Where to Adopt a Dog, Cat or Pet in Denver, CO?

Are you trying to find reputable pet adoption and rescue organizations? Check out our list of the best places to adopt a pet in Denver!

How do you get a puppy in Colorado?

Are you ready to add a new puppy or kitten to your family? Great! Those adorable fur babies have such an amazing effect on the entire family. Whether you're looking for male or female, cat or dog, young or old, or even a particular breed, we can help you find out where to go and how to find an animal from a reputable shelter or rescue in Denver, CO.

Although you could buy a pet from a reputable breeder, tons of adorable, loving pets are waiting at shelters… already in need of their new forever home. Adopting a cat or dog helps alleviate the problem of pet overpopulation in shelters and rescues.

According to the ASPCA, a study by the Shelter Animals Count organization in 2019 showed that "approximately 6.3 million companion animals enter US animal shelters nationwide every year." And of those 6.3 million pets, only "4.1 million shelter animals are adopted each year."

There are still too many cats and dogs who don't get adopted. So why not choose a pet who is ready to be your new perfect fur baby?

Denver Dog Adopted and on Canoe

What are the requirements to adopt a dog?

To adopt a pet from a shelter or rescue, you'll need to be at least 18 years of age or older because you're taking responsibility for this animal's life. You will also need to present a valid form of ID.

To adopt a pet, you will also need to pay the adoption fees. This helps pay for the expenses your pet accumulated during their stay at the shelter—like food, housing, cleaning supplies, and vaccinations—and it also pays for microchipping plus their spay and neuter. If your pet wasn't old enough to be spayed/neutered during their time at the shelter, your adoption fees could pay for the cost of their spay/neuter at a local clinic once they are old enough.

Also, you'll get to have a little "meet and greet" with the pet before you adopt them. And it's best to do this with your whole family—including any other pets you already have at home. Some rescues and shelters will even do a home visit before letting you adopt one of their pets. Just to be sure that you and your home are suitable for caring for a cat or dog.

How much does adopting a dog from a Denver animal shelter cost?

As mentioned above, your adoption fees cover quite a bit to keep your pet healthy and to get you started in your care for them. However, the price can vary from place to place, so it's a good idea to look into that ahead of time.

Typically, dogs cost more than cats. And young pets cost more to adopt than older pets. Certain breeds or purebreds may cost more than other mixed breeds as well. To help give you a general idea, check out some price examples below. Just a heads up - these prices sometimes change.

Denver Dumb Friends League

Kittens and cats

  • 5 months and under: $120

  • 6 months to 1 year: $95

  • 1 year to 5 years: $75

  • 5 years and older: $50

Puppies and dogs

  • 5 months and under: $250 - $300

  • 6 months to 1 year: $175 - $225

  • 1 year and older: $125 - $175

  • 5 years and older: $50

Other pets

  • Ferrets: $55

  • Rabbits: $35

  • Guinea pigs: $15

  • Small pets start at: $5


Puppies and dogs

  • 0 to 6 months: $225

  • 7 months to 7 years: $150

  • 8 years and above: $75

Kittens and cats

  • 0 to 6 months: $150

  • 7 months to 7 years: $125

  • 8 and above: $75

Feral cats – Free

Cats with FIV/FeLV - $25

Animal Rescue of the Rockies

Puppies and dogs

  • 6 months & younger: $395 (includes $50 training deposit, refundable upon receipt of proof of completion of puppy classes within 90 days of adoption.)

  • 7-11 months: $345

  • Purebred/highly requested Dogs: $325 – $500

  • 1 – 7 years: $300

  • 8 years or older: $80

Kittens and cats

  • Purebred/highly requested Kittens 6 months & younger: $250

  • Purebred/highly requested Cats older than 6 months: $150

  • 6 months & younger: $150

  • older than 6 months: $75

  • 8 years or older: $35

Denver Dog Being Adopted

What is the best place to adopt a pet?

Finding the "right place" to adopt from can be a little intimidating. But don't worry. There isn't one special, perfect place. You'll be in good hands if you choose a reputable and responsible shelter or rescue that takes proper care of their pets—like the ones listed below.


Petfinder.com is a great online resource for anyone trying to find adoptable pets across the US. You can filter through all available pets by location, species, breed or breed mix, gender, age range, and even whether or not they are good with children and other pets. You'll see pictures of them, plus get to read a short bio about them and what organization they are adoptable through.

Denver Animal Shelter

The Denver Animal Shelter is a responsible, government-run shelter that tries to find new homes for the pets who come into its care. They also have a list of lost pets on their website, which may eventually come up for adoption, if they are not claimed. They even have a 90-day return policy in case the pet you chose isn't quite the right fit. You can bring them back and try a different furry friend.

Denver Cat For Adoption

Denver Dumb Friends League

If you're unfamiliar with this organization, don't be turned off by the name. This animal shelter was founded back in 1910, and it was actually named after an animal shelter in London. Although the term "dumb" can be offensive today, back in 1910, it referred to someone who couldn't speak. They've decided to keep this name… not only because it is well-known in Colorado but also because it represents their "commitment to provide a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves."

Foothills Animal Shelter

Foothills Animal Shelter serves the Jefferson county area. They are a self-acclaimed Fear Free Shelter and a Socially Conscious Animal Welfare Organization. Foothills Animal Shelter tries its best to intentionally match up pets with the pet parents who will be the best fit possible. They "assess the medical and behavioral needs of homeless animals and ensure these needs are thoughtfully addressed."


MaxFund is a non-profit, no-kill shelter established in 1988 by a veterinarian named Dr. Bill Suro and his wife, Nanci, the veterinary manager. They quickly saw the need to provide medical assistance for dogs with no known owner. And the very first dog they raised money for was an injured, sweet male dog, who the veterinary staff named Max. They were able to fix up Max and found a great new home for him. So Bill and Nanci decided to start a non-profit called MaxFund that would provide kennel and medical care for dogs like Max.

Animal Rescue of the Rockies

Animal Rescue of the Rockies specifically focuses on taking "homeless dogs and cats from overcrowded shelters, and places them in loving foster homes until their forever homes are found." They promote spaying and neutering to help decrease pet overpopulation in shelters. And they encourage "quality relationships between pets and their people through behavior resources and training."

Denver Dog Waiting To Be Adopted

Lifeline Puppy Rescue

Lifeline Puppy Rescue is a non-profit, no-kill rescue that has saved over 44,000 puppies across five different states. They take on pets from 33 overcrowded shelters and rescue groups to help prevent euthanasia. Lifeline intentionally connects with small towns and rural areas. "When we work together, we can save lives and build families in our community."

Rocky Mountain Puppy Rescue

Rocky Mountain Puppy Rescue takes in unwanted shelter animals and helps find them foster homes and new forever homes. They are also passionate about promoting spaying and neutering of all animals to help decrease animal overcrowding in shelters. You can help "end pet overpopulation with [their] SPAY IT FORWARD program, providing subsidized spay neuter surgeries for impoverished counties in the South West US."

Become a pet parent today!

Now that you have the necessary information to bring a new dog or cat into your home, what are you waiting for? At Local Pet Care, we're here to help you find the best places to adopt, the best dog-friendly restaurants and dog-friendly hikes near Denver, and even to help you find the best local pet care professionals in your area. With all of those resources, you will be set up for pet parenting success.

Denver Local Pet Care CTA

For more great articles about dog-friendly activities and pet-parenting advice, check out the Blog at LocalPetCare.com.

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