Carbondale Shelter Has Higher Admission Rates | Messages


When people were told to stay home during the first spread of COVID-19 in 2020, pet adoptions from animal shelters skyrocketed.

However, in 2021, shelters across the country reported a record number of the same animals being returned or given to shelters.

The Carbondale-based nonprofit Colorado Animal Rescue, better known as CARE, has an adoptable shelter population made up of stray, local homeless animals, as well as animals given or relocated by other organizations like Mesa County Animal Services of Grand Junction, Denver Dumb Friends League, the La Plata Humane Society in Durango, and two animal shelters in Utah.

In 2020, at the height of stay-at-home orders, CARE also saw fewer animals arriving at the shelter than in 2019, either as strays or fewer abandoned pets fleeing their homes during the work day as people work from home or unable to go about their jobs. This became an opportunity with the increased demand for adoptions.

“We were able to transfer more animals from partner organizations and saw a shorter stay for these animals. With limited staff and our own limitations due to COVID, that balance between low intake and higher adoption rates worked well and we celebrated the number of animals that found their new homes quickly, ”he said.

In 2021, CARE saw a shift back to “pre-pandemic admission rates,” meaning stray intakes remained lower, but levies were in line with their 2019 numbers of 256 animals.

“The adoption interest remains constant with an average of 625 adopted animals per year. But as owner abandonment increases, we see animals in need of a more specific type of home, which increases the average total length of stay for these pets. Overall, we live in a community that cares a lot about their pets, but the challenges of a busy lifestyle, high cost of living and limited housing become more apparent as we enter a new normal, “said Boyd.

There are many reasons why someone can give up an animal. While there have been cases of neglect and even outright abuse, more often the situation is beyond the control of the animal owner.

“The reasons for an owner to give their pet to the shelter are often big changes in life, such as major health problems, financial burdens, changing jobs or losing their home. In other cases, the animal may have developed a health or behavior problem that the owner cannot manage. In almost all of these scenarios, the owner is trying to do what is best for the animal and these owners are usually quite heartbroken. In our area, the two most prevalent reasons for an owner to give up their pet are housing restrictions – or the lack of available pet-friendly accommodation to rent – and animal behavior problems, ”Boyd said.

This does not mean that animals are given for lack of love. Even qualified pet owners can find themselves in situations that leave no other choice but to part with an animal.

When adopting a pet, there are a few things you need to consider before making the final decision to add another family member. For example, whether the animal goes well with the home or the lifestyle; whether the owner can provide adequate exercise, attention, and training to the pet; and whether the owner can properly meet the animal’s medical and basic needs.

“At CARE, we believe that the most important factors that owners should consider before adopting are individual pet related. Very rarely do we advise against adopting a pet, instead we hope to lead an owner to their best mate in a companion and offer the resources to make that adoption successful, ”added Boyd.

For more information about pet adoption, animal care, volunteering, or donations, visit

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