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Dog adoptions slow at Humane Society of Boulder Valley

“There’s been a long length of stay for the dogs waiting to get homes,” said the organization’s CEO.
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Iris Kelly (left) and Sarah Wise volunteer their time walking dogs for the Humane Society of Boulder Valley.

Dozens of dogs are waiting for an unusually long time to get adopted from the Humane Society of Boulder Valley, said Jan McHugh-Smith, the organization’s CEO.

“We’ve seen a real slow down in our dog adoptions,” she said. “Most shelters in Colorado are actually very full of dogs right now — we’ve seen an increase in people relinquishing dogs.”

More stray dogs are also being brought into shelters, McHugh-Smith said.

“It’s part of one of the struggles we’re really having right now.”

More than 40 dogs are waiting to be adopted from the Humane Society, she explained.

“It’s been really interesting this year, because normally we don’t have any trouble getting our dogs adopted out, but starting in the spring, we saw a real slow down in dog adoptions,” McHugh-Smith said. 

“Our cat adoptions have been steady, but the dog adoptions have not been high, so there’s been a long length of stay for the dogs waiting to get homes. When that happens, it’s a lot more work to keep those dogs mentally and physically healthy.”

Volunteers are trying to walk the dogs more and the organization’s veterinarians are ensuring the dogs stay healthy, but there’s no substitute for being adopted by a loving family, she said.

“We are hoping that people come down and take a look at the wonderful dogs we have,” McHugh-Smith explained.

There are likely many reasons why dog adoptions have slowed, she said.

“One is it’s very difficult to find a place to live that allows pets if you’re renting,” the CEO explained. “I think the slow down of the economy has had an effect on people.”

People were also adopting dogs at high rates during the pandemic, and now their lifestyles are changing, she said.

“They’re having the opportunity to travel more, and there may not be an interest in taking on an adoption at this point.”

Those who are interested in adopting a dog can visit the Humane Society of Boulder Valley website for more information. And those who can’t adopt can still support pets by making a donation to the organization.