Adopting my dog, Zed, was one of the smartest things I’ve ever done. In the 12 lovely years since I found my beastie buddy at the Humane Society, we’ve been through a lot. From apartments to houses with big backyards, single or double occupancy, Zed has been there.
Even before I adopted Zed, I was a staunch supporter of going the rescue route rather than buying from a puppy mill and, if you haven’t discovered it already, you’ll soon find out that Boulder loves its rescue pets!
If you’re currently looking for a new addition to your family, be it cat, dog, bird, or some other creature, there are several amazing animal shelters in Boulder.
The “big dog,” if you’ll pardon the pun in Boulder is the Humane Society. As I mentioned before, I got my dog at the Humane Society, so I have a soft spot for them in my heart. One unique aspect of their adoption process is that families have the ability to put animals “on hold” over the phone (for a fee, of course) so that they can ensure that they have time to get the whole family down to meet the pet at once. They keep their website very up to date, so it’s very likely what you see online are the actual animals available for adoption at their shelter.
Their adoption fees range depending on the demand for a pet. Younger animals and certain breeds that are traditionally popular cost more to adopt in order to cover the costs for other animals that may need more care or stay at the shelter for longer to find their fur-ever family.
Heck, even if you’re not looking for your own pet to adopt, next month is their annual Doggie Dash (more to come on that from us here at YourBoulder.com soon)! It’s always a barking good time.
Foothills offers dogs, cats, and other small pets (rabbits, guinea pigs, or mice) for adoption and has a similar sliding scale adoption fee structure to HSBV. Puppies and kittens are typically on the higher side of costs for adoption fees.
They also have a great opportunity called the “Adopt a Barn Cat” program, which allows families to adopt cats that are better suited for outdoor life, whether they prefer the company of other animals to people or they just prefer to be outside. Many of them are excellent mousers as a bonus. In order to qualify, you’ll need to prove you have suitable outdoor space for the cat, including somewhere warm and dry for them to use when they need.
Unlike the other two shelters above, Farfel’s Farm doesn’t have a physical shelter. The “farm” is a shop located on Pearl Street Mall and they rely on foster parents to house the dogs until they’re ready to be adopted into their fur-ever home. And, yes, they only foster and adopt dogs (but their shop has goodies for both dogs and cats).
Their fee structure is a straight $445 per pup, which includes spay/neuter, a microchip, temperament testing, all vaccinations, and any additional medical treatments needed prior to adoption. You can also do a 3-month payment plan if you need this option.
Additionally, Farfel’s rescue service has a 2-week foster period for families to get to know the dog better on their own terms. If, after 2 weeks, the dog is not the right fit, they will find a family that works with the dog and a dog that works for your family. I really like this option, because it allows people to fully experience all the dog’s “moods” and reactions to stimuli.
If you’re an avid hiker, camper, or all over outdoors person, then this is a great rescue group for you. Summit Dogs focuses on rescuing “mountain dogs” from kill shelters and put a lot of focus on ensuring that their dogs are paired with the perfect outdoor-loving humans.
To make sure their dogs are getting the right training and care, Summit Dog Rescue requires adopters to sign up for force-free/positive-reinforcement training classes and every pooch adopted comes with a Freedom Harness.
Plus, if you’re a good fit with one of their active mountain dogs, you absolutely must go check out YourBoulder contributor, Alli Fronzagli’s, almost weekly hiking blogs (I know, shameless plug, but it fits so well!).
Ultimately, when you make the decision to adopt a pet, you’re helping give an animal a second chance, and both parties win when you adopt instead of shop.