Best 10 Dog Rescues in Colorado

Shelters present a safe alternative for pet owners who simply are unable to care for their pets further. If you are in the market for a new furry friend, adopting is a great way to give an existing animal a second chance. 

We have collected a helpful list of the best 10 dog rescue shelters in Colorado that just might be housing your next furry best friend but first here's a helpful checklist so you’ll be prepared and confident when facing all parts of the adoption process.

Are You Ready for a Dog?

A cute black French bulldog puppy with big ears sitting in his dog bed with a rubber toy

Hi! I'm a Frenchie and am a full-time potato.

Adopting a pet is a great way to give a once-loved animal a second chance. While it would be perfect for every shelter or rescue animal to find a home, it is important to ask yourself some questions before you adopt.

You need to think about your lifestyle, the habits of the people that live with you, and even your ability to afford the care that comes with owning a pet. There are seven key questions you should ask yourself to determine if now is the right time to add a new pet to your family.

1. Are pets allowed in your building or rental?

It is important to know the rules of your rental if you don’t own your own home. Some buildings and even private rental homes have a clause that restricts pets in the home.

2. Does anyone in your home have allergies?

The last thing you want to do is bring home a furry friend that triggers health problems in those that live with you. Check to see if anyone is allergic to pet dander prior to adopting a pet.

3. Is my family ready and willing to accept a pet?

It is also a good idea to ask your housemates and family member about any fears or phobias they have for specific animals. If you have other pets, consider their temperament before adopting a new one.

4. What type of animal do you want to adopt?

Think about what type of pet you want to add to your family. Some require more care and attention than others. Are you looking for a bird, cat, puppy, or another animal.

5. Can you afford a pet?

Taking care of a pet is not overly expensive, but there are some costs involved. Aside from their food, you have to think about grooming, veterinary bills, and also toys for their entertainment.

6. Do you have enough space?

Before adopting a pet or choosing what type of pet to bring home, think about your available space. It can be hard on large active animals if they are forced into a confined space, so consider your situation carefully.

7. Do you have time for a new pet?

Animals need care and affection just like us. It is important to have enough time to dedicate to the care of your pet if you want it to live a happy life.

Top 10 Dog Rescues and Shelters in Colorado

A German Shepherd puppy sitting on a blanket with a toy beside him.

1. El Paso County Canine Rescue

Address: Colorado Springs, CO 80920
Email: info@elpasocountycanine.org
Location Type: Rescue
Designation: 501(c)(3) non-profit

Services Offered: All volunteer organization, dog adoption accepts owner release, rescue dogs from high kill shelters in other states and get them adopted and fostering. They perform microchip implantation and spay/neutering of dogs being adopted.

Adoption Requirements: All those seeking to adopt must be at least 18 years old, able to house a pet in their home, and willing to commit to paying for training if needed. To adopt, select a pet on the site or from the FB page and then submit an application online. Once your references are verified, you will meet with the dog and complete the adoption process.

Fees: Puppies $400, Adults $300, Seniors & Special Needs $100

Pet Details: All dogs offered for adoption will be vaccinated, treated for fleas, de-wormed, spay/neutered, and implanted with a microchip. These services are included with the adoption fee.

2. Big Dogs Huge Paws

Address: PO Box 460699, Aurora, CO 80046
Phone: 303-322-4336
Email: wecare@bigdogshugepaws.com
Location Type: Rescue
Designation: 501(c)(3) non-profit

Services Offered: Dog adoption, accepts owner release and fostering of large and giant breed dogs only. They perform microchip implantation and spay/neutering of dogs being adopted.

Adoption Requirements: All those seeking to adopt must be free from animal abuse convictions. You must be at least 18 years old to adopt. Most homes with children under the age of 5 will need special approval depending on the dog selected. Indoor housing is mandatory for adoption. Once the application is received and reviewed, a caseworker will visit the home for evaluation prior to approval.

