DENVER (April 18, 2022) – The Dumb Friends League is operating at a critical level in its capacity to care for dogs at its three shelter facilities across Colorado.

The Leslie A. Malone Center in Denver, Buddy Center in Castle Rock, and San Luis Valley Animal Center in Alamosa have all recently seen a significant increase in relinquished and homeless dogs.

The League is looking to the public for help in adopting these dogs who desperately need a loving and caring home. Right now is a great time to visit the Buddy Center in Castle Rock, where we typically have shorter waits and smaller crowds.  We’re also running a dog adoption special at the San Luis Valley Animal Center, where, through the month of April, all dog adoptions are $50.

“Our community is among the best in the country when it comes to caring for pets,” said Dr. Apryl Steele, President and CEO of the Dumb Friends League. “When we have needed help, our community has responded, and we’re hoping they will step up now.”

Compared to 2019, dog surrenders at the League are up 15% while stray dog intakes are up 41%. In March alone, more than 1,100 animals came to the League from our community. The League traditionally sees a rise in relinquished dogs during the summer, so an increase in spring is cause for concern.

Other facilities along the Front Range have also seen an increase in dog numbers in their shelters, as have shelters across the country.

There is no singular reason for the increased number of dogs at the League’s facilities and other Colorado shelters. Life changes, moves, new jobs, in-person return to work, financial challenges, and people losing homes all could play roles.

While COVID-19 is not solely to blame for the rise in canine intakes, it is likely a contributing factor, as are recent changes to the U.S. and global economies.

Adopting a pet is a serious decision and a long-term commitment.  All dogs from the League are spayed/neutered and up to date on vaccinations, easing the adoption process.

The League’s Adoption and Behavior teams work with the animals they shelter to understand their needs and preferences, as well as facilitate positive matches for the pet and prospective adopters. The goal is to foster healthy human-animal relationships so that adopted pets stay in their new homes permanently.

If you are unable to adopt but still wish to support the Dumb Friends League, people can volunteer, foster, or make a donation. All donations go directly to the League so the organization can care for the animals in its facilities. The League is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, and contributions are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. Donations can be made here or mailed to:

Dumb Friends League
2080 S. Quebec St.
Denver, CO 80231-3298

The League also is looking to hire additional team members, permanently or for the summer, who have a passion for animals and their well-being. For employment or volunteer opportunities, visit our careers page.

For pet owners considering relinquishing their dogs, please reach out to the League’s Call Center at 303-751-5772. Staff might be able to help these dogs remain in their homes. The Call Center also can answer questions regarding pet food resources, accessible veterinary care, and other ways to keep your family together.


About the Dumb Friends League

The Dumb Friends League cares for more than 20,000 homeless pets and horses each year and is a national model in animal welfare. Working toward its mission to end pet homelessness and animal suffering, the League is a strong and steadfast voice for those who cannot speak for themselves. Learn more about the programs and services the Dumb Friends League offers to its community at