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No-Kill Colorado backs proposed initiative to limit shelter euthanasia

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No-Kill Colorado will support the drive to place an initiative on the state ballot this November that, if approved, would limit euthanasia in the state's animal shelters.

Davyd Smith, a board member of the nonprofit group formed last year, talked about this and other goals for the group Thursday night at its first meeting of 2014.

Paperwork for the initiative was filed with the state this week by two Aurora attorneys who are also Colorado leaders of an organization that share's the goals of Smith's group, AnimalsVote.org (www.animalsvote.org). Among other things, the initiative would ban euthanasia as a means of shelter population control and fine those who do not comply. It would be the first law of its kind in the nation.

"We're looking forward to working with (AnimalsVote.org)," Smith said.

No-kill Colorado's 2014 agenda ranges from issues such as opposing breed-specific legislation banning pit bull breeds to compiling informational resources for all Colorado pet guardians with a goal of increasing pet retention.

The group will continue its efforts in rural Colorado, Smith said. It has been working with critics of the Fremont County Humane Society, who have accused the shelter of improper practices. The group also has been working with people in Antonito to solve the problem of free-ranging dogs in that community's streets.

No-kill Colorado (www.nokilldenver.org) plans to repeat its Just One Day campaign of 2012, in which shelters and rescues were asked to pledge to not euthanize animals for one day. It is also planning a spay/neuter clinic.

No-kill springs from the philosophy of Nathan Winograd. a national figure who argues that there are plenty of potential animal adopters so it is not necessary for shelters to kill animals for lack of space.

Shelter managers doubt Winograd's numbers and say his solution would lead to "warehousing" animals in shelters until they go kennel-crazy, and thus unadoptable. They also argue that the solution to overcrowding is more complicated than Winograd's approach.

In 2012, Smith said leaders of his group met several times with leaders of the Metro Denver Shelter Alliance (www.dmsalliance.org) to come to an understanding.

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