News to Know
Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center welcomes hundreds to open house
May 20, 2013
More than 1,400 horse lovers and admirers strapped on their boots and rode in to attend this year’s Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center™ open house and adoption day.
The open house was held Saturday, May 18, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Harmony Equine Center located at 5540 E. Highway 86, just west of Franktown.
“This was a great opportunity for the public to see what we are doing, not only to help the formerly abused and neglected horses in our care, but to spread the word that there is a real need for a facility like this in Colorado,” said Duane Adams, vice president of field and equine services for the Dumb Friends League. “This was also a chance for us to share our training knowledge with the public to help improve the lives of all horses.”
Visitors to the equine center were able to take guided tours, watch horse trainings and demonstrations from head trainer Scott Whinfrey, enjoy food and refreshments from local food trucks and see horses available for adoption.
The Harmony Equine Center is not a sanctuary or a rescue facility and the center does not accept owner-relinquished horses. It is a private, rehabilitation and adoption facility for horses, ponies, donkeys and mules that have been removed from owners’ care by law enforcement authorities. Adoption days are every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. or by appointment.
To learn more about the Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center or to see horses available for adoption, visit ddfl.org/equine or call (303) 751-5772.
Compassion for animals brings community together at Furry Scurry
May 4, 2013
Cats like Chloe at the Quebec Street shelter, dogs like Cola at the Buddy Center and horses like Domino at the Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center™ will benefit from the funds raised at the 20th annual Dumb Friends League Furry Scurry. Thousands of two- and four-legged friends took part today in the largest single dog walk in the nation at Denver’s Washington Park, raising more than $1 million for programs and services to help homeless pets. Fundraising for the Furry Scurry continues through June 3, and donations can be made at furryscurry.org.
The Furry Scurry drew a crowd of nearly 12,000 people and 5,000 dogs, along with sponsors and vendors, to celebrate the human-animal bond. In addition to the walk, pet lovers had the opportunity to watch and participate in dog contests and demo sand shop for pet-friendly goods and services at the Flea-less Market.
“The Furry Scurry is not only a celebration of the human-animal bond; it increases awareness about homeless pets by raising the funds to help those pets find new forever homes,” said Bob Rohde, president and CEO of the Dumb Friends League. “A big thanks to the community for 20 years of incredible support in helping us continue our mission.”
The funds raised will help provide care for more than 20,000 cats, dogs and small pets, as well as horses, this year. In addition to adopting out homeless pets, the League offers many other services for pets and people, including the Homes with Hearts foster program, humane education, animal welfare investigations, equine services, lost and found, in-shelter and public behavior training, and spay and neuter services for cats and dogs in underserved areas of metro Denver at reduced rates, subsidized by Dumb Friends League donors.
“We would like to thank all of the participants, donors, sponsors, vendors and volunteers who helped make the 2013 Furry Scurry such a success,” said Rohde. “Through their unwavering generosity, we will be able to continue giving more homeless pets a second chance at health and happiness.” The 2013 Furry Scurry was presented by Hill’s Science Diet®, HomeAgain, Whole Foods Market, Amica Insurance, Heartgard Plus and Frontline Plus.
Pet lovers can still help needy pets and earn incentive items by making an online donation through June 3 to the Furry Scurry. For more information, visit furryscurry.org or call (303) 751-5772.
Precautionary Suspension of Dog Intake and Adoptions at Dumb Friends League Quebec Street Shelter
April 20, 2013
Starting today, the Dumb Friends League Quebec Street shelter in Denver is temporarily ceasing dog intakes from the public, as well as dog adoptions, for 30 days to ensure containment of pneumonia. The closing affects only the intake and adoption of dogs at our Quebec Street shelter; cats and small pets are not affected, and intake and adoptions of those animals will continue as usual.
Since April 12, the shelter has seen 12 cases of dogs with pneumonia, which is an increase in what we are used to seeing. We have reached out to several veterinary specialists and diagnostic laboratories to clarify the nature of the illness and provide the most effective treatment.
In keeping with our high standards, we are taking this responsible and proactive approach to prevent any additional illnesses. To that end, we are voluntarily ceasing dog intake and adoptions to protect the 263 dogs currently in our care, as well as the dogs in our community. At present, only a small percentage of our population has been affected, and we are carefully monitoring the health of all animals in our care.
In the meantime, Denver-area residents who need to surrender a dog or who are planning on adopting a dog should proceed to one of our Metro Denver Shelter Alliance partners or shelters listed on our website. We appreciate the collaborative relationship we have with Denver-area shelters, rescue groups and animal care and control agencies.
