Press Releases

Cheyenne Animal Shelter revamping, resuming “The Big Fix” Spay/Neuter Program


The Cheyenne Animal Shelter has restructured its “Big Fix” spay/neuter program to utilize the Shelter’s medical team, a move that will allow for more animals to be altered and fewer litters of pets to be left in shelter care.

“The Big Fix” Program is an income-qualified service designed to offer a low-priced option for community members who need to have their pets altered and to ensure pets are protected from common viral illnesses through vaccinations.

Tessha Winsch, DVM and the Cheyenne Animal Shelter’s Medical Director says, “Spay/neutering and vaccinating helps to protect human health through the prevention of common zoonotic diseases and enables more people to reap the social and health benefits provided through pet ownership.”

The low prices offered through the Cheyenne Animal Shelter are subsidized through specialized grants and donations that help to offset the costs of this vital service. Community members may pick up an application from the Cheyenne Animal Shelter or print one from our website. Applicants then need to return the application with proof of income (first page of last year’s 1040 tax form) to the Cheyenne Animal Shelter for approval.

Applicants must be more than 18 years of age and be the owner of the pet. Applications will be approved based upon income levels established by the federal government and applicants must be a resident of Laramie County.

Once the application has been processed, an employee from the Cheyenne Animal Shelter will notify the applicant of his approval/denial status via email. Applicants have 30 days from the date of notification to redeem and schedule their approved services.

Veterinarians in Laramie County have performed the surgeries in the past, and we so appreciate the support we have received from the veterinarian community for more than a decade! Now that a second veterinarian has been hired at the Cheyenne Animal Shelter, we’ll be bringing the program in-house, and surgeries will be performed at our facility located at 800 Southwest Drive. For more information about the Big Fix program, call 307-222-6353, email or download an application here.

Upper Respiratory Infection Contained at Shelter


Officials at the Cheyenne Animal Shelter are pleased to announce that a serious upper respiratory infection that was discovered in one adult canine has been contained.

Tessha Winsch, DVM and the Shelter’s medical director, halted the adoption of all Shelter dogs for five days while every adult dog was treated to prevent the spread of the bacterial infection known as Streptococcus equi subspecies zooepidemicus.

“It was better to err on the safe side by closing access to all shelter dogs even if they had exhibited no signs of sickness,” Winsch said.  “We provided antibiotics to every dog – approximately 85 — in our care for the five-day period.  None have since tested positive and dog adoptions are back on track.

Local veterinarian Tiffany Healey, DVM, Cottonwood Veterinary Clinic, said that the Cheyenne Animal Shelter absolutely did the right thing in treating and securing the infection.  “Dr. Winsch was really on top of what could have been a real tragedy,” Healey said.  “She discovered the disease early and she and the veterinary team, as well as all of the animal care staff, did all they could to contain it.  Things turned out very well and I’m impressed!”

The Cheyenne Animal Shelter wishes to thank the Wags and Menace Make a Difference Program Foundation for providing the funding necessary to cover the cost of antibiotics and testing for the original dog that tested positive, who is now on the mend.

A list of Frequently Asked Questions can be found on the Shelter’s website at As well, those who wish may donate to help cover the cost of pet medical treatment online at or send a check to the Cheyenne Animal Shelter, 800 Southwest Drive, Cheyenne, Wyoming, 82007.

Public Notice Regarding Upper Respiratory Infection at the Shelter


CHEYENNE, Wyo. – The Cheyenne Animal Shelter is experiencing an increased number of adult canines with upper respiratory infection (URI) in our Shelter located at 800 Southwest Drive.  Most of the cases are mild and easily overcome with standard antibiotics and treatment of symptoms.  However, the Shelter has experienced one recent severe case caused by a bacteria known as Streptococcus equi subspecies zooepidemicus and will close dog adoptions until Monday, August 13th while the population is being treated.

Tessha Winsch, DVM and the Shelter’s medical director, says she wants to assure the community that Shelter staff will be working overtime to identify, treat, care for and cure ALL of the animals that may have been exposed to this illness.  Owners of recently adopted dogs will receive a letter indicating symptoms to look for and what steps they can take to treat a URI if necessary.

