DENVER — The holidays are usually a more relaxed season at the Denver Animal Shelter, but not this year.
The surge of new animals finding their way to the shelter is "unprecedented," DAS said. The number of animals in the shelter's care has increased 76% over December 2019. The increase has been even higher for small animals, with 175% growth over 2019.
Already this year, DAS said it has adopted out 2,114 dogs, cats and other animals that include guinea pigs, rabbits and turtles.
"The need is great," DAS says in a news release Thursday. "The work seems never-ending."
The challenges extend beyond the Denver Animal Shelter. Gov. Jared Polis, first gentleman Marlon Reis and animal welfare advocates with the Denver Dumb Friends League discussed those challenges Thursday.
> WATCH: Gov. Jared Polis, First Gentleman Marlon Reis host discussion on pet adoption
DAS encouraged people who plan to bring home a pet this holiday season to adopt from a shelter or rescue organization.
Those who don't plan to adopt can help in other ways:
- Microchip and license your pets so if your pet is ever lost, you can be reunited with your pet quickly.
- Volunteer at a shelter.
- Join a shelter's foster program to care for pets in your home when shelter space becomes challenging.
- Donate to a shelter to help them care for homeless pets.
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