(Contest Nominee) DUMB FRIENDS LEAGUE Is the Voice for Homeless Animals in Colorado

Dumb Friends League is one of seven nominated charities for the next Charity Hand-Up Contest taking place from December 1-14, 2012. The Denver/Boulder community is invited to participate by voting on Facebook and spreading the word about these seven Colorado causes. The top charity will receive $5,000 and the public can enter to win 1 of 10 prizes.

Dumb Friends League - Citywide Banks ContestMany of us have opened our homes and hearts to a family pet. We take responsibility for ensuring the pet is safe, healthy, and loved for a lifetime. However, thousands of cats, dogs and small pets are not as fortunate as our pets. They are left homeless, and they need our help.   

The Dumb Friends League provides shelter and care for as many as 24,000 lost, abandoned and relinquished pets every year. It was founded in 1910 to speak for animals, because they don’t have a voice for themselves.  It has expanded into the largest community-based animal sheltering organization in the Rocky Mountain region, but its primary focus remains the same: to help pets find forever homes.

Back in the 1900s, the term “dumb” was used to describe those “lacking the power of human speech.”  The Dumb Friends League borrowed that term for its name because the organization’s founding principle was to advocate for animals. “We remain a strong voice for pets, as well as horses, through our shelter and adoption services and through humane education, cruelty investigations and spay/neuter for pets of the underserved,” says Chris Gallegos, public relations manager.

The Dumb Friends League has two pet shelters (Denver and Castle Rock) and a storefront adoption center. What separates it from other sheltering organizations is not only the sheer volume of animals it receives but the number of pets that it rehabilitates through in-house veterinary care, behavior, foster care and adoption outreach programs. In FY 2012, 19,851 pets were saved.

Gallegos says they’re very proud of the number of homes they’ve found for pets, but it also shows how great the need is for their organization. Without any government support, the Dumb Friends League cares for roughly half of all of the lost and unwanted pets that are brought to metro-Denver-area shelters every year.   

What some people don’t realize is that the Dumb Friends League has many animals for adoption other than just cats and dogs. If you have a small apartment or townhouse and don’t have room for that lovable chocolate Labrador, you can adopt a “smam,” which is short for small mammal. Rabbits, gerbils, mice (yes mice!), rats (yes rats!) and guinea pigs also are available for adoption and make great starter pets for children, says Gallegos.

On the other end of the spectrum, the recently opened Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center™ houses formerly abused and neglected horses, ponies, donkeys and mules. These animals are rehabilitated up to a healthy state and then offered for adoption. The Center can accommodate up to 100 equines at a time. Since opening earlier this year, 50 horses and donkeys have been adopted.

And, of course, they still do have cats and dogs! Gallegos points out that about one-third of the dogs they take in every year are purebreds. So, if that’s important to you, then don’t overlook the shelter as a place to get one.

In addition to adoption and providing shelter, the Dumb Friends League does a great deal of education and outreach, not only to help animals but people, as well. They offer a behavioral hotline, for example, that provides advice to pet owners (all pet owners, not just those that adopted from them) on an array of behavioral issues.

Another big part of the mission is to stop pet overpopulation through spay and neuter surgeries, which they offer at a reduced rate or significant discount for those that can’t afford it. The cost of these surgeries is subsidized by donors. 

A $5,000 donation from Citywide Banks would go directly to helping the animals and the programs designed to help them and the community.

“There are thousands of pets in shelters every single day that need loving homes,” Gallegos added.  “They’re not there by any fault of their own . . . so stop off here or at your local humane society . . . and adopt one.”

For more information about the Dumb Friends League and ways to donate your time or money, please visit www.DDFL.org.

Vote to Give Dumb Friends League a $5,000 Hand-Up
As a Colorado owned, Front Range focused bank, Citywide Banks shares a commitment to our local community with the Dumb Friends League. Through its Charity Hand-Up Contest, the bank is spotlighting the great work and ongoing needs of local charities Vote in Charity Hand-Up Contestaround metro Denver. Based on the results of a 14-day vote on Facebook, the community will determine how $7,500 is split among seven Colorado charities nominated by Citywide Banks employees. The charity receiving the most votes will receive $5,000 and the runner-up will receive $1,000. The remaining donation amounts will correspond to the voting results for each nominated charity. The voting public can also enter to win 1 of 10 prizes, including dinner for two at a couple of Denver’s top-rated restaurants. Official prize drawing rules are available by clicking here.

How to Cast Your Vote – December 1 -14, 2012
The voting will take place at Facebook.com/citywidebanks. Users will need to make sure they are logged into their personal Facebook account. If a user doesn’t have an account, it only takes minutes to set up a new Facebook account and it’s free. The online voting form will only be accessible for Citywide Banks Facebook Fans. To become a Fan, simply click on the “Like” button on top of any of the pages on Citywide’s Facebook Fan Page at Facebook.com/citywidebanks. Then, click on the link for the ”Charity Contest” tab to access the online voting page. Each Facebook account will be permitted one vote during the 14-day voting period.

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