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CO Alert: Senate Committee to Consider Seizure Law Changes on Wednesday (3/14)

(Monday, March 12, 2012)

The Colorado Senate Judiciary Committee will consider House Bill 12-1125 on Wednesday, March 14. This bill seeks to make several changes to the procedures and costs associated with animals seized as a result of an owners’ suspected violation of neglect, cruelty, or other animal criminal laws.

Amendments will be proposed to address some of the concerns in the bill. Colorado dog owners are encouraged to contact the Senate Judiciary Committee and ask the members to SUPPORT the proposed amendments OR to OPPOSE House Bill 1125 as currently written.

Summary:

The AKC advocates for humane treatment of dogs and believes that no dog should be kept in circumstances where its needs cannot be adequately fulfilled. The changes contained in this bill, however, could have detrimental results on animal owners ultimately found "not guilty" or released of charges. These changes include forfeiting all ownership rights if the accused fails to pay "impoundment, care, and provision costs" at any time during the trial.

The amendments to be offered in committee would address many concerns and ensure that ownership rights are protected throughout the trial. The amendments would, among other provisions:

  • Permit the court to make arrangements for periodic payments – This will allow more flexibility for the owner to make the required payments
  • Require that costs be itemized – All mandated costs must be "reasonable and necessary", and must be itemized by the impound agency prior to the hearing. The itemization must at a minimum include the costs of "upkeep and veterinary services."
  • Remove the provision forfeiting ownership rights during an ongoing trial – The amendment would strike the language stating ownership rights are forfeited if the owner is unable to pay the required care and impoundment costs at any point during the trial.

How You Can Help:

  • Attend the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, March 14. The hearing information is as follows:

    Date: Wednesday, March 14, 2012
    Time: 1:30 p.m.
    Location: Senate Conference Room 353
    Colorado State Capitol
    Denver, Colorado

    * If you plan to attend the hearing, please contact Linda Hart with the Colorado Federation of Dog Clubs at (303) 842-1033 or kharahs@comcast.net so the federation can coordinate speakers and talking points.

For questions or more information on House Bill 12-1125, contact the Colorado Federation of Dog Clubs at (303) 842-1033 or kharahs@comcast.net, or AKC Government Relations at (919) 816-3720 or doglaw@akc.org.

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