Greater accessibility to care and services animals receive in Alamosa is weeks away! The Dumb Friends League San Luis Valley Animal Center’s grand opening is scheduled for March 25, and when the doors open, the facility is expected to care for 2,500 pets per year, including approximately 800 cats, and positively impact the lives of many more through community programs.

In 2018, the League was approached by Alamosa County Commissioner Darius Allen for guidance on building a long-term solution to support animal welfare in the area. The County and City of Alamosa, as well as other stakeholders and the community, were eager to collaborate with the League and support the construction of the new shelter.

On June 19, we celebrated the San Luis Valley Animal Center’s construction with a groundbreaking ceremony (while being safe and practicing social distancing recommendations, of course). And, on a lovely September morning, we welcomed the steel (pre-fabricated) structure, which is currently being transformed into the new San Luis Valley Animal Center.

The shelter is scheduled to be completed at the end of February. A team of League staff will travel to the new facility in March to help move in, set up, train and get the facility up and running for the opening a few weeks later.

“Everyone is excited and optimistic about the work that will be accomplished in the community especially having a safe place for pets in need and the capacity to help cats,” said Katie Parker, vice president of operations. “We’re also eager to understand the needs of this community—and adjust to meet them.”

The new shelter will provide care for lost, stray, abandoned and unwanted cats and dogs. Each adoption includes spay or neuter surgery, age-appropriate vaccinations and a microchip ID. Animals who are not claimed or adopted in the local community will be transferred to areas with more adoption opportunities. The San Luis Valley Animal Center will provide spay and neuter surgeries for cats owned by community members. The spay and neuter program will expand to serve more animals as we understand the community’s needs and raise funds to support that work.

“We are so delighted to partner with the professionals at the Dumb Friends League,” said Alamosa County Administrator Gigi Dennis. “The vision and optimism they are bringing to Alamosa in helping to care for and find forever homes for animals is an asset we can share with the San Luis Valley.”

Everyone at the League is excited to help support efforts around homeless pets, bring additional awareness to the animal welfare community in rural Colorado and see the new shelter serve as a community animal center. “Providing Socially Conscious Sheltering to the area, enhancing the work of local animal advocates and collaborating to better serve the community will help with the League’s mission to end pet homelessness and animal suffering,” said League President and CEO Dr. Apryl Steele.

Construction of San Luis Valley Animal Center is primarily funded by a generous gift from longtime League supporter Henry Roath. Animal Assistance Foundation and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) have also provided generous grants to help support the new shelter’s construction and operational costs.