La Plata County Humane Society

Durango, Colorado

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About La Plata County Humane Society

La Plata County Humane Society in Durango, Colorado was established as a non-profit animal shelter in 1971. As an open-admission shelter, they never turn away an animal from within La Plata County based on their age, breed, health, behavior, or aggressive tendencies. If an animal needs extra attention, they’re placed in temporary foster care or transferred to other shelters or rescues to be adopted.

La Plata County Humane Society serves the Four Corners area in southwest Colorado. They provide services such as licensing and affordable spay/neuter programs that help address pet overpopulation, and they reunite hundreds of lost pets with their families. Their humane education programs teach younger generations the importance of kindness and compassion towards all living animals.

Typically, they assist approximately 3,000 animals every year, including dogs, cats, livestock, birds, and small animals.

Contact Info

1111 S Camino del Rio
(970) 259-2847

Hours of Operation

Mon - Sat: 11:00 am - 5:30 pm
Sun: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Adoption Process

La Plata County Humane Society's adoption process is simple and straightforward:

  1. Visit the shelter in person or view their online listing of available pets.
  2. If you’re interested in a pet but need time to think it over, visit the shelter in person and request to place the animal on a 24-hour hold. The hold is an additional $20 and doesn’t count toward your final adoption fee.
  3. Meet with an adoption counselor to discuss the pet you’re considering. They’ll help guide you in finding the perfect match for your family. If you’re adopting a dog and already have a dog living in your home, you’ll need to bring them in for a required meet-n-greet.
  4. After you’ve found your new companion, complete an adoption application. These forms can also be found below.
  5. Application approved? Great! Pay the adoption fee and a $10 license fee (all dogs are required by law to be licensed La Plata County). In most cases, you can leave with your new family member right away!

Before you begin your adoption journey, be sure you meet the requirements below:

  • Be 21+ years old
  • Have a valid photo ID with your current address
  • Live in a home where pets are welcome (if you rent, landlord approval is required)

Adoption applications from La Plata County Humane Society can be found here:

  • Adoption Application - Dogs
  • Adoption Application - Cats

Adoption Fees

Adoption fees at La Plata County Humane Society are as follows:

Large Breed Dogs

  • Puppies (up to 6 months): $199+
  • Adults (7+ months): $99+
  • Seniors: (7+ years): $49+

Small Breed Dogs

  • Puppies (up to 6 months): $249+
  • Young Adults (7+ months): $149+
  • Adults (4+ years): $99+


  • Kittens (up to 6 months): $79
  • Adults (7+ months):  $49
  • Seniors (7+ years): $29
  • Barn cats: $9


  • Seniors For Seniors: Dogs and cats 7+ years old adopted by people 60+ years old pay 50% of the adoption fee
  • Pets For Vets: Adult dogs and cats adopted by military veterans pay 50% adoption of the adoption fee. The adoption is subject to an in-person interview and approval by the Director of Animal Services.

Your adoption fee covers a physical examination and behavior assessment, spay/neuter surgery, current vaccinations including rabies, microchipping, 30 free days of pet insurance, 7-day shelter illness coverage, a post-adoption behavior and training class, and adoption literature.

Adoption Process & Fees

Our writing team is hard at work researching this shelter's adoption process and fees, so this page will be updated soon!

In the meantime, here's some nice-to-know info that applies to nearly every animal shelter, humane society, and rescue.

Why Rescue A Shelter Dog?

Because shelter dogs are full of love!

Is it because they know you saved them and love you harder for it?

I can't say for certain, but yes.

Jokes aside, there are three things all shelter dogs need to thrive in their new home:

  1. Love
  2. Patient
  3. Training

Older shelter dogs, generally 1+ years old, may have experienced a lot of trauma, which often results in one of 8 common behavioral issues:

  1. Anxiety
  2. Aggression toward people & pets
  3. Resource guarding
  4. Destructive behavior
  5. Housetraining regression
  6. Poor social skills
  7. Leash reactivity & barrier-related aggression
  8. Constant whining

These issues are correctable! Your dog isn't broken, they're just damaged. You can fix them with enough love, patience, and a good training plan.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, finding good dog trainers can be hard. Like everything else, dog training is moving only. but there are great online dog trainers that are proven to work and can help get your new pup on the right path.

