Colorado Animal Welfare Day Success
Last Wednesday was Animal Welfare Day in the State of Colorado and Governor Jared Polis put a little more teeth into the day by signing three new state wide animal welfare efforts. His actions included expanding animal protection legislation, creating an animal welfare committee, and extending the therapeutic use of dogs in the Colorado court system. Purrs for Polis!
Polis signed legislation, known as "Animal Ban For Cruelty To Animals Conviction," which bans convicted animal abusers, including juveniles, in the state from being able to own a pet for up to five years (at the discretion of the court animal abuse misdemeanors can also be included in this ban).
In my opinion, the real important piece of this legislation is the component that facilitates mental health evaluations and treatments to address the underlying factors that lead to tragic animal cruelty. I also found it promising that the links between animal cruelty and violence towards humans were also highlighted by this process.
The governor also announced a new effort called the People for Animal Welfare (PAW) Committee in Colorado, which he called "an opportunity to look at what Colorado can do to protect our animals from cruelty and ensure their wellbeing, it is about giving them a voice." The committee will play an advisory role on the state of issues related to animal welfare and animal protection.
The committee is composed of 14 people from different backgrounds from throughout the state and includes veterinarians, conservationists, attorneys, representatives of the animal control sector and senior animal shelter staff. It is hoped that this diversity will ensure all Coloradans have a voice in the discussions.
The last bill signed on Colorado Animal Welfare Day was House Bill 19-1220 which will allow for a court facility dog to accompany a witness during his or her testimony in court. The bill outlines that the dog would be trained to offer support to the witness without being a distraction during the court proceedings. It is a great acknowledgement to the power of the pet in helping people, particularly as emotional support.
My name is Stormy. I am a three year young handsome homeless prince of a tabby. I think that the governor and all involved in getting these bills passed deserve lots of belly rubs for making Animal Welfare Day more than just a wave and a wag.
As for me, not long ago I was a homeless Tomcat that feared people. It has taken 6 months of gentle care from my staff and volunteers here at Second Chance but now I adore affection and am hoping to meet my forever family so I can convince them that second chances are not to be wasted. Oh and I like dogs too.
Second Chance Humane Society Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops service San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties. Call the SCHS Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about the SCHS Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, Feral Cat, or other Programs. View our shelter pets and services online: www.adoptmountainpets.org.