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More animals rescued from Pueblo shelter arrive in Denver

DENVER -- Dozens of additional animals made their way to Denver from  the embattled animal shelter in Pueblo Thursday night. MaxFund Animal Adoption Center's manager says they did not leave a single pet behind.

The animals are the latest rescued from the Pueblo Community Animal Shelter. On Wednesday, the shelter's new operators, Paws for Life, gave up their license after only taking over in January of this year. City leaders slammed the shelter for several serious violations, including poor vet care and more than a dozen animals dying within a two-month span.

Shelters all over the Denver metro stepped up to take the animals in.

“All of these animals are... they’re in bad shape. They need a lot of love and attention,” explained MaxFund manager Cheryl Stapleton.

The crisis in Pueblo sparked a heated debate over the no-kill movement. On Thursday, eight shelters in Colorado, including the Denver Dumb Friends League, released a statement in which they not only blasted the situation at the Pueblo shelter, but also said they believed the no-kill movement played a role in the shelter’s poor care.

The city Of Pueblo passed a new ordinance late last year forcing the city’s shelter to transition to no-kill standards.

“You start managing to a number rather than to that animal's individual needs. You end up having a situation where animals are being kept alive and they are in situations where they are suffering,” explained Maia Brusseau with the Denver Dumb Friends League. The group took in dozens of pets from Pueblo on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, MaxFund, known for its no-kill stance, says the downturn at the Pueblo shelter was about gross mismanagement.

“Being no-kill has nothing to do with that. We’ve been no-kill going on 31 years. We’ve had no issue like that,” said Stapleton.

It will be a while before the pets at MaxFund are up for adoption. The shelter says right now, the biggest need is for volunteers, foster homes and puppy food.

In a phone conversation Thursday afternoon with Pueblo city councilman Dennis Flores, he said their biggest priority is finding a new operator for the shelter. He also said they may have to eventually revisit the no-kill ordinance.

For more information on the pets at MaxFund visit its website.

The Denver Dumb Friends League is offering adult pet adoption discounts to make room for the new animals from Pueblo.

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