“This is our busiest time of the year for the number of animals in need of our help,” Winsch said.  “While we are taking an abundance of caution for the dogs currently in our care, the Cheyenne Animal Shelter asks that owners wishing to surrender their dogs please give us at least four days before doing so. Those that absolutely must surrender their dogs are asked to call ahead to make arrangements at 307-632-6655.”

Dogs that arrive at the Shelter before Monday will be housed in a separate area of the Shelter.

Winsch added that the URI disease has shown up recently at a number of other shelters around the country including Weld County, Colorado.  “Together, we are working with these other shelters and local veterinarians to curb the spread of disease and to discover new ways to implement a diagnosis and management plan,” she said.  “Diagnostic tests, the treatment of sick animals and preventive measures are expensive and donations are more important than ever!”

A list of Frequently Asked Questions can be found on the Shelter’s website at As well, those who wish may donate to help cover the cost of their treatment online at or send a check to the Cheyenne Animal Shelter, 800 Southwest Drive, Cheyenne, Wyoming, 82007.

Fee Waived Pet Adoptions June 25 to July 4 at Cheyenne Animal Shelter


Cheyenne, Wyo. – Are you looking for a new best friend? Now is a great time to adopt a dog or cat for free. The Cheyenne Animal Shelter is teaming up with Best Friends Animal Society and more than 270 other partner rescue groups across the country to offer fee-waived adoptions, in hopes of finding homes for 10,000 pets in 10 days.

The adoption fees were covered by generous animal lovers who wanted to Pay It Forward and help send homeless cats and dogs home over the summer holiday.

“If you get excited when a stranger pays for your coffee, imagine the joy you’ll feel when adopting a pet whose adoption fee has been covered,” said Julie Castle, Chief Executive Officer of Best Friends Animal Society.

Getting adoptable pets into homes is crucial this time of year, as each July, shelters across the country flood with dogs and cats. Many of those intakes happen around the July 4th holiday, when, driven by a fearful reaction to fireworks and other loud sights and sounds, pets flee from their homes and end up in municipal animal shelters.

“We’re in the peak of kitten season, so our cat population is through the roof! We also have about a dozen dogs that have been in the Shelter for more than a month,” said Cheyenne Animal Shelter Manager, Stephanie Bilbro. “We’re hoping this promotion will help get some attention for all of our animals waiting for new homes.”

To preview adoptable pets at the Cheyenne Animal Shelter, visit From playful youngsters to sweet seniors, pets from the Shelter are fixed, vaccinated and micro-chipped.

This adoption promotion is part of Best Friends Animal Society’s Save Them All campaign to save the lives of dogs and cats in America’s shelters. The Cheyenne Animal Shelter is a Best Friends Network Partner. For more information, visit

Cheyenne Animal Shelter joins Pets for Patriots Companion Pet Adoption Program for Military Veterans


CHEYENNE, Wyo. –  The Cheyenne Animal Shelter has partnered with Pets for Patriots, Inc., a nonprofit that saves the lives of people and pets through companion pet adoption for United States military veterans. The Cheyenne Animal Shelter is the first shelter in the state of Wyoming to partner with this organization.

Working with Pets for Patriots, the Shelter will give local veterans, active duty military members and their families the gift of unconditional love while providing the most overlooked cats and dogs a second chance at life.

“For every day that a pet is in our Shelter, it costs us approximately $50; more if they need extra medical care,” says Stephanie Bilbro, Cheyenne Animal Shelter Manager. “By working with Pets for Patriots, we hope to inspire our local veterans and service members to give these animals a loving home. This will help us place more hard-to-adopt pets with good people who need or want a companion pet and save these innocent animals from becoming permanent shelter residents.”

Individuals are welcome from all United States armed forces and at any stage of their careers. Eligible pets must meet one of three criteria: cat or dog two years or older, cat or dog with special needs, or dog over 40 pounds.

Joining Pets for Patriots is entirely free to veterans, though they are responsible for the Shelter’s adoption fee. To reduce the chance that these pets are surrendered, the charity sends a $150 gift card upon proof of eligible adoption to help with food and other essentials, and it also provides access to local veterinary partners who agree to offer ongoing discounted care. For patrons enrolled in this program, the Shelter offers a member patriot special of 50% off the adoption fee and a 10% military discount in the store as a thank you for their service. Cheyenne Pet Clinic is the veterinary partner in the Cheyenne, Wyoming Pets for Patriots program. The Clinic will provide 10% off veterinarian care for those enrolled in the program.

