The small but passionate Blackhat Rescue struggles to continue their efforts helping stray dogs and cats of the Navajo Nation after the shocking loss of their devoted President, Christine Cape.
Chris Cape died as she lived, in the service of helping animals.
Her passing on Monday, April 23 of an apparent head-on collision, came after a day of transporting and placing happy rescue dogs in loving homes in Durango.
However, Chris with jovial rescue dog Bingo at her side, never made it home that night.
The crash occurred shortly before 11 p.m., about six miles north of the state line. Bingo survived the crash and is currently at the La Plata County Humane Society.
In addition to the shaken rescue community, Chris leaves behind a daughter, a house-full of her own animals, and several fosters now in need of care. Cindy Yurth of Blackhat Rescue says, “Chris’s place, which could hold up to 14 dogs, was the closest thing we had to a shelter.”
In the wake of the tragedy, the tiny rescue with few resources is struggling to find foster homes and is seeking donations to help offset the extra work they must continue.
There are an estimated 250,000 to 400,000 stray animals on the Navajo Nation reservation, which is the size of West Virginia. There are four vets, five animal control officers and three small shelters with a euthanasia rate of around 95 percent.
Blackhat and the tiny Tuba City Humane Society are the only humane societies on the reservation. They are also entirely volunteer-based with just a foster network.
Yurth says of their current need: “Consider whether you could provide a good temporary home for an animal in need, and, if so, join our foster network. That is our biggest need. Most animals find homes within three months. Help us with transporting animals to their forever homes. We reimburse for mileage. Watch our Facebook page for opportunities to volunteer for various events. And of course, donations are always needed. We have no building and no paid employees, so 100 percent of your donation goes to veterinary care and gas for transports.”
To foster, make a donation, or for more information, visit the Blackhat Rescue’s Facebook page.