The mission of the PAWS For Life Shelter is to take in lost and unwanted dogs and cats; to return them to their owners whenever possible or, after having them spayed or neutered, place them in good homes, and to educate the public about intelligent and humane treatment of animals.
Animal Welfare and Protection Society dba PAWS for Life was established in 1978 by eight individuals who saw the need to rescue lost or unwanted animals. The founders operated out of their homes until the effort became overwhelming. In 1981 a small parcel of land was donated and a small building consisting of three walls, a dirt floor and tin roof was constructed. This building housed eight kennels with outside runs using igloo dog houses for outside winter protection. In 2005, a school teacher left us a bequest of $3M of which $1.5M was set aside for construction of a new facility. After long and tedious planning, acquisition of additional land and a long construction process we opened a portion of our new adoption center. This phase is in process of being evaluated for a LEED © designation, we hope for platinum but may have to settle for gold. In any case, we're proud to be the only no-kill shelter in the region with the opportunity for LEED © certification. We opened this new center in July, 2011. Our construction process continues. In September, we will open our new cattery with a capacity for 50 to 60 cats. Our existing facility houses from 50 to 60 dogs at a time. Our next construction phase will be an additional kennel section on the west side of the building mirroring the opposite side. This consists of kennels, courtyards and public viewing areas. Courtyard display of the animals allows them to be viewed in natural setting with other compatible dogs. Cost of this phase of construction is estimated at $200,000.
Our entire goal is an animal campus. We have 7.8 acres on which to expand. We envision our campus to include an adoption center to accommodate 150 dogs, 50 cats, a retail area, classroom and surgical area and separate intake and isolation areas. Separate buildings will house a "doggie" day care facility and an emergency care veterinary facility. A bark park and agility course are also planned. Thus far, all of this has been constructed through donations and grants. Our facility and grounds are free and clear of any debt. The Board of directors is made up of a group of very dedicated volunteers. The only individuals in the organization receiving pay are those who care for the animals and the treasurer for her finance responsibilities.
We are extremely grateful to the following foundations and organizations who have supported our cause: Animal Assistance Foundation; Bates Foundation and Trust, Southern Colorado Community Foundation; Wells Fargo; The Body Shop Foundation; The El Pomar Foundation.
"First We wanted to say thank you for the opportunity that you guys have given us to bring Beethoven into our home. He is such a good boy and so excited to have such a loving home. He has been on so many adventures since he came home with us! On his first day he went on an amazing shopping spree at the Pueblo Petsmart. He made so many friends there with the employees and was quite the celebrity! He sniffed all the pet beds until he found just the right one. He also helped choose a halter since he had a sore neck that you guys had helped him heal. He also chose a double feeding dish that is raised up high so he can reach it easily without straining. After a lot of consideration he also chose a high grade food that has helped him really put on some good weight and some toys. Needless to say he is pretty spoiled. He also has a pretty big heart because he didn't leave without remembering his little four legged friends back at the shelter. He brought them back some toys to play with also. Back at the house he likes to play a lot he has a lot of land he can run and play on. However he is kind of spoiled he is an inside dog he likes to be with us inside all the time. He gets sad if he can't see us. Guess he must love us a lot. He likes to take a nice long walk every morning and one in the evening (he is a big dog so heat isn't too good it's cooler for him then). What a great addition to our family! He is cheering on his pals back at pals for life and hoping that they can get good homes and people that will love and care for them too!!! Thanks for sharing such a great friend with us!"
"We recently adopted a dachshund from PAWS. The name you gave him was Kringle, but we since changed his name to Lucky. Lucky was adopted to be a companion for my mother as my father just passed away on Christmas Eve. Lucky has been in his new home for over a month now and he has since won the heat of my mother and the other members of the family."
"One year ago my husband and I came to your shelter looking for a friend for our Australian Shepherd puppy Buckaroo... One of your staff members said that she had a dog in mind that got along well with dogs and people...the instant Buckaroo met her we knew she was the one...This wonderful dog we adopted is a collie/blue heeler mix. ..She is a huge part of our family and we couldn't imagine our lives without her. Thank you for everything that your organization does because if it weren't for you then she wouldn't be where she is today."