Animal Shelter of the Week: Episode 41 – Foothills Animal Shelter

The Foothills Animal Shelter was founded in 1976 as the Jefferson Animal Shelter. Being an open admission shelter, they care for more than 12,000 animals annually. The FAS values honesty and integrity in all that they do, Stewardship, Positive Culture, Openness, and Team-Oriented are what this shelter values most. The staff and volunteer’s mission is to provide support to surrounding communities through education, services that strengthen the human-pet bond, and humane care for the animals they serve.


Website: https://foothillsanimalshelter.org/

Welcome to the ARPA Animal Shelter of the Week podcast, where we introduce you to incredible organizations around the country that are focused on helping animals. We’re proud to be sponsored by Doobert.com. Doobert is a free website designed to connect volunteers with rescues and shelters and the only site that automates rescue relay transport. Let’s meet this week’s featured animal shelter.

The Foothills Animal Shelter was originally founded in 1976 as the Jefferson Animal Shelter. But in 2010 they moved to a new location where they took on the name Foothills Animal Shelter. FAS, for short, is an open admission shelter and is dedicated to providing support to surrounding communities through education services that strengthen the human pet bond and the humane care for the animals they serve. This compassionate team cares for more than 12,000 animals every year. Welcome to the show, Honey. How are you doing today? I’m doing well. How are you doing today? I’m doing great. Thank you. Thank you for taking the time to talk with us today. Yeah, of course. Thanks rapidly. Any time. We’re happy to have you So you got the digital communications coordinator at the Foothills Animal shelter in Colorado. Is that correct? Yes, I am perfect. I mean, truly, a little bit about your organization and how you got started there. Sure, Yeah, Foothills Animal Shelters and open Admission Shelter located in Golden Colorado. And what that means is, as an open admission shelter is. Our doors are always open to pets in Jefferson County, and we’re also committed to serving our community as a socially conscious shelter. And that means we care for 12,000 cats, kittens, dogs, puppies, craters. You name it every year. So that’s good. I mean, it’s always nice to hear that you guys care for more than just dogs and cats. So can you tell me a little bit about some of the other animals? I know that you have said critters and other animals or any animals have on hand right now. They are the usual. I guess that’s that the usual qualifications in Yeah, right now we actually have some really cool, exotic fish that we have hanging out one of our things up front that were brought in to us. I believe by owners. Keep them anymore. So we have some illegal fish right now. Just recently we had iguanas. One was named Leonardo da Vinci. So you’ve had pigs. We have roosters and right now, Thio and hence we have all kinds of interesting critters. People actually come in and adopt the roosters and location everything. Yep, they dio believe it or not, especially the roosters bends. But people don’t really necessarily think of Denver. I was a rural. You’re a far community. But if you look just outside the greater Denver metro area, there’s actually in terms of farms. I mean, they have coops and whole groups of the chickens and roosters. There are friends of Chris Byers. So that’s news to me. Because, like you said, I’m thinking Denver, Colorado, I’m not thinking farmland or anything that has to get. So would you say that the community that is surrounding your organization is rule? No. So we’re nestled right in the foothills, and we service seven different cities surrounding us with 100 thousands of residents. So we’re not rural by any means. But because Colorado is continuing to expand and grow, there are still sections and parts all scattered throughout where people of course, is where I actually lived just a couple of blocks away. For me, there’s probably a two acre wide plot that has sources on it. Oh, no, a city. It’s kind of an interesting mix, but yeah, you can totally be driving down into a suburb and see a couple of horses and then also see a job, a juice. So I’m just mixing and matching out there, huh? Yes, yes, how we like to do it. That’s cool. Like that’s that we moved from California. We’ve got that big city life, and now we’re in Texas, where every street you turn on, there’s cows and you know it’s a total different lifestyle geezer. You know, you’re mixing it up out there, and that’s that’s funny, but it’s interesting. So do you guys have any particular challenges for the animals within your community? Specifically, at least with our current population and everything? As I stated, Colorado is kind of makes so are specific challenges or our animals are just the number of animals have. We don’t have very many. So are animals, are all really well taken care of by their owners and by the community, and by you know, the various shelters and veterinary clinics, and things will do a great job taking care of our pets. However, there’s a lot of people moving in, and so there’s a very high demand for pets, and we’re lucky enough. Meat kind of gotten our spay and neuter overpopulation problem under control in the last couple of years. So, yes, we don’t actually have a whole ton of spare animals on hand for all the people moving in. So I mean, that’s a good thing. And a bad thing, right? Yeah. You know, you