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Giving to homeless four-legged friends
Photo courtesy: Paws to Give FAcebook

By Joshua Pilkington

Homeless pets are kept in mind through Paws to Give
When it rained it poured for Andrea Campos. In the span of three weeks, she lost her mother to cancer, her job to a corporate merger and her best friend - a border collie she called Spade due to the spade-like mark on his snout - to gastric dilatation volvulus.
“I don’t look back fondly on 2015 at all,” said the 43-year-old Denver resident of that period of her life. “We all knew my mother was not going to make, but there was hope for Spade. Until there wasn’t. He went pretty quickly, quicker than I was ready for.”
Campos found herself very alone in her Denver apartment in December 2015, when a friend recommended she visit the Dumb Friends League. It was the organization’s Quebec Street Shelter in Denver that she learned about Paws to Give a holiday season event in which patrons who may be unable to adopt a pet, can remember their current or former pets by filling out a “paw” decoration and making a donation to help the homeless pets and horses in the organization’s care.
“I felt like I was keeping alive the spirit of giving that my mom always pursued and also the memory of Spade, who really was my best friend,” Campos said about making a donation.
Paws to Give is the Dumb Friends League’s annual event in which it reaches out to the thousands of furry, four-legged homeless friends with a little extra support.
“For those who aren’t able to adopt, it’s a great way to make a difference in the life of a homeless pet or horse in need,” said Bob Rohde, president and CEO of the Dumb Friends League in a release.
During the holiday season, patrons can visit any of the three Dumb Friends League shelters in Denver, Castle Rock and Franktown to fill out a paw decoration with a donation amount and a message to be displayed on the walls of the shelter. It also gives patrons the opportunity to view the animals in the shelters’ care, which is how Campos met Melvin.
“I met him on that first visit and just fell for him,” she said of the border collie. “He had these knots in his hair like dreadlocks, which kind of reminded me of a guitar player from a band I like called NOFX, so I called him Melvin. I knew I couldn’t afford him right away, but fortunately he was there a month later when I had a full-time job.”
According to the Dumb Friends League, last year it saved more than 19,000 homeless pets and placed 100 percent of healthy cats and dogs into loving homes. For 2017, the organization has a goal of collecting $25,000 in donations through Paws to Give. That money will help the Dumb Friends League care for the thousands of homeless cats, dogs, small pets and horses that will come through its doors in the coming years.
“It’s difficult to imagine that there are so many homeless pets in Colorado,” Campos said.
According to the Metro Denver Animal Welfare Alliance (MDAWA), pet overpopulation is the principal cause of homelessness among pets in Colorado and its primary solution is adoption.
“Animal shelters have a wide variety of pets: cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, birds and others; young, middle-aged, and mature; large and small; active and mellow,” the MDAWA cites. “Breed rescue groups have specific breeds of dogs available through a network of foster homes.”
For more information about Paws to Give or to find out more ways to help homeless pets this holiday season, visit or call (303) 751-5772.





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