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kittenFounded in 1910, the Dumb Friends League is a national leader in providing humane care to lost and abandoned animals, rescuing sick, injured and abused animals, adopting pets to new homes, helping pets stay in homes, and educating pet owners and the public about the needs of companion animals.

The Dumb Friends League is the largest animal welfare organization in the Rocky Mountain region, welcoming tens of thousands animals to our two shelters. We turn no animals away.

At our main shelter in southeast Denver and our Buddy Center in Castle Rock, dogs, cats, rabbits and other small pets enjoy the comfort of a nurturing environment in state-of-the-art facilities.

Why we're called the Dumb Friends League: When our organization was founded in 1910, it was named after a London, England, animal shelter called Our Dumb Friends League. In those days, the term "dumb" was often used to refer to those who were unable to speak.

Although the term "dumb" is not generally used with that meaning today, we've kept our name, because it has significant recognition among Colorado residents.

The mission statement of the Dumb Friends League includes these words: “speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves," meaning our companion animal friends.

We are a private, nonprofit organization, and thanks to the support of many individual, foundation and corporate donors, we continue to make a big difference for the people and animals in our community and beyond.

The Dumb Friends League is an open-admission shelter: The Dumb Friends League welcomes every animal in need. We turn no animals away. We are defined as an “open admission” shelter.

There are other organizations that call themselves “no kill” shelters, but we find the term misleading. These organizations are more accurately defined as “limited admission” shelters, because, generally speaking, they have to restrict the number of animals they take in. They may turn away those that aren’t healthy or behaviorally sound. To operate successfully, they have to limit their intake to animals that can be adopted quickly.

As an open-admission shelter, we take in ill and injured animals and those that are not immediate candidates for adoption. We receive pets that are no longer wanted, pets from people who can no longer care for them, as well as stray animals.

We work hard to give second chances to every healthy or rehabilitatable animal, and we do a very good job. Read more >>


Watch this short video to find out how you can bring home a new furry friend!

adoptAdoption Tips: The adoption process can take an hour or longer, and sometimes there is a wait to see an adoption counselor. Try to visit the shelter during the week or right when we open if possible.

For your convenience, you can also schedule an appointment with an adoption counselor who will help you find your next furry friend. Appointments are available at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday. To make an appointment, call our Customer Service team at (303) 751-5772, Ext. 6800.

We recommend you bring your children to visit with the pets you are interested in. You may also bring your family dog if you are looking for a new dog. We do not recommend cat-dog visits or cat-cat visits.

While you are at our shelters, please visit our Sit…Stay…Shops. Our prices are competitive with other pet supply stores, and our animal care experts can help you choose food, toys and other supplies for your new pet. All proceeds benefit the animals in our care.

We receive many animals each day, so if we don't have what you are looking for when you visit, please come back another day.

:: Check out the Animals Available for Adoption ::

Adoption Procedures

  1. When you arrive at the Quebec Street shelter, we suggest you use our interactive Find-a-Friend stations located in the lobby. The information will help you find the type of dog, cat or small pet that best fits your lifestyle.
  2. Walk through the kennels and take a look at the pets available for adoption at either shelter. Be sure to write down the kennel numbers of those you are interested in meeting.
  3. Sign in at the dog or cat desk and type your information into the Find-a-Friend station at the Quebec Street shelter as we operate on a "first come, first serve basis." You can also find out more information about the animals you want to visit and be sure they are still available.
  4. When your name is called you will meet with an adoption counselor who will help you choose an animal that best fits your expectations and lifestyle. Feel free to ask for recommendations. We work with our animals every day and may know the perfect one for you.
  5. You may take your new pet home right away if he or she is already spayed or neutered. Otherwise, we’ll do the surgery and you can pick up your pet between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. the following day. (If you are adopting from the Buddy Center™, pick up days and times may vary).