We anticipate that the measures will be in effect for four weeks in order to ensure the success of the treatment and containment of the illness. Please check our ddfl.org home page for the current status of our dog operations.
Thank you for your patience as we continue our mission to provide the best possible care for homeless pets in our community. For more information, please contact Chris Gallegos, public relations manager, at email@example.com or (303) 419-1162.
“We’re Everywhere… Except Your Lap” multimedia campaign launches to increase cat adoptions
April 2, 2013
There’s no question about it—cats have quickly become the lions of the Internet. With millions of views, likes and shares, they’ve made their way into our hearts and dominated online content through viral videos and funny, clever photos. So why, on any given day, are there still hundreds of homeless cats and kittens available for adoption? That’s the question the Dumb Friends League is asking in a new campaign aimed at increasing cat adoptions at its shelters.
To help these cats find homes, the Dumb Friends League is hoping to bridge the gap between online and your lap through its “We’re Everywhere… Except Your Lap” campaign by highlighting the many positive attributes that make cats such lovable online celebrities.
“Over the years, domestic cats have been underappreciated when, throughout history, they were idolized,” said Bob Rohde, president and CEO of the Dumb Friends League. “Our goal is to remind people that cats are not only affectionate and loyal, but also provide plenty of laughter and comfort.”
As part of the multimedia campaign promoted through television, radio, print and online content, as well as the creation if its very own Internet cat memes (a form of viral online content), the Dumb Friends League will be offering a variety of adoption specials to help get more cats into forever homes throughout the spring and summer. The specials will take place at all adoption locations—the Quebec Street shelter in Denver, the Buddy Center in Castle Rock and the adoption center at The Shops at Northfield Stapleton—as well as on its mobile adoption unit, the Pet Care-avan, and six participating Petco locations.
All feline adoptions include a spay/neuter surgery, initial vaccinations, a microchip ID implant and a free office visit with a participating veterinarian.
Interested adopters can view all pets in need of homes online at ddfl.org as well as visit one of our adoption locations to meet their new furry friend. For more information, visit ddfl.org or call (303) 751-5772.
New Dumb Friends League mobile spay/neuter clinic hits the road
February 26, 2013
As part of its goal to offer more spay and neuter opportunities for pets and reduce pet overpopulation, the Dumb Friends League recently unveiled its newest spay/neuter mobile clinic, the Meow Mobile. The new Meow Mobile gives the Dumb Friends League even more mobility to offer spay and neuter services for cats in underserved areas of metro Denver at reduced fees, subsidized by Dumb Friends League donors.
The Meow Mobile is a 33-foot, custom spay/neuter clinic built by LaBoit, a manufacturer in Columbus, Ohio. This state-of-the-art surgery suite on wheels has two surgery tables, a surgery prep table, built-in kennels and a fully functional office work space with computer.
"With the new vehicle, we will be able to access more neighborhoods to perform more surgeries,” said Outreach Manager Tracy Koss. “Thanks to this generous gift, we’ve been able to design a state-of-the-art vehicle from the chassis up and get important mechanical upgrades, as well.”
The Meow Mobile is a gift from longtime Dumb Friends League supporter Henry Roath, a retired attorney with a big heart for animals. In 2001, his capital campaign gift helped establish the medical center at the Quebec Street shelter, where roughly 8,000 pets a year are sterilized prior to adoption and thousands more receive lifesaving care.
“Henry has been so generous over the years,” said Bob Rohde, president and CEO of the Dumb Friends League. “We are truly blessed to have his support, helping us put more needed resources into medical care for pets in our shelter and in underserved areas of metro Denver.”
Last year alone, the two Dumb Friends League mobile units spayed and neutered 6,635 owned cats and dogs, with the Meow Mobile sterilizing 1,800 cats alone. Since the outreach program began in 2005, more than 36,000 owned cats and dogs have been spayed or neutered.
For more information about the Dumb Friends League mobile units, or to see the current list of upcoming clinics, visit ddfl.org/spayneuter or call (720) 241-7098.
Teaching your cat some new tricks—one click at a time
February 8, 2013
Who says you can’t teach an old (or young) cat new tricks? Commands like “sit,” “roll over” and “high five” are just some of the tricks that cats learn through the Dumb Friends League Clicks & Tricks class. The Dumb Friends League debunks the common belief that cats cannot be trained, offering this four-week course that aims to improve the perception of cats as responsive pets and strengthen the bond between them and their owners.
