We all know the current struggles that face animal shelters across the country. The bottom line is, there are too many homeless pets. Shelters struggle with not enough money, resources or space to care for all the cats and dogs that come through their doors.
In many shelters, this deadly combination has led to euthanizations over lack of space.
Colorado lawmakers want that to end.
According to Denver news outlets, lawmakers have recently proposed a bill aimed to protect shelter animals. The bill is called SB164, and if approved, it will ban all Colorado shelters and rescues from euthanizing pets due to lack of room.
No other state in the country has a similar law, and several Colorado animal advocates are pushing for its approval. Dr. Apryl Steele with Dumb Friends League told FOX31,
“No state has done this before. Every healthy dog and cat will be placed.”
While SB164 will aim to save healthy animals from euthanization, it does not prevent dogs or cats from being euthanized for health or behavioral reasons. Supporters of the bill emphasize that all shelters will also be required to provide adequate veterinary care and documentation. They hope to protect pets while also supporting the life-saving work of shelters.
If passed, this bill is expected to impact over 300 shelters and rescue organizations in the state. And while many are on board with the idea, there are a few animal advocates who have concerns.
Maxine Mager with an animal sanctuary called Creative Acres told news outlets that she believes the bill’s wording is too vague. As it’s written, SB164 does not address the issue of Denver’s ban on pit bulls. It also leaves room for interpretation when it comes to a shelter’s transparency about policies and resources.
Lawmakers expect bi-partisan support of the bill, but there are also voices saying the bill should be replaced with one that also protects sick animals.
Click here to read an official summary of the bill and keep track of its progress.