MaxFund Animal Shelter and over 80 other organizations actively opposed House Bill 21-1160 as it made its way through the Colorado Legislature in early 2021.
Over 70 organizations joined MaxFund in working to keep this bill from passing. Ultimately, organizations in support of the bill allowed it to be ammended in ways that gutted its original intent, and for the most part left Colorado animal rescues and shelters to continue operating as if the bill had never been put forward. Socially Concious Shelters and the organizations who support that model want citizens of Colorado to believe that this bill, when passed, made Colorado a "Socially Conscious Sheltering State". It did not. While the words "Socially Conscious Sheltering remain in the Legislative Declaration (language of the bill), our ammendments had these words REMOVED from the law. When this bill is made into law, NOWHERE will the words "Socially Conscious Sheltering" be added to the Colorado Revised Statues. Their model they worked to impose on Colorado shelters and rescues will NOT be named in the actual law. Colorado is, therefore, NOT a Socially Conscious Sheltering State.
View Organizations That Helped Oppose HB 21-1160
In this bill: It was NOT clear how the definition of “Healthy” animals would be standardized or defined:
Is a blind dog or cat with a treatable medical condition “healthy” enough to be saved? THIS BILL IS UNCLEAR AND DOES NOT ANSWER THESE TYPES OF QUESTIONS.
In the original bill: There was NOT a clear definition of what constituted a “safe” animal:
Would a cat scratch that breaks the skin mean that the cat cannot be saved? Are animals with the potential to be safe allowed to receive treatment? THIS BILL AS PROPOSED BY ORGANIZATIONS IN SUPPORT OF IT WAS UNCLEAR. IT DID NOT ANSWER THESE TYPES OF QUESTIONS.
In this bill: There was NO indication of who will have the authority to give direction on these vague definitions.
Additional problems opponents saw with this bill:
Section 2 of this bill contradicted itself, making it impossible to understand the true intent of the bill, or its full potential impact on Colorado shelters.
Put PACFA licensed shelters, rescues and their staff in potential jeopardy of revocation or legal ramifications if unclear, new rules were not followed.
Notes attached to this bill indicated the State anticipateed additional revenue from fines for violations of the legislation, which could have put underfunded and/or rural shelters at increased risk of added financial strain and/or closure.
Stakeholders such as MaxFund Animal Adoption Center and over 50 other PACFA organizations opposing this bill were NOT consulted in the process of introducing this bill.
The short title of Section 2 of this bill is “Colorado Socially Conscious Sheltering Act”. Organizations who support this bill publicly indicated their goal through legislation was to make Colorado a “Socially Conscious Sheltering state”, signifying a potential threat to the No Kill movement and other sheltering models in Colorado.
Download this FACT SHEET here.
Read the bill here.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how MaxFund and a coalition of PACFA organizations worked to defeat HB 21-1160 for Colorado shelters and rescues.
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By Julie Malone - March 23, 2020
MaxFund Executive Director Nanci Suro