Colorado Senate Bill 11-009, which made significant changes to the impoundment laws and the ability of owners to get their animals back if they are seized during a cruelty investigation, was postponed indefinitely in the House Agriculture, Livestock & Natural Resources Committee and will not advance this year.
The AKC strongly supports the humane treatment of dogsand believes that no dog should be kept in circumstances where its needs cannot be adequately fulfilled. Senate Bill 11-009, however, severely restricted the rights of animal owners charged with cruelty, even if the charges are later dismissed.
Current law already requires that a bond be posted to cover the costs of caring for seized animals during a cruelty trial. Among other provisions, SB 11-009 changed this and required the person charged with cruelty pay the boarding costs of the seized animals during a hearing – regardless of the length of the trial. There were no provisions for low-income individuals who may not be able to pay both legal fees and these extensive costs, nor was there any reimbursement if the charges were later dismissed.
If the owner proved unable to pay at any point, they would forfeit their ownership rights, as well as the right to challenge the costs. Read the AKC's letter to the committee, which further outlined our concerns.
The AKC thanks the Colorado Federation of Dog Clubs and the numerous AKC clubs and breeders who contacted their legislators on this bill. We congratulate them on this important victory that preserves the rights of responsible Colorado dog owners.
Colorado Senate Bill 11-009, which made significant changes to the impoundment laws and the…