don’t have that overpopulation Asked why, I mean, that’s a good aspect, but then it’s also like, you know, you have loving families that want to adopt, but because the overpopulation is under control is limited. So how do you go about getting, I guess, more animals in for the families that are looking to adopt. We worked really amazing transfer partners, both in the state and out of state. Last year, we transferred about 30,000 homes animals in to find homes here in Colorado, specifically Jefferson County. But yeah, we partner with all kinds of shelters and rescues all across the United States. to help find animals in over populated areas are places where they have a hard time placing animals in good, healthy homes. We give them a chance here. That’s great. You know, you’re taking the best possible situation, which just so happens to be a challenge for your organization. You know, the overpopulation not being an issue, but your tiki that issue in other states and counties and you’re you know, you’re helping bring some of those animals over to you guys. We just helping you guys. But it’s also helping those animals, you know, for those organizations that are filling up, that sounds really awesome like this, and it’s a really weird problem, but nonetheless, it’s what we’re dealing with. And we’re super fortunate in a sense that we have a wonderful community that backs us, and we have some really great veterinary partners that help us take care of the animals within our community. So for us, our biggest problem is just not having enough animals, and you’re right. It definitely is a unique problem. The overpopulation is a huge issue. So for the fact that you guys have it under control, I mean, I know that it seems to be slight. You know, it’s like issue for you guys, but that’s a good thing. That’s a positive thing. So, yes, but I mean, it seems like your community is filled with animal advocate, which is so great to hear, because not every city, your community or even state, for that matter, is that fortunate to have many people that are loving and looking for animals. It seems like Colorado’s got that good vibe about it again. We have a great community, but they’re also very active in the outdoors, which means that a lot of the residents, especially here in Jefferson County, which, like I said, work basically right in the foothills. They go on hikes. They like to take their animals with them to various places. A lot of our worries. A lot of our shopping establishments are animal president, so it’s a community that definitely encourages people to have animals and to take them with them and to include them in their day to day activities. So, you know that kind of goes hand in him. If you’re in a community that supports that, you’re probably going to enjoy having your animal with you marks you don’t feel is guilty leaving them hole more. In fact, you might hear we have four dogs in the office today. They’re running around playing speak. Bring her animals in. So your random bark here, there. Yeah, I know that. It’s I love hearing them. Trust me. You know, I know that you have mentioned that a lot of your volunteers take your pets on heights. Is that a part of a program of your organization? Can you kind of share with me a little bit about some programs? We have a bunch of different programs, most of which are incredibly supported, and or we couldn’t do it without our volunteers. We do all the typical stuff. Adoptions, lost, inbound, spay and neuter. You also have a portable vaccination clinics that we run here every Friday and for Saturday of every month. We also have end of life in cremation. Service is when you’ve got to that point your animal’s life in your life, where you have to make that really tough decision on what to do. And we’re here to support our community and help them make that very hard choice and give them the comfort that they needed those that horrible time. But we offer that to Republicans. Well, we also do licensing and microchipping in Jefferson County. It’s actually required to license your pet so that if they get lost, our animal control officers can bring them directly back to your door on. They don’t have to spend any time in shelter at all, so they just get to go right home. Yeah, we try to offer a lot of different service. Is that are not only beneficial for your animal, but also beneficial. Sure, the rest of the community, because of your happy and saves your pet, is happening safe than the rest of the community is going to benefit. And then you are volunteers gonna do all kinds of crazy stuff, our boredom, busters and couple of programmes. They get to take our animals out on hikes every weekend and just give some of our specifically our dogs who really benefit and shine when they have a little bit more physical activity. We give them the opportunity to go out and go for a nice 3, 4, 5 mile long hike and, wow, you know, get out stiff, stiff the ground and you know, hang out in the streams and really enjoy life because, ah, happy animal with us. It’s an easier animal, that place with a happy family. But also, we want to make sure that the time any animal spends with us is good for them. Yeah, it seems like you guys are really into getting the pets out, interacting with them playing with that’s a big deal for that. Hey, that’s awesome for them is like you said, if they’re happy with you guys and they’re happy, go lucky and everything like that they’re bound to be happy with a loving family. So I know that you mentioned that you guys take the