The Gunnison Valley Animal Welfare League (GVAWL) is pleased to welcome Tamara Spezze as our new Shelter Manager! Tamara comes to us with an extensive background full of love and care for animals, beginning her career as a District Wildlife Manager for the Colorado Division of Wildlife and also working as their Education Coordinator.  Before landing in Gunnison, Tamara successfully designed, built and managed a large pet boarding and grooming facility in Salida.  When she is not at the shelter, Tamara will most likely be found hanging out at home with her menagerie of dogs, cats, goats, chickens and horses.

“Tamara will be an amazing asset to GVAWL”, said Kathy MacAllister, GVAWL Board President. “Her background will bring strengths to GVAWL in many areas and her enthusiasm…well, her enthusiasm is second to none!” 

GVAWL has been primarily a volunteer-staffed organization since its inception in 1986 and will continue as such, said MacAllister. “We are beyond grateful for all the many hours of volunteer dedication that our community gives to our shelter. Hiring a full-time manager is a natural progression as we continue to grow.  Having Tamara will allow us to extend shelter office hours and to offer a broader variety of community and educational events.  Her full-time status will bring an additional level of care continuity for our shelter animals.  Tamara has strong relationships with local veterinarians and animal advocates, and her previous work with the Division of Wildlife has given her experience working comfortably with both the public and with law enforcement agencies.”  Added MacAllister, “everything in Tamara’s background seems to have led her to GVAWL and we are so happy to have her on board.”

Tamara is passionate about animals and about being a part of GVAWL. “I am looking forward to…well, everything!” says Spezze, with a huge smile.

Tamara’s starting date is officially March 17th, but she has already been getting to know folks at GVAWL events, recently seen serving patrons at Spay-ghetti, GVAWL’s annual fundraiser for Spay/Neuter programs.  She is looking forward to getting to know all the volunteers, partners, donors and, of course, all the four-legged friends hanging out at the shelter. 



For the second year in a row, June Archuleta (family pup of Don and Vikki Archuleta) has taken home the family Super Bowl winnings! And once again, June insisted that her $500 be donated to the Gunnison Valley Animal Welfare League. “I want every dog and cat to have a Forever Home as amazing as mine,” barked June.  Clearly, she is one happy pup.



Last Monday evening Gunnison Valley Animal Welfare League wrapped up another successful Spay-ghetti and No Balls dinner hosted by the Palisades Restaurant. Proceeds from this event are used to fund GVAWL’s spay/neuter program, which continues to grow every year.  “Information is paramount”, said Kathy MacAllister, GVAWL Board President.  “Responsible pet ownership includes an educated decision regarding spay/neutering.  Pets are generally happier and healthier when they are spayed or neutered, and unwanted litters can be easily prevented.”  

GVAWL extends many, many thanks to our 2020 Spay-ghetti sponsors: Palisades Restaurant, Monty’s Auto Parts, Lucky Cow Investments LLC, dba Sportsman’s Liquor, Shondeck Financial Services & Insurance, Buff’s Collision Specialists, Western Lumber and Gunnison Vitamin & Health Food Store.  And to all the volunteers who made this event so successful…THANK YOU!!!!! 

More information about GVAWL’s spay/neuter program information can be found on our website at