By Jeff Todd

DENVER (CBS4) – The New Year is bring new changes to the Denver Dumb Friends League, one of the largest animal shelters in the state of Colorado.

Renderings of the Dumb Friends Leage expansion.
(credit: CBS)

A new CEO takes over in three weeks, and she’ll be overseeing a massive $40 million expansion to modernize the facility.

“We’re going to be a resource for all the other shelters in Colorado which we always try to do, but we’re going to be able to do even more,” said Dr. Apryl Steele, the CEO-designate at the Denver Dumb Friends League. “Having the capacity and building the collaboration and serving all the animals that come to us, that part I’m super excited about.”

CBS4’s Jeff Todd interview Dr. Apryl Steele. (credit: CBS)

The facility will grow to 111,000 square feet, but inside that space is a revolution for some of the services.

Renderings of the Dumb Friends Leage expansion.
(credit: CBS)

The medical facility will double in size and be equipped with special rooms for spay/neutering and another for dental work and x-rays.

(credit: CBS)

“When we originally built this space it was spaying and neutering animals. We weren’t doing a lot of dental work, we weren’t doing fracture work, bladder surgeries, mass removals, all those other things we’re doing for animals now,” Steele said.

(credit: CBS)

A new designated area will focus on behavior for some dogs, in order to keep them alive and help them reach a point where they can be adopted.

“What happens right now, our animals that are really fearful, sometimes they lash out and they’re not safe to place because they will bite. But if they can learn to trust again, they can play safely,” Steele said.

Renderings of the Dumb Friends Leage expansion.
(credit: CBS)

The money for the renovation has largely come from a matching grant, but the Dumb Friends League still needs to raise about $10 million in the next few years.

LINK: Dumb Friends League 

Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.


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