Denver Animal Shelter improvements result in faster adoptions, taxpayer savings

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DENVER -- The people who care for the pets at the Denver Animal Shelter are working to speed up the time it takes for adoptions of animals to happen and make the place more efficient all the way around.

More than 7,000 dogs and cats go through the facility on a year. They're strays, they're lost or pets that people simply can no longer take care of.

"This is an unnatural environment for the animals so if they're here for an extended amount of time you see deterioration and we really want to avoid that," Denver Animal Shelter spokeswoman Audrey Borfick.

Director Alice Nightengale said they worked with the Mayor's Peak Academy Initiative to improve government process and came up with ways to streamline pet adoptions. "It decreased our length of stay by three days which is significant from an animal's perspective."

Other things that help include taking better pictures of the animals. It helps get them adopted and makes it easier for owners to identify their lost pets on the shelter's website.

"We took a toy that squeaks, a very simple innovation. The dog looks directly at the camera and you snap a great picture."

Shelter staff also worked to simplify and streamline paperwork o everything from dog bite investigations to tracking treats. "We've noticed a decrease in upset tummies and more treats to spread around."

It's added up to almost $1 million in taxpayer savings in the animal protection department. It's also resulted in a lot more pets into new homes with their new homes more quickly.

To see the pets available for adoption right now, visit the Denver Animal Shelter's website.