Who We Are
The Dumb Friends League is the largest community-based animal sheltering organization in the Rocky Mountain region. We are a leader in providing shelter and humane care to companion animals and horses; rescuing sick, injured, abused and neglected animals; adopting pets and horses to new homes; offering training and advice to help pets stay in homes; reducing pet overpopulation; and educating the public about animals and their needs.
Each year, we welcome more than 24,000 homeless pets to our two shelters. At our main shelter in southeast Denver and our Buddy Center in Castle Rock, Colo., cats, dogs, rabbits and other small pets enjoy the comfort of a nurturing environment in state-of-the-art facilities. Our offsite adoption center at Denver’s Northfield Stapleton shopping center showcases adoptable cats and dogs in a storefront setting.
Our Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center™ near Franktown, Colo., takes in abused and neglected horses, ponies, donkeys and mules that have been removed from their owners by law enforcement authorities. At the equine center, these animals find a safe haven, relief from suffering and opportunities for rehabilitation and adoption.
The Dumb Friends League is a local, private, nonprofit organization that relies solely on donations. We are not an affiliate of any national animal welfare groups.
When our organization was founded in 1910, it was named after a London, England, animal shelter called Our Dumb Friends League. In those days, the term “dumb” was widely used to refer to animals, because “they lacked the power of human speech.”
The mission statement of the Dumb Friends League includes these words: “speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves,” meaning our animal friends.
Two open-admission pet shelters
The Dumb Friends League is an “open-admission” shelter. That means every animal in need of help is welcomed at our shelters. No animal is turned away from our doors. We take in ill and injured animals and those that we can’t immediately adopt to new homes. We receive pets that are too young or too old, pets that are unwanted, pets from people who can no longer care for them, and pets that have become lost from their homes.
There is no ticking clock at our shelters. Cats and dogs may remain in our care for weeks or months. We do everything we can to avoid euthanasia of healthy or rehabilitatable pets. But more keep coming—at an average of 68 every day—and despite all efforts, we must sometimes humanely euthanize those pets (primarily cats and small mammals) that are not able to be placed.
As an open-admission shelter, we employ a broad spectrum of strategies to ensure that as many pets as possible are reunited with their owners or adopted out to new homes. Our programs, services and commitment to saving lives and reducing euthanasia have resulted in a continuous increase in our Live Release Rate for cats and dogs (the percentage of cats and dogs received that are adopted, returned to owners or transferred for alternative placement). The Dumb Friends League Humane Equation highlights key areas we are addressing to make the community problem of pet overpopulation a thing of the past.
Learn more about the Dumb Friends League by reading our publications.