Dumb Friends League

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Founded in 1910, the Dumb Friends League, based in Denver, Colorado, is the largest independent, nonprofit community-based animal shelter/humane society in the Rocky Mountain region, caring annually for as many as 24,000 lost and relinquished pets, as well as hundreds of equines.

From its pet shelters in Denver and Castle Rock, the organization provides lost and found services; foster and veterinary care for pets that are too young for adoption or are ill or injured; in-house training and socialization programs for cats, dogs and rabbits; pet adoptions; humane education; and animal cruelty investigations in 41 counties. It also provides free behavior assistance to pet owners and donor-subsidized spay and neuter surgeries for owned cats and dogs in underserved metro-Denver communities.[1]

For the 12-month period ending June 30, 2011, 19,535 pets were saved by reuniting with owners, adopting to new homes, or transfer to placement partners. The placement rate for healthy cats and dogs was 99 percent.

In 2012, the Dumb Friends League expanded its mission to include abused and neglected equines. Horses, ponies, donkeys and mules that are removed from owners by Colorado law enforcement authorities are received at the Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center, located in nearby Franktown, Colorado. The Center can accommodate 100 horses at a time. Rehabilitated animals are offered for adoption.[2]

For 2011, Charity Navigator gives the Dumb Friends League a score of 55.18 (out of 70), reporting high transparency and accountability. Total revenue from this annual report is listed at $13,321,000 and expenses were $13,109,000. Of every dollar donated, 79 cents went directly to animal care services, education and outreach.[3] Every year the Dumb Friends League hosts the Furry Scurry, its largest annual fundraiser raising funds for homeless pets in its care.

The Name[edit]

The legal name is the Denver Dumb Friends League, aka the Humane Society of Denver, Inc. It was incorporated Sept. 8, 1910, by its founder, Mrs. Jean Gower, who wanted it modeled after a similar organization in London, England, called Our Dumb Friends League. In those days, the term "dumb" was widely used to refer to animals, because “they lacked the power of human speech.”.[4] The London organization has since changed its name to Blue Cross, but the Denver organization has kept its original name because it is so widely recognized in the community and because the name reflects the mission of "speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves." [5]

Facilities[edit]

The Dumb Friends League has two open-admission shelters for companion animals. Its main shelter and administrative offices are at 2080 S. Quebec St., Denver, Colo. The Buddy Center is at 4556 Castleton Court in Castle Rock. It also has a Pet Care-avan mobile adoption unit and cats at select Petsmart and Petco locations. Horses and other equines are accommodated at the Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center in Franktown, Colo.[6]

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