“Cats are intelligent and receptive to training, just like dogs and other animals,” said Matt Levien, behavior manager for the Dumb Friends League. “This class is a way to showcase a cat’s ability to learn and perform, while offering an opportunity for cat owners to have fun training and interacting with their feline friends.”
Clicker training involves marking a desired behavior with a “click” sound and rewarding the animal for that behavior. During the Clicks & Tricks orientation, cat owners learn basic clicker-training techniques and how they can be applied to their own cats. For the remaining three classes, feline students are encouraged to attend. With the guidance of knowledgeable staff, owners teach their cats how to sit on command, roll over, give a “high five” and stand up on their hind legs, among other advanced behaviors.
“Clicks & Tricks shows that cats can be trained to perform desired behaviors,” said Levien, who also clicker trains adoptable cats in the shelter. “This class also helps cats become well-adjusted companions, provides their owners with practical tips about typical cat behavior and addresses common problems.”
Clicks & Tricks is offered monthly at the Dumb Friends League Quebec Street shelter, located at 2080 S. Quebec St. in Denver, and costs $40, with fees benefiting the Dumb Friends League. Wednesday and Saturday classes are available and meet weekly for four weeks. Feline students must be at least 18 weeks old.
For more information about cat behavior training opportunities, and to register for Clicks & Tricks, visit ddfl.org/catclasses or call (303) 751-5772.
Help Colorado's pets at tax time
February 8, 2013
Don’t file your tax return without donating to the Colorado Pet Overpopulation Fund. Pets in underserved areas of our state benefit from this fund, which has granted more than $1.6 million to local coalitions of veterinarians and animal care and control agencies to help prevent unwanted litters and save the lives of Colorado pets. The funds have helped sterilize more than 45,000 cats and dogs and educate thousands of people.
The grant money comes from people like you who donate through the charity check-off portion on line 33 of their Colorado tax return. Donations also can be sent directly to the Pet Overpopulation Fund at 405 Urban St., Suite 340, Lakewood, CO 80228. Your donation is tax deductible.
Kindness, pledges help homeless pets during Dumb Friends League telethon
January 29, 2013
Eighty-two formerly homeless pets—including Daisy, a 2-year-old basset hound dog, and Angel, an 11-year-old Persian mix cat—are in new homes after being adopted during the 15th annual Dumb Friends League Pledges for Pets Telethon, held Jan. 27.
Compassionate adopters responded to the five-hour live broadcast on FOX31 by visiting the Dumb Friends League’s four locations—the Quebec Street shelter in Denver, the Buddy Center in Castle Rock, the Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center™ in Franktown and the adoption center at The Shops at Northfield Stapleton—to find their new companions. Hundreds of others called in and pledged their support to help the 103-year-old, local, nonprofit humane society.
In addition to promoting pets and horses for adoption, the telethon showcased the League’s community services, including providing safe havens for lost pets; receiving relinquished pets; investigating animal abuse and neglect; offering humane education in area schools; and providing spay/neuter services at reduced fees, subsidized by Dumb Friends League donors.
Caring telethon viewers called or made pledges online, helping the League raise more than $305,000 for homeless pets and horses.
“We sincerely thank all those who pledged their support during this year’s telethon,” said Bob Rohde, Dumb Friends League president and CEO. Rohde also extended his thanks to the event’s generous sponsors, including Hill’s Science Diet®, HomeAgain, FOX31 and KOSI 101.1, for helping again this year.
Funds raised during the telethon help the Dumb Friends League care for more than 19,800 homeless pets each year.
For more information about the Dumb Friends League, visit ddfl.org or call (303) 751-5772.
More than 30 puppy mill dogs brought to the Dumb Friends League
December 20, 2012
35 puppies and dogs—some as young as 4 months old—from puppy mills in the Midwest have been transferred to the Dumb Friends League so that they have the opportunity to find permanent, loving homes.
“We are blessed that we have the resources and the space to help pets outside of our own community when the need arises,” said Bob Rohde, president and CEO of the Dumb Friends League. “In an urgent situation like this, it’s wonderful that animal welfare organizations here in Colorado come together to assist vulnerable pets like these puppy mill dogs.”
Volunteers from the National Mill Dog Rescue near Colorado Springs endured a cold blast of winter to pick up the dogs from puppy mills in Kansas and Missouri. The dogs brought to the Dumb Friends League include dachshunds, poodles, Shih Tzus and Pomeranians, among other breeds.
