A Pet's Life

September 2004

Denver loves its pets.

In a city of 2.4 million, there are an estimated 153,000 cats and 151,000 dogs in our care, according to Doug Kelley, director of Denver Animal Shelter and Denver Municipal Animal Shelter. And that’s to say nothing of the fish, geckos, birds, guinea pigs, and other critters we love and cherish.

Lucky for our best friends, we in Denver spare no expense when it comes to their welfare. In fiscal year 2004, we adopted nearly 15,000 animals (dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets, hamsters, and mice) from the Denver Dumb Friends League, and Denver was recently rated by the Purina Pet Institute as the best city in the United States for healthy pets. The survey looked at pet obesity levels, how many pets received preventive care, health resources, environmental quality, legislation affecting pets, and the number of certified shelters.

That’s not the only survey demonstrating our pet devotion. For the past 13 years, the American Animal Hospital Association, located in Lakewood, has been conducting a Pet Owner Survey. The 2003 results, released last November, illustrate what most pet owners already know: Our animals are part of the family. The results should be reassuring to many who think they may be the only person in the Mile-High City who celebrates Nemo’s birthday or gives Fluffy a holiday gift.