Homes for the holidays |

Homes for the holidays

Steamboat Springs Animal Shelter seeking owners for pets

Savanna Atkins, 9, and her mother, Rose, of Steamboat Springs, visit with a few of the cats being kept at the Steamboat Springs Animal Shelter. There were seven dogs and 13 cats available for adoption at the shelter Monday.

Dogs and cats may be cute and cuddly, but local animal workers say they aren’t necessarily the type of gift to surprise someone with this holiday season.

“We don’t allow animals to be adopted as gifts,” said Julie Enderby, who manages the Steamboat Springs Animal Shelter. “We encourage using the idea of helping someone get a dog or a cat, but people need to choose what pet they want to bring into their family.”An example of helping someone get an animal might include paying the adoption fees and purchasing food, toys and other supplies new pet owners need.

On Monday, seven dogs and 13 cats were up for adoption at the shelter.

“That’s a lot for us,” Enderby said. “We’re pretty close to being full. We have quite a few more up for adoption for this time of year.”

More animals up for adoption means people have more to choose from.

“All of our cats could fit into one home or another,” Enderby said. “We have great cats right now.”

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All but one of the seven dogs up for adoption were given to the shelter by their previous owners, who decided to “surrender them,” Enderby said.

A few of the dogs would likely best be suited for an individual or family that has experience with dogs.

“They’re not at the shelter because they are perfect,” Enderby said.

Dogs available for adoption include Ella, a heeler mix that would be ideal for an active family. Domino is a pit bull that would be perfect for someone who is familiar with the breed.

“He is very affectionate,” Enderby said.

Then there is Shiner, a bulldog mix that would do well with a single owner, preferably a man because Shiner does not like women.

“Every woman but me,” Enderby said while playing with Shiner in the lobby.

Enderby said about 700 pets are adopted each year from the animal shelter, which is owned and operated by the city but receives significant assistance from the Routt County Humane Society and the Animal Assistance League of Northwest Colorado. The organizations pay all the medical expenses incurred by the shelter.

Enderby said there are six or seven volunteers who come in regularly to keep the animals happy and exercised.

“We use volunteers to make sure the animals get playtime,” Enderby said. “We’re always welcoming volunteers.”

Savanna Atkins, 9, stopped by the shelter Monday afternoon with her mother, Rose, before picking up Savanna’s brother from school.

“We come and see the animals all the time because we love them,” Rose Atkins said.

“I just like seeing all the new kittens,” Savanna said.

If you go

The Steamboat Springs Animal Shelter is open from noon to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday,

noon to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and noon to 2 p.m. Sunday.

The shelter is off 13th Street at 760 Critter Court. Call 879-0621 for more information.

Monetary donations can be made to the Routt County Humane Society by calling (970) 879-7247, or the Northwest Colorado Animal Assistance League at (970) 870-7554.