DENVER — It was love at first sight at the Dumb Friends League animal shelter in Denver Thursday.
Francis Eaton and his roommate adopted a 3-year-old Siberian Husky, named Kodah, and may be paying another visit to the shelter.
"There is a few animals that I might even come back after the fact and pick up," Eaton said.
That would be an ideal situation for the shelter.
There are about 1,500 animals at the shelter's three locations, which is an increase of about 400 pets compared to this time last year.
"We're sort of just playing catch up right now," said Joan Thielen, the shelter's spokeswoman.
Thielen says 300 animals are up for adoption, which is 120 more animals compared to last year.
At their Denver location, the overcrowding is beginning to creep into other parts of the facility. Smaller animals were seen in their cages stacked in hallways.
Thielen cites the pandemic for the influx.
"Adoptions really had to shift due to the limited number of people who could actually come inside of our adoption centers at any given time," Thielen said.
Currently, the shelter is experiencing a 3% drop of dog adoptions compared to this time last year. That's about 140 fewer dogs being adopted.
"Having this many pets in our care puts a huge impact on not just the animals, but also our team and staff," Thielen said.
Now, it's an all hands on deck situation. Employees that don't usually deal with animals are stepping in.
That includes workers from the marketing team and public affairs, like Ali Mickelson.
"My big role was cleaning and helping to refresh water and do all of those things in the cat kennels," Mickelson said.
If it isn't obvious, the shelter's goal is to have more animals adopted out to forever homes.
Currently, they are even offering a "name your own price" incentive for the public to adopt their rodents, which include rabbits, gerbils, hamsters, etc.
Information regarding the incentive and the adoption process can be found here.