Ark-Valley Humane Society

Last Updated on August 21, 2023 by Hannah Stevens


Community Assistance Spay and Neuter Programs

Do you want to spay/neuter your pet? Ark-Valley Humane Society is here to help! Through 2016, they offer free spay/neuter for all pit bulls and cats in Chaffee County. To find out which program is right for your pet, visit Community Assistance Programs or call Amber, the Programs Manager, at 719-966-8023 to learn more.

Residents of Chaffee County in Colorado have access to these services

AVHS is committed to reducing the pet population in our community.

Are you not a resident of Chaffee County? These county resources are also available.

You can also take a look at the pet grants from all the other states.

Owned Pets

The Ark-Valley Humane Society’s spay/neuter program is currently helping to subsidize cat and pit bull surgeries for pet owners living in Chaffee County. If you are interested to learn more about a spay/neuter program for your pet cat or dog, please complete this form.

Feral Cats

Click here for information on trap/neuter/return for feral or free-roaming cats. There are barn cat relocation tips here.

Vet Info

For a complete list of participating vet centers, you may check this link.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is spaying and neutering?

Spaying is a surgical procedure to remove the uterus from female cats and dogs to prevent them from getting pregnant. While the procedure of neutering is surgical procedure performed on male animals to remove their testicles and prevent them from impregnating females. A veterinarian must perform spaying or neutering. Sterilizing or fixing an animal is the same thing as spaying or neutering. Animals that are not spayed or neutered may be referred to as intact, unspayed, or unneutered.

Why does my cat or dog need to be spayed or neutered?
  1. Long, happy lives! Spaying and neutering can prevent uterine infections, mammary and testicular tumors, and other types of cancer.
  2. Your pets will have good behavior! It reduces the chances of urine marking, running away, mounting behaviors, and aggression. Spaying females will prevent them from going into heat. This allows you to avoid the unwanted behaviors and mess that can be associated with heat cycles.
  3. Save Lives! Euthanasia in animal shelters is the number one killer for companion animals. Spaying and neutering reduce the number of unwanted litters; therefore, it helps shelters to save more animals in their care.
Can I spay or neuter my pet when they’re a kitten or puppy?

Yes! Ark-Valley Humane Society spays or neuters dogs and cats at eight to twelve weeks of age, provided they are at least two pounds. The procedure of pediatric spay/neuter is safe and effective. Although the age of spay or neuter depends on the veterinarian’s experience, most veterinarians perform the procedure between 4 and 6 months old. It is not only acceptable, but it is also easier and has a quicker recovery time than for adult pets.

Should I allow my pet to have a heat before I spay her? Should I allow my pet to have a litter before I spay her?

It is not proven that having a heat is good for your cat or dog. Spaying your pet prior to her first heat is better for her health as it allows her to have a simpler procedure, recover faster, and lowers the chance of her developing mammary cancers later. A pet’s first heat may occur as early as 4 to 6 months of age. Spaying before the first heat can help you avoid an unwanted pregnancy. If you have children who want to witness birth, you can consider becoming a foster parent of a pregnant animal at the shelter. Click here to learn more about volunteering at Ark-Valley Humane Society.


Why do we TNR?

Alley Cat Allies says Trap-Neuter-Return is a humane and effective method to approach feral and stray cats. After being tested in Europe, Trap-Neuter-Return has been in use for decades in the USA. Scientific studies have shown that it improves the lives and relationships of feral cats with people who live near them as well as decreasing the number of colonies. To find out more about TNR, and to learn why they use this method, click here.

Pet Cremation Services

Cremation of pets is a thoughtful choice as a final act to show your love and respect for your pet.

They can help you navigate this difficult time of aftercare for your pet. They will help you navigate the process with compassion and help you make the best decisions for your pet. Every pet cremation is handled professionally, and they adhere to a strict code of ethics. Ark-Valley Humane Society will take care of you and your pet during this trying time


Prices include a semi-private cremation as well as a beautiful cedar urn with lock & key.

  • Pocket Pets (Guinea pigs, hamsters, birds, fish, ferrets, hedgehogs, mice, rats and small reptiles) $40
  • Cats $90
  • Dogs (0-35lbs) $100
  • Dogs (36-50lbs) $140
  • Dogs (51-100lbs) $180
  • Dogs (101lbs +) $200
  • No ashes back, reduces the fee by $10.00

Additional Options

  • Private Cremation – $100

To bring your animal in for cremation, please call 719-395-2737 and complete this form.

Surrendering Your Pet

Many times, owners surrender their pet because they feel no other option. Through information and resources, they may be able to help you find other options instead of surrendering your pet.

Resources and Alternatives to Surrendering your Pet

There are many solutions to pet-related problems! They are happy to assist you, just contact them at 719.395.2727.

Ark-Valley Humane Society can help you make the right choice for you and your pet. There are many options available if you’re thinking of bringing your pet to a shelter to rehome them.

If you want to keep your pet but:
They are having behavioral problems
They have a medical problem
You’re moving but your pet can’t go with you
You are pregnant, or you have a new baby
You or a member of your family is allergic
If you have decided to rehome your pet, you can:
You can rehome your pet by yourself
  • It may be the best choice for you to rehome your pet yourself. You know your pet the best. You can take your pet from your home directly to a new home without having to put them in an animal shelter. These are tips for rehoming a pet
Foster-based rescues for breed-specific pets are available to help you rehome your pet

Surrender your pet to Ark-Valley Humane Society

  • You should surrender your pet to them as a last resort. They understand, however, that this may be the best choice for your pet. So, will provide excellent care for your pet and help find them a loving home as soon as possible. Ark-Valley Humane Society does not euthanize for space or time reasons. AVHS, however, can euthanize animals if they are untreatable for unmanageable and for behavioral reasons. Before you surrender an animal to AVHS, please discuss any behavioral or medical concerns with the staff to ensure you make the best decision.
  • AVHS is an open-admission shelter serving Chaffee County. Therefore, any animal in dire need who is from Chaffee County, Colorado will be allowed admission. At the time of surrender, a $75 surrender fee per dog (or litter of puppies), or a $50 surrender fee per cat (or litter of kittens) is required. If the surrender fee is not affordable, please speak with an AVHS staff member.
  • If your residence is outside Chaffee County, you might be asked to wait until there are kennel spaces available. Manager approval is required for all out-of-county surrenders. Please call them to discuss. Fees are $100 per cats (or litter) or $125 per dog.
  • Please do not show up unannounced at the shelter to surrender your pet. To discuss your situation, and to set up a time for your pet to be surrendered, please call 719-395-2737. This will allow AVHS staff to provide the best possible care and attention for your pet.

Please speak to an AVHS staff member before you surrender your pet. If you are directed by them to do so, please fill out the:

You can also take a look at Friend’s Rescued Animal Network and Ginger’s Legacy.