Fees: $425-$575, Seniors & Special Needs $250

Pet Details: All dogs offered for adoption will be vaccinated, treated for fleas, de-wormed, spay/neutered, and implanted with a microchip. These services are included with the adoption fee.

Click here to view adoptable dogs.

3. Chihuahua and Small Dog Rescue

Address: C/S & Denver Metro, CO 80911
Email: info@chihuahua-smalldogrescue.org
Location Type: Rescue
Designation: 501(c)(3) non-profit

Services Offered: 100% led volunteer rescue group, dedicated to rescuing Chihuahuas and small dogs, adoption, accepts owner release and fostering. They perform microchip implantation and spay/neutering of dogs being adopted. 

Adoption Requirements: All those seeking to adopt must be at least 18 years old. To adopt a small dog, you will need to fill out an application that must include references. An in-home visit will be scheduled. Following the home visit, approval or notice to correct will be issued. Once your references are verified, you will meet with the dog and complete the adoption process. All current dogs in the home must be spayed or neutered.

Fees: Puppies $400, Adults $300, Seniors & Special Needs $100

Pet Details: All dogs offered for adoption will be vaccinated, treated for fleas, de-wormed, spay/neutered, and implanted with a microchip. These services are included with the adoption fee.

4. Soul Dog Rescue 

Address: 1245 Factory Circle, Fort Lupton, CO 80621
Email: adopt@souldog.org
Location Type: Rescue
Designation: 501(c)(3) non-profit

Services Offered: Dog & cat adoption, accepts owner release and fostering. They perform microchip implantation and spay/neutering of dogs and cats being adopted in addition to low-cost/no-cost services for the community.

Adoption Requirements: All those seeking to adopt must be at least 21 years old. An in-person meet and greet with all family members are required after the adoption application is submitted. A valid ID with your current address is also required. Adoptions can be completed at their Fort Lupton facility or at one of their many adoption evens that are held around the Denver metro area.

Fees: Puppies $400, Adults $300. Adult cats $175, Kittens $200.

Pet Details: All animals offered for adoption will be vaccinated, treated for fleas, de-wormed, and spay/neutered. These services are included with the adoption fee.

View adoptable pets here.

5. Colorado Basenji Rescue

Address: 4989 Perry Street Denver, CO 80212 (Mailing address only)
Phone: 303-455-8216
Email: inquiry@coloradobasenjirescue.org
Location Type: Rescue
Designation: Private non-for-profit organization

Services Offered: Colorado Basenji Rescue is a "not-for-profit" organization composed exclusively of volunteers. Works closely with area shelters to find Basenjis needing to re-homed. Dog adoption, accepts owner release and fostering. They perform microchip implantation and spay/neutering of dogs being adopted.

Adoption Requirements: All those seeking to adopt must be at least 18 years old. To adopt, select a pet on the site then submit an application online. Then you will need to complete an over-the-phone interview, and an in-home visit with an adoption specialist.

Fees: $175 - $300

Pet Details: All dogs offered for adoption will be vaccinated, treated for fleas, de-wormed, spay/neutered, and fitted with a mandatory Colorado Basenji Rescue identification tag. These services are included with the adoption fee.

See adoptable pets here

Basenjo sitting on the window ledge of in an apartment alone at home

Hi! I'm a Basenji and am highly intelligent but independent too! Woof.

6. Lifeline Puppy Rescue

Address: 4553 S. Mobile Way, Brighton, CO 80601
Phone: 303-655-9696
Email: lifelinepuppyrescue@yahoo.com
Location Type: Shelter & Rescue
Designation: 501(c)(3) non-profit

Services Offered: Dog adoption, puppy rescue, pregnant dog refuge, puppy fostering.

Adoption Requirements: All those seeking to adopt must be at least 18 years old. Photos of available puppies are posted weekly. You must pay a $5 fee when you place a bid for the appointment lottery. If you are selected, you will get a link to an adoption session video and your appointment to meet available puppies. Applications are filled out on-site only.

