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  • Writer's pictureSusan Houser

Clear Creek and Gilpin Counties, CO

Clear Creek (9100 residents) and Gilpin (5400 residents) are small counties in a mountainous area west of Denver. Clear Creek has two towns of 1000 or more population: Georgetown (1100), and Idaho Springs (1900). Gilpin has a few small towns of 600 people or less. Both counties are part of the greater Denver metro area.

The Clear Creek/Gilpin County Animal Shelter, which is called Charlie’s Place, serves both counties. It is located in the town of Dumont in Clear Creek County. The shelter was named for a favorite dog owned by the donor of the land for the shelter. I spoke with Sue LeBarron, who has been director of the shelter since it opened 5 years ago, and she told me that the shelter accepts owner surrenders from Clear Creek County and Gilpin County with no conditions. Charlie’s Place helps neighboring shelters by taking in surrenders from other jurisdictions in the area when they can. They also have a transport program where they take in dogs from out of state that are at high risk of euthanasia.

The shelter is supported by a non-profit, the Friends of Charlie’s Place (FOCP). A newsletter reporting on 2013 stated that FOCP had helped in the placement of over 180 animals in 2013, redesigned the shelter’s exercise park, helped with pet retention and adoption initiatives, and organized fundraising events. FOCP also pays the expenses of animals transferred in from out of the shelter’s jurisdiction.

LeBarron told me that feral cats are uncommon in the area, and when they are impounded the shelter seeks to place them as barn cats. The shelter does offsite adoption events for domesticated cats. It offers low-cost microchipping, vaccination clinics, and low-cost and free spay-neuter services.

Charlie’s Place reports its shelter statistics to the Colorado Department of Agriculture. For 2012, the shelter reported taking in 485 dogs and cats, which is an intake of 33 animals per 1000 people. The shelter transferred in 116 dogs from out of state and 31 dogs and 9 cats from in state, which accounts for the relatively high intake per person. Without the transfers, the intake per 1000 people was 23. The Colorado reporting form has no category for fosters, so Charlie’s Place reports fostered animals in the “other” category. The shelter’s live release rate for 2012 was 99%.

For 2013, the shelter took in 455 animals and again had a 99% live release rate. They had no deaths in shelter care. The shelter once again helped animals from outside its jurisdiction, transferring in 136 dogs and 7 cats.

Clear Creek and Gilpin Counties were originally listed by this blog on November 22, 2013, based on their 2012 statistics. This post is a revision and update with 2013 statistics.



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