Gunnison Valley Animal Welfare League

A nonprofit organization

$4,929 raised by 40 donors

99% complete

$5,000 Goal

As the only full-service rescue of homeless animals in the Valley, GVAWL relies on contributions, fundraising efforts, and grants to provide the necessary veterinary care, food, and vaccinations for our intakes, and to support our operation of the Sue MacAllister Animal Shelter and Adoption Center and its programs.

The Gunnison Valley Animal Welfare League (GVAWL) has multiple programs which are the core of its mission statement. These programs include housing and caring for stray and homeless animals, adopting animals into permanent homes, providing education to the community on the proper care of animals to help prevent their neglect and mistreatment, assisting community members with spay and neuter costs, and the utilization of our Silver Whiskers program.

GVAWL accepts stray and relinquished cats and dogs throughout Gunnison County and provides care to them in either the shelter or approved foster homes. This care includes microchipping, vaccinations, spay/neuter, and any emergency or necessary veterinary treatment required before an animal can be returned to its owner or adopted to a new home.  We are the only animal shelter directly affiliated with the City and County of Gunnison and we work closely with all law enforcement agencies and when possible, with neighboring counties Hinsdale and Saguache as they do not have such services available. 

In addition, we strongly encourage and stress the importance of spaying and neutering pets and provide assistance to our community members by offering coupons to those in need of financial assistance as well as spaying/neutering feral cats in the county.

We also manage a Silver Whiskers Program in which we match seniors with senior pets, waive the adoption fees, and assist with the cost of the animal's care. And we provide education within the school system, through social media, and by utilizing pamphlets which we provide to adopters, on the proper treatment of animals to help prevent abuse and neglect.

This Year's Touching Stories 

Sweet little Stormy came to our shelter with Parvo which is a life-threatening illness for puppies. He had to be treated with subcutaneous fluids, antidiarrheal medicine, anti-nausea medicine and antibiotics. Unfortunately, his 3 other siblings also contracted Parvo and had to be attended to as well. They each spent a few days with our wonderful local vets being carefully treated and then were returned to the shelter for further care. 

Happily, due to great care, all 4 puppies regained their health and were adopted by wonderful new families! Thank you Wags and Menace Make a Difference Program Foundation for making this possible!!


Fella came to our shelter as a stray and was never claimed. We had him fully vetted and neutered and as he was recovering from his surgery, we noticed that he was drooling quite a bit. Upon looking inside his mouth, we found all four of his canines were broken off. We have no idea how this happened, but he was definitely in pain, so a veterinarian removed what remained of each canine and root. While recovering our sweet boy was placed on a soft food only diet, which we think he enjoyed! 

A huge thank you to Wags and Menace Make a Difference Program Foundation for helping us to restore Fella's quality of life. He was adopted by our local pet store as a store cat, and he is as happy as he can be!!


Lemon and her seven puppies were living in a shelter that did not have any heat. Sadly, four of her babies passed away due to the temperatures. GVAWL took in Lemon and her three remaining babies and nursed them back to health and found them all, loving homes. 


From Paula Swenson, Prior Chair, Board of County Commissioners
Gunnison County

It is with great pleasure that I write on behalf of the Gunnison Valley Animal Welfare League (GVAWL). I have had the opportunity to work with this organization for over a decade and am continuously amazed at the wonderful work this organization accomplishes for our community.

During my tenure as a county commissioner, Gunnison County has been able to partner with GVAWL to build a much needed care facility for our communities furry friends in need. As a completely volunteer organization, GVAWL keeps the facility running smoothly and at capacity nearly every day. They operate rescue, care and adoption out of this facility and make beautiful matches with families. I know firsthand about that, my family's adopted cats have completed our family.

Funding is always an issue with such a fine non-profit. Please know that by awarding this organization grant monies for their operations, you are making a great investment into our community.

Giving Activity


The mission of the Gunnison Valley Animal Welfare League is to promote the welfare of animals by

- Rescuing and caring for homeless animals and placing them in permanent homes;

- Assisting the community with spay/neuter costs; and

- Preventing neglect of and cruelty to animals by educating the public about their humane treatment and promoting humane behavior.

Background Statement

On the Western Slope of Colorado, Gunnison County,is one of the largest rural counties in Colorado. Winter temperatures can reach -40*.

About 7,000 of the county's 14,000 population live in Gunnison. According to 2008 U.S. Census data, Gunnison County per capita income is 19% below the state average. Gunnison is exceptionally isolated, and the cost of living here is higher than that in other rural areas in the state.

GVAWL's volunteers donate approximately 10,000 hours annually. Our core group of volunteers consists of approximately 50 locals working hard to help homeless animals.

Organization Data


Organization name

Gunnison Valley Animal Welfare League

other names

GVAWL, Gunnison Animal Lovers

Year Established


Tax id (EIN)




Organization Size

Small Organization


98 Basin Park Dr
Gunnison, CO 81230


PO Box 1834
Gunnison, CO 81230

Service areas

Gunnison County, CO, US