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Celebrating 80 Years - 1951, Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region

Tags: #Celebrating80Years

HSPPR Annual Report, 1975

#Celebrating80Years: 2017 marked 80 years of working with Colorado’s nonprofits as they seek to strengthen their communities. Throughout 2018, we will be looking back on this history of the outstanding organizations and people the Trustees have had the opportunity to support. On the blog you will find a history of the Foundation’s grant making and a representative organization from every year since our founding in 1937.


One Saturday every fall, you can find a large crowd of Colorado Springs’ pet-lovers and their dogs gathered at Bear Creek Regional Park for the annual Pawtoberfest, an event designed to support Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region (HSPPR) in its efforts to care for thousands of lost, abandoned, abused and unwanted pets. An El Pomar grant recipient since 1951, HSPPR provides an important service to vulnerable and often neglected residents of our community.

It is not difficult to imagine Julie and Spencer Penrose enjoying an event like Pawtoberfest, were they around to participate. Julie Penrose in particular was often known for her love for her dogs, even saying: "I do not see how anyone can be without a dog."


Grantee Spotlight: Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region

Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region (HSPPR) was incorporated in 1949 to rescue stray or abandoned pets and facilitate adoption. Passionate and dedicated staff rescue and care for animals in distress, provide medical care for abused and injured animals, reunite lost pets with their owners, find loving homes for homeless animals, and investigate animal cruelty and enforce animal ordinances. HSPPR also works to end the euthanasia of unwanted animals through community outreach and operates as an open admission shelter, meaning no animal is turned away.

Now the largest animal welfare group for homeless and abused animals in Southern Colorado, HSPPR operates out of two campuses – one in Colorado Springs and one in Pueblo – as well as animal control offices in Centennial and Douglas County.

Because HSPPR relies heavily on donations to fund its operations, it has become known in the Pikes Peak Region for its unique series of fundraising events. Each fall they host the Pawtoberfest 5K and beer festival at Bear Creek Regional Park, and during the winter hold a 12 Strays of Christmas adoption drive in partnership with Daniels Long Chevrolet.


Julie Penrose and dog, Pitti Pat
Spencer Penrose and dog


El Pomar Foundation has granted to the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region since 1951, when it first provided a capital grant toward building and construction. Since then, the Foundation has continued to support the organization through general operating support and funding for renovations, new surgical centers, and fundraising events such as the annual Pawtoberfest. In recent years, much of El Pomar’s support for HSPPR has come through the Freda Hambrick fund, which supports nonprofit organizations that prevent cruelty to animals, provide direct care and medical assistance, and offer educational programs for the proper care of and attention to animals within the state of Colorado.


El Pomar in 1951:

El Pomar Foundation was established by Spencer and Julie Penrose. In 1951, the Foundation made 54 grants, totaling $538,976. The Foundation continued to fund scholarships, human services, and organizations directly connected to the Penroses like the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Pauline Chapel, and the Julie Penrose Center (now the Penrose House).  Giving to religious organizations also continued, including El Pomar’s first grant to a Jewish organization: $100 to B’Nai Israel Synagogue in Colorado Springs.


A volunteer walks a Humane Society dog, 2017

Images courtesy of the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region and El Pomar Foundation's collection

Spotlight by Ginni Hill