There’s No Place Like Home
Temporary foster homes save lives

Every animal that comes through the doors of Larimer Humane Society deserves a second chance. As an open admission shelter, we pride ourselves on welcoming every animal into our shelter regardless of age, health or temperament. We do our best to provide the highest quality care and protect the most vulnerable animals in our shelter. For animals that are too young to be placed up for adoption, recovering from surgery or illness, or are exhibiting behavioral issues, the best thing for them is to heal, grow or learn in a home environment until they are ready for adoption. That’s where our dedicated and compassionate Foster Care Volunteers come in.

Each year, our Foster Care Volunteers provide loving temporary homes to more than 500 animals and donated more than 17,000 hours of service for the care of these animals. Our foster parents are not only providing live-saving medical care, around the clock nurturing, and crucial behavioral training, they are truly providing life-saving care by opening their hearts and homes to pets who need it most.

535 animals were given a second chance thanks to the love and compassion of foster families. If you’re interested in opening your heart and home to a shelter pet until they are physically and emotionally ready for adoption, visit

From the Executive Director
Giving the Gift of Home this Holiday Season

As the holidays come and go, we are reminded of the joy and love animals bring to a home. This holiday season, and every day, we are dedicated to being the place where animals and people can find each other and find love. Every day more than 15 homeless, abused, neglected, unwanted and abandoned animals come through our doors looking for a second chance. We pride ourselves on being an open admission, taking in every animal that comes to us and giving them a second, and sometimes a third and fourth, chance at a new home. When every other door in an animal’s life closes, ours is open. Our open admission and open adoption policies allow us to provide second chances to the 6,000 animals that come through our doors every year. So what does this really mean?

Our open admission status means we don’t turn an animal away for any reason, whether they are young, old, sick, injured, orphaned, abused, abandoned, lost or have behavioral issues, they will be met with open arms at Larimer Humane Society. Once the animal is ready for adoption, our open adoption process allows us to remove barriers that often prevent animals from going home so we can connect more animals in need with loving new families.
Warm wishes,
Judith A. Calhoun, CFRE, CAWA
Executive Director

Keeping Your Pets Safe During the Holidays

As humans the Holiday Season is a wonderful time of year filled good food, good company and a few extra days off of work, but for our four-legged companions the holidays can pose a very real risk to their health and safety. Here are a few tips to help make sure this holiday season is safe and happy one for both you and your pets.

Beware of Festive Decoration Hazards
Many of the festive decorations that make the Holiday season so special can be extremely dangerous for our pets. When putting up Holiday decorations think safety first! Christmas trees should be securely anchored so your pet can’t accidentally tip it over. Candles should never be burned unattended or within your pets reach. Lights and wires should be safely mounted to avoid your pet getting tangled in them and avoid the risk of electrical shock if they chew on them. Avoid using tinsel, glass ornaments or decorations with long strings as they can be harmful if ingested causing serious damage to intestines and require surgery to remove. Some common holiday plants, like mistletoe and holly, are toxic to cats and dogs and should be kept out of their reach. While poinsettias get a bad rap, they are only mildly toxic to pets; they can cause drooling and mild vomiting which usually resolve on their own.

Avoid Food Dangers
Many of the delicious treats we look forward to during this time of year aren’t good for your pet and can even be toxic. Some of the most popular holiday treats contain chocolate, raisins, grapes, and macadamia nuts that can make your pet sick or even be fatal. It is also best to resist the urge to indulge your pet with leftover fat trimmings and bones which are unhealthy and dangerous for your four-legged companion.

Protect Your Pet
Whether you are traveling with your pet, leaving them with a trusted sitter or boarding facility, or hosting your friends and family at your home, there are a few simple things you can do to keep your pet safe, healthy and happy during the holiday season and every day of the year. Make sure your pet is licensed in case they accidently get lost during the hustle and bustle of the season. Make a trip to your vet for a checkup and make sure they are up to date on their vaccines so you can enjoy a worry free holiday season.

Cold Weather Tips

Pets need protection from the cold weather just as much as they need protection from the heat of the summer. Here are a few tips to help keep your pet as healthy as possible through the Colorado winter!