Animal Shelter vs Humane Society vs Rescue: What's the Difference?

You can learn a lot about an animal welfare organization just by looking at their name.

Animal Shelters

  • Most Animal Shelters are city or county-run organizations, often operated by the local Animal Control department, that manage strays and handle owner surrenders.
  • They usually have kennel facilities you can visit to adopt animals, and they usually have less stringent adoption requirements, lower adoption fees, and same-day adoptions (because their goal is to get animals out of the shelter).
  • Unfortunately, they usually know very little about each animal, including their true personalities and any behavioral problems.

Humane Societies

  • Most Humane Societies are non-profit organizations, many of which are no-kill shelters.
  • Some (but not all) are affiliated with The Humane Society of the United States.
  • They exist to improve animal welfare in the local community and often partner with city or county-run Animal Shelters that often euthanize animals due to capacity restraints.
  • They usually have kennel facilities, sometimes at multiple locations, and usually offer other services to the community such as low-cost spay/neuter clinics, community education programs, and more.
  • They may also have some animals in foster care.
  • There's a lot of variation in process and fees among Humane Societies, but they usually have really good websites that detail everything for you.


  • Most Rescues are foster-based organizations that don't have physical facilities.
  • They usually have websites and contact emails, but not all of them have phone numbers.
  • Because they don't have a physical facility, you need to view animals in their foster network online, usually on their website but sometimes on their member pages on either PetFinder or Adopt-a-Pet.
  • If you see an animal you'd like to meet, contact the rescue using the process listed on their website or via email. They'll help you through the application process and set up a time for you to meet the animal at the foster's home.
  • Adopting from a rescue generally is the most expensive option here and takes the longest, but you get an animal that's been cared for in a loving home environment and their foster can tell you a lot about their personality.

6 Tips to Improve Your Adoption Experience

Adoption processes vary drastically from organization to organization, but here are some general tips that apply in most instances. Note that we'll use the term "shelters" here for simplicity but it includes all types of rescue organizations.

  1. See an animal online that you'd like to meet? Call the shelter before your visit to make sure the animal is still available. This especially applies for puppies, which are adopted out quickly.
  2. Usually, you'll need to get some paperwork in order: a photo ID, vaccination/medical records for any pets you currently have, possibly your vet's contact info and a couple of personal references, and (for renters) proof you're allowed to have a pet (copy of your lease or your landlord's contact info).
  3. If you need to provide contact info for your vet, let your vet know ahead of time. Otherwise, they may not release your information.
  4. Many shelters require your current dogs to meet adoptive dogs. Your current dogs need to be up-to-date on vaccinations.
  5. Some shelters require you to schedule a home visit to ensure a suitable living environment for the new animal.
  6. Adoption fees may seem excessive, but they're actually amazing values. Truthfully, caring for a pet is expensive. Most adoption fees include required medical care to get the animal ready for their new home including (but not limited to) spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations, general vet exams, flea/tick treatment, deworming, heartworm testing/treatment for dogs, and feline leukemia and feline AIDS testing/treatment for cats. In general, your adoption fee is less than the cost of this care, so you're saving money in addition to your new animal's life!

If you have any questions about adopting an animal (what you'll need, what to expect, etc.) feel free to contact the PetLists team!

For more information about what's included in your adoption fee, or any other questions about the adoption process, reach out to
La Plata County Humane Society
directly using the contact info above.

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All information on this page is accurate and up-to-date to the best of our knowledge. If you spot an error, please contact us using our contact form.
Note: Hours of operation and other information on this page are subject to change during the COVID-19 pandemic.