The Cheyenne Animal Shelter quickly saw the potential to find hard-to-adopt cats and dogs permanent homes with service members. “We are able to place almost 3,000 pets each year,” says Bilbro, “Through our partnership with Pets for Patriots, we hope to provide forever homes to even more loving animals with the many service members and veterans in our area.”

Individuals must first apply through Pets for Patriots and provide relevant eligibility documents. Approval typically takes no more than two business days, after which they can visit the Shelter to find their new best friend.

“Our goal is to help our adoption partners re-home harder-to-place pets that still have years of love and life to give,” says Beth Zimmerman, Founder and Executive Director of Pets for Patriots. “While at the same time making it more affordable for military personnel to bring a pet into their lives. We’re delighted to work with the Cheyenne Animal Shelter to give these last-chance pets a second chance at life and, in so doing, to enhance the lives of veterans in the community. Everybody wins.”

To help cover costs associated with the program, the Cheyenne Animal Shelter has new sponsorship opportunities. Patrons can sponsor an animal eligible for the program by making a monetary donation, which will then lower the cost for military members and give more opportunities for our servicemen and servicewomen to gain four-legged friends. To learn more details on how to sponsor an animal, please contact Director of Development, Sue Castaneda at or by calling 307-269-0970.

AKC Pet Disaster Relief rolls out help for pets in Cheyenne


Cheyenne, Wyoming is now equipped with an AKC Pet Disaster Relief trailer that will be available to dispatch to any disaster scene that needs assistance sheltering pets. This is the first trailer in the state of Wyoming, with only a handful in our time zone.

AKC Pet Disaster Relief, a national program that is dedicated to keeping pets and their owners safe in response to natural or civil disasters, joined forces with local American Kennel Club dog clubs and dog lovers to present an emergency trailer to the Cheyenne Animal Shelter.

The AKC Pet Disaster Relief trailers help to create a safe, temporary home-base for at least 65 pets during the first 72 hours after a disaster is declared. The trailers house and deliver essential animal care items including crates and carriers, AKC Reunite microchips and an AKC Reunite universal microchip scanner, bowls, collars and leashes as well as fans, lighting and a generator, cleaning supplies and maintenance items. These supplies can be used as co-location shelters, where people can evacuate with their pets, as well as emergency animal shelters for displaced animals.

“This is the 66th AKC Pet Disaster Relief Trailer donated through this incredible program. The trailer will provide critically important resources to help the Cheyenne Animal Shelter quickly care for its citizens and their pets when responding to natural disasters,” said Tom Sharp, AKC Reunite CEO. “Safe, effective pet sheltering solutions are crucial following a disaster, and AKC Reunite is pleased to offer this trailer as a vital tool to assist the shelter when disaster strikes.”

The purchase of the trailer was made possible by donations from the Cheyenne Kennel Club, the Dog Judges Association of America, the Petco Foundation, the Cheyenne Animal Shelter and AKC Reunite, the nation’s largest non-profit pet identification and recovery service.

“We are grateful to these AKC dog clubs and AKC Reunite for providing us with such a significant resource for our community,” said Robert Fecht, President of Cheyenne Animal Shelter. “Now our team is better prepared to help pets and pet owners during times of disaster”.

“Our Association is honored to be a part of the group helping to prepare the Cheyenne Animal Shelter for a disaster by bringing them an invaluable tool like the AKC Pet Disaster Relief Trailer,” said Bonnie Spiece, President of the Cheyenne Kennel Club.

“We’re delighted to help bring an AKC Pet Disaster Relief Trailer to the Cheyenne Animal Shelter. The trailer helps assure residents of Cheyenne and surrounding areas that their pets will be safe in the event of a disaster,” said Joe Purkhiser, President of the Dog Judges Association of America.

Learn more about how to get involved in AKC Pet Disaster Relief at

Learn how you can assist with disaster relief at the Cheyenne Animal Shelter at

Cheyenne Animal Shelter receives $25,000 grant from PetSmart Charities to help pets in need find forever homes


Today, the Cheyenne Animal Shelter announced their receipt of a new grant of $25,000 from PetSmart Charities, the leading funder of animal welfare in North America.  This funding is designed to help the Shelter transport and relocate pets so they can find forever homes.

