Colorado Legislative Council Staff


Drafting Number:

Prime Sponsor(s):

LLS 99-0596

Sen. Evans

Rep. Alexander


Bill Status:

Fiscal Analyst:

January 23, 1999

Senate Agriculture

Steve Tammeus (866-2756)



Summary of Assessment

            This bill revises the "Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act" by creating a minimum holding period of three days for public or private licensed animal shelters to hold a pet animal before the shelter may dispose of the animal if the animal has not been reclaimed by its owner. The bill provides the shelter certain authorities if the animal is considered to be abandoned or experiencing extreme pain and suffering. The bill specifies that any shelter that complies with the law will be immune from liability in civil action brought by the owner of the animal.


            The bill revises the state criminal code for cruelty to animals by requiring the owner or custodian of an animal impounded due to neglect or abuse to post a bond with the court to prevent the shelter from disposing of the animal. The bill specifies the amount of the bond, and allows the court to grant a continuance if an additional bond is posted. The court is required to order immediate disposition if a veterinarian determines the animal is experiencing extreme pain or suffering. At the end of the bond period, the shelter is authorized to determine appropriate disposition unless there is a court order prohibiting the disposition. The owner is liable for the shelter's cost of care, keeping, or disposal. The bill will become effective 90 days after adjournment unless a referendum petition is filed.

            This bill will not affect state or local government revenue or expenditures. The bill may require a public or private animal shelter to temporarily incur additional expenses for the care and keeping of an animal if the owner, who is accused of cruelty to animals, posts a bond to prevent disposition. However, the bill requires the owner to be liable for all such costs. Therefore, this bill is assessed as having no fiscal impact.

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