NoCo Animal Shelters face Adoption Shortage

Oct 24, 2022 | Member News

Lingering effects from Covid-19 cause animals to be surrendered to shelters faster than they are being adopted  

Northern Colorado animal shelters feel a post-Covid pinch as more animals enter shelters while fewer are being adopted.  Animal Friends Alliance, Humane Society of Weld County, and Larimer Humane Society are teaming up to ask the community to open their homes to foster or adopted shelter pets. Across the country, animal shelters are at – or exceeding – maximum capacity.  Animals, especially dogs, are surrendered to shelters at a rate consistently outpacing adoptions.  This overcrowding is due to several factors, including reduced numbers of adopters and foster parents compared to pre-pandemic levels and more pets and pet families losing their homes.

Covid-19 Impact

Covid has continued to impact financial and housing security for many Coloradans.  When people struggle, their pets struggle too.  Inflation, job loss, evictions, and other financial factors cause more people to have to rehome their pets or surrender them to shelters.  Increasing rent, pet fees, and pet deposits prevent some pet owners from accessing affordable housing. This has been particularly challenging for the owners of medium and large dogs, who face additional size and breed restrictions for their furry friends.

The pandemic has taken its toll on animal shelters, and dogs are the most brutal hit. Spring and summer are generally the busiest time of the year for adoptions, but animals stay at shelters longer this year, Waiting for adopters to come forward.  Nationwide, euthanasia rates in shelters may rise over the coming weeks. In much of the southern United States, where shelter populations are highest, shelters are euthanizing pets simply because they have nowhere to put them. This creates additional pressure for shelters and rescues in pet-friendly communities like Northern Colorado as out-of-state shelters seek places where their animals will have a chance at adoption.   “Historically, we would receive requests from one or two partners weekly.  Recently we got requests from 5 shelters in a single weekend.  We help as many animals as we can, but the scope of the current need is overwhelming.”

Animal Friends Alliance, Humane Society of Weld County, and Larimer Humane Society need our community for help.

There are several ways that you can help animals in need:

  • Adopt a pet. Visit one of your local shelters.  Ask about the pets who have been there the longest or find the animal who tugs on your heartstrings. It’s a great time to adopt because fuller shelters mean various ages, sizes, and types of pets to choose from.
  • Foster a pet. Reach out to your local shelter and enroll as a foster volunteer. Fostering helps that animal and increases the shelter’s capacity to help another pet.  Fostering for even a short time can give an animal a break from the shelter. Which makes room for another animal in need.
  • Donate to your local shelter. Additional financial support helps to ensure that shelters have the resources to provide for the beautiful animals in our care.

“This is a problem our communities can help us solve,” says Nicholas Gilman, executive director of the Humane Society of Weld County.  “Please help us by participating in our adoption, foster or donor programs so that our programs can reach the most animals.”


Animal Friends Alliance, Humane Society of Weld County, and Larimer Humane Society currently have over 100 animals waiting to be adopted.

Visit their shelters and save a life today.

Kane, a two-and-a-half-year-old husky/shepherd mix, is waiting to find his family at Animal Friends Alliance.