On a typical day, the Shelter can receive twice as many animals as are adopted out. In Fiscal Year 2017, the Shelter received approximately 5,400 animals. If trends continue for Fiscal Year 2018, the numbers are expected to reach between six and seven thousand animals, which is where transportation is important.

“This money has given us the ability to purchase a truck to pull a trailer,” said Chelsey Fletcher, Cheyenne Animal Shelter’s Director of Operations.  “Kennels will be placed in the trailer, allowing us to increase the number of animals we can safely transport in various situations. When we are facing overcrowding, animals can be transported to other shelters and rescues. We will also be able to move animals from other rescues when we have space and assisting other shelters in saving animal lives.”

The Cheyenne Animal Shelter will also gain the ability to transport greater numbers of animals when Animal Control officers respond to hoarding cases. As well, the Shelter will be able to assist during disasters that may occur – locally or nearby — such as flooding, tornadoes or fire evacuations providing the capability to move large numbers of animals to safer places.

Pet Transport is one of PetSmart Charities’ ten new grant categories designed to provide year-round opportunities for animal welfare organizations and non-profits to apply for funding support.  Funding from PetSmart Charities can help to cover the costs associated with pet transportation, veterinary and shelter care and vehicle maintenance and modifications.  With the help of its animal welfare partners, since 1994, PetSmart Charities has helped more than 7.4 million pets in need find forever homes.

Shelter brings new way of reporting lost and found animals


Each year the Cheyenne Animal Shelter returns about 1,000 lost pets to their owners. There are several ways the Shelter reunites families, and we are adding one more way to do so.

The Cheyenne Animal Shelter has launched a Lost and Found Form on its website, which allows the community to upload a description and an image of the animal, as well as contact information. Adding this information to the website gives the public a real-time look at what information the Shelter receives every day.

“Losing a pet can be a scary experience. There’s an urge to try to find your pet as quickly as possible.” says Stephanie Bilbro, Cheyenne Animal Shelter Manager, “This is a way to connect the community to each other and give neighbors a quick and convenient source that will help get animals back to their families.”

By posting lost and found animals on the website,, it gives anyone an opportunity to see the reports. The posts will rotate every 30 days, and outdated information will be removed.

The Shelter encourages the community to continue using all resources available. If the Shelter is open, you can call the front desk at 307-632-6655. During non-business hours, give the After Hours Lost & Found Hotline a call at (307) 214-5779.  Make sure to go and look to see if the Shelter has your pet as well. If your animal is not at the shelter fill out a lost card and provide a photo. We also encourage owners to use our Facebook group After Hours Lost & Found.

We can often receive between 20-40 animals a day and typically have 200 animals in the lost files. By using all of these options, the information is shared not only to the Shelter but also to the community, giving your pet a better chance of being reunited with you.

Cheyenne Animal Control requests hoarding charges be dropped


After almost five months of care at the Cheyenne Animal Shelter, 19 purebred Springer Spaniels will be released to the Shelter on Saturday, November 11th.

This past June, Cheyenne Animal Control officers seized 21 dogs belonging to the same owner who allegedly failed to provide the animals with the minimum legal requirements for owning animals in Laramie County.

In cases where Animal Control deals with animal cruelty, officers have the legal authority to seize custody of the animal and hold it at the Shelter until a judge can issue a ruling in the case. With large cases such as with the Spaniels, this can often take up to six months or more.

The dogs vary in age, from six months to 10 years. When the animals arrived, Medical Director, Dr. Tessha Winsch examined the dogs, and many were injured and in poor health. Staff at the Shelter have been caring for the animals which includes daily care, scheduled training to prevent mental health decline, vaccinations and regular grooming. Two of the dogs have passed away during that time due to severe medical conditions.

The remaining 19 dogs have been held on court hold at the Shelter for 154 days. Cost of care for animals at the Shelter has been calculated to $48.50 a day, meaning each dog has cost the Shelter $7,469. That is a total loss of $146,373 the Shelter has experienced due to this hoarding case.

