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Building a Better Way Home

Two puppies peeking over wall

The Dumb Friends League is “Building a Better Way Home.”

Starting this summer, we’re embarking on a major renovation and construction project at our main shelter on Quebec Street in Denver. The “Building a Better Way Home” project will upgrade the oldest and most heavily used areas of the shelter, while expanding and enhancing other parts of the shelter.

But this isn’t just about upgrades. The renovation will enable us to help 60,000 additional homeless pets over the next 10 years.

When the Quebec Street Shelter was finished in 1974, it was state of the art. It set the standard for what an animal shelter could be. And since then, we’ve made additions, remodels and updates to the facility to better serve the animals in our care.

Even with those updates, time has caught up to the shelter.

Today, major parts of the building don’t fulfill the needs of our animals or our commitment to providing the best possible care to homeless pets.

Here’s some highlights of the three-year, $40 million project:

  • Veterinary Services: Major renovations to the Veterinary Services department, which can’t currently meet our animals’ needs. The new state-of-the-art medical area will nearly double our capacity to perform surgical procedures—reducing the time pets spend in the shelter.
  • Dog Adoptions: We’re building a brand-new dog adoptions and transition area. Dogs will be housed in rooms with natural light and improved sound control, reducing dogs’ stress levels and helping them get adopted sooner.
  • Behavior Department: The Behavior Department will have a dedicated area in the shelter. This will feature a quiet, isolated wings for dogs learning to trust again and a separate, calm area for cats receiving behavior support. The enhanced space will also us to help more fearful, shy or behaviorally challenged pets to be enrolled in our programs—giving them even better opportunities to find their new home.
  • Pet Admissions: For patrons relinquishing pets, we’re building a brand new pet admissions lobby. The new space will provide much greater privacy for patrons, along with separate areas for cats and dogs. This will create a less stressful environment for both people and animals.
  • Transfer Department: To grow our ability to help pets in need, the new facility will have a dedicated transfer area. This will increase our ability to transfer and treat homeless animals from surrounding communities and throughout Colorado and other states, giving life-changing chances to pets who may have had very little opportunity to find their forever homes—all while still making homeless pets from metro Denver and Colorado our first priority.

The “Building a Better Way Home” project is being made possible by an extraordinary $20 million matching gift from Leslie and John Malone and The Malone Family Foundation.

Through this project, we’ll be strongly positioned to achieve our mission of ending pet homelessness and animal suffering in the communities we serve.

To learn more about the Building a Better Way Home project or to donate to the matching-gift campaign, visit

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