Temporary Pet Housing Program

Providing temporary housing and care to keep families together

Photo of Safe Haven Program pet owner with small dog

The Denver Animal Protection (DAP) Temporary Pet Housing Program offers up to two weeks of shelter for pets of families who need help due to domestic violence, homelessness, fire, hospitalization or treatment and rehabilitation. DAP also provides this service to pet owners experiencing homelessness during severe cold weather (under 15 degrees).

Many pet owners do not want to give up their animals but need short-term assistance to focus on tasks that can get them into a new home or to return home. The Temporary Pet Housing Program makes it possible for pet owners to get the resources they need to improve their situations enough to welcome their pet back home again. Animals provide companionship, comfort and unconditional love to these families, and preserving the bond between families and their animals is vitally important. 

Qualifications for Temporary Pet Housing Program:

• Priority is given to Denver County residents.

• Animals must be social, so they can be handled safely.

• The availability of this program is based on our current animal population. We can only accept animals when space allows.

Participation in our Temporary Pet Housing Program requires referrals from a case worker. If you do not have a case worker, please contact Denver Human Services at 720-944-3666.

If you need assistance, you or your case worker may contact the Temporary Pet Housing Coordinator at DAPTempPetHousing@denvergov.org or call 720-337-1813. 

Temporary Pet Housing: Frequently Asked Questions

How long will you hold my pet?

Each pet will be held for two weeks, at which time we can reassess the situation and provide extensions when possible. The possibility of an extension is at the discretion of DAP staff and does consider the overall population at DAP.


What happens if my animal gets sick while at DAP?

A DAP staff member will do their best to contact the owner and get approval for any medical treatment prior to administering treatment. If the city, in its sole discretion, determines that emergency care is necessary, it will seek emergency veterinarian care and may have emergency care provided. As soon as is practicable under the circumstances, DAP staff will attempt to contact the owner to advise them that the care was provided.


Where will my pet be housed?

Every cat and dog will have their own kennel unless the owner requests that their dogs or cats be held together. They may only be housed together if they are the same sex or they are altered and they are the same species. Animals that are unaltered will be spayed or neutered while in the program at no cost. When possible, the animal will be sent into foster care through the DAP foster program.


What about disease control?

Every animal is vaccinated upon intake unless a vaccine history is provided. The risk of disease, while low, is always a possibility. If you do not wish to have your animal vaccinated, proof of vaccination history must be provided. If you cannot provide proof and do not wish to have your animal vaccinated, DAP cannot house your pet.


My animal needs medication(s), will the shelter medicate them?

All medical conditions and treatments must be disclosed prior to having the pet enter the program. Veterinary staff will determine if we are able to provide the care needed for the pet's condition.


Am I allowed to enroll in the Temporary Pet Housing Program more than once?

Unfortunately, due to limited resources we can only provide assistance once for each animal and pet owner.


Are there any other important points I should know about the Temporary Pet Housing Program agreement?

By signing the Temporary Pet Housing Program agreement, you agree that your animal may be sent to foster, and provided emergency veterinarian care, at the discretion of DAP staff, if it is in the best interest of your animal. The pet owner also agrees to regular communication with DAP staff and determine a date to pick up the animal.  


Are there restrictions for what type of pet may enter this program?

While most animals that enter this program are dogs or cats, we can accept other species if the animal population at DAS allows.


Can I visit my pet while it is in the program?

Unfortunately, we do not allow visitations while the pet is in the program. This is because ideally the pet will be in a foster home off-site. If the pet is on-site, it can be more stressful for them to see the owner and then remain at the shelter.


How You Can Help

Volunteer as a foster parent. We often take Temporary Pet Housing Program pets in at our shelter but that can stressful for an owned pet. By opening your home to an animal through this program, you not only provide a comfortable home environment for the pet, but also peace of mind for their family. Your generosity will help save lives – both human and animal. More information is available on our foster program page.

Donate Today!

You can make a contribution exclusively for Temporary Pet Housing online.