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What happened for pets this legislative session in Colorado

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Another legislative session has ended for the State of Colorado and three significant bills were passed to help the welfare of Colorado’s animals and pets. Here is what happened at the sixty-ninth Colorado General Assembly. All information is provided by the Colorado Chapter of the Humane Society of the US.

SB39: One of the most unique bills to pass in the US, Senate Bill 39 is the Pre-Veterinary Emergency Care Act. With primary sponsorship by District 27 Republican Senator David Palmer and signed by Gov. Hickenlooper on March 20, this law allows emergency medical personnel to provide emergency medical services to pets as well as humans during an emergency. The law will create continuity and better care for pets during emergencies such as fires, floods and accidents. Before the law, some fire districts took it upon themselves to train medical staff in veterinary care. However, this training was running afoul of existing veterinary care laws. While the new law does not required veterinary training, it will allow those districts that already do training and emergency care to continue to provide care with state approval. Because of the bond we Coloradoans have with our pets, this law provides important care for our animals when tragedy strikes. The law does NOT mean that pet care will come before human care.

HB 1146: This bill, which was signed by Gov. Hickenlooper on March 10, prohibits Grey Hound Racing in the state of Colorado. Colorado is now the 39th state in the US to ban grey hound racing. Although there are no existing dog tracks in the state (the last one closed in 2008), this law will keep new ones from opening.

HB 1270: Sunset review to the Pet Animal Care Facilities Act (PACFA) was passed, however, it is still awaiting the Governor’s signature. Sponsored by Democrats Steve Lebsock and Lois Trochtop, this bill is a revised law to the original PACFA bill that passed in 2008, which oversees animal care facilities such as shelters, dog kennels, groomers and pet stores. The PACFA is a licensing and inspection program for facilities that handle animals and is run through the Department of Agriculture.

To learn more about animal welfare in the political arena, follow or join the Humane Society of the US, Colorado, online and Facebook.

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