• Susan Houser

Grand County, CO

Grand County is in north central Colorado and had a population of 15,000 people as of the 2010 census. Municipalities in Grand County include Granby (population 1700), Kremmling (1400), and Winter Park, a resort town with a permanent population of 1000.

I spoke to an official at the Grand County Animal Shelter (GCAS), located in Granby, who told me that the county sheriff’s department runs the shelter. GCAS serves the entire county, including the towns, and there are no other shelters in the county. Grand County Pet Pals (GCPP) is a private non-profit that assists GCAS and maintains the GCAS website. Grand County is also home to Mountain Pet Rescue (MPR), a foster-based rescue located in Winter Park. MPR specializes in transporting heavy-coated dogs of the working breeds in from out of state. These dogs are popular in the Colorado mountains and MPR reports that there is a shortage of them.

GCAS charges a $20 fee for owner surrenders. Sometimes they ask people to wait to surrender animals if the shelter is full, but they always make exceptions if the owner cannot wait or if they think the animal would be better off impounded. Their general rule is to accept owner surrenders only from their jurisdictions, but they have occasionally made exceptions in the past and taken surrenders from outside the jurisdiction. They do not have a TNR program, but they have live traps that they lend to people who trap ferals. The shelter then neuters the cats and places them as barn cats.

Shelters in Colorado report their statistics to the state’s Department of Agriculture each year. In 2012, GCAS took in 309 dogs and cats. This is an intake of 21 pets per 1000 human population. If MPR’s intake is counted, the intake is 45 pets per 1000 population. GCAS’s live release rate for 2012 was 98%. The live release rate was 97% if animals who died in shelter care are included with euthanasias.

MPR also submits statistics to the state. In 2012 they took in 354 dogs, of which 301 were transported in from out of state, and they took in 6 owner-surrendered cats. They had a 100% live release rate, which drops to 99% if the 4 dogs who died in their care are counted against their live releases.

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