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Pay It Forward: Fort Hall Roar

Fort Hall Roar
Todd Kunz
Fort Hall Roar is a nonprofit voice for lost, missing, neglected animals of the Fort Hall Reservation and surrounding area.

FORT HALL, Idaho (KXPI) - A local group began spaying and neutering dogs and cats on the Fort Hall Reservation, but now as a nonprofit, it is branching outward. Eyewitness News 3 and Mountain America Credit Union wanted to help and Pay It Forward.

"What can I do, you know, because I am a tribal member and I want to help my community, you know, I just want to help everybody," said Tressa Gonzales.

In 2017, she formed the group Fort Hall Roar.

"You know, I'm just an animal lover," said Gonzales.

In 2018, it became a nonprofit with more than eight members helping out.

Eyewitness News 3 anchor Todd Kunz asked Gonzales about her main goal as the founder of the organization.

"I want to educate the community about spay and neuter. I want to bring down the population and I want to help people become more aware of how to take care of animals. You have to take care of those basic needs, spay and neuter, vaccinating, just like we need to take care of ourselves," said Gonzales.

She said the biggest challenge has been coordinating rescues, but social media has helped a lot. And with that and word of mouth, it gets around.

"I've got people that will stop me at the gas station and here and say, 'Hey, we looked you up on Google and we need rescue and do you know whose dogs this is?' And we're like, 'Oh, we know whose dogs that is. We'll just coordinate that rescue,'" said Gonzales.

That very thing happened during this interview, as a man traveling through with two kids needed to surrender a puppy that was given to him.

"We're just coming down from Montana. I really can't keep up with it. I'm a single Dad. I've got a one-year-old, you know what I'm saying, but I couldn't tell the people no because the environment wasn't that well. So I went and bought a (crate). I haven't had it a week, week and a half," said the unidentified man.

So Gonzales and Fort Hall Roar are now taking the man's little puppy and finding it a good home.

Time to Pay It Forward.

"The positive feedback is that everybody wants to join forces and when you've got openings for animal, people just come forward and, yeah, they share," said Gonzales.

"Tressa, how are you?" asked another man walking up from the parking lot.

"Good. How are you?" replied Gonzales.

"Good. I'm Kory (Carling) with Mountain America Credit Union," said the man.

"Yes," said Gonzales.

"And we've heard about what Fort Hall Roar has been doing for the community," said Carling.

"Oh wow!" replied Gonzales.

"And how awesome you're doing with that and the service you're providing, so we'd like to Pay It Forward," said Carling.

"Oh wow!" replied Gonzales.

"So I've brought with me today $500," said Carling, pulling cash out of an envelope.

"Oh that is so awesome," said Gonzales.

"That I know that you can use to continue to serve the community here in Fort Hall and also the Pocatello community around us. So thank you. We'd like to Pay It Forward," said Carlings, handed over the money and envelope.

"Thank you so much. That's so awesome," said Gonzales.

"You're welcome," said Carling.

"Yeah, this will definitely go to some more spay and neuters," said Gonzales.

"Pretty cool," said Carling.

"Yeah, thank you," said Gonzales.

"You're welcome," said Carling.

"Wow, that was a nice little surprise," said Gonzales, smiling.

Fort Hall Roar can be found on Facebook here.

"Pay It Forward" airs the second Wednesday of every month. If you know of a nonprofit organization or someone who deserves to be recognized for their contributions to the area, click on "News" then "Pay It Forward" under the menu stack at the top left of our homepage. Fill out the submission form, or send an email to Eyewitness News 3 anchor Todd Kunz at

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Todd Kunz

Todd is an anchor for Eyewitness News 3, Local News 8 and Fox 5.


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