AURORA | Aurora’s Animal Shelter is asking for the public’s help emptying its kennels of dogs, cats and other friendly critters, after announcing Tuesday that it has reached capacity and can’t accept any more surrendered pets.
“There are still resources out there for people who feel they’re backed into a corner,” community outreach coordinator Nicole Robbins said, mentioning the shelter’s pet food bank for pet owners struggling to afford their animals. “For people who are thinking about surrendering, it’s always a good idea to see if friends or family can take an animal, even if it’s just temporarily.”
Robbins said the city-run facility has been grappling with a rise in pet owners giving up their animals this year, and that it wasn’t clear what was behind the increase. The capacity of the shelter varies depending on the size and types of animals, but Robbins estimated the shelter can house up to 100 dogs at one time.
She added that shelters across the Front Range are dealing with the same problem.
“We’ve had a large increase in the city’s population over the years, which is directly correlated to the number of pets we see here, but unfortunately we’re in this same facility that was built in the ‘80s,” she said.
“We’ve sometimes been able to lean on other shelters in the area, but with everyone feeling the squeeze, we haven’t been able to rely on those partnerships like we have in the past.”
Aurora is tackling the crisis locally by offering to cut adoption fees in half for prospective pet parents interested in taking home any animal older than 6 months. Aurora residents who adopt an animal will also receive a free pet license.
Regular adoption fees for dogs range from $138-$178, and the city is offering 50% off those fees. Un-discounted cat adoption fees range from $66- 127
The program was launched with the help of Councilmember Danielle Jurinsky, who promoted it during Monday’s City Council meeting.
“More animals are being surrendered than people are going in and adopting,” Jurinsky said Monday. “Please, if you’re thinking about getting any animal, please visit the Aurora Animal Shelter.”
Members of the public who don’t want to adopt can still help by fostering a dog or donating items needed by the shelter. More information about joining the shelter’s foster team is available at AuroraGov.org/Volunteer, and a link to the shelter’s Amazon wish list is available through the shelter website at AuroraAnimalShelter.org.
Aurorans who are having a hard time affording food for their pet can also take advantage of the shelter’s food bank — information about the food bank can be found by calling the shelter at 303-326-8280.
Photos and other information about pets up for adoption can be found at bit.ly/3wpyIJv, or by calling the shelter.
Robbins encouraged anyone who needs help picking the right animal for them to reach out.
“You should consider what a right fit for your family looks like. Do you want to be able to bring it with you to the brewery, or do you want an animal that’s more high-energy? Or you might like how a husky looks but you might not run 10 miles a day,” she said.
“And you can always give us a call and talk about it, and we’d be happy to help you find the right fit too.”