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Denver Animal Shelter closes adoptions and vaccination clinics, highlights crucial ways people can help

Due to ongoing concerns surrounding COVID-19, Denver Animal Protection is taking precautionary steps to avoid virus transmission, including closing adoptions and vaccination clinics at Denver Animal Shelter. Denver Animal Protection is hoping for the community’s support during this time to continue to provide limited services to Denver’s human and animal populations.

Denver Animal Shelter remains open for limited intake and stray pet services, as we must reunite lost pets with their families. We respectfully request that anyone who is currently ill (or has any known risk factors related to the virus) not visit Denver Animal Shelter. If you are searching for a lost pet, please contact us at 720-913-1311.

For lost/stray animals, DAP is asking finders to hold onto stray animals and help to find owners for reunions to keep more animals out of the shelter. Thank you for your willingness and help with this effort. Here are some helpful tips in finding the pet’s owner:

1.    Bring the pet to a veterinary office to be scanned for a microchip. DAP can assist by tracing microchips and tag identification. Please call 720-337-1810 or email, if you need assistance.

2.    Post fliers near where you found the pet and alert neighbors.

3.    Post the pet’s information and photo on NextDoor, Craigslist, and PetHarbor.

Denver Animal Protection officers will continue to respond to high-priority calls as they are able. For assistance from Denver Animal Protection, please call 720-913-2080.

DAP is asking the community to keep owner-surrender pets in homes unless it’s a true emergency. We understand that it can be a very difficult decision to surrender an animal. If you need to surrender your pet, we ask that you attempt to rehome pets to keep pets out of shelters (many of which are also closing adoptions and struggling to place animals during the COVID-19 pandemic). Anyone considering relinquishing a pet should determine if they can continue to care for that pet until community functions have stabilized. If you are unable to do so due to a safety concern with your pet, please call 720-337-1810 for assistance.


We desperately need your support during this time to continue to provide limited services to Denver’s human and animal populations. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding. Community members who are eager to help offset the potential impact on pets related to COVID-19 are encouraged to: 

  1. Help reunite lost pets with their families: Share Denver Animal Protection’s Lost Pets web link on social media and NextDoor to help aid DAP in reuniting lost pets back with their families.
  2. Donate. Support the more than 150 animals at Denver Animal Shelter today by making a donation! It costs over $30/day to care for each animal at Denver Animal Shelter, so every dollar helps care for Denver’s homeless, and most vulnerable pets. Individuals can make a monetary donation here: Additionally, supporters can donate treats, toys, and other essential enrichment items from our Amazon Wish List, which ships directly to the shelter. Unfortunately, we are unable to accept in-kind donations at this time.
  3. Extend understanding, compassion, and support to our staff and volunteers. Our staff is working overtime to ensure additional sanitization protocols take place while also continuing our high quality of care for our animals. We are repurposing staff to give more attention and enrichment to our pets during this uncertain time. Therefore, wait and response times may be impacted. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding.


Though  just a select few domestic dogs and cats have tested positive in other countries, infectious disease experts and multiple international and domestic human and animal health organizations agree there is no evidence at this point to indicate that pets spread COVID-19 to other animals, including people.

What should I do with my pet if I or someone in my family gets COVID-19?

Limit contact with your pet if you are ill. If your health is not greatly diminished and you are able, keep your pet in your home and have family and friends assist you in caring for your pet, if needed.

How can I help pets in my neighborhood?

If you are able, let your neighbors know you are able to provide temporary help with their pets if they are unable to do so due to hospitalization, illness or housing challenges. What a great opportunity for our communities to come together and support one another and our animals. If accepting a pet from someone that is sick, minimize contact with the pet for the first few days and wash hands immediately after handling

Emergency Preparedness Planning for Pets
In addition to preparations typically recommended for any natural disaster threat, individuals with pets should identify family members or friends to care for pets if someone in the household falls ill and is hospitalized. By creating a preparedness plan ahead of time, pet owners can do their part to ensure animal service resources do not become overwhelmed and their pets are spared unnecessary stress.

To make a preparedness plan for your pets:

  • Identify a trusted family member or friend to care for your pets if someone in your household becomes ill or is hospitalized.
  • Have crates, food and extra supplies for your pet on hand in case moving them becomes necessary or if the virus spreads in the community and it becomes necessary to reduce social exposure.
  • Protect pets with current identification, including a collar with current identification tags and a registered microchip.
  • Keep all animal vaccines up to date in the event boarding becomes necessary.
  • Research potential boarding facilities to utilize in the event boarding your pet becomes necessary.
  • Ensure all medications are documented with dosages and administering instructions. Including the prescription from the prescribing veterinarian is also helpful.