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Letter to the Editor: Licensed animal shelters

Posted: Thursday, Apr 18th, 2013

This letter corrects the errors that appeared in the 4/16/13 Valley Courier article entitled “Animal shelter aspires to assist entire Valley” and provides a brief overview of the two animal welfare groups that operate shelters in the San Luis Valley. The 4/16 article stated that the Conour Shelter of the Upper Rio Grand Animal Society in Monte Vista was the only certified shelter in the valley. Certified is the wrong term; the correct term is licensed and there are three State of Colorado licensed animal facilities in the SLV: the Conour shelter, the San Luis Valley Animal Welfare Society (SLVAWS) shelter outside San Luis, and the Alamosa City Pound.

Overview of SLV Shelters

The SLVAWS headquartered in Alamosa has since its inception in 2000 rescued over 8,000 homeless SLV animals and found them good homes (2,302 rescue/adoptions since 2010) far more than any other shelter in the valley. The SLVAWS adopts locally as well as through PetSmart stores; we have a contract with PetSmart Corp. The SLVAWS is the only no-kill shelter as can be verified by State of Colorado official shelter data.

Conour shelter operates in the city of Monte Vista.

The SLVAWS operates a 35 acre shelter with 17,000 sq ft of building space, the former Battle Mt. Gold Mine facility. SLVAWS volunteers operate the SLV Animal Hotline (587-WOOF on the cover of the local phone book) fielding thousands of calls a year, providing Valley residents support and information on a wide range of animal issues, including spay/neuter clinics, behavioral issues, referrals to veterinarians, lost and found animals. The SLVAWS is also active in dealing with animal abuse in the SLV working with the Colorado State Veterinarians Office.

For more information on SLV shelters go to the following websites: for the SLV Animal Welfare Society go to www.slvaws.org; their email is woof@slvaws.org their facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/pages/San-Luis-Valley-Animal-Welfare-Society/122128047828397.

The Conour shelter does not have a website but one can find information on them at http://www.petango.com/ConourShelter


Unfortunately there has never been a shelter large enough to house all the unwanted animals in any area. Furthermore there aren’t enough good homes for all the unwanted animals that could be housed in a larger shelter. Many dogs would still have to be euthanized. The only answer is the spay/neuter of all pet animals. Until pet owners are required to spay/neuter their pets, there will be homeless unwanted dogs and cats that will not find homes and they will be euthanized.

Frank W. Peek, President

San Luis Valley Animal Welfare Society

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