By Conor McCue

DENVER (CBS4) – For the first time since before the pandemic, all three locations of the Dumb Friends League are fully open, and employees are calling on community members to come by and adopt if they’re able to. At the Leslie A. Malone Center in Denver, Buddy Center in Castle Rock, and San Luis Valley Animal Center in Alamosa, appointments are still offered but not necessary anymore. Masks are not required for anyone who’s been vaccinated.

(credit: CBS)

“You can now just come on down to the shelter,” said Joan Thielen public relations manager for the Dumb Friends League. “You don’t need an appointment to walk around the kennels.”

READ MORE: Mom Fights With Insurance Company To Get Disabled Daughter Wheelchair

On Wednesday, Megan Kahl and Brianna Rosendaul came to the Denver adoption center for the second time this week. The two recently moved to the area and have been searching for the right emotional support animal. Doing so in-person was much better than online, they said.

“Just getting to interact with them a little bit and seeing them come up or trying to talk to them,” Kahl said.

That ability to connect with the animals in person comes as more dogs than usual are up for adoption. Currently, more than 60 dogs are available between the three locations.

(credit: CBS)

“We get an average of 58 pets into our shelter every single day, so we’re constantly seeing more animals coming in, and we just haven’t been seeing as many adoptions,” Thielen said.

It’s a far cry from this time last year when interest in fostering and adopting was sky-high. The reason for the change this year is unclear.

READ MORE: MSU Denver Offers COVID Vaccine Incentive With Scholarship Drawing

“It could be a combination of things,” She said. “We just fully opened again, so getting that messaging out is really important for us, and also people are going back to work.”

After much discussion, Megan and Brianna have their hearts set on 2-year-old Camilla. Within the next few days, they plan to finish up the paperwork and bring her home.

“We have everything ready for her, so we’re excited,” Kahl said.

(credit: CBS)

At the Dumb Friends League, the hope is for more people to follow their lead.

“We take great care of the pets at the Dumb Friends league, but there’s nothing like a home,” Thielen said.

Thielen said the shelters have not seen any increase in people returning the pets the adopted last year.

MORE NEWS: COVID Vaccine: Denver Moves Focus From Quantity To Localized, Targeted Population

You can learn more about adoptable pets by visiting ddfl.org/adoption. All pet adoptions include spay and neuter surgeries, age-appropriate vaccinations, including rabies, and a microchip ID.

Conor McCue