Our Canine Training and Behavior team implements effective and up-to-date practices to keep our shelter dogs stimulated, happy, and healthy. All adoptable dogs receive the following:

Behavior Evaluation- After settling in, C.A.R.E. dogs undergo a thorough behavior evaluation that “tests” their temperament and gives us an idea of what qualities will be the best match in their new home. Our behavior evaluation assesses initial reaction to strangers, kids, cats, other dogs, food, toys, playtime, and relaxation.  By taking this essential step, we get to know as much as possible about dogs in our care BEFORE placing them up for adoption.  

Environmental Enrichment- C.A.R.E. shelter dogs receive love, attention, and training to alleviate the stressors of day-to-day shelter living. C.A.R.E. utilizes food games, mental stimulation (through nose work and training), as well as daily physical exercise to keep our dogs active and happy. Not to mention the many pets, cuddles, and belly rubs that our staff dotes on these perfect pooches!

Play Groups- Dog play groups are like backyard track and field parties for our resident dogs.  Every day, we bring different groups of dogs together to practice socialization skills, exercise, and do what dogs do best-PLAY! Play groups are an essential and effective part of keeping our resident dogs feeling great, and besides, they’re FUN.


C.A.R.E.’s Feline Enrichment program allows our staff and volunteers to nurture the unique personality of each cat in our care.  By identifying a cat’s likes and dislikes, preferences for bedding and living quarters, favorite play toys, and even desired friend group, we strive to make every cat feel at home.



C.A.R.E. is passionate about helping animals in every part of Colorado.  Keep an eye out for our transport van, the Critter Cruiser, as we make trips to shelters and rescue organizations on the Front Range, Southern Colorado, or wherever an animal may benefit from relocation.  Our drivers love honks, waves, and peace signs!


The Thumper Fund has been providing medical care to our shelter animals since 2004.  The fund is named after Thumper, a cat, who was hit by a car and arrived at C.A.R.E. in need of major medical attention.  Thumper made a full recovery, and in his honor, the fund remains in place to help all shelter animals in need of special medical care.  Thanks to generous donors, the fund is ready to help, without hesitation, for major surgeries, medications, physical therapy, dental work, or long-term illness care for our resident shelter pets.


In 2016, C.A.R.E. received a donation that included sought after dental cleaning equipment and we are now fortunate to be cleaning the teeth of our shelter residents.  Thanks to the expertise of our in-house medical team, and the generosity of Dr. Jennifer Givens and Dr. Dirk Fleischman, we now have an immediate and effective impact on the long-term dental health of animals in our care.


Since 2003, Street Cat Coalition is on a mission to help our neighborhood cats.  Founded by faithful volunteer, animal advocate, and Carbondale resident, Cindy Sadlowski, the Street Cat Coalition is committed to improving the lives of homeless cats and reducing the number of unwanted litters.

By implementing Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) services and a Feral Cat Relocation program, we effectively manage a healthy feral cat population in Garfield County. Our TNR program includes a trap-lending service, which allows individuals and property owners to trap feral cats. These cats can be brought to our facility (by appointment). Once here, each cat is spay/neutered, vaccinated, tested, ear-tipped, and then returned to their outdoor home. If return is not an option, we rehome to a desired barn or outdoor location through a working cat adoption.


C.A.R.E. thoroughly briefs adopters on do’s and don’ts about the early weeks and months with their newly adopted pet.  In addition, C.A.R.E. offers ongoing support to adopters in order to diagnose and address behavior issues as soon as possible.  Our staff will provide resources, share knowledge, and even visit your home to help solve a problem with an adopted pet.

Help the animals in our care by donating to the shelter! Your gift, no matter how big or small, will improve the lives of homeless & abandoned animals within our community and beyond. Thanks so much for your support!

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