Look at those furry faces! They are just impossible to resist!
Add in promises like “I’ll walk her every day!” or “We’ll scoop the poop before it even hits the box!” and it’s inevitable that you will surely take one home. And, why not? Life IS better with a pet. A furry family member adds extra love and laughter while teaching lifelong lessons about compassion and care.
That’s it! You’re ready and the timing is right, but how do you make the right pick? Especially when they are all so darn cute?
Putting the Forever in Forever Home
At Colorado Animal Rescue, matchmaking begins on day one. Finding the right home for every pet, one that lasts beyond the promises of attentive care and the fun of summer hikes is the ultimate goal.
A study by the American Humane Association found that one in ten pets adopted from a shelter was no longer in the home six months later. That’s a 10% rate of return to homelessness – a staggering number if put into a human context.
The key to success is understanding you, your family, and the needs of your new pet. Making a match that sticks is a priority and a welcome challenge at the shelter.
Getting to know you
The questions on an adoption survey at Colorado Animal Rescue (C.A.R.E.) serve to know you better, informing the decision-making process, and increasing the likelihood of a successful adoption. The survey asks about your home environment, age, and size of your family, and your available time for care. This helps us connect the right pet to your needs. Do you have the large fenced yard that a Husky will thrive in? Or, is your space better suited for a Chihuahua on the couch? Or, maybe a cat will love lounging on your apartment patio?
Are you a dog or a cat person?
Some choices are obvious. Many prefer the independence and occasional cuddle from a feline friend over the slobbery kisses and constant attention from a canine companion. There’s no judgment here – we all have a favorite! But, depending on your situation, there could be more to keep in mind when choosing the ideal species.
Dogs require more attention than cats. Dogs love companionship, stimulation, and exercise. They love a routine that involves activity and time with their favorite people. My dog Nash is visibly upset when he hasn’t had his daily trip to the dog park or a hike up Red Hill. Thankfully, I love that time outside with him and we both benefit from our daily jaunts. While the rewards for sharing your life with a dog are great, the commitment to daily care is a heavy consideration.
Cats are often more independent than dogs. They can thrive living indoors and often set their own schedule for playtime and naps. Bathroom trips are just down the hall and the requirement for a cozy bed is much smaller. Sharing life with a cat may be more laid back, but it is certainly still fun. Many love playing with toys and chasing bugs throughout the house, surprising you with their curiosity and love of activity.
That’s it, we’re adopting a dog!
While it may feel like the difficult part is over, the choices have just begun. Size, energy-level, type of fur, and age become big deciding factors. Will a high energy puppy be just the entertainment your family is looking for? Or, will destruction and potty mistakes be too much for you to handle?
Canine Behavior Evaluation
At C.A.R.E, every canine resident receives a behavior evaluation to assess personality nuances, comfort with human interaction, and ability to get along with other dogs, cats, and even kids. Imagine this as an interview for dogs. The process gives information on the right kind of home for each adoptable dog and is used to guide adopters towards a great match.
During the shelter’s “getting to know you” session, a dog may show they are tolerant of ear pulls and paw touching, indicating they may fare well with kids around. Other pups may demonstrate a preference for personal space or a calm environment.
C.A.R.E.’s canine behavior evaluation touches on other characteristics, including:
- behavior around food and toys
- comfort with strangers
- experience walking on a leash
- compatibility with young children
- compatibility with other dogs or cats
When a shelter dog is ready for adoption, C.A.R.E. has suggestions for his/her ideal home. A larger, high energy dog may not be suited for a family with toddlers for the simple reason that they may often bump into them or knock them down. Is your home near livestock or wildlife? A breed that has an innate tendency to herd or chase may not be a good pick. Like us, every shelter dog has its own unique personality and like us, they thrive when understood and appreciated for the just the dog they are.
Definitely a cat!
There is no established assessment that can truly encompass the many personalities of an adoptable cat. A cat’s history, however, and their general behavior with shelter staff can tell us a lot about the home that might be best for them. Depending on a cat’s unique story, the team at C.A.R.E. can make an educated guess about his/her accommodation of other cats, dogs, children, and spouses in the home. Luckily, cats have a knack for fitting in (and then taking over!) wherever they are. Appreciating and embracing their favorite way to do so will ensure a forever friendship.
