Colorado Animal Shelters top 100,000 Dog & Cat Adoptions in 2015
Milestone reached for the first time ever, but there is still much work to be done.
Denver CO June 6, 2016, (eReleases) — Colorado shelters surpassed 100,000 dog and cat adoptions for the first time ever according to statistics released by the Colorado Department of Agriculture today, hitting 100,282. Including rabbits, hamsters, birds, and others, 105,340 animals were adopted overall.
“This is a tremendous milestone,” said Davyd Smith, president of No Kill Colorado. “Not only because we topped 100,000 adoptions, but because Colorado has the most communities saving 90% or more of all animals in the country and is poised to become the first verifiable No Kill state. In terms of saving lives, Colorado is setting the pace nationally.”
Overall, 86% of Colorado dogs were saved (90% if out of state dogs are included), 83% of cats were saved, 74% of birds, 87% of rabbits, 85% of “pocket pets” (other small mammals), 96% of reptiles, and 83% of fish and “farmed” animals.
“There was great hope that Colorado would save 90% or more of all the animals,” said Nathan Winograd, the national director for the No Kill Advocacy Center which tracks shelter save rates nationwide. “Except for reptiles, that did not occur, which means animals continue to be killed needlessly, but Colorado is close and exceeds many states.”
Unfortunately, not all communities shared in the success. Moreover, some communities continue to ban dogs based on the way they look. While Colorado bans new breed-discriminatory legislation, it has grandfathered in existing laws and cities like Denver and Aurora continue to ban and kill healthy and friendly “pit bulls.”
“While we should be immensely gratified and Colorado approaching a 90% save rate for dogs is something to celebrate, clearly there are still lots of animals being needlessly killed and more work to be done,” said Smith. “Indeed, some large No Kill communities such as Austin Texas, save 96% of all pets and others are saving 98%, even 99%. We can do better and we can do this statewide.”
More than 30,000 homeless pets were imported into the state in 2015, Smith noted. This creates additional stress on the system to save Colorado pets. “We should absolutely help our neighbors when we can, but are we doing it at the expense of local pets?” adds Smith.
No Kill Colorado
No Kill Colorado is a 501(c)3 that advocates for the implementation of the No Kill Equation in Colorado’s shelters. They have been active in rural adoption, spay/neuter, and shelter change programs since 2011.
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