PAWS History

231 (Dog) Years of History

PAWS For Life Animal Welfare & Protection Society began in 1978 with the collective actions of eight individuals who saw the need in Pueblo to provide help and aid to abandoned, abused, and unwanted companion animals. The objective was to place each of these animals into a loving home. In its beginning there was no shelter facility. Care for animals was provided strictly through a foster home system, but it quickly became obvious that the foster home system was limited. Large numbers of adoptable animals were still left to die in the streets or were subject to disposal at taxpayers’ expense. Thankfully, in March of 1980 Albert O. Pritz donated land at 3420 West 8th Street (off Pueblo Boulevard and 11th Street) and a shelter facility was built. This is where currently both shelters are located.

In 1981 the PAWS For Life – Animal Welfare and Protection Society was incorporated in the state of Colorado as a non-profit organization and is recognized as a 501(c)(3) corporation by the Internal Revenue Service. PAWS For Life soon established a policy based on population control and adoption as alternatives to euthanasia and the organization began a campaign to focus public awareness on the increasing needs of helpless and homeless animals. In response to this, contributions from the public enabled us to construct a small, 10 run kennel. The shelter later expanded to 16 indoor access runs and four outside runs. In 2001 the shelter underwent a renovation project that made the shelter safer and healthier for dogs and staff and brought it into compliance with PACFA regulations. Our old shelter has 26 runs and housed between 50 and 60 dogs at any one time. With donations from individuals and businesses, fundraising activities and an occasional grant as our only means of support we have been able to care for and adopt out several thousand animals into good homes.

In 2010 we broke ground on our state-of-the-art PAWS for Life campus on the city’s West Side and in July of 2011 we opened our new facility. We have a year long fundraising push to expand on our success with our dog facility by building a no-kill cat shelter too.