Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Pets
  3. General Pets

Proposed Colorado law would be first to limit euthanization in shelters

See also

As of January 2, two Aurora attorneys are trying to put an initiative on the Colorado ballot tightening the definition of animal euthanasia and providing fines for those who violate it.

If ultimately approved by voters, the resulting law would be the first of its kind in the nation, they said.

"It would make euthanasia the exception to the rule," said Juliet Piccone, who specializes in animal welfare law. "It outlaws euthanasia as a way to control the population of animals."

According to the ballot language, "Euthanasia should be reserved for cases in which a pet animal is experiencing extreme pain and suffering, not as a solution for reducing the homeless animal population."

Those violating the policy would be subject to a state fine of $1,000. If the state declines to act. individuals would be able to file suit to collect damages and legal costs.

Piccone and George Brown are the top Colorado leaders of, a national nonprofit that focuses on legislative activism to halt the killing and suffering of animals.

The attorneys have submitted ballot language to the Colorado Legislative Council. A hearing for review and comment will be held Jan. 14 at the state Capitol.

If it clears all the legislative hurdles, backers would have to get the necessary signatures to place the measure on the statewide ballot.

"I don't think our government officials should be playing God with our animals," Piccone said.

Lisa Pedersen, president of the Colorado Federation of Animal Welfare Agencies, said the proposed law presents challenges and unintended consequences.

She said she is concerned about the issue of warehousing animals in shelters.

"What happens to the animals that can't be placed?" she asked. "What happens to a dangerous animal?

"We're moving forward already," Pedersen said, noting that the live release rate of shelter dogs in the Denver metro area last year was 85 percent. "We're all moving in the right direction and committed to proving the best care and adoptions."

She said members of her organization will be monitoring progress of the initiative and "offering our perspective."


It was formed about a year ago by New York resident Alex Aliksanyan. an engineer in web development. It is the political arm of, a New York organization that Aliksanyan says has saved more than 70,000 dogs. has 2,500 members and is active in every state., he says.

Although it shares some goals with No-kill Colorado, which was formed last year, Aliksanyan says his group has a different perspective.

"Everbody dumps on shelters. Our focus is politics first. We deal with the supply side of it: more spay/neuter, halting internet sales of animals, backyard breeders. The law must change." is in the midst of a campaign to get shelters to pledge not to kill animals on Mondays. Four Colorado shelters have taken the pledge: Humane Society of Pagosa Springs, Rangely Animal Shelter, Teller County Regional Animal Shelter and Lamar Animal Shelter.

Thanks for reading. If you would like to be notified about upcoming stories, click on the "subscribe" link above this article. It's free!



  • Dead babies found
    Seven dead babies were found in Utah resident Megan Huntsman's old home
    Shocking Discovery
  • Kendall Jenner
    Get the Coachella looks: Kendall Jenner’s nose ring, green hair and edgy nails
    Coachella Look
  • Dog's Easter basket
    How to fill your dog’s Easter basket with the perfect toys
    Easter Basket
  • Rabbit owners
    Bringing home the bunny: Important information for rabbit owners
    7 Photos
  • Haunted island
    The world’s most haunted island may soon be the most haunted luxury resort
    Haunted Resort
  • Sunken ferry
    Search continues for missing passengers after a ferry sinks off the South Korean coast
    Sunken Ferry

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about and apply today!