DENVER — You can’t find your ‘fur’-ever friend if Denver wants you to stay home, so the Dumb Friends League has stopped its adoption services, for now.

“Because of the order, we’ve had to suspend adoptions temporarily until that order is lifted,” Maia Brusseau with the Dumb Friends League said as a cat lounged behind her at the organization’s center on Quebec Street in Denver.

The suspension of adoptions affects that facility, known as the Leslie A. Malone Center, and the Buddy Center in Castle Rock, though the more southern city has yet to announce a stay at home order itself.

“It sounds like it’s going to trickle into other communities,” said Brusseau. “In order to go ahead and, number one, just get ahead of that and also ensure the safety of our community and our patrons, our staff, our volunteers, we’re going to make that difficult decision to do that right now."

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The Dumb Friends League will still offer other services, such as taking in surrendered pets, something the organization has seen an increase of lately.

“We are experiencing a high demand here at the Dumb Friends League because there are other shelters that have unfortunately had to suspend those types of services to the community,” said Brusseau.

Even if someone has to surrender an animal, Brusseau said they will continue to practice social distancing to try to slow the spread of the virus.

“[That] includes people arriving and calling from their cars,” said Brusseau. “We will walk out if we need to collect an animal with a carrier. We won’t have interaction with each other, we’ll just each kind of pick up the carrier and move on.”

However, because of the increased demand for surrendering services, the Dumb Friends League has a request.

“We just ask people that if it’s not an emergency situation and you think you need to rehome your pet, to try to wait until after the crisis passes and things kind of go back to normal,” said Brusseau. “If you're able to rehome your pet with a friend or family member for the time being, do that because it will help alleviate some of the pressure we’re seeing.”

In the meantime, the organization is working on getting more of its animals into foster homes, though it’s not reaching out to the community for help just yet.

“We are using all of the foster parents that we currently have first,” said Brusseau. “Then, we’ll be working on using staff and current volunteers and after that, if we still have a need, then we will reach out to the community and let everybody know.”

The Dumb Friends League will post a notice on its website and social media channel if the need becomes that great.

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As for animals left in the shelters, they will be cared for and played with by Dumb Friends League staff until they finally get a home of their own.

“Some of these pets are going to wait longer to find their forever homes, but they’re still going to find forever homes and they’re still going to receive great care while they’re with us,” said Brusseau.

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