dogs on walks. How do you guys entertain some of the other animals that you guys have in your care? Well, we really like to give our other animals an equal opportunity for a merchant time. So for our critters, we will have some of our community members come in. The school’s pitching a lot, which is great, but we’ll make them paper towel and food stuffed in Richmond items so that they can really get their brains working while they’re waiting for their doctors to see them and find them and take them home. And then our cats, we actually thio clicker training. So we really try to engage their minds and keep them active so that they again can shine and can have a good and positive experience here in her shoulder. We try to get the memory opportunity to have a good stay with us while they’re with us. Which, as I said, because our demand is so high, isn’t very long. A lot of our animals air out within our stage. Hunt is very, very minimal here at hotel. So and that’s always a bonus free. Yeah. Yeah. Okay, So I was doing a little research and I’m interested in I saw that you guys offer 30 day pet insurance with adoptions. Can you share with me a little bit of what that’s about? Yeah. So, as I say, partner with a bunch of really, really great veterinary clinics and various health and wellbeing programs, and we are very fortunate than we’re able to offer a month of free pet insurance with adoptions. Basically what that is is they just have to take your animal inferno vileness track after their adopted I believe it’s within a week or two, but they’re going for a while, his track. And if there’s anything that might have happened while they were staying with us, that might have manifested in the time between when they were adopted to, then they get a voucher to helped pay for any of those issues. Yes, so basically what it is is you want to make sure that every animal, not only a season have you with us during their stay here. But it’s also say that happy in their new home and we’re by no means anyone high and dry with something, especially something that was brought about or was contracted for lack of a better word during their stay here. So, yeah, that’s a great program. Offer people because, like you said, there’s so many different things With so many different animals coming in, it’s a possibilities for the pets that you care for. Two contract. Something like kennel cough, I know is super big in rescues and shelters. So I mean, I think that offering that is I think it’s a good incentive also, you know, for people to feel like Hey, okay. You know, if I adopt this animal or something like that will help me out, you know, because I think somebody at some point has adopted an animal that you know, has either gotten sick. I know I’ve adopted a dog that had kennel costs, and it’s hard because you adopt the pet. And then now you have to, you know, the medical costs and stuff like that. Because, of course, you want your pet to be better. You have several partners, but one of them actually just let us know In this last quarter, we work with one of his pet first pet insurance. But they just let us know that in the last quarter we were able to say, If our adopters about $11,000 that settles by utilizing with that 33 days of pictures. So yeah, that can keep track of that type of thing. You know? I mean, $11,000. That’s a lot of money. Yeah, it really has. I needed out of sad, too, because you’re like, OK, well, all parties, what did they contract when they left? But, I mean, it’s the fact that you’re allowing them to stay with their family, that you know their new newfound family? I guess so. Well done on your guys this part. Hey. Yeah, like I said, because we work with some really truly amazing organizations and people. They allow us to offer things like this to our community, so we really couldn’t do it without them. Okay, so, yeah, I saw that you guys actually just had an event last week. I should say, the whiskey and whiskers. What is that all? Yeah. Yeah, way. Try to do a little bit out of the box. Event creation for specifically the nonprofit branch of our shelter and musky whiskers is a tasting series. We have three of them a year. One of them is in spring, which is wine wine wax. One of them is in the summer. Just happy hour, and then musky whiskers is in the fall. Basically, what they are is the invite distilleries, Berries and wineries into the shelter. Between 5 to 10 of them and our community can then purchased tickets and come in and sample These have tastings off. You know the line. You’re the whiskey, and all of the money raised goes to benefiting the animals and to go directly back towards Foothills Animal Shelter. So Wine and Wags 2019 is once that’s coming up here in just a little bit. And that was the first one I actually gotta take part in. And yeah, it was. It was a ton of fun. It’s just a really good time. And then Whiskey and Whiskers was just another one that we just did. We were actually able to raise over $16,000 for our animals in one night. So it was, Yeah, it was pretty. It’s pretty successful in again, kind of done it without our supporting community. It’s just I don’t know, it’s fun. We’re gonna come in and play with it. You’d adoptable animals and, you know, enjoy seeing the facility and kind of learning more about the service is the offer and what we can do. We have live music and food trucks and prize giveaways and door busters. And then, of course, you know the alcohol. Yeah, yeah, exactly. Offering three different series of that. It brings awareness. People