For those who wish to donate to the reward, a fund will be established within a week, the fundraiser's organizers said. For now, anyone interested in making a contribution should email email@example.com.
It may never be known who poisoned three Gunbarrel dogs last month by leaving meatballs laced with d-Con in a neighborhood park, but this town isn't ready to give up the hunt just yet.
About 100 people — and a few dozen pooches — gathered Saturday afternoon for games, raffles and a silent auction, with all proceeds going toward a reward for information leading the arrest of the party responsible for the poisonings.
"It's kind of cool to know that when something like this happens, the community comes together to speak out and say this isn't OK," said Lauren Papineau of dog daycare center Camp Bow Wow, one of the event's sponsors.
Thanks to Saturday's fundraiser, which brought in $2,860, the reward now stands at about $7,500.
The organizers expect that number to grow, though, with multiple donors having offered verbal commitments. For one, KG Karmichael, author of the children's book "Breck: The Floppy Eard Husky," has promised to give $1,500 to the cause.
"I've never heard of a community getting together over a dog poisoning like this," said Uli Bromme, whose golden retriever puppy, Amos, ate one of the meatballs. "I mean, I've heard of these cases in other places, but the people don't do anything about it, because it's really hard to catch the person."
The strength of the response to this particular case was on full display Saturday. More than 40 local businesses, from all corners, donated items to the auction.
The eclectic group of sponsors included everything from Left Hand Brewing, which donated a year's supply of free beer, to Boulder Dental Group, which gave a teeth whitening session, valued at $510.
"It's incredible, the people who've come out," said Sunny Monaco, one of the fundraiser's organizers. "The endless supply of love that Colorado has for their community — this really makes me proud."
Monaco's 6-year-old chocolate Labrador retriever, Gybz, ate at least one of the meatballs, and has been in various stages of discomfort ever since, though his life does not appear to be in danger.
A third dog, a 12-year-old beagle, was also poisoned at the Gunbarrel park, though the dog's owner has not been available for comment.
Gunbarrel resident Marti Ingraham said the ordeal has struck a chord throughout the neighborhood.
"We are all animal lovers and, especially in Boulder, of all cities, no one would ever expect it to happen. It's really a demented person who would poison animals," she said.
Not that she needed another reason to attend the fundraiser, but Ingraham has experienced firsthand what the owners of the poisoned dogs are going through now - and worse. She lost a dog years ago to a meatball laced with strychnine and thrown into her yard.
"That death was more powerful than the death of my husband," Ingraham said. "We never found the person that did it. So I know the heartbreak."
More than a month after the poisonings, the Boulder County Sheriff's Office Animal Control unit still has no leads, officer Terry Snyder confirmed Saturday.
And, following this week's news that the Colorado Bureau of Investigation gathered inconclusive results in testing for human DNA on the meatballs, the case may never be solved.
But some good may still come of all this, Monaco said. If the case is closed without any arrests having been made, the reward money will be donated to two local Humane Society Branches.
If nothing else, the "tainted meatball caper," as the sheriff's office once dubbed it, appears to have raised awareness, if also a bit of paranoia, about pet safety.
"It built a lot of strength in the community, too, which is amazing," said Jennifer Emich, one of the owners of the downtown Boulder restaurant Shine, which donated a gift card to the auction.
"Dogs are family," Monaco added. "When people hurt our family, we need to unite."
Contact Camera Staff Writer Alex Burness at 303-473-1389 or firstname.lastname@example.org