Beware of antifreeze
It tastes sweet to animals, but even a small amount can be deadly. Clean up even the smallest spills immediately and keep the product away from pets.

Check the paws
Snow and ice can lead to injuries such as cracked or bleeding paws. Check them often for signs of injury. Trimming excess fur between the toes can help prevent ice ball accumulation, which can lead to sudden lameness on a walk. Also make sure to wipe the paws after walks to get rid of any deicers or other potentially toxic chemicals that your pet might ingest. Please consider using a pet-safe deicer to help protect your pets and any others that might be walking in your neighborhood.

Bang on your car
Cats may crawl under the hood of a car with a warm engine. To prevent injury to the cat, bang on the hood of the car and make noise before starting your car.

Provide shelter
We don’t recommend leaving pets outside for long periods of time, but if you must leave your pets outside during the cold weather make sure they have adequate shelter and fresh, non-frozen water. The shelter should be appropriate for the type of animal; remember to consider the pet’s age and overall condition before placing an animal outside. Always make sure to check with your local municipality to determine if there are specific requirements for sheltering your type of animal.

Know your pet
Make adjustments as needed for your pet; for example, dogs with short fur may need a sweater or arthritic animals may need help walking on the snow and ice. Always check with your veterinarian if you have specific questions!

Happy Tail: Champion’s Second Chance

Champion’s life hasn’t been easy. As a pit bull mix growing up in an area where others in his breed are banned and often euthanized, the outlook for his future was gloomy. To make matters worse, Champion wasn’t just unwanted he was also a victim of cruelty and neglect. Champion arrived at a shelter in Aurora, where pit bulls are illegal, with severe injuries. Veterinarians believe he was hit by a car and didn’t receive the proper medical care he desperately needed, as a result one of Champion’s front legs had to be amputated.

Being a pit bill in a community where his breed was banned, Champion’s fate was unclear. But the shelter that rescued Champion was dedicated to providing him a second chance and just happened to be one of Larimer Humane Society’s 55 transfer partners. After his surgery, Champion was transferred to our shelter where he got a new leash on life. When every other door in an animal’s life closes, ours is open. Each year hundreds of animals, like Champion, receive a second chance through Larimer Humane Society’s transfer program. Just this past year we transferred 667 animals in order to give them the best possible chance to be adopted into a new loving home. Of these 667 animals, 11 were Pit Bulls from Aurora. Thanks to support of caring community members, like you, we have the resources available to invest in our transfer partnerships and save more lives. Because of you, Champion got the second chance he desperately needed and is now part of a loving family here in northern Colorado.

Volunteer Spotlight: Katherine Hinds

Katherine has been a volunteer with Larimer Humane Society for three years and has given her time generously to Client Services, various special events, Foster Care and now, as an Adoption Ambassador. She is among the 400 volunteers that make it possible for Larimer Humane Society to successfully reach its goals. We are honored to highlight Katherine and to have her share her story with you.

Animals have always been an important part of my life from my very first pets - a cat named Scamper and a Cocker Spaniel named Bonnie. I also had a turtle named Pop, who died from overheating by a radiator. My mother took me out to the grocery store following the discovery of Pop's death and a friend of hers asked me how I was, to which I replied "I'm fine, but my Pop died." You can imagine the horrified look she gave my mother! Through the years, I have had many wonderful animals - dogs, cats, rabbits, rats, mice and I've loved them all. I have always enjoyed being able to share my innermost thoughts with my animals without risking judgment or censure.

I currently have a super dog, Rousseau, an eight-year-old Papillion (as my husband says, "on steroids," because he is VERY large for a Pap), and a cat, Magnificat (I am a musician, hence the name). I also have a senior horse, Cascade (33 years old), who is housed with a friend and her horses. As an animal lover, I wanted to volunteer with Larimer Humane Society for several years before I was able to attend orientation and training. Once I retired I was able to begin. Working with people who care about animals as I do is wonderful! I am thrilled to be working as an adoption counselor, and have enjoyed seeing the cats and kittens I’ve fostered find their new loving homes. Sometimes there are delicate situations that come into Client Services, such as people having to surrender their animals, but even then, I am happy to work with them and reassure them that they are acting in their pet's best interest, and that we will do everything we can to help the animal find a new forever home.