog intake coordinator, foster home, adoption coordinator, transporter, fund raiser, event coordinator, and general cheerleader.
Unstoppable Betsy is a yoga instructor and marketing guru who tirelessly assists us in our effort to rescue and spay/neuter homeless animals. Her love of animals brought her to CAWL where she fostered for the team before finding her dear Rocky through our program.