By: Sara Higley ’21 Katelyn Marshall ’21
The Dumb Friends League is an animal shelter that rescues animals and offers animal adoption for cats, dogs, small animals, and even horses! Their mission statement is ‘Working with our compassionate community, we will end pet homelessness and animal suffering,’ which stole our hearts. We decided to interview community educator, Kyle Warner, to learn more about the Dumb Friends League and their mission as well as informing students about the decision to adopt and not shop.
To start the interview, we wanted to know how many animals, on average, the DFL took in each year. Warner informed us that the take in 22,000 animals every year, many from owner surrender and a few from the streets. Approximately 85% of the animals that come to the DFL are owner surrenders. This means, according to Kyle Warner, that they are given to the DFL by their owners because, for whatever reason, they can no longer care for them.
The Dumb Friends League is a constant cycle of animals being rescued by the dumb friends league and animals getting adopted from them. Warner says that “At any given time we can have over 500 animals in their care system,” and this is only one of their facilities, they have 4 facilities just in Colorado. DFL’s mission is to find as many forever homes for all animals big and small and this only works if families are willing to adopt and not shop.
With the Dumb Friends League having all sorts of animals from hamsters to horses we wanted to know which animal the dumb friends league has the most of. Cats was by far the most popular animal in the shelter. All genders and breeds of cats can be found in the DFL. Cats is most popular due to people not neutering their personal cats. When a cat is not neutered they can freely have kittens resulting in massive litters. These liters are found roaming on the streets or the owner cannot keep all of them so the surrender the kittens to the DFL.
We wanted to know a little about DFL’s Kyle Warner so we asked him why he was interested in joining this program. He told us “The Dumb Friends League does great work in reducing suffering in the animal population and it was a great opportunity to contribute to something I believe in. We also wanted to know the best part about working there. He told us that its because he gets to work with kids and educated them on why its best to adopt. He loves their reactions when they get to meet some of the furry friends. Mr. Warner has also adopted himself from the DFL, He brought home a GermanShorthaired Pointer named Lucy who is “literally the best.”
When families aren’t ready too adopt but they still want to help they can choose to foster through the DFL. Foster families take animals home for a certain amount of time to help the animals. Most fostered animals usually have social problems and find it hard to connect with humans which can be due too abuse in their past life. Currently there are 400 foster families. The DFL encourages fostering because it helps them tremendously because it helps the animals become adoption ready.
The DFL is a very large operation to run which is why each location has about 200 employees and better yet they get a lot of help from willing volunteers. All together there are 1,400 volunteers in total. The volunteers get the animals outside and playing and they also do small tasks to take some work loads off of the employees. Some volunteers are also High Schoolers just like us. DFL could use any help they can get.
Some animals come in the Dumb Friends league in serious need of help. Some have been abused, some with broken bones, and others that are starving. The Dumb Friends League has a team of professionally trained medics ready to treat any animals that are in need of it. They are committed to saving lives and getting the animal in condition where they can be healthy enough to be taken home by an adopter.
When brought into the shelter, all dogs and cats are given a Dumb Friends League collar. For some of these dogs and cats, this made them feel like they were already loved and taken care of. Animals at the DFL are given plenty of food and water and a lot of volunteer interaction. At the DFL they want them to be happy and healthy.
We next interviewed Olivia Baptiste ’21 who is the head of teen volunteers at Dumb Friends League.
Olivia told us that volunteering at the Dumb Friends League has been one of the best decision of her life. She loves all of the other volunteers, her mentors, and of course, all of the animals. She says it is a great opportunity if you have a passion for animals. She loved getting to meet peers with the same interest as her and help many of the animals at the DFL. Olivia told us that the volunteer leaders, including Kyle Warner, are very supportive and kind. “They help you understand how to care for the animals, big and small, as well as making you laugh all the while.”
Throughout this experience we learned a lot about The Dumb Friends League and their mission. We now know how animals get there, their experience while staying there, and their entire journey up until the point they find their forever home. There are also many thing we can do to help these furry friends find homes. We can volunteer and even foster many of the animals at the DFL. These animals give us so much love and loyalty and the least we can do is help them find forever homes. If there is any way you can foster or adopt, we know that it would help out the DFL and mostly the amazing animals homed there.