You may not have considered it, but rescues and shelters are a great source for all types of pets, not just dogs and cats. There are many animal rescues in Colorado that specialize in finding homes for certain types of animals, such as livestock and farm animals, birds, reptiles, and rabbits.
The Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region
The Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region (located in Colorado Springs and Pueblo) has more animals available for adoption than just dogs and cats. They often have ferrets, snakes, birds, guinea pigs, rats, chickens, rabbits, hamsters, turtles, and mice available, who all need forever homes. The adoption cost for exotic pets through the humane society is typically a fraction of what you would pay through a breeder or pet store.
Southern Colorado Animal Rescue (formerly known as the Black Forest Animal Sanctuary)
The Southern Colorado Animal Rescue is a rescue and rehab farm in Black Forest that has been helping animals since 1994. They have rescued thousands of horses, livestock, dogs, cats, birds, and small animals. Horses, in particular, are increasingly being abandoned or surrendered because of the rising cost to feed and care for them. The Southern Colorado Animal Rescue also finds homes for farm animals, including alpacas, goats, and pigs. They are a private foster network of foster homes and farms, so visits are by appointment only.
The Perch, Parrot Café
The Perch is America’s first parrot café; it is both a coffee shop and a place for parrot and companion bird adoptions. They sell a full line of bird food, cages, toys, and accessories, as well as employee staff members who are well-educated on bird needs and behavior. All bird adoptions are conducted through the Metro Denver Parrot Rescue, not the Perch Cafe. Visitors are allowed to meet the adoptable birds after filling out a liability waiver. Don’t shop when you can adopt- adoption fees for birds are often 2-5 times cheaper than retail prices, which means that what’s best for the community and best for the animals is also less expensive for you.
The Colorado Reptile Humane Society
The primary goal of the CoRHS is to match homeless reptiles with motivated owners who can provide what the animal needs. The main shelter is located in Longmont, north of Boulder, but they do also have an active volunteer group in Colorado Springs. Many of the reptiles that are surrendered are malnourished, sick, or injured so the CoRHS spends considerable time and resources nursing the reptiles back to health before being adopted out. You don’t need reptile experience to adopt from CoRHS- just some basic knowledge and motivation to learn and provide for the species you want to adopt!
The Colorado House Rabbit Society
The Colorado House Rabbit Society is licensed by the National House Rabbit Society. They are a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization made up entirely of volunteers. They rescue and rehabilitate homeless abandoned house rabbits. Affectionate, litter-trained, spayed or neutered rabbits are then available for adoption. They also provide education to the public about rabbits and maintain a very informative website. Headquarters are in Broomfield, CO, which is between Denver and Boulder.
The Gabriel Foundation
The Gabriel Foundation is a parrot welfare organization providing for the complete physical, psychological, and environmental well-being of the parrots in their care. Over time, they have developed a structured screening and adoption process that they feel gives both the adopter and bird the best possible start at their new life together. The Gabriel Foundation is located in Elizabeth, CO, which is east of Castle Rock. Visits are by appointment only and public tours are offered on specific days/times of the week. One great thing about the Gabriel Foundations headquarters is that it has several large outdoor aviaries where the birds can fly from perch to perch and enjoy the Colorado sunshine.