Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Proposed Legislation?

Sometimes good intentions are not enough.

Shelter sin Colorado are doing better, but we are still killing too many cats and dogs in our state.

Coloradans who work with animals every day animal welfare groups, volunteers, rescue groups – are united in holding shelters accountable for killing healthy treatable pets.


Why? Because Colorado killed over 17,000 cats and dogs in its shelter system in 2013.

The proposal for new legislation would do several things:

Provide needed revenue ($6 million dollars) to improve our shelter system and deter the purchasing of cats and dogs from commercial ventures via a sales tax (only for purchasing pets)

Restrict staff that work in animal shelters from making decisions that cost the lives of healthy and treatable pets by insuring only irredeemably suffering animals, and animals that are hostile with no chance of rehabilitation are candidate for euthanasia.

Give rescues more opportunity to pull cats and dogs from shelters to save lives. (Shelters must allow PACFA registered 501c3 organizations to pull animals instead of kill them).


This legislation is unnecessary to insure shelter directors are held accountable and do not have free rein to kill. Current regulations in place that govern the way Colorado’s shelters report the status of animals could be improved as well. Although Colorado is among the best in the nation when it comes to live release rates, we can still do better to insure we are not killing healthy treatable pets. This measure would help continue making progress and create the safest state in the US for homeless pets.


Q: What is this issue about?

A: A proposed legislation. It would raise revenue for animal welfare organization to eliminate the killing of healthy treatable pets in Colorado. It would restrict Colorado animal shelters killing the animals. Today, there is no accountability for shelters in why they kill Colorado homeless dogs and cats.

If this ballot measure passes, Colorado shelters and rescues would have access to more than $6 million dollars. They would have the means and resources to end the killing of healthy treatable pets. And this is not a taxpayer burden. This money would be raised through the sales of pets in Colorado from commercial entities. If you adopt your pets, or don’t have one, you will be completely unaffected by this measure.

Opponents are saying it would “harm animals and would not raise nearly enough resources for shelters to take care of the pets that come through their doors”. They say killing healthy treatable pets is a better choice.

Q: Who is against the legislation?

A: The opposition is backed by a small group of status quo “animal welfare” advocates and shelter management that do not want the public to know they are killing healthy treatable pets.

Q: Who is for the ballot measure?

A: Homeless pet advocates that have found shelters across the country that have successfully become remarkable lifesaving examples. Looking at legislation in California, Austin Texas, Delaware and other communities where legislation similar to the proposed legislation has saved tens of thousands of homeless pets.

These groups are opposing the legislation. In fact, some of them gave tens of thousands of dollars to fight the grass roots unfunded citizens that proposed the legislation. They already held up the proposal in courts so it could not be brought forth in 2014.s. They created a 501(c)4 called Coloradans Protecting Animal Welfare (CPAW) with their big money organizations.

The organizations that are opposed to the proposed ballot measure include:

  • Colorado Veterinary Medical Association
  • Dumb Friends League
  • Colorado Federation of Animal Welfare Agencies
  • Metro Denver Shelter Alliance
  • Northern Colorado Regional Animal Welfare Coalition
  • Southern Colorado Animal Coalition
  • Western Colorado Animal Resources
  • Colorado Voters for Animals
  • Colorado Association of Animal Control Officers
  • Foundation for Protection of Animals
  • Spay Colorado
  • Animal Assistance League of Northwestern Colorado

Q: It sounds like the proposed ballot measure would make it harder to euthanize animals. Why isn’t that a good thing?

A: Actually you could euthanize according to the proposal if you are sticking to the definition. You just could not kill them. Opposition claims they are doing “everything they can already”. Which means, “We HAVE to kill”. We disagree. But a prime example is Fremont County Humane Society which said that when some of the same advocates were lobbying for change. When the shelter board finally enacted the changes recommended, the shelter went from killing half the cats they took in, to essentially none. We need all shelters to be held to metrics that we know are achievable,

Passing a statewide standard provides that change in leadership does not mean the killing can start again. Today, if a good shelter leader leaves, the replacement can be a status quo manager that believe they have to kill to control population. This is simply not true, and in Colorado it would be easier than some other states to save every healthy treatable pet.

This measure would make it harder for shelters to kill animals in their care, unless irredeemably injured, hostile or ill.

Q: Does the state do anything already to monitor Colorado’s animal shelters?

A: All Colorado shelters and rescues are licensed through the PACFA (Pet Animal Care Facilities Act).   There is nothing in PACFA that gives any limitations on shelters reasons for killing a homeless pet.    These same people saying we should not change the current implementation in PACFA, lobbied and succeeded in changing providions last year.

Q: What do these groups do to take care of animals?

A: Some Colorado’s shelters take a comprehensive approach to making sure as many animals as possible are healed, rehabilitated and placed in permanent homes, others do not. This is why legislation is needed to insure all shelters perform. The best comprehensive programs that has repeatedly worked in hundreds of communities are not used at every shelter. The proposal would remedy that.

Colorado’s animal shelters and rescues don’t need this statewide mandate to continue this good work.

Q: What does the tax go to?

A: The ballot language states that this measure would be funded by tax on purchased pets in the commercial industry. It will generate more than $6 million dollars according to the state which provided the numbers. It is realistic to think that every healthy treatable pet can be sheltered, cared for an adopted out with that kind of money.

Q: I’m still confused – what is best for the animals?

A: Not killing them. I think we can all agree on that. And that is what the proposal would do. Stop the killing of healthy treatable pets.