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National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month- October 2022


In years past, if you wanted a dog or cat, you read the newspaper ads or drove to the local pet store. Now, you read online postings or use a search engine instead of a car engine to find a pet.


Times have changed. Shopping methods have changed. But dogs and cats are the same and many of them still need homes. If you are one of the many people who want to adopt, rather than shop for a pet, we at Harmony Veterinary Center with the Lexie Fund encourage shelter adoption in celebration of National Adopt a Shelter Dog month in October.



Municipal Shelters: These shelters are city, county, or state operations funded by tax dollars. Government shelters usually combine pet adoption services with animal control duties and may be associated with police or health departments. These shelters are staffed by paid employees and often include veterinarians employed by a governing body. Most municipal shelters have facilities where you can view many dogs and cats in person.


Private shelters: Civic-minded individuals often form private animal shelters, funded by tax-deductible donations and grants. These shelters may have paid personnel, but are largely staffed by volunteers who have other full-time jobs and big hearts. Veterinarians may partner with shelters to provide healthcare for the pets. Many private shelters have brick-and-mortar facilities where you can visit potential adoptees, while others house pets in volunteer foster homes and organize adoption days at specified locations.


Shelters We Recommend


  • The Good Dog Rescue, Westminster
  • Dumb Friends League, Denver
  • Larimer Humane Society, Loveland
  • Humane Society of Boulder Valley, Boulder
  • Brighter Days Dog Rescue, Boulder
  • Colorado Animal Rescue, Glenwood Springs
  • Denver Animal Shelter
  • Aurora Animal Shelter


Searching Online

You can use a general search engine to find local rescue agencies in your area or you can visit one of the larger websites such as,, or, all of which will direct you to local shelters.


One of the oldest and best known animal rescue organizations is the ASPCA. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was the first humane society to be founded in North America. You can look for a dog or cat on ASPCA’s national database by visiting their website and typing in your zip code to locate pets in your area that are in need of your love.


The goal of the ASPCA is to move pets from shelters to homes and to lawfully protect them. With a national outreach, this group can level out the supply and demand of homeless pets. The ASPCA transports pets from high supply/low demand areas to parts of the country where adoption may be more likely. is another national group that has an enormous database, including almost 14,000 animal shelters and adoption facilities. It provides additional pet care information and a venue for online discussions. PetFinder also guides you to web pages of local shelters. is another website that allows you to enter your zip code to localize your pet search. Although they do not have pets physically available for you to go visit, you are able to see photographs of your potential new family member and click on the photo to find out more about him. Adopt-a-pet will provide contact information for shelters and rescue organization’s address and visiting hours so you can meet your next pet in person.


Large or small, local or national, these online resources have the same goal: match available pets with the most suitable homes.


Shelter Adoption Advantages

If you visit a shelter, you can see many pets at one time, making picking out a new pet convenient and fun! You can personally talk to staff members and volunteers to get first-hand information about each dog and cat.


The biggest advantage of adopting a pet at a shelter is the ability to give a lucky dog or cat a loving home, and you will forever be their hero. There are many sources to find adoptable pets. Whether you are a walk-about shopper or an online shopper, you are sure to find the right fur baby for you!


Contributors: Tammy Hunter, DVM; Lynn Buzhardt, DVM, Megan Burns

© Copyright 2021 LifeLearn Inc. Used and/or modified with permission under license.