Animals & the Adoption Process

The Animals at PAS

We provide compassionate care for nearly 5,000 animals each year. Most of the animals that come to our shelter are either pets relinquished by their owners or stray pets found wanderingin the areas we serve. Dogs and cats are the most common, although a wide variety of other animals may be found at the shelter as well, including birds, snakes, fish, hamsters and guinea pigs.

Municipal ordinances require all stray animals be held for a period of 5 days in order to give their owners a chance to find them. After the 5 day holding period, the animal may then be available for adoption.

Adoption Process

You've reviewed the online list of available pets and decide to head to the shelter for a better look. Remember that although we update the database hourly, the animal you saw may have found a home already. We process adoptions on a first-come, first-serve basis and cannot place holds on animals by phone. The adoption process takes a minimum of 45 minutes to an hour, and up to two hours on Saturdays and during our busiest times.

At the shelter, animals available for adoption have a kennel card that gives a brief description and an ID number. Write down this ID number so a staff member or volunteer can give you more information about the pet and you can visit with him in one of our Get Acquainted rooms. A stray pet will have a kennel card indicating he is "lost and waiting for an owner.” If you're interested in a stray, we can share with you what information we have and when that animal may become available for adoption. You may also place a "choice hold" in person at the shelter (please see below for more information). Unfortunately, stray animals cannot be visited until they become available for adoption.

We're sorry, but due to the large number of visitors to the shelter, we must limit visitations to 2 animals per individual/family per day. To complete adoptions in a timely manner, we stop visitations 30 minutes prior to closing, at 4:30 p.m. daily. All adopters must fill out an adoption application and meet with an adoption counselor to discuss important medical and behavior information to get your new furry family member started off on the right foot.

The Choice Hold Program

The Choice program allows you to put a $30 donation on a stray pet, holding it for you on its first available day, if its family does not reclaim it. Your 'Choice Hold' gives you the first opportunity to meet the animal and decide if you wish to adopt. This donation is not applied towards the adoption fee and is not refunded if you decide against adopting the pet. However, the fee is refunded if its owner reclaims his pet or the pet is not made available for adoption.

Pets that are owner-relinquished, being held for court or safe-keeping, as well as those less than 8 weeks of age, are not eligible for the Choice program. Choice Holds are taken only in person at the shelter, and must be placed by the person intending to adopt the pet. Because the animal is still a stray, visitations are not allowed prior to the first Choice donation.


Our adoptions include everything!

  • Spay or neuter surgery
  • Voucher for a veterinary exam
  • Vaccinations
  • One year license
  • Pet health insurance
  • Microchip
  • ... A furry friend!

Adoption fees help offset the cost of evaluating, housing, feeding and providing medical care for the 9,000-plus animals we shelter each year. Because we are a nonprofit, donations subsidize the gap between the cost for care and the adoption fee. It is through the generosity of our donors that we have the resources to help so many unwanted, abandoned and abused animals.

Like many animal shelters across the country, we use variable adoption pricing. We can help more animals in need by pricing pets in high demand at a higher rate, so the money raised by their adoption helps the other animals in our care that require extensive medical care or need more time to find a home. We often reduce the adoption fees on these harder-to-place pets, to help them find homes.

Variable adoption fees are listed on the pet's kennel card; cat adoption fees range from $50 to $195, and dog adoption fees range from $67 to $295. Most cats are $50 to adopt, and most dogs are $80. Puppies four months and younger are $88.  A one year licensing fee of $12 is added to the adoption fee if the adopter lives in a local licensing jurisdiction.

Adoption fees for cats and dogs include sterilization, vaccinations, a microchip, a free health exam at one of the many participating veterinary clinics, deworming for young animals, a one-year license, pet health insurance and an informational packet. For animals that are not already spayed or neutered, a $50 refundable deposit is required by state law (House Bill 1185). This bill seeks to help decrease the pet overpopulation problem in Colorado. Once proof of sterilization is returned to the Humane Society, the $50 deposit will be refunded to the adopter. All dogs must leave on a leash and cats must be in a carrier. 

Adoption fees for other types of animals vary; small animals like gerbils, rats, bunnies and ferrets range from $5 to $65, depending on the species. Exotic animals and birds are priced on a per-case basis. Horses are adopted through a sealed bidding process, and bids must be submitted in person; for more information on adopting horses, please call us at 719.544-3005 or email us. 

Please note that we do not accept checks for adoption fees.

Future Adoptions

Pueblo Animal Services thanks you for considering adopting a shelter pet. We receive so many wonderful animals every day! If the right match is not here for you on your first visit, come again. You will be surprised at the diversity of animals we receive. Our goal is to help you make the right match so you can enjoy each other's company for many wonderful years.

Questions? Please call (719) 404-5428.