Included with each adoption:

  • Spay or neuter for dogs, cats, rabbits and ferrets
  • Medical examination for general good health
  • Preliminary vaccinations
  • Microchip identification implant
  • Collar and I.D. tag Leash or carrier
  • Fifteen-day health care program
  • Free office visit by a member of the Denver Area Veterinary Medical Society

*Note: Rabies vaccinations are not included. Such vaccinations are required by Colorado law for cats, dogs and ferrets. Please discuss an appropriate vaccination schedule during your free office visit to a participating veterinarian.



  • donate Online: Put your paw here to use their secure online donation form.
  • Visiting the shelter: Donations may be dropped off during PetIntake hours at either of our locations: 2080 S. Quebec Street in Denver; or the Buddy Center at 4556 Castleton Court in Castle Rock. Put your paw here for directions and hours. You may also drop off donations at one of our Care-avan event locations. Put your paw here for upcoming event locations.
  • By Mail: Your gift to the Dumb Friends League will help us save as many as 19,000 pets a year. Put your paw here to download our donations form.
  • Some other fun ways to donate money:


  • Monetary donations
  • Cat treats/tuna/baby food
  • Dog treats: hard and soft, peanut butter, hot dogs, cheese
  • Dog toys: Nylabones, Kongs
  • Pig ears
  • Meat-flavored baby food without onions or garlic
  • Canned cat food
  • Bleach, laundry and dish soap
  • Towels: all sizes from face cloth to bath size
  • Pet cushions you can make (please see instructions on our website)
  • Housetraining pads
  • Paper towels
  • Trash bags: 45 gallon or larger
  • Digital cameras and memory cards for digital cameras
  • AA, AAA and D batteries (preferably rechargeable)
  • Small diameter wooden dowel rods
  • Cotton balls
  • Q-tips
  • Sandwich bags
  • Toothbrushes
  • Scouring pads
  • Pet cushions you can make
  • Pill pockets


They need you. We need you. Volunteer today. Volunteers are very important people at the Dumb Friends League. As the largest animal welfare organization in the Rocky Mountain region,we rely on the assistance of caring and hard-working volunteers in all of our programs. In a year's time, the League receives more than 25,000 lost, unwanted and abused pets, and helps tens of thousands of people and animals throughout the Denver metro area, and beyond.

At our main shelter in southeast Denver and our Buddy Center in Castle Rock, dogs, cats, rabbits and other small pets enjoy the comfort of a nurturing environment in state-of-the-art facilities.

The Dumb Friends League encourages the participation of volunteers who support the following mission: to provide shelter and care for animals; to provide programs and services that enhance the bond between animals and people; to be advocates for animals … speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves.

All potential volunteers must be interviewed prior to placement. We also require that all volunteers participate in our training program as part of their work experience. If you agree with our mission and are willing to be interviewed and trained, we encourage you to complete this application. The information on this form will help us find the most satisfying and appropriate job for you.

To get started download and complete the application and mail it to us, or stop by either the Quebec Street or Buddy Center shelters, or you may call (303) 751-5772, Ext. 1933.

Home with Hearts Foster Care: The goal of the Dumb Friends League Homes with Hearts foster care program is to rehabilitate as many animals as possible in order to make them available for adoption. With the help of our dedicated volunteers, more than 3,500 animals entered the program during our 2008 fiscal year. Cats, kittens, dogs, puppies and a variety of small mammals were included in this number. The Dumb Friends League is proud to have had this life-saving program for more than 20 years.

Prospective adult foster parents complete an application and a personal interview with our volunteer services manager. Prospective Junior Foster Parents register first with our volunteer services manager (303) 751-5772, Ext. 7246. Read more about the Homes with Hearts Foster Care program >>


Check out our Adoption Stories


Quebec Street shelter
2080 South Quebec Street
Denver, CO 80231
(303) 751-5772 (Click here for directions)

Buddy Center™
4556 Castleton Court
Castle Rock, CO 80109
(303) 751-5772 (Click here for directions)

Investigations: If you suspect animal neglect, cruelty or abandonment, click here. Your report will remain confidential.

Contact by email



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