We have options…
If a cat or dog doesn’t quite fit into your family structure, don’t forget about bunnies, guinea pigs, ferrets, hamsters, rats, turtles, and lizards (and more!) as viable options for an animal companion. These less prevalent, by no means less lovable, pets find themselves at the shelter too. Exotic pets can often be housed in a smaller habitat, require less time outside, and will still fill your heart with joy.
Your new pet’s health
When animals arrive at C.A.R.E., each is given a medical exam, vaccinated, spayed or neutered, and microchipped before being placed for adoption. In many cases, an adoptable pet from C.A.R.E. may have also been the recipient of a head-to-toe, full assessment of health provided through a partnership with the Veterinary Technology Program at Colorado Mountain College. In addition, the veterinary team at C.A.R.E. provides dental cleaning for many animals in need. These services amount to a value of $750 – $1500 in medical savings, helping adoptive families cover some of the initial costs of pet ownership.
You’ve made your match! Whether your new family member is a feisty new puppy, a senior
Cat, or even a ferret — post-adoption support and guidance can make the difference in your success as a pet parent.
The staff at C.A.R.E. is ready to help and is committed to the happiness of you and your pet. The shelter offers free canine behavior consults, group dog training courses, as well as ongoing friendship and advice. This applies to ANY pet, adopted recently or years ago, including those that weren’t originally adopted from the shelter.
Whether it’s a persistent negative behavior or an issue with potty training, the shelter staff can help you through it.
Ready, Pet, Go!
Ready for nose-to-nose cuddles and laughs? Don’t let another day pass without finding your new furry friend. C.A.R.E. is there to help you make the perfect match and take them home, filling that space in your heart and theirs – forever.
Written by Wes Boyd, executive director of Colorado Animal Rescue
Portraits of C.A.R.E adoptable pets by Alison Hart, fine art photographer
Back to School Essays
Share this postWe asked and they answered. Read thought-provoking, sentimental and pretty darn cute responses from 70 student essays.
Afterschool & Anytime Enrichment Activities
Share this postFind the latest information about afterschool and enrichment activities for kids.
Locally Sourced Suppertime
Share this postAfter coronavirus closures, our Locally Sourced Suppertime scene = service with a smile even while masked
Net-Zero Dream Home
Share this postDreams come in all sizes. Step inside Cindy Suplizio and Peter Mueller’s 1500 square-foot net-zero dream home.
Meet Beekeeper Paul Limbach
Share this postA second generation pioneer of high-altitude beekeeping in Western Colorado.
Roaring Fork High School Rams Football
Share this postSeason punted to Spring semester due to COVID
Valley Settlement Little Bus Preschool
Share this postLearning to ROLL WITH IT while facing COVID-19 school closures.
Lincoln Creek Road
Share this postExplore a less-trafficked area up Independence Pass – Lincoln Creek Road.
Lake Powell Planning Guide
Share this postPart 1: Packing list, weather conditions and more advice for camping at Lake Powell with kids.
Boating Lake Powell
Share this postPart 2: Teenagers and parents find unexpected connection on a boat.
Lake Powell Car Camping
Share this postPart 3: Car Camping Lake Powell is not impossible or crazy. However, it requires planning and expert advice.
Parenting During Turmoil
Share this postAn interview with art therapist Helena Hurrell
MP’s Diversity Booklist
Share this postSummer Reading 2020
Share this postUp-cycle an empty pet food bag for this easy project.
Roaring Fork Nature Parks
Share this postA “Wild at Heart” map of nearby places to discover (or rediscover) with your child.
Mothers Day Tribute
Share this postThree local women who exemplify Julia Ward Howe’s Proclamation of Peace.
Share this postA tragic fact of nature? Or way to find your wings?
Good Sports: Lacrosse
Share this postWith the ROARING FORK LACROSSE CLUB, everyone is included and “it’s just fun.”
Helping Hands: Lucky Day Animal Rescue
Share this postThis foster-based rescue group helps connect pets with their forever families.
MP Trail Map: Winter Hut Trips
Share this postA family-friendly guide to planning an adventure to one of Colorado’s backcountry huts.
Writing By Hand
Share this postWhat can parents do to help their children learn this life skill?
Share this postA mother redefines HEALTHY after her daughter’s Leukodystrophy diagnosis
DIY: Upcycled Owl
Share this postSpread your wings to make this cuddly stuffed owl designed by Handmakery’s Ami Maes.
