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Life & Work with Victoria Koelkebeck

Today we’d like to introduce you to Victoria Koelkebeck.

Hi Victoria, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I’m Victoria, the development director for Nuzzles and Co. I’ve been working with this organization since last August.

My background is working with non-profits, like Ballet West and Delmarva Public Radio on the East coast. I’ve always loved animals and became a foster for elderly small dogs which lead to me wanting to be more involved in animal welfare.

I found a job opening at Nuzzles last summer and jumped on the opportunity to get involved by utilizing my skills to aid our mission to save animals.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
This road hasn’t been particularly smooth– animal welfare is a very challenging environment.

Every day, we have to make difficult decisions in order to save to most vulnerable animals in our region. Although the road hasn’t been “smooth” I look forward to working every day so that I can make a difference in a rescue animal’s life.

We also have a multitude of expenses associated with providing the best care for animals we save–so it’s a constant challenge to raise funds and help more people to be aware of our mission. But again, I love what I do, I just wouldn’t say “smooth road” to get to where we are, and where we’re going.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
At Nuzzles and Co. we specialize in rescuing and caring for the most vulnerable animals in our Mountain West region. Because of the scale of our rescue (three locations, plus a Farm Animal Rescue program), it’s imperative that we have our own on-site vet and lifesaving medical equipment– which most rescues don’t have.

We’re also very well known for our Rez Rescue program. The Rez Rescue is in response to a dire need to aid neighboring Native American tribes with pet overpopulation.

Once or twice a week (as many trips as we can manage) we travel to the Four Corners region to save animals, provide spay & neuter services, and vaccine/deworming/ and microchipping clinics. There are estimated tens of thousands of homeless animals in this region, so while we aren’t solving the problem– we work very hard to slowly decrease the number of pets in need.

We also provide a safe harbor for those seeking to flee domestic abuse with their pets through our Purple Paw program.

Often victims of abuse fear retaliation against their pets, so we provide a safe and loving environment so people can find a safe living environment and not worry about their pets being taken care of– no matter how long it takes.

Is there any advice you’d like to share with our readers who might just be starting out?
Our advice for rescues just starting out is to keep going! No matter how big or small your rescue may be, you’re still saving animals in need!

It’s a very difficult environment to work in, but to many animals– your rescue can be the difference between a happy life and any other alternative.


  • Puppy Adoption Fee: $375
  • Kitten Adoption Fee: $75
  • Senior Pets Adoption Fee: $25
  • Adult Animal Adoption Fee: $50
  • Senior for Senior: Free!

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Josh Wood

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