known. I’m assuming you guys do those every year. Yep, they are annual groupings of tasting. You guys usually post any pictures or videos or anything of that nature on your social media afterwards, after the event is over. Yeah, we do. So, as I said, we can’t really do much of what we do here without help from our volunteers. Yeah, and we have to absolutely fantastic photo volunteers that, you know, come in and volunteer their time, their professional photographers with their day to day job, and they were really able to capture in the last these last three tasting series for this here, they were really able to capture just the fun and the for quality and the downright good time that people have at our tasting events. And we always put those photos up. So you’re curious to see what you’re missing out on. You can head over to our Facebook page, and all of the photos from the last three events are all up to kind of see what do on. But also, we usually videos as well, just capturing some of the funds from the evening, So Okay, Yeah. I mean, I’m definitely interested in taking a look, and I hope our listeners are too, you know, I think that that’s something that is cool. See how that would play out? Because I hear about it. I’m like, Okay, it’s at your facility and there’s food and music and stuff, but I think it’s totally different, actually, vision that and see what’s going on. So I will definitely be taking a look at that. Yeah, definitely. D’oh already. So I know that you have told me that one of the challenges that your organization is facing is the fact that overpopulation is not an issue. Is there anything that our listeners conducive to health for you through these challenges or anybody in your area? Is there any other challenge that you would say that your organization faces? Aside from overpopulation? Yeah. I mean, like I said, it’s always a matter of funding, as most shelters are always a big inside issue as well. But for us, because we try to offer somebody different, service is and you know, just different things to our community. We partner with a lot of our local municipalities doing like ranger walks with our open space rangers. They show you how to take your animals on the trails and them, you know, hydrated and safe and watch stroke. Just educating the public on different things. All of these programs. All of these things were trying to offer it all costs money. And of course we want to offer it to the community and our public. But if you want to continue helping us do more and helping more animals, its funding and of course that’s a huge deal. And I mean, it seems to me like you guys have some great programs and events that you guys do with in your communities. So I’m sure everybody would love to keep those going and continue, you know, participating in those. So I really hope that by getting this awareness out there was in the podcast and, you know, within your community they can help you out a little bit more. Yes, you don’t get me wrong. We have a really supportive community right now, and we do have people that give back to us generously, especially our PAWS Member program, which is a month of getting platform that you have, and then our tasting series and then, of course, our Toby’s Pet Parade and Fair, which is an annual event that we throw in downtown Golden. And it’s all about pups and costumes using and also of your burden we know where demographic will, but, you know, try to make it worthwhile to you. Everybody out there is asking for money, but especially for ask your money is going to a very important has been rewarding place and because I we offer some very fun incentives to spend it. So of course, like I said, it’s always in need, and it just seems like you guys have a very good support system behind you, and you guys were very appreciative. And, you know, it seems like you guys really do give back your community, and that’s what’s most important. And I have a feeling it’s gonna keep them coming. You know what I mean? Yeah. Okay, Well, I heard that you mentioned something about a, you told this Toby’s Pet Parade and Fair, and there was a number one PAWS Membership? Yeah, our poverty program. Yeah, what is no. So I’ll start with the first one Toby’s Pet Parade and Fair is a annual event that we going down Tom holding you close off the main street and golden, and you can register your pup and dress them up and they construct their stuff, for instance, prizes. And then if your dog’s not into dressing up just kind of wants to be seen in the event. You know, one of those selfie and the guy there that we have all kinds of awesome, amazing thunders, always from our community partners that we partner with within the shelter. And then that events and stuff down to physical event sponsorships from local businesses and larger businesses like AutoNation Subaru, things like that. But they all come and they bring giveaways, entreats and just really great information about things of life music. And, like I said, a pair of garden. And you know, this year we even had a big, wacky place or silent, too. But I mean, it was spiced the spectacle. Yeah, it’s just a really fun, d’oh, dog centric kind of events. Everybody loves that. We actually had over 3000 people attended this year, So it was the thing to do and golden that day. You sure that’s a thing that do, you know? I mean, if it’s an believe, that’s three can and it is. So you know, if you’re curious and you’re in Colorado next year around September, check out Toby’s Pet Parade and Fair but selfless