Thank you to: Corrine for bringing this to my attention!
DATED: February 18

COLORADO

Just a few things I found in the following proposal:

1. This 'proposed bill' equates pets with humans

2. Anyone who must give up their pet to a shelter will be fined and assessed with a criminal charge....so folks would be forced just 'drop' and unwanted pet on the road in the cover of darkness.

3. The figures stated within relating to abandoned pets are GROSSLY inflated.

4. Better to be a breeder than to be a responsible owner that finds themselves having to give up their pet.

5. Better to be found guily of animal abuse than to give it up....the fines and punishments are less.

6. This proposal places an additional burden on local law enforcement agencies.

7. The funds to pay for the enforcement would rest mainly with the tax-payer.

8. Many statements within the following proposal are self contradictory.


I have provided a site for State contacts back on the main page for you to contact your Congressman should the proposal get introduced


Following is the "proposed bill" in its entirety

A Bill

to discourage and prevent the neglect and abandonment of domestic animals kept as pets

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Colorado assembled that

SECTION 1: Short Title and Table of Contents

I. Short Title - This act may be cited as "The Pet Protection Act"
II. Table of Contents -

Section 1: Short Title and Table of Contents

I. Short Title
II. Table of Contents

Section 2: Findings and Purpose

I. Findings
II. Purpose

Section 3: Definitions
Section 4: Titles

Title 1: Impose fines and other actions against people who abandon their pets at animal shelters

Part A: Definitions
Part B: Actions constituating animal abandonment
Part C: Consequences

Title 2: Impose a 24 hour waiting period when purchasing a new pet

Part A: Purpose and Provisions
Part B: Consequences

Title 3: Require all animals not under the care of a registered breeder to be neutered

Part A: Definitions
Part B: Purpose
Part C: Consequences

Section 5: Administration
Section 6: Appropriations
Section 7: Enactment

SECTION 2: Findings and Purpose

I. Findings - The Assembly finds that:

a. Over 20,000 animals are abandoned at each shelter every year, and the numbers are rising
b. Only 65% of these animals are adopted or claimed by their original owner
c. The remaining 45%, nearly half of these animals, will be euthanized
d. A shelter animal is euthanized approximately every 15 minutes
e. The most common reasons for animal abandonment are:

    • Lack of time for the animal
    • Over-breeding
    • Owner is moving
    • Owner is no longer interested in the animal
    • Owner finds it too difficult to deal with the animal's behavioral issues

f. None of these reasons are the fault of the animal
g. Euthanasia is the number one cause of death in pet animals
h. There is currently no consequence for this indirect form of animal cruelty and murder

II. Purpose - It is the obligation of those of us with the power to assist to protect those who have no way of protecting themselves from mistreatment.

For decades, we have protected the children who cannot protect for themselves with laws against child neglect and abandoment. It is time for us to protect the animals who cannot protect themselves from human cruelty.

SECTION 3: Definitions

For the purposes of this act:

  1. Domestic - Not wild; an animal kept by or living with humans
  2. Pet - A domesticated animal kept for pleasure or companionship
  3. Amimal Shelter - A place providing sanctuary to abandoned, homeless, oppressed, etc. animals
  4. Dog - Referring to the domesticated mammal, canis familiaris, exisitng in many diverse breeds
  5. Cat - Referring to the domesticated mammal, felis catus, existing in several breeds
  6. Rabbit - Referring to the domesticated mammal, oryctolagus cuniculus, existing in several breeds
  7. Euthanize - To put an animal to death humanely
  8. Humane - That which inflicts the minimum of pain

For the context of this act, "animals" shall refer to pet dogs, pet cats, and pet rabbits.

For the purposes of this act, any person who has been caring for his animal for at least two weeks shall be considered the owner and caretaker of the animal.

SECTION 4: Titles

TITLE 1: Impose fines and other actions on people who abandon their pets at animal shelters

Part A: Definitions

For the purposes of this title:

  1. Neglect - The ommission of proper attention; avoidance or disregard of duty from heedlessness, indifference, or willfulness
  2. Negligence - Failure to exercise that degree of care which a reasonable person would evercise under the same circumstances. Specifically, it refers to conduct which falls below the standards established by the law for the protection of others against unreasonable risk of harm
  3. Reasonable Person - A hypothetical person who exercises "those qualities of attention, knowledge, intelligence, and judgement which society requires of its members for the protection of their own interest and the interest of others."
  4. Abandonment - Knowingly relinquishing possession or responsibility of someone or something without any future intent to regain again said possession or responsibility

For the purposes of this title, the term "animal abandonment" shall refer to relinquishing custody of a pet dog, pet cat, or pet rabbit.

Part B: Actions constituating animal abandonment and Neglect

A reasonable person who is an animal caretaker will provide for the animal's basic needs of food, water, shelter, health care, and security. This includes, but is not limited to, veterinary care, fresh water, adequate food, proper housing. Any person not furnishing the animal's basic needs shall be charged with "Animal Neglect".

