Puppies play in the yard  Thursday morning at the Steamboat Springs Animal Shelter, which is filled to capacity with dogs.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Puppies play in the yard Thursday morning at the Steamboat Springs Animal Shelter, which is filled to capacity with dogs.

Animal shelter hits capacity

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To adopt

The Steamboat Springs Animal Shelter is open from noon to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 2 p.m. Sunday. Adoption fees are $30 for a spayed or neutered dog and $120 for a puppy. A 24-hour approval period starts when an adoption application is filled out. For more information, call 879-0621.

— The kennels at the Steamboat Springs Animal Shelter are full, and they'll stay that way until some of their residents are adopted.

Shelter manager Molly Waters said the facility's 18 kennels filled up Aug. 20, mostly with dogs that have been surrendered by Routt County residents. As of Friday, the shelter was home to 23 dogs, with some compatible animals doubled up.

"The No. 1 reason why we get dogs is because people can't find a place to live that'll take dogs," Waters said.

Because there are no other options for surrendering dogs in the area, Waters said the shelter would not be able to accept more dogs until some adoptions go through.

"This is it. Craig (Animal Shelter) does not accept surrendered dogs, and we are the only shelter around, unless they want to go to the Front Range," she said.

A range of purebreds and mixed-breeds occupy the cages in the shelter's kennel room. The selection includes a litter of puppies, several young dogs and some older dogs.

Steamboat Springs resident Katie Tollar was one of three people to look at a litter of Newfoundland-border collie puppies during the lunch hour Thursday. As she picked out the puppy she wants to adopt, Tollar said she appreciates shelter dogs because "They kind of know where they came from, and they're very thankful."

Shelter dogs also can provide companionship for older pets.

"I think shelter dogs are just the best. They're the dogs that are loyal forever. We have a 16-year-old chow-retriever mix, and we wanted to get her a little pal," Tollar said.

Waters said its important for potential adopters to remember the kennels are sometimes a high-stress environment for dogs, and to spend some time with an animal before choosing to adopt it.

The shelter posts a list of its available pets each Saturday in the classified advertisements of the Steamboat Today. The list also is available online at www.petfinder.com/shelters/CO63.html.

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