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  • Writer's pictureSusan Houser

Aspen, CO

Aspen is a well known ski resort in Colorado. It is a small town, with a permanent population of fewer than 7000 people. Aspen is the county seat of Pitkin County, which has a population of around 15,000.

The county handles animal control. Animal sheltering is provided by the Aspen Animal Shelter (AAS), which has an agreement with the city and county to provide “a sanctuary for dogs, cats and other domestic animals found within county borders until owners can be found.” It is a private organization primarily supported by a boarding kennel. The director describes the shelter as having “more demand than we have supply,” and thus the shelter frequently takes in animals from outside of its service area.

The AAS, under the name “Aspen/Pitkin County Animal Control and Shelter,” reported a 98% live release rate in 2010 (scroll down to pages 5-6 in the link), and a 100% live release rate in 2011 (pages 3-4 in the link). The shelter did not report any owner-requested euthanasias in 2011, and the 2011 live release rate rounds to 100% even with animals who died in shelter care counted as euthanasias. The shelter reports to Maddie’s Fund as part of the Northwestern Colorado Coalition, which achieved a 97% live release rate in 2010 for the coalition as a whole (see pages 1-2 in the link), and 98% live release rate in 2011 (97% with owner-requested euthanasia and died/lost counted in with euthanasias).

The AAS reported to the state of Colorado in 2012 that its total intake for the year was 346 animals. The live release rate was 100%, and the shelter did not report any animals as died in shelter care or in the “other” category. Therefore, its modified live release rate was also 100%. Another organization in Aspen, the Lucky Day Animal Rescue of Colorado, reports to the state. This rescue took in 12 owner surrendered dogs and 3 owner surrendered cats in 2012, as well as 76 transferred dogs, 57 of them from out of state. They too reported a 100% live release rate.

In 2013, AAS took in 400 animals and had  a live release rate of 98%. The live release rate was 95% if the animals who died in shelter care are included with euthanasias. Lucky Day took in 76 dogs and cats, with a 100% live release rate.

Aspen and Pitkin County, CO, were originally listed by this blog on April 26, 2013, based on their 2012 statistics. This post is a revision and update with 2013 statistics.

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