Utah man honored by Petco Foundation for saving thousands of pets lives

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PARK CITY UTAH (ABC4 News) – The Petco Foundation and renowned dog trainer, Victoria Stilwell are honoring Utah Resident and intake director at Nuzzles & Co. Darrell McCurtain, for his extraordinary efforts saving animals lives. Darrell works to improve conditions for pets on Utah reservations, and has saved thousands of animal lives.

According to a press release sent out by the Petco Foundation, Darrell’s lifesaving work has earned him the title of Unsung Hero for this year. Petco has donated to his animal welfare organization a $10,000 dollar grant.

Now, he and Nuzzes & Co. have a chance to get $50,000 dollars more from Petco if the public votes him as the National Unsung Hero. You can watch his profile below.

Petco Foundation’s profile on Utah Darell McCurtain

McCurtain works to improve conditions for pets on the reservations by working with the Navajo Nation, Ute Ouray Nation, Ute Mountain Nation, and the Confederated Tribes of the Goshute. He is a Navajo tribe member himself.

He grew up in Salt Lake city and would visit the Navajo nation when he was young. He saw how poverty created a difference in the animal welfare situation especially when he say litters of stray animals, and always wanted to do something to help. He joined Nuzzles & Co in 2004 and after years of working transfer, trap, neuter and release, he asked if they could create a program to help on the reservation. Nuzzles & Co said yes they would but they did not have a lot of money.

To get the program off the ground he would make the 700 mile round trip by himself and sometimes bring back over 50 animals by himself. Now as the program has grown Nuzzle & Co. has been able to help more, by sending some help, also receiving help from Utah’s Mark Miller with the use of their plane.

RELATED: Animals in Navajo Nation get help from local organization

Right now Nuzzles & Co is the only organization serving the stray animals needs of the reservations in Utah. Providing veterinary help, vaccinating, spaying and neutering.

According to Petco, Unsung hero honorees go above and beyond saving animals. They are local heroes who share the foundation’s goal to create a lifesaving nation and the inspiring stories prove the difference one person can make toward creating a better world for pets.

Darrell McCurtain is one of those people.

“Because Darrell set this program up in 2014, we have the opportunity to go help dogs on reservations, He is inspiring and that’s contagious. I’m glad Darrell had the foresight to set up this program and he has saved thousands of lives.” -Jamie Usry, executive director of Nuzzles & Co.

Susanne Kogut, President of Petco Foundation said, “They’re are heroes in every community who dedicate their lives to helping animals and are true lifesaving champions. Honoring these extraordinary people and telling their stories is our way of saying, thank you.” She goes on to she hopes the stories inspire others to be heroes too.

RELATED: Nuzzles & Co help feed pets during pandemic

Victoria Stillwell traveled across the country and documented the unsung heroes all of them including Darrell’s can be seen on on Petco’s Foundation Website. “Seeing firsthand the incredible work being done by these incredible, yet humble, people in their communities was truly inspiring,” said Victoria Stilwell. “It was a tremendous honor capturing on tape the spirit and passion of what they do every day, and I’m very excited for a wider audience to witness their amazing work via the Unsung Heroes video series.”

Here’s where you can find more information on Utah’s Nuzzles & Co. and the work Darrell helps make happen!

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