Aspen Snowmass Nordic Trail System
Share this postMP Trail Map: A guide to Roaring Fork Valley cross-country ski trails.
Share this postMeet local eco-chocolate maker Mark Burrows.
Helping Hands: Roaring Fork Valley Kids Who Care
Share this postAct Locally: A student-led effort to save Sea Turtles and Rainforests.
Good Sports: Challenge Aspen
Share this postQ&A with Special Olympics and NASTAR ski racer Tanner Jadwin
Nighttime Family Staycation
Share this postWintertime fun after dark with the kids.
DIY: Spa Day
Share this postMake your own bath time bliss at home.
The McBride Internship: Kenya
Share this postRoaring Fork Valley students visit Kenya’s Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.
Good Sports: Ski Racing
Share this postFor this mother and her daughters, skiing is among their earliest memories.
Share this postGiving the best present of all: Ourselves
Helping Hands: LIFT-UP
Share this postCan you feed your family breakfast, lunch, and dinner for $4 per person per day?
Helping Hands: The Farm Collaborative
Share this postFarm-to-Table meets Food Insecurity
Q&A: Honeybee Play
Share this postQ&A with the teenage creators of a new original musical
Helping Hands: Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Folklórico
Share this postAn award-winning after school dance program that’s about more than dancing. It’s a cultural bridge.
Getting Into College
Share this postMaking sense of college admission statistics
Good Sports: BMX Biking
Share this postCrown Mountain Park’s bike racing facility has expanded into a world-class race course.
Harvest Road Trip
Share this postDrive Highway 133 from Carbondale to Hotchkiss and make new friends at our nearby farms.
Helping Hands: Way of Compassion Bike Project
Share this postOne man’s trash is, indeed, another man’s treasure.
MP Trail Map: Mount Elbert
Share this postYour child’s first fourteener can also be Colorado’s highest peak.
Good Sports: Sailing
Share this postAspen Rec Department’s Don Sheeley Sailing School
Find Yourself in the Lost Forest
Share this postDiscover Aspen Skiing Company’s Lost Forest adventure park.
DIY: Skateboard Swing
Share this postTurn a discarded skateboard into a big backyard hit.
MORE to FIND in the LOST FOREST
Share this postLots to do in the Aspen Snowmass Lost Forest
DIY: Portraits of Your Children
Share this postHow to capture magical frame-worthy photos
Helping Hands: Colorado Animal Rescue
Share this postC.A.R.E. can help you figure out what kind of adoptable pet is right for you and your household.
Good Sports: Baseball
Share this postA Glenwood Springs High School graduate and college baseball recruit shares what he learned at the ballpark.
Homelife Recipes: Backyard Burgers
Share this postQ&A with Jerilyn Nieslanik about how to avoided the dreaded hockey puck burger
MP Trail Map: Hartman Rocks
Share this postHigh desert mountain biking between Crested Butte and Gunnison
Citizens of the World
Share this postRoaring Fork High School students become world travelers through an all-inclusive club
Where to find Wildlife
Share this postLearn about the untamed creatures you might encounter in our mountain forests and meadows.
The Art of Being ENOUGH
Share this postA Motherhood Manifesto
Yampah Mountain High School’s Teen Parent Program
Share this postA campus in Glenwood Springs where each student is met exactly how they are.
LGBTQ+ Inclusion in Roaring Fork Valley Schools
Share this postA community-wide PRIDE parade + other other Valley-wide efforts to welcome everyone.
Good Sports: Soccer
Share this postReflections from an Aspen HIgh School midfielder and member of an elite all-valley women’s team.
MP Trail Map: Navajo Rocks
Share this postA family-friendly mountain biking destination near Moab, Utah
Helping Hands: Mountain Valley Developmental Services Greenhouse
Share this postA nonprofit gardening center where developmentally disabled adults work (and bloom).
Homelife Recipes: Passover Seder
Share this postRabbi Emily Segal of Aspen Jewish Congregation reflects on this sacred meal (and shares her recipe for Matzah crack)
Good Sports: Black Belt
Share this postA RFHS student and Rising Crane Training Center Cuong Nhu black belt shares her accomplishment.
MP’s Cover Artists: Lily and Elana Royer
Share this postMeet the mother-daughter creative team behind Lilybart
DIY: Chinese New Year Dragon Puppet
Share this postStep-By-Step instructions for making a fun puppet at home.