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Dumb Friends League overcrowding as shelter sees unusual drop in adoptions; pandemic may be cause

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Posted at 5:06 PM, Jun 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-10 22:02:04-04

DENVER -- Dozens of dogs are available for adoption right now through the Dumb Friends League in Denver. A number they aren’t used to seeing.

"We have an unusually high amount of dogs available for adoption," said Joan Thielen.

Thielen, with the Dumb Friends League, says what’s not unusual is the number of animals coming in.

"In the summer months, the Dumb Friends League, we tend to see an increase of pets come into the shelter. So, we have more animals in our care," explains Thielen.

What they weren’t expecting was the lack of demand from potential pet owners.

"It’s pretty average as far as how many animals are coming into the shelter now, we are however seeing fewer adopters coming into the building," Thielen told Denver7.

It’s become so crowded, the shelter is housing dogs in kennels typically reserved for animals who have already been adopted and are awaiting pickup.

From April 1 through June 9 of this year, Dumb Friends League saw an 18% drop in dog adoptions compared to 2019. That means 231 fewer dogs found a forever home in 2021. While they’re not sure why the adoption numbers are down, Thielen speculates the pandemic has played a role.

"It could be a decrease in adoptions because of people going back to work. So, they may not be home and be able to adopt right now," Theilen said.

The shelter is no longer requiring appointments. Dumb Friends is hopeful that will open the doors to potential adopters.