5 of CO’s Best Animal Shelters to Adopt, Volunteer, Donate


ACROSS CO – Famous jazz pianist Nat King Cole sang in ‘LOVE’, ‘L is for the way you look at me’.

Anyone who’s ever rescued an animal from a shelter knows what it’s like.

This look can stare you in the face every day when you walk through the door. National Adopt-A-Pet Day was Saturday, but many animals in shelters are still waiting for their forever families to choose them.

Different times of the year bring different challenges to animal shelters, such as rabbits given as Easter gifts that are then neglected and handed over to animal shelters, where they are most likely to be euthanized. Whatever the season, the animals in the shelter are waiting for you.


We’ve listed some of the best animal shelters and sanctuaries in Colorado that provide the most compassionate care. Remember: Adopt, don’t buy.

Don’t worry if you are unable to adopt a shelter animal. Organizations all need the help of volunteers to keep things running smoothly and to provide amazing animal services. Beyond volunteering at the shelter, you can foster animals and allow shelters to continue accepting animals. Placement also allows animals to socialize and learn skills.

If the organization you want to help is too far away or if volunteering isn’t possible for you, check an organization’s wish list for supplies or make a donation.

The Best Animal Shelters to Adopt and Support in Colorado

Foothills Animal Shelter

  • This shelter is dedicated to not only helping pets in need, but also making sure that families in need receive support. Plus, it accepts a huge variety of pets, with a plethora of different types listed online in its small pets section. Through partnerships with other community organizations, it offers pet food, pet supplies, vaccines and sterilization services to families in need, and it provides short-term housing upon request. .
  • Find more information about Foothills Animal Shelter here. Here is more information on adoption, volunteering, promotion or donations. Check here how to donate while shopping online on particular sites.
  • Find resources for families in need here.

“We believe that pets are an integral part of the family, and we know that both family and their pets benefit when pets can remain or be reunited with their owners after a traumatic experience. As part of our work to keep pets pets with their families, we’ve partnered with social service agencies and our animal control partners to bring services to the citizens of Jefferson County Simply put, it’s the right thing to do to improve the lives of people and pets.

Rescue of puppies with innocent paws

  • Innocent Paws is a non-profit organization that rescues mothers with its litters and motherless litters from overcrowded shelters and accepts unplanned litters from the community when the family only wants to keep the mother dog (they also pay for neutering ). It provides foster environments, medical care, and emotional support to prepare dogs for adoption. Additionally, Innocent Paws has a strong focus on supporting new pet parents to keep a dog out of a shelter and educating the community.
  • Find more information about Innocent Paws Puppy Rescue here. Here’s more information on adopting dogs, a wide range of volunteer options, the foster care program, or donations.

“Innocent Paws Puppy Rescue is a 501(c)(3) non-profit rescue organization dedicated to helping mother dogs and their puppies out of crowded shelters and into loving homes. Our mission is to help decompress high-volume overcrowded shelters and reduce euthanasia rates by removing vulnerable mother pups and their litters, and motherless litters from these environments.”

Big Bones Canine Rescue

  • This rescue aims to save all dogs, regardless of factors that might affect someone else’s decision not to rescue a dog, such as breed. It specializes in large breeds, but small, medium and other sizes are also welcome here. It is entirely volunteer run by a group of over 400 people.
  • It also offers a particularly fun (and inexpensive) way to help a dog and the shelter: A Dog Daze Out, in which a volunteer takes a dog that is currently in BBCR facilities (not placed with a foster home). home) on a road trip to take a bath, to the cafe for a “puppaccino” and a walk with lots of selfies for social media promotion – just might find a new home that way.
  • Find more information about Big Bones Canine Rescue here. Get more information on adoption, volunteering, fostering or donating.

“We are a non-profit 501(c)3, all-breed dog shelter located in Windsor, CO, dedicated to helping dogs in need! While our hearts are with the giant breeds, our mission is to save dogs from death, disease, and misfortune regardless of size, age, breed, or health.[…]We successfully rescued nearly 2,000 dogs in 2020, over 90% of which came from high mortality areas. Unlike some rescues, we prefer to focus our efforts on adult and senior dogs in need, but puppies have our hearts too.”

life is better

  • This rescue is on a mission to improve the lives of everyone involved in the rescue process through education of animals and new pet parents, with ongoing support after adoption. Life is Better works to save animals at risk of euthanasia and as such will “accept what [they] are legally capable” in terms of species and save a “variety of animals of all ages”. Because the goal is to improve everyone’s life – not just to rescue, neuter and adopt the animal – this rescue has educational materials online.
  • Life is Better has a variety of partnerships that support the rescue through online shopping listed on its homepage and on the site. A few include: Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co. with code LifeIsBetter, BarkBox with code LifBBX1 and selecting them from AmazonSmile.
  • Find more information about Life is Better Rescue here. Get more information on adoption, volunteering, fostering or donating.

“We are proud of what we can bring to our pets and the families who adopt them. We want everyone in our adoption process to have a better life at the end – and we do everything we can to ensure that When you adopt from Life is Better Rescue – you get the complete rescue kit – not just a dog or cat that is neutered.”

National Mill Dog Rescue

  • National Mill Dog Rescue fights puppy mills and rescues puppy mill survivors, giving them proper medical care and attention that they haven’t been shown. Its motto is to “rescue, rehabilitate and rehome” dogs that have been abandoned by commercial breeding and to educate the public about the horrors of this industry. The rescue relies on a team of over 400 volunteers, most of whom are local.
  • National Dog Mill Rescue participates in several stores and offers programs that support the rescue – for example, by shopping online or linking shopping cards. Some opportunities to support the rescue, such as an app that monitors dog walking, require no purchase. Take a look at an option that might work for you.
  • Find more information about National Mill Dog Rescue here. Get more information on adoption, volunteering, fostering or donating. Also keep an eye out for upcoming events – the next one is Dog Jog 2022.

“The NMDR has rescued over 16,000 puppy mill survivors. Every dog ​​that comes through our doors is spayed or neutered and receives all additional medical care needed, no exceptions. They are cared for, many of them for the whole first time. Years of dirt and matted fur are removed, allowing the beautiful dog underneath to shine. Soon, they discover all the simple pleasures they’ve never known before – clean water, toys and treats, soft beds, and most importantly, the love of a human companion.”

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