DENVER (CBS4) – According to the Dumb Friends League, an alarming number of pets are currently ending up in shelters. In March alone, the DFL welcomed more than 1,100 animals to its three shelters.
“It’s unusual because in Colorado and Denver in particular, the dog-loving communities for a decade before the pandemic you couldn’t keep dogs. The dogs flew out of here,” Katie Parker said.
Parker is the Vice President of Accommodations for the Dumb Friends League. She says what they are seeing now is more than just related to the pandemic.
“People whose lives are disrupted because of COVID and because of what’s happening with the economy, what’s happening with housing, when people’s lives are disrupted it can be harder to own a pet company,” she said.
Compared to 2019, the Dumb Friends League says it saw a 15% increase in dog abandonments and a 41% increase in stray dog admissions. While they anticipate an increase in numbers during the summer months, they say what they are seeing now is concerning.
“To see these numbers coming from just our local community, you’re right, it’s alarming,” Parker said.
While they are once again relying on the community to help them find homes for their shelter animals, they also want those considering giving up a pet to contact them first.
“So that we have the opportunity to help them with resources, whether it’s food, training, possibly veterinary care, so that we can keep their family together and not end up with this dog in our shelters. “, Parker said.
If you would like to help but cannot adopt, the Dumb Friends League is looking for volunteers, foster parents or donations.
For pet owners considering giving up their dogs, please contact the League Call Center at 303-751-5772. Staff may be able to help these dogs stay home.
The call center can also answer questions about pet food resources, accessible veterinary care, and other ways to keep your family together.