Tag Archives: No Kill Colorado

Colorado Animal Shelters top 100,000 Dog & Cat Adoptions in 2015

Colorado Animal Shelters top 100,000 Dog & Cat Adoptions in 2015

Milestone reached for the first time ever, but there is still much work to be done.

Denver CO June 6, 2016, (eReleases) — Colorado shelters surpassed 100,000 dog and cat adoptions for the first time ever according to statistics released by the Colorado Department of Agriculture today, hitting 100,282. Including rabbits, hamsters, birds, and others, 105,340 animals were adopted overall.

“This is a tremendous milestone,” said Davyd Smith, president of No Kill Colorado. “Not only because we topped 100,000 adoptions, but because Colorado has the most communities saving 90% or more of all animals in the country and is poised to become the first verifiable No Kill state. In terms of saving lives, Colorado is setting the pace nationally.”

Overall, 86% of Colorado dogs were saved (90% if out of state dogs are included), 83% of cats were saved, 74% of birds, 87% of rabbits, 85% of “pocket pets” (other small mammals), 96% of reptiles, and 83% of fish and “farmed” animals.

“There was great hope that Colorado would save 90% or more of all the animals,” said Nathan Winograd, the national director for the No Kill Advocacy Center which tracks shelter save rates nationwide. “Except for reptiles, that did not occur, which means animals continue to be killed needlessly, but Colorado is close and exceeds many states.”

Unfortunately, not all communities shared in the success. Moreover, some communities continue to ban dogs based on the way they look. While Colorado bans new breed-discriminatory legislation, it has grandfathered in existing laws and cities like Denver and Aurora continue to ban and kill healthy and friendly “pit bulls.”

“While we should be immensely gratified and Colorado approaching a 90% save rate for dogs is something to celebrate, clearly there are still lots of animals being needlessly killed and more work to be done,” said Smith. “Indeed, some large No Kill communities such as Austin Texas, save 96% of all pets and others are saving 98%, even 99%. We can do better and we can do this statewide.”

More than 30,000 homeless pets were imported into the state in 2015, Smith noted. This creates additional stress on the system to save Colorado pets. “We should absolutely help our neighbors when we can, but are we doing it at the expense of local pets?” adds Smith.

Colorado’s statewide statistics can be found here: https://goo.gl/u1yuRS

For a website that tracks shelter save rates nationwide, including Colorado’s: http://www.saving90.org/

No Kill Colorado
No Kill Colorado is a 501(c)3 that advocates for the implementation of the No Kill Equation in Colorado’s shelters. They have been active in rural adoption, spay/neuter, and shelter change programs since 2011.

Davyd Smith
President and Spokesperson
No Kill Colorado

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Old Souls at Old Friends

Editors Note: Turbo has been adopted! More updates to follow. 

This is the third and final installation from No Kill Colorado volunteer, Barry Glass, on his journey to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah.

I try my best not to judge, but it never seems to work out that way. I guess I’ll have to learn that lesson in my next life.

I can never seem to wrap my mind around the fact that people surrender an old pet simply because the animal has grown old or infirm. A better me might understand it, but like I said, I haven’t reached nirvana yet.

After two and a half days of volunteering, I had velcroed my heart to the dogs at Old Friends—residents of a section at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary named Dogtown Heights. I was there to learn what these dogs had to teach me, and I made a promise to them that I’d listen.

Acorn, a beautiful white Sheppard, was a feral dog that roamed the Mojave Desert and was discovered running through a brush fire. It took one of her caretakers—a wonderful woman named Cheri—about a year before she could get Acorn to eat out of her hand. I respected her distancing and did not approach.

I adored meeting Turbo, a mid–sized Whippet mix who was originally adopted in 2003, and then returned earlier this year. Turbo has mouth sores and skin conditions that have been difficult to treat and diagnose, but Best Friends sticks by him as they continue to work toward a resolution to his medical problems.

Turbo is blessed to be in a loving environment surrounded by great vet care. However, his caretakers would like to see him go to a good home, confident that nothing quite beats the physical and emotional comfort of a soft mattress and a warm body. His volunteer caretaker, Lee, thinks the cost of Turbo’s medication might be an obstacle to his adoption.

Eve is yet again another dog that had been adopted and later returned. She lost the use of her back legs from a neurological disorder, and has problems with her front legs as well. After entering Best Friends, she was fitted with a cart and preceded to live her life. Her caretakers and volunteers created a positive, loving space and saw her as a happy dog. About two weeks after I returned to Denver, I learned that the quality of Eve’s life had deteriorated, and that Best Friends had made the decision to euthanize her. I was very sad. I just saw her, how can this be? I said to myself, and later, I realized that that train of thought led to a dead end. Instead, I chose to hold onto the memory of her smile on the day I watched her enthusiastically maneuver herself and her new cart around the sandy terrain of the dog park.

I take my baseball cap off to all those caretakers who work their behinds off for the dogs of Old Friends at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. While I was there, I met Lee, Meagan, and Cheri and I was fortunate to spend time with them. The caretakers are the backbone and heart of the sanctuary. Their responsibilities are enormous; they administer meds; pick up poop; pump water from a well; feed the dogs (some on special diets); clean kennels and runs; socialize with the dogs; observe, report and assess behaviors; craft an appropriate mixture of dogs to share a kennel and a run; wash all those food bowls, stacking them just so; transport the dogs to the clinic and assign tasks to the volunteers. And trust me, you won’t find their names and yearly income listed in Forbes.

Within the Best Friends website, there is a section entitled Guardian Angels. It spotlights animals at the sanctuary that have special needs. You can access it here.

You can find the stories of Turbo and the others in the Current Animals section, and you can also find the story of Eve in the section entitled Alumni. It’s here that caretaker, Lee, has fashioned a heartfelt eulogy honoring Eve and her sweet spirit.

There are many places where animals are never given the chance to tell their story. At times, my sorrow is overwhelming. Thank you to all the rescuers, transporters, trainers, fosters, adopters, volunteers, and supporters of No Kill Colorado. It is you, their Guardian Angels that give these animals someone to miss them when they are gone.