Cheyenne Animal Shelter Director of Operations, Chelsey Fletcher says, “We’re increasingly seeing more cases similar to this. When we receive large hoarding cases, it exhausts resources, and at times we have no other option than to request charges be dropped due to the expense and lack of space.”

Animal Control has requested charges be dropped so that the Spaniels can be adopted and move out of the Shelter and on to forever homes. They become the legal property of the Cheyenne Animal Shelter on Saturday, November 11th.

On Monday the dogs will become available for adoption. Due to the expense of this case the adoption fees for these animals will be higher than usual. The Shelter expects $3,920 in adoption fees for the Spaniels, making a total loss of $142,453 due to this case.

Animal Control Officer Ryan Johnson says, “Hoarding doesn’t just hurt the animals involved, it hurts the entire community. We would like to encourage everyone to be vigilant and immediately report any acts of animal cruelty to us by calling 307-278-2012.”

Cheyenne Animal Shelter receives new beds from Animal Rescue Aid, Airmen help assemble


The Cheyenne Animal Shelter recently received 20 Kuranda pet beds from Animal Rescue Aid, a non-profit organization. Its TheBlueBed Donation Program™ started in 2010, with the mission of giving quality beds to animal shelters across the country.

Founder of Animal Rescue, Tracey French, says, “The importance of the bed goes beyond the immediate comfort of the animal. The beds are important in the adoption process. When animals are comfortable, their true personalities can shine through to potential adopters, and that helps give them a better chance at getting a new home!”

Cheyenne Animal Shelter’s President  & CEO, Bob Fecht, applied for the grant this past summer. Fecht says, “Finding out we were awarded these beds is great news. Having a short platform bed that can be easily cleaned will provide all of our adoptable dogs with a more comfortable and safer environment.”

On Thursday, October 26th, Airmen first class officers Yakim, Llorens, and Hun from the 90th SSPTS helped assemble the beds. Hun says, “The Cheyenne Animal Shelter helps over 6,000 animals each year. We’re happy to help out an organization that helps improve the lives of so many animals and people in the community.”

Some of the Shelter’s older beds will be sent to a Casper shelter, which currently does not have beds.

Cheyenne Animal Shelter seeks assistance with animal care cost


The Cheyenne Animal Shelter is seeking assistance to help cover the cost of medication and grooming for a soaring number of animals in the Shelter.

According to Chelsey Fletcher, Director of Operations, the Shelter is seeing an influx of pets either surrendered or unclaimed by owners as well as nearly 85 animals rescued from a recent hoarding situation.

“The Cheyenne Animal Shelter generally cares for about 5,300 pets each year,” Fletcher said. “If we stay on the track we are on so far this year, we will see nearly 8,000 animals come through our doors in the fiscal year 2018.” This comes as the Cheyenne Animal Shelter saw a $21,000 decrease in funding from the City of Cheyenne. 

“Many of the pets we care for are here indefinitely because they are involved in a court hold,” Fletcher explained. “We are required to keep and care for them until their owners have their day in court and we may never see restitution provided to us on their behalf.”Currently, the Shelter is housing 91 dogs, 21 of these are on court-ordered holds including four in foster care.

On Friday, September 29, Cheyenne Animal Control officers performed a welfare check on a home outside of Cheyenne after a concerned citizen reported sighting an inordinate number of animals on the property. On Sunday, ACO rescued nine adult Karakachan and/or Bernese Mountain dogs, nine puppies, six chinchillas, six goats and approximately 50 cats including two wild cats that have been placed with a big cat sanctuary in Texas. Many of the animals suffered from the effects of overcrowding and lack of medical care or proper grooming.

“The animals were voluntarily surrendered and the case is still pending investigation,” Fletcher added. “They are here with us and we are excited to now be able to get them all groomed and to treat any medical conditions we might find but overall they are in good or better shape than expected,” said Chelsey Fletcher, Director of Operations. “This is where we need the public’s help. Before they can be adopted, they need grooming and will need some training. They’re all very sweet!”

Anyone interested in helping to cover the cost of the medical care and grooming as well as the daily maintenance of the vast amount of animals in our care may donate online at; by stopping in at the Cheyenne Animal Shelter at 800 Southwest Drive or by calling the Development Office at 307-269-0970.

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