Due to the living conditions at the puppy mills, some of the transferred dogs may require foster care while they receive medical treatment and socialization, which will delay their adoption availability by several weeks.
“Chances are good that these dogs have had minimal human contact, never seen a flight of stairs and never been outdoors on a leash,” said Theresa Geary, vice president of operations for the Dumb Friends League. “That means a lot of time and resources will be needed to help these dogs become ready for adoption.”
Even though the puppy mill dogs are not immediately available, you can help today by donating to the Dumb Friends League. All donations enable the League to provide shelter, medical care, foster homes, behavior training and other vital services to homeless pets. You can also help by adopting any one of the other available pets at the Dumb Friends League.
Smallest addition to the Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center™ makes a big splash
November 19, 2012
At barely 6 months old, little Jelly Bean has already suffered unimaginable cruelty and neglect. By all accounts, this miraculous horse shouldn’t still be alive.
Weighing in at a mere 180 pounds, she is the size of a 2-month-old filly. One shocked and dismayed veterinarian described her as, “The skinniest horse I’ve ever seen alive.”
But this sweet, innocent horse is a survivor. Right now, Jelly Bean is in the care of our Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center, where she is being fed, nurtured and comforted since arriving in early November. Jelly Bean and her mother were recently taken into custody by the Moffat County Sherriff’s Department, who turned to the Dumb Friends League when they realized the severity of her condition.
"Jelly Bean’s story is one of the worst cases we’ve ever seen,” said Bob Rohde, president and CEO of the Dumb Friends League. “Her story is the reason why we have the equine center, and why it’s important to work as a community to help her and others like her.”
The Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center is not a sanctuary or a rescue facility. The Center does not accept owner-relinquished horses. It is for horses, ponies, donkeys and mules that have been involved in abuse or neglect cases and subsequently removed from owners’ care by law enforcement authorities.
The Harmony Equine Center is open for adoptions on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., except on major holidays. The Center is open all other days by appointment only.
Jelly Bean is slowly gaining strength every day as the equine center helps her make a full recovery. When she is ready, the League will help her find a new, loving home where she will live the life she deserves.
To learn more about the Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center, to make a donation or for adoption information, visit ddfl.org or call (303) 751-5772.
Dumb Friends League works to build foster parent network
October 16, 2012
Every year, tens of thousands of unwanted and homeless pets come through the doors of the Dumb Friends League. sometimes, those pets aren’t immediate candidates for adoption due to their age or medical condition. Last year alone, 2,946 such pets received temporary, life-saving foster care through the League’s Homes with Hearts foster care program and in the homes of 453 foster volunteers.
“Fostering truly matters, said Theresa Geary, the League’s vice president of operations. “It changes the course of an animal’s life. By opening up their hearts and homes, whether for two weeks or two months, our foster volunteers help give homeless pets a second chance.”
The Dumb Friends League is looking for more foster volunteers to provide temporary care for pets in their home until they are ready for adoption or until space is available at one of the League’s two shelters. Foster families are provided with food, bedding, toys, cat litter and other supplies, as well as veterinary care for the foster pets as needed.
Pets needing foster care include kittens and puppies that are too young for adoption, as well as cats and dogs nursing their litters, those recovering from an illness or injury and those that would benefit from extra socialization. The Dumb Friends League also utilizes foster parents to help provide needed space at the shelters for incoming animals.
“You do get attached,” said foster volunteer Beth Link. “However, it’s more rewarding to know that pets are finding good homes, and you have the ability to help even more pets.”
For more information on the Dumb Friends League, and how you can become a volunteer foster parent, visit ddfl.org/foster or call (303) 751-5772, Ext. 7627.
Joint effort successful in sterilizing nearly 80 cats in Federal Heights
September 7, 2012
A first-of-its kind joint effort provided almost 80 Federal Heights cats with free spay and neuter surgeries, up-to-date vaccinations and microchip identification implants.
On Saturday, Sept. 1, the Dumb Friends League, along with the Feline Fix Clinic, the Humane Society of Boulder Valley, Adams County Animal Shelter and the Metro Denver Shelter Alliance, improved the lives of 79 cats and kittens in Federal Heights with these free services.
“The simple act of spaying or neutering not only helps the overall health of your cat, it also helps combat the pet overpopulation problem that many communities throughout the country face,” said Theresa Geary, vice president of operations with the Dumb Friends League. “Fewer unwanted litters mean fewer homeless pets that end up on the streets or in shelters.”
