Tails and Ales hosted its 9th event on August 10 at Number Thirty Eight in the River North neighborhood. What started out as a casual happy hour with a small group of friends is now functioning as one of Denver’s most popular dog adoption events.
In 2018, Ashley Strickland, founder of Tails and Ales, was struggling through grief as a result of the loss of family friend Betty Nunn. As Nunn was a massive animal lover, it was only right for Strickland to honor her beloved friend’s memory with a simple doggy happy hour turned full-on adoption and fundraising organization.
It wasn’t until February 2019 when Tails and Ales partnered with its first rescue and hosted the first adoption event. It was all smooth sailing until the following year brought worldwide event cancellations.
“We’ve struggled a lot with people’s changing social patterns after COVID-19. We want to make it a safe event while also making an impact. At the end of the day, this whole event is about the rescues. So with things changing, we thought about pivoting the event structure to match,” Strickland said.
Though Stickland has had to navigate through varying social patterns and event restrictions, nothing was getting in the way of her mission — to raise awareness around adoption and No Kill rescues. In previous years, all proceeds were donated to MaxFund Animal Adoption Center, a true No Kill animal shelter and adoption center in Colorado. This event’s rescue of honor was MAMCO Rescue. Moms and Mutts Colorado is dedicated to the care and permanent placement of pregnant and nursing mama dogs and their puppies.
While it may be easy to randomly pluck an animal shelter out of the abyss, Strickland does her due diligence when it comes to choosing which ones will be highlighted.
“We strive to stay local and choose No Kill rescues that truly follow best practices within the industry. We check references and make sure each rescue is reputable,” Strickland said.
Each $25 ticket granted access to the private event, dogs available for adoption, two free drinks and two raffle tickets. This quarter’s event also offered a build-your-own treat bag station, puppy pool party, photo booth, pet psychic and an “ask the trainer” booth.
As these larger-scale events are typically four times a year, monthly walks are held on the 1st Saturday of each month as a way to raise awareness for Tails and Ales. The meet-up takes place at Sloan’s Lake with a two-mile loop around the lake followed by patio beers at Joyride Brewing.
While this organization is just a passion project for Strickland, she’s truly making a difference in countless rescues across the front range.
More information about Tails and Ales can be found online here.