'Gimme shelter': Adopters give pets new leash on life

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— The Steamboat Springs Animal Shelter started the week out overpopulated but ended the week with plenty of room.

At the beginning of the week, the shelter was being strained because it was housing 19 dogs, 22 puppies and three cats.

This was the population at the end of Wednesday. In one day, the shelter went from not having any room in its kennel to having plenty of room.

At the end of Thursday, nine dogs and 11 puppies had found homes, said Lisa Lesyshen, a staff assistant.

The Steamboat Springs Animal Shelter, 760 Critter Court, is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The shelter is open on from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For more information, call 879-0621.

The adoption total could rise because on Thursday three dogs were taken in by owners on a trial basis, she said.

"What happened yesterday is unheard of," Lesyshen said. "The adoptions have helped enormously."

With all the adoptions the shelter experienced on Thursday the facility is now housing seven dogs and 11 puppies, along with three cats and five kittens, she said.

All day long on Tuesday, dogs were being adopted, she said.

"We had people coming in all day," she said. "Many came in because of a newspaper article."

The Steamboat Today reported Wednesday the shelter was overpopulated.

Had the shelter been unable to find homes for the pets, decisions would have had to be made to put some of them to sleep, she said.

Those decisions will no longer have to be made, she said.

"We are fine now," a relieved Lesyshen said. "We have the numbers under control."

The shelter reached over capacity when a number of people started to drop off their pets at the shelter, during the past two weeks.

To house all of the pets, the shelter had to put two dogs in one kennel.

"The adoptions have alleviated the tension that was present when they were being doubled up," she said. "Now, you can actually walk back there and talk. Before, you couldn't because of all the dogs barking."

The shelter now also has space for dogs that are found in the community loose.

"We now have more room for dogs that are found in the community at-large," she said.

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