Measuring our progress

The Dumb Friends League is a completely transparent organization that publishes yearly statistics on tracking shelter population both in our Annual Report and through the Asilomar Accords.

What are the Asilomar Accords?

In August 2004, a group of animal welfare industry leaders, including our President and CEO Bob Rohde and our former Vice President of Finance and Administration John Nagy, convened at Asilomar in Pacific Grove, Calif., for the purpose of building bridges across varying philosophies, developing relationships and creating goals focused on significantly reducing the euthanasia of healthy and treatable companion animals in the United States. This group of innovators developed the Asilomar Accords, a document that aims to cut through the rhetoric of “no kill” vs. “open admission” shelters and to dispel the murkiness of what defines adoptable animals.

To achieve this, the team developed standardized statistical recordkeeping and reporting that shelters could adopt for accurate reporting of data. Having standard language and criteria that all shelters can use helps us compare the work that we do at the Dumb Friends League with other shelters locally and nationally.

Where the Dumb Friends League stands

For a number of years, we have collected and reported our statistics according to this nationally recognized formula. We measure our progress, in part, through the “live release rate,” which is based on all the cats and dogs we receive, regardless of their age, temperament or physical condition. In fiscal year 2017 (July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017), 19,413 pets were adopted, reunited or transferred to placement partners. At the end of fiscal year 2017, our live release rate was 90% for all cats and dogs, and 100% for healthy cats and dogs.

Thanks to our compassionate community, the Dumb Friends League has achieved one of the highest rates for saving homeless pets in the country.

We are often asked: “Are you a no-kill shelter?” The answer is: The Dumb Friends League is an open-admission animal shelter, meaning we open our doors to all animals in need—whether they’re old, ill, injured, unwanted or lost. In every case, we strive to relieve suffering, always keeping in mind the needs of the animals first. In some cases, this may lead to euthanasia. We do not euthanize healthy animals, nor do we use euthanasia as a form of population control. There is also no set time limit for how long a pet can remain in our care. Our goal is to find a loving home for every adoptable animal that comes through our doors.

Where Colorado stands

As an active participant in the Metro Denver Animal Welfare Alliance (MDAWA), we look for trends and emerging needs so we can collaboratively identify ways to save more animals’ lives. We believe this contributes to Colorado, as a whole, comparing very well in live release rates. In 2014, the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s statistics showed that Colorado saved 88.91% of all cats and dogs entering shelters and rescues—a model for the nation.

The road ahead: a community effort

We recognize that the only real, sustainable and humane way to end euthanasia of healthy animals in shelters is to decrease the supply of homeless pets—working at the roots by spaying and neutering, offering behavior counseling for pet owners, and providing humane education and guidance for both children and adults.

We continue to depend upon working together with other Colorado shelters and the compassionate communities they serve. Collaboration is much more successful than divisiveness.