If the animal caretaker brings the animal to and animal shelter with the intention of leaving it there indefinitely, regardless of reason, shall be charged with the crime of "Animal Abandonment". As animal shelters do not provide boarding services, all animals left at shelters shall be considered to be abandoned.

If the animal caretaker leaves the animal in a place other than the caretaker's current place of residence with the intention of leaving it there indefinitely, the caretaker shall be charged with the crime of "Animal Abandonment".

If the animal caretaker leaves the animal in the care of a boarding agency, including but not limited to private parties and veterinarians, this shall not be considered "Animal Abandonment". However, if the caretaker does not return to pick up the animal, the boarding agency shall assume that the caretaker brought the animal with the intention of leaving it there indefinitely, and the caretaker will be charged with the crime of "Animal Abandonment".

Part C: Consequences

Those who commit "Animal Neglect" as defined in the title above shall be charged with a Class 3 misdemeanor. By the Colorado Revised Statutes, this is punishable by up to a $50 fine and up to six months in jail Additionally, those convicted of "Animal Neglect shall perform 40 hours of community service in an animal shelter.

Those who commit "Animal Abandonment" as defined in the title above shall be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor. By the Colorado Revised Statutes, this is punishable by up to 24 months in jail. Additionally, those convicted of Animal Abandonment shall perform 100 hours of community service in an animal shelter.

TITLE 2: Impose a 24 hour waiting period when purchasing a new pet

Part A: Purpose and Provisions

The purpose of this act is to discourage impulse buying of animals. This waiting period will give the prospective pet owner time to ensure that he will be able to care for this animal to the best of his abilities, and to prepare his current living establishment in such a way that he may co-habitate with said animal.

During this waiting period, the establishment selling or adopting out the animal shall provide a list of animal care references so that the prospective animal owner will have a source of information on the care of his prospective pet.

Animals getting neutered at the Denver Dumb Friends League spend 24 hours at the Dumb Friends League before being released to the new owner. This time qualifies as a 24 hour wait.

Part B: Consequences

Pet shops and animal shelters not adhering to the above title provisions shall be charged with a Class 3 misdemeanor, to be named "Pet Purchase Negligence". Per the Colorado Revised Statutes, Pet Purchase Negligence shall be punishable by up to a $50 fine and up to six months in jail.

TITLE 3: Require all animals not under the care of a registered breeder to be neutered

Part A: Definitions

For the purposes of this title:

  1. Breed - A stock, a strain, a line of descendants perpetuating particular hereditary qualities, especially a stock of animals of a particular species, developed by delibrate selection
  2. Breeder - A person who rears animals of a selected breed
  3. Purebred - An animal bred from parents of the same breed; an animal of unmixed ancestry
  4. Neutered: A castrated or spayed animal. Such an animal is sterile

Part B: Purpose and Provisions

Pet overpopulation is caused largely in part to unwanted litters of dogs, cats, and rabbits. Several of these unwanted litters are either put out on the street, or abandoned at animal shelters. Those on the street, if they aren't killed, will breed, contributing once again to the overpopulation problem. Those left at shelters, if not adopted, will be euthanized.

The purpose of this act us to prevent non-breeding animals from contributing to the pet overpopulation problem.

The animal caretaker shall neuter their animal within six weeks of obtaining the animal, or whenever the animal is physically ready as deemed by a veterinarian, whichever comes first.

Animals in the care of breeders registered with the State of Colorado are exempt from this title. This exemption may be revoked if

a. The breeder is found guilty of Animal Neglect, Animal Abandonment, or Pet Purchase Negligence as described herein
b. The breeder is found guilty of animal cruelty, as defined in the Colorado Revised Statutes, County Law, and/or City Ordinance.
c. The breeder is not breeding a purebred animal as defined by National Breeding organizations

Part C: Consequences

Persons not adhering to the above title will be charged with a Class 3 misdemeanor, to be named "Contributing to Pet Overpopulation". Per the Colorado Revised Statutes, this is punishable by up to a $50 fine, and up to six months in jail. Additionally, those convicted of "Contributing to Pet Overpopulation" shall perform 20 hours community service in an animal shelter.

SECTION 5: Administration

All titles under this act shall be enforced by the local Police Department and Code Enforcement in each city. Additionally, each county may elect to have their Sheriff Department enforce this act as well. It is at the discretion of the agency enforcing this act whether they would like to assign a special department to animal crimes.

SECTION 6: Appropriations

Appropriations shall come from the following sources:

I. Currently existing city and county sales and property taxes supporting local law enforcement agencies

II. Fines levied for all crimes described within the titles

III. Ten percent of the private donations coming into shelters shall be paid to city law enforcement agencies

SECTION 7: Enactment

This act shall apply with respect to any action commenced on or after the date of the enactment of this act. The act shall be enacted 30 days after passing into law.

(SEND LETTER)