blood. What many are calling program is a chance for people to give monthly to those animal shelter, so you can choose to give $25.50 dollars, $100 to $500 dollars whatever you want, and we have different incentives, like Tshirts and stickers for our tasting events. You get a special custom glass from the events that has event logo on it, and you’re gonna be the belle of the ball walking around. You’re really awesome. Last everyone asked why you have it. It is a hell of a pot member, so, yeah, it’s just a way for people to give back your long or your rounds and really feel like their money is going the distance. That’s interesting. That’s really cool. Like, how does somebody go about becoming a PAWS member? So something that’s done through your website or work? Yep. So if you go to our website, you can check up in the top right corner. There’s a Join tab, and then if you click on it, there’s a drop down, and there’s information there about the PAWS member program. What we have to do is sign up, let us know what you want to get monthly, and then you’re enrolled and ready to go, and he’ll start receiving the benefits immediately. Okay, Very cool. So there we go. Our listeners have got now that’s new and interesting. I’m interested. I’m in tree. Huh? Okay, So I know that you have talked about Toby’s Pet Parade and Fair and you sure you know quite a bit of information with us and all the programs and events. So I were curious in Can you share with me a memorable story that you have that kind of, you know, introduced you to the animal rescue world or what spiked your interest to be in the field that you’re in. I’ve always had a deep passion for animals, as many of the people who work here do. But especially when I saw there was opening for a digital communications coordinator, I was incredibly piece. And one of the very first stories almost immediately when I started was one of our appeals, which we send out information three times a year, showcasing one of our most adorable heart wrenching, orjust uplifting stories from that. And the story that we picked almost immediately when I was hired was adopted. And Ducky Ducky was this cute smooshy face kind of pity, mixed looking little girl, and she had been hit by a car and has brought in, and her family wasn’t able to care for her. So we took her in. We got her the surgery. She needed to kind of help her recover, and it took a long time. It took months, but eventually she was and I mean, she never stopped wagging her tail or smiling. She just was a truly wonderful dog. And when she was better and was eligible for adoption, she was found almost immediately by an absolutely wonderful adopter who scooped her right up, has just done nothing but dote on her day in and day out. And she’s living her best life and stories like that. For me, at least, there’s a lot of stuff going on in the world, and everybody has their opinion on what they think should be done. But there’s just something about seeing an animal in need and seeing that animal get the care and support love that they need to be able to live about her life. I live a happy life that I think anybody could connect with. So a story like Doc, he’s really pulled at my heartstrings because I got to see all the different numbers of this organization pulled together to help one. Just one animal, just one. So, yeah, I mean, yeah, and that, you know, that’s amazing, because people don’t realize the amounts, Um, emotional grips that animal rescue can have on somebody and asking about your memorable story is, honestly, one of my favorite parts of the podcast. Because they’re just those stories that they start off, okay. And, you know, you just cheat. You keep getting reeled in, and then you get that heart pumping where you’re just like, Oh, my gosh, No matter what the situation is being hit by a car abused, you know, et cetera, it pulls at me, but into your happy ending. That’s I think, what makes it truly worthwhile it keeps you going every day. Yeah, I totally agree. And luckily, at least for me, I usually get to take the pictures that are happy endings. I get to see that resolution in their story where they find that you know, new perfect home. Or, you know, they take their first steps after not being able to or, you know, whatever it is I’m so unfortunate in my position that I gotta take pictures and video of that and experience insure it with everybody else. So the truly amazing thing, Yes. It seems like you’ve got the perfect little position that you get all the cues and happy little you know, Pat’s there Who was a love seeing happy tail wagging excited pets. Yeah, well, and I get a talk on podcast with you. So you have the best job. I literally I’m enjoying talking with you, and I’m enjoying learning more about you guys. I mean, this is the true eye opener for me, and I hope it is for some of our listeners because I don’t work in, you know, a pet shelter or a rescue or anything. So it intrigues me, and it always, you know, pulls me in to want to learn more about what you guys do, because all of these different things that you guys offer in, You know, all the work that you guys do is fantastic. And, you know, I’m a huge animal lover. I’ve always have animals my whole life. I still have four pets. So and I have to ram bombs just toddlers. So I I stayed tremendously busy and, you know, some very appreciated to learn more about guys. So I’m curious to see what the future looks like for your organization. As I said, we’re working on burning and more animals to meet the demand