Fees: $125 - $400

Pet Details: All dogs offered for adoption will be vaccinated, treated for fleas, de-wormed, and implanted with a microchip. These services are included with the adoption fee.

Click here to view their adoptable puppies.

7. National Mill Dog Rescue

Address: PO Box 88468, Colorado Springs, CO 80908
Phone: 719-445-6787
Email: customerservice@nmdr.org
Location Type: Rescue
Designation: 501(c)(3) non-profit

Services Offered: Dog adoption, accepts mill dog owner release, and fostering. They perform microchip implantation and spay/neutering of dogs being adopted.

Adoption Requirements: All those seeking to adopt must be at least 18 years old. Most homes must have a fenced yard in order to be approved. Indoor housing is also required. All pets in the home must be spayed or neutered. Select a pet from the website and then email your application for consideration. Expect a reply within 72 hours of your application where a team member will contact you via email with the next steps in the application process. A meet and greet will be arranged once you're approved and you will bring any other dogs living with you.

Fees: Puppies $400, Adults $350, Seniors $250

Pet Details: All dogs offered for adoption will be vaccinated, treated for fleas, de-wormed, spay/neutered, and implanted with a microchip. These services are included with the adoption fee.

8. Bounce Animal Rescue

Address: P.O. Box 272407, Fort Collins, CO 80527
Phone: 970-699-6772
Email: contact@bounceanimalrescue.org
Location Type: Rescue
Designation: 501(c)(3) non-profit

Services Offered: Dog adoption, accepts owner release, and fostering. They perform microchip implantation and spay/neutering of dogs being adopted.

Adoption Requirements: All those seeking to adopt must be at least 21 years old. Fill out an application online for approval. Once approved you will then be able to select a pet from their website that meets your needs. Take home a pet for the 1-week trial period before the adoption is finalized. You must provide proof of homeownership or landlord approval for a pet. Application approvals are valid for one year.

Fees: Varies per animal

Pet Details: All dogs offered for adoption will be vaccinated, treated for fleas, de-wormed, spay/neutered, heartworm, 4DX testing (dog dogs 6+ months) and implanted with a microchip. These services are included with the adoption fee.

9. Animal Rescue of the Rockies

Address: 13918 E. Mississippi Ave. #60188 Aurora, CO 80012 (mailing address only)
Phone: 970-389-8324
Email: arrcolorado@gmail.com
Location Type: Rescue
Designation: 501(c)(3) non-profit

Services Offered: Animal adoption, accepts owner release and fostering. They perform microchip implantation and spay/neutering of animals being adopted.

Adoption Requirements: All those seeking to adopt must be at least 18 years old. Select an animal from the website and fill out an online application and wait 48 hours for an adoption coordinator to contact you. A meet and greet will be scheduled with the foster family and if it's a match, an adoption agreement will be drawn up. A home visit is required within a week of adoption.

Fees: $35 - $450

Pet Details: All animals offered for adoption will be vaccinated, get a health check-up, spay/neutered, and implanted with a microchip. These services are included with the adoption fee.

10. MaxFund No-Kill Animal Shelter

Address: 1005 Galapago St, Denver, CO 80204
Phone: 303-595-4917
Email: maxfundcatshelter@gmail.com
Location Type: Rescue & Shelter
Designation: 501(c)(3) non-profit

Services Offered: Dog & cat adoption, emergency medical care for ownerless animals. They also offer low-cost vaccinations, food assistance, and spay/neutering clinics for low-income families. They perform microchip implantation and spay/neutering of the animals being adopted.

Adoption Requirements: All those seeking to adopt must be at least 21 years old and submit an adoption application online. Once you look at the available animals and special needs dogs too, your family and pets will need to come on the meet the animal. Three personal references, current vaccinations, and rabies screening are also required for existing pets in addition to spay and neutering.

Fees: $25- $200

Pet Details: All dogs offered for adoption will be vaccinated, treated for fleas, de-wormed, spay/neutered, and implanted with a microchip. These services are included with the adoption fee. 

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