The no-cost event was held for residents of Federal Heights in a collaborative effort between the animal welfare agencies and the City of Federal Heights.
“Our goal is to partner with other metro area municipalities to offer free spay and neuter services for cat owners throughout underserved communities,” said Tracy Koss, operations outreach manager with the Dumb Friends League.
The Dumb Friends League mobile clinics provide spay and neuter surgeries through reduced fees subsidized by Dumb Friends League donors to pets in communities that are underserved within the Denver metro area. Each surgery is performed by a veterinarian licensed in the state of Colorado.
To find a clinic near you, or for more information, visit ddfl.org/spayneuter or call (720) 241-7098.
Scurry on over to adopt two small mammals for the price of one
Are you looking for a pet that’s a little out of the ordinary? How about something with a SMALL footprint and a BIG personality? At the Dumb Friends League, you can adopt two small mammals for the price of one. The Dumb Friends League has more than 130 rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, rats and mice to choose from (ferrets excluded). The ongoing special takes place at both shelter locations—the Quebec Street shelter in Denver and the Buddy Center in Castle Rock.
“Now, more than ever, is the time to adopt a small mammal,” said Bob Rohde, president and CEO of the Dumb Friends League. “Just like our cats and dogs, these small pets have a lot of love to give.”
Adoption fees for small mammals range from $5 to $55. The Dumb Friends League also offers cages and supplies at our Sit…Stay…Shop for purchase, giving your new pet the perfect home to nestle into.
Interested adopters can view all pets in need of homes online at www.ddfl.org/adopt, as well as visit the shelters, which are open seven days a week. For more information on the adoption special or on volunteering as a foster parent for small mammals, call (303) 751-5772.
License plate for purchase that helps homeless pets
Show your support for homeless pets in underserved parts of Colorado by purchasing an “Adopt-a-Shelter-Pet” license plate for your car. The special plate is available any time during the year at your local Division of Motor Vehicles or through your county clerk’s office.
When you buy this plate, you help raise awareness of the need for more shelter-pet adoptions and contribute funds to help shelters and rescues in primarily rural areas of Colorado.
The cost to purchase the plate is $80, which includes a $30 donation plus the $50 standard fee that is charged by the state for any special-use license plate. You will receive credit for the time remaining between the purchase date and your annual license-plate renewal date. Of course, you also may also purchase the plate upon annual renewal of your regular plates.
If you’re among the 2,500+ animal lovers who are already sporting this beautiful plate on your car, you can renew it when the time comes for a mere $25 contribution.
The initial $30 donation and the subsequent $25 renewal donation go to the Colorado Pet Overpopulation Fund. The Fund distributes grants directly to qualified shelters and rescue groups. The money supports spay/neuter programs, microchipping and medical expenses to prepare cats and dogs for adoption.
Area animal welfare groups partner with Crime Stoppers to bring awareness and prosecution to animal cruelty
Animals suffering from abuse, neglect or abandonment are benefiting from a new partnership among area animal welfare groups and Crime Stoppers. Together, the groups have launched a state-wide anonymous tip and reward program to make it easier for people anywhere in Colorado to report inhumane activities involving dogs, cats or horses.
Anonymous tips can be reported via phone or text. The messages are received at Crime Stoppers through a secure online system that protects a caller’s identity. Crime Stoppers then routes the message to the appropriate agency for action.
Rewards of up to $2,000 are available if the tip results in a summons or an arrest. Rewards are paid through a third party, thus further assuring anonymity. Funding for the rewards comes from a private donor.
Tips can be reported via phone or text to Crime Stoppers.
PHONE: (720) 913-STOP (7867)
TEXT: 274637 (CRIMES), then title DMCS and enter the message
Partnering with Crime Stoppers in the program are the Dumb Friends League, the Colorado Humane Society, Boulder Police Department, Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, Larimer Humane Society, Lakewood Animal Control, Mesa County Animal Services, Rifle Police Department, Westminster Police Department, Wheat Ridge Police Department, and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department.
Animal welfare agents and law enforcement agencies rely largely on tips from the public to investigate activities such as dog fighting or other acts of cruelty or neglect. But many people are reluctant to report what they witness because they fear retaliation. This new program allows people the protection they may require before coming forward.
People in the eight-county metro-Denver area may also report animal cruelty directly to the Dumb Friends League online or by calling (303) 923-0022.
Disaster preparedness for you and your pets
You never know when disaster may strike. Being prepared can help save your life as well as your four-legged family members.
Read these tips on how to develop an emergency plan for you and your pets.