for the people that are moving into Colorado. But we also want to focus on not only helping the animals but helping the families of the animals, as you can probably understand, especially coming from a place like California, where there’s high rent, the living costs, they’re quite overbearing. So you guys, it’s very hard for some people to continue to keep their pets here. You know, with Pet Insurance. runs the various since you have to prove or pay for Justo, have your very best friends stay with use very difficult. So we want to continue to facilitate a beneficial relationship with our community by offering that I’m not only inexpensive. Service is to maintaining the health and happiness of their path. Also, the health and happiness of the whole Marian were all about keeping hold of your pets and hope he holds. So that’s what we’re trying to be. The next couple of years is office and more affordable. Health care Service is and partner with other veterinarians to meet the expanding needs that we’re seeing just really take care of a family, not just you. That actually is what’s most important because, like you mentioned, not just in California, it’s probably a problem. Nationwide. It’s mean pet deposits and vet bills and sued. And having a pet, unfortunately, is not cheap. And now you know. So making that your organization’s goal or concern or vision I mean, that’s a good thing to hear, because there are so many families out there that do need help, and a lot of it is they can’t continue to care for their cat because money is always an issue. It seems like money is an issue with everything half the time, Ray and yep, no money. More problems just exalt you. But anyway, yet it’s definitely one of those things where, like I said, we want to keep healthy pets and healthy homes, and if it means that we have to offer like, he said, ways to help them pay for food or help them get inexpensive health care for their animals or for their families were whatever it needs to be. We want to facilitate everything we can, at least on our end, to ensure that those animals stay with their families. That’s great to hear. And I’m very interested in getting back in touch with you by to see how it’s going. And, you know, if you guys have any programs or if you guys were able to come up with a few programs for this cause that you guys are wanting to enable in the future, yeah, so I’m curious to learn a little bit. Is somebody is interested in adopting a pet from you guys or getting in contact to volunteer. Participate in any of your events? How can one go about getting a contact with the organization? Great questions. So we’re located it in 580 McIntyre Street Golden, CO, and so you can obviously stop in all of our shelter staff. Everybody would gladly talk to you about anything you would like to know more about. Whether it’s our events are volunteer positions or anything like that. We’re more than happy to talk to you about it. You can also check out our website watches, foothillsanimalshelter.org all of our information is also accessible there. That’s also where you can find out more information about open enrollment for volunteer and kind of what the commitment will Flight were becoming a volunteer for us. And then, of course, you just want to see all of the sun pictures. And you know that cute, adorable moments that happened here you can follow us on social media will share our events there will share any pertinent information about the shelter. And then you can also get your daily cute binge. Oh, you know, puppy ticket. So yes, And who doesn’t Love that happens, but the Okay, well, thank you for sharing that. And I hope that helps out some of our listeners. Is there anything else you’d like to share before we wrap things up today? Yeah. I mean, it’s if you live in Colorado and you’re listening to this We, as I stated before, we’re always looking for new ways for our community to help us out. And one of the things we’re really pushing this year is just reschedule donations for Colorado give state, which is a huge fundraising day here where your money goes farther by not only if you don’t eat on that day, but then it also snowballs with additional backers, and your money just really means more. So if you’re feeling giving and you want to help support the animals here and the humans here consider rescheduling your donation for Colorado gets day. Yeah. Is there a date on that or get that’s on two separate test December 10. Okay. And you guys will also be at an event on December 20th as well. The Holly Jolly Last-minute Market. Is that right? Yeah, So we won’t have a representative of the hills there. But we do work with some truly amazing local businesses that especially around this time of year, they love to do fundraising drives for us. And that’s what that is, is. It’s a really awesome fun sundries and drive where you go and you can enjoy yourself and have just absolutely, truly one of the day. And the proceeds come back to that house and I hope everybody goes out. And I hope that it helps you guys out a ton. And I want to thank you today for talking with me and sharing with me a little bit more about your organization. I’ve literally learned a lot. I mean, the clicker training. That’s awesome. The end of life service is is a good program. So I want to thank you personally. And I cannot wait to see what’s in store for your organization. Thanks. Thanks. Yeah, I’m thinking so much for having me. I had a great time talking with you.

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