New shelter planned for 2022 to support the growing community
FORT COLLINS, Colo. – Feb. 1, 2022 – Animal Friends Alliance has broken records for dog adoptions and community cat assistance for two consecutive years, despite ongoing challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, Animal Friends Alliance will expand with a new shelter building at its Taft Hill Campus to increase its capacity to help even more homeless animals and pet families across Northern Colorado.
Animal Friends Alliance found homes for 1,132 dogs in 2021, breaking the previous record of 1,080 dog adoptions set in 2020. “We’re so fortunate to be a part of such an animal-loving community,” said Executive Director Sarah Swanty, “and we’re proud that we’ve been able to unite more homeless dogs with loving families than ever before.” Despite concern about “pandemic pets,” Animal Friends Alliance has not experienced a significant increase in animals returned to its shelter over the last two years. “We have found that our community is full of families eager to commit to a new four-legged family member, and we’re privileged to be a part of that special experience,” said Swanty.
Community cats also had a banner year at Animal Friends Alliance. The organization’s Community Cat Program uses a trap-neuter-vaccinate-return process to help keep the population of local feral and unowned cats under control. The program also brings in friendly community cats and kittens for adoption. In 2021, the program helped 1,124 felines, breaking the previous year’s record of 813 cats helped. “As more community cat caretakers learn about our program, the demand for help has grown consistently,” said Swanty. “Spaying and neutering community cats not only prevents homeless pets, but also protects native wildlife and keeps domestic animals healthier by reducing community cat populations. We want to continue to serve our community as far as our resources allow. ”
To meet the needs of a growing community, Animal Friends Alliance is expanding in 2022 with the construction of a new shelter through its Bringing Paws Together capital campaign. This change will unify the shelter’s adoption services in one location. The expansion of the organization’s Taft Hill Campus will include a new 5,025 square foot building that will house 11 cat colony rooms, community spaces, and a new lobby. The project will also include improvement of the existing dog shelter. Animal Friends Alliance’s Mulberry Campus will remain home to the organization’s Community Pet Resource programs, including its spay/neuter clinic, Kibble Supply Pet Food Pantry, and Community Cat Program. “We’re excited for this expansion for so many reasons,” said Swanty. “Of course this beautiful shelter will create a welcoming space for families looking to adopt the perfect cat or dog family member, and we’ll also have more space to grow our other vital community programs.”
Construction of the new shelter is expected to begin this spring. The project is estimated to cost $2.95M. Animal Friends Alliance has currently raised almost $2M and is seeking pledges though March of 2022. “We hope the community is as excited about this project as we are,” said Swanty. “This organization has done astonishing things for our community in the last 15 years while operating out of facilities that weren’t built for this work. If we can serve more than 12,000 animals each year with less than ideal spaces, just imagine what we can do for the animals and community in this new space.”
For more information on the new shelter, please visit BringingPawsTogether.org.