How long has SP been around?
It was started in 1995 by a hospice nurse who recognized a need. It became its own 501c3 in 1996 and is overseen by the Colorado Department of Agriculture.
What is the mission?
Serving terminally ill people in El Paso and Teller counties by finding forever homes for their beloved pets.
How is SP funded?
We are funded through donations from the community and grants. Adoptions are by donations of $100 per cat and $200 per dog, with exceptions only by the Executive Director. We have fundraising events and do an annual campaign each year. 85 cents of every dollar raised goes directly to caring for the pets.
How many paid staff do you have?
We are 99% volunteer! We have one paid part time staff, and the rest are volunteers! Volunteers have key roles in the daily operations of Safe Place for Pets.
How are pets screened?
All pets are assessed to make sure they are healthy and behaviorally sound. Safe Place will make sure they are current on shots and appropriate for adoption. Surrenders are expected to pay for shots and spay/neuter if at all possible before the surrender.
Where are the pets?
Most of our cats are kept at the Safe Place Cattery (we can hold 14 here!). Safe Place works with a network of volunteer fosters to provide a loving and safe environment for our dogs, and occasional cats, until adoption. We will pay to board up to two pets at a time when necessary.
How do you advertise the pets for adoption?
We advertise our pets in Petfinder, Adopt-a-Pet, and Rescue Me. We also, on occasion, put our pets in print materials/publications that we feel are beneficial (we used to have a weekly ad in the Independent, for example). We also have posts on Facebook, Instagram, and our website, www.safeplacepets.org.
How can I contact you for more information or find out about events?
How are adopters screened?
Potential adopters fill out an application. A placement volunteer contacts them to set up a meet & greet for them to meet the pet and for Safe Place to explain our program. The pet can go to their home for a visit where we take a deposit and they keep the pet. This is called our Pre-Adopt program. This helps all decide if the placement is right. At the end of that time, the placement volunteer decides if the adoption should go through.
What if someone cannot afford the donation fee?
We often have special grants and promotions available to assist in the adoption of specific animals or adopters. This is determined on a case by case basis.
What pets do we take?
We will take any appropriate pet. We have placed cats, dogs, birds, fish, bunnies, ducks, etc.
Can we foster pets temporarily while owners are ill or away?
No, but we can refer them to kennels and pet sitting services.
Is there any way to do advance planning for my pet?
Go to our website www.safeplacepets.org and download a copy of Directives for My Pets. Complete a copy and give to your family and place in legal documents. If you send a copy to Safe Place for Pets, we will assist in the planning process.
What is considered a terminal illness?
We use the guidelines of Medicare to determine a terminal illness and may request a doctor’s note to verify.
What other services do you offer?
We have a Wellness Program that serves pet owners who are terminally ill, in keeping their pets healthy. We offer vet visits, grooming, food, exercise, errands and more to assist the pet and owner. They do not need to surrender the pet to us, but must complete an assessment and a contract with a Wellness program volunteer.
How can the community help?
Through donations of needed items, monetary donations, or volunteer time. We have many ways for volunteers and donors to do. If you are interested in volunteering, please email firstname.lastname@example.org visit safeplacepets.org for a volunteer application.
Can I take home a pet from the facility that day?
You must fill out the application and have a site visit before the pet goes to your home. Our placement volunteers will make every effort to speed the process along; however we make sure to carry out a thorough process to ensure our pets are in the right home.
What do volunteers do?
We have a large amount of volunteer opportunities. These include: staffing our Welcome Center, fostering, vet running, placement team, events, board roles, cat care, and many more. We have many administrative duties that can be done from home as well. We will work with your schedule and skills to make the proper fit.