Dog Adoption in Colorado

Adopt A dogWhen you want to adopt a dog, you might start with a Google search for something like dog adoption Colorado, dog adoption Colorado Springs or dog adoption Denver. And Google will obligingly return hundreds of different options. But how do you decide where to go? At Colorado Canine Advocates, we’ve assembled a searchable database of respected dog adoption places where you can adopt a dog that is right for you. But before you start your search here are some things you might want to know.

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Dog Shelters vs Humane Society vs Dog Rescues

In the world of dog adoption there are a plethora of places you can turn to adopt a dog. And although some may have similar names, they are not similar at all. Let’s start with dog shelters. Dog shelters are typically run by local government. It is where animal control brings dogs that are found running loose.

Not all cities or towns have a government run dog shelter. For instance, Colorado Springs’ dog shelter is the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region (HSPPR.)  But HSPPR is not run by the city of Colorado Springs or El Paso County. It is a non-profit that raises money through animal adoptions and charitable donations.

In Denver, there is the Denver Animal Shelter which is run by the City of Denver and where you can adopt pets, and there are two humane societies; The Colorado Humane Society and SPCA, and The Humane Society of The South Platte Valley in Littleton. However, The Colorado Humane Society and SPCA is not a shelter and does not have animals for adoption. Their sole mission is to investigate cruelty to animals. The Humane Society of the South Platte Valley on the other hand, is a non-profit, private shelter where you can adopt dogs. Confused? Let’s see if we can clarify this for you.

Across the nation there are businesses with the words “Humane Society” in their name. They are each independently owned and operated. And they are not related in any way to The Humane Society of the United States. The Humane Society of the United States is not a shelter but a non-profit organization whose mission is to fight all forms of animal cruelty around the world to make the world a more humane society.

Then there are dog rescues. For nearly every breed of dog there is a dog rescue from which you can adopt a dog. Dog rescues are mostly non-profit and the majority do not have physical locations. They are run by volunteers who foster dogs who are in need of forever homes. To adopt a dog from a dog rescue you’ll search through available dogs on the dog rescue’s website (if they have one) and then call to make an appointment to meet a particular dog. Of all the places where you can adopt a dog, the process of adopting from a dog rescue group is the most time consuming because the dogs are not in one central location. However, they do bring together the specific breed you want which can make it easier.

Regardless of whether you adopt a dog from a shelter or a rescue organization you need to know they all have their own rules, and each has different adoption prices. With a shelter you may be able to take a dog home the same day. With a rescue group you may have to be qualified before you can adopt. Either way you will want to research the organization from whom you will adopt to understand their process before you venture out.


stop-Places where you should not adopt a dog-stop


Craigslist prohibits the selling of dogs on its site but there are plenty of ads for dogs being “rehomed” who charge a “rehoming fee.” Unfortunately, Craigslist is also filled with scammers who will post photos of dogs that don’t exist. You will fall in love. They will request you to wire money to hold the dog and they will never produce a dog. You’ll be out whatever money they charged you.

Then there are also puppy mills selling dogs under the guise of “rehoming” the animal. The fees will be higher than normal adoption fees because they are actually selling the dog not “rehoming” it. Either way you don’t want to adopt a dog from Craigslist.

TIP: When shopping for a dog online, NEVER give out your credit card information, wire money, send gift cards or agree to adopt a dog sight unseen. Scammers are everywhere. And unbeknownst to you if it isn't a scam, you might be buying from a puppy mill.

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At Colorado Canine Advocates we are all volunteers**100% of donations go toward direct costs involved with advancing our mission and helping dogs.