People are increasingly surrendering their pets to local shelters, not because of a lack of love, but because they cannot afford veterinary services, behavioral training, and other basic resources. Due to cost and other barriers, under-resourced communities often do not have equal access to urgent veterinary care, along with vaccinations and prescriptions, spay/neuter surgeries, dental services, and preventive health care for their companion animals.

The Dumb Friends League was recently awarded a $175,000 grant from PetSmart Charities® to support the League’s ongoing commitment to accessible and exceptional urgent veterinary care for people and pets in need. At their new Dumb Friends League Veterinary Hospital at CSU Spur, which opened in January 2022 in the Globeville, Elyria-Swansea neighborhood, the Dumb Friends League is offering donor-subsidized community veterinary services and diverse learning opportunities to inspire the next generation of veterinarians and animal welfare professionals. PetSmart Charities’ grant will support the hospital’s team of veterinarians, veterinary technicians, veterinary assistants and customer service representatives.

This unique opportunity to partner with Colorado State University (CSU) on the university’s new “Spur” campus in Denver will allow the Dumb Friends League to serve more communities than ever before. Currently, an estimated 240,000 animals in the Denver Metro Area live with families experiencing poverty. The League’s inclusive environment at CSU Spur’s Vida building will decrease access barriers for those most in need, thereby benefiting pets, families, and their surrounding communities.

“We are so grateful for the support of PetSmart Charities in helping us significantly expand access to veterinary care for people and pets in need,” said Dr. Apryl Steele, President and CEO of the Dumb Friends League. “With this generous grant, our team at CSU Spur will keep more animals healthy, happy, and in homes with the people who love them.”

“Companion animals are important members of families,” said Aimee Gilbreath, president of PetSmart Charities. “Some 50 million pets in the U.S. lack access to veterinary care, and we know people from all walks of life can benefit from the joys of caring for pets. Helping to meet the demand for access to care improves the quality of life for both pets and their people—and prevents pets from entering shelters, too.  We’re proud to support this important work!” As with the League’s other veterinary hospital location at Yuma, the care pets will receive at CSU Spur is made possible by the generosity of the organization’s donors and funding partners, including PetSmart Charities. Both League locations will offer urgent care services, with the Veterinary Hospital at CSU Spur also providing the community with access to feline spay/neuter surgeries.

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

About PetSmart Charities®

PetSmart Charities is committed to making the world a better place for pets and all who love them. Through its in-store adoption program in all PetSmart® stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, PetSmart Charities helps up to 600,000 pets connect with loving families each year. PetSmart Charities also provides grant funding to support organizations that advocate and care for the well-being of all pets and their families. Our grants and efforts connect pets with loving homes through adoption, improve access to affordable veterinary care and support families in times of crisis with access to food, shelter and emergency relief. Each year, millions of generous supporters help pets in need by donating to PetSmart Charities directly at, while shopping at, and by using the PIN pads at checkout registers inside PetSmart® stores. In turn, PetSmart Charities efficiently uses more than 90 cents of every dollar donated to fulfill its role as the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, granting more than $500 million since its inception in 1994. Independent from PetSmart LLC, PetSmart Charities is a 501(c)(3) organization that has received the Four-Star Rating from Charity Navigator for the past 18 years in a row—placing it among the top one percent of rated charities. To learn more visit

Connect with PetSmart Charities on social media:

Instagram: @PetSmartCharities
Twitter: @PetSmartChariTs