The Colorado legislature has introduced a landmark bill for animals. Under SB20-164, shelters would not be allowed to euthanize animals due to a lack of space. No other bill has been introduced like this in any other state.

Right now in Colorado, it’s exceedingly rare to euthanize animals. Dr. Apryl Steele, an animal activist with Dumb Friends League said of the bill, ” Every healthy dog and cat will be placed. We saw last year in Pueblo a shelter started taking in a bunch of animals and not having the resources to care for them.”


Under the bill, each shelter would be required to provide adequate veterinary care to all animals under care. Rep. Alex Valdez, a Democratic sponsor said, “We want to make sure animals are given a veterinary exam.”

The bill details the standard of care for each animal. According to the text of the bill, “The bill also requires each animal shelter and pet animal rescue to adopt out each dog and cat in its custody, return the animal to its owner, or transfer it to another animal shelter or pet animal rescue if the dog or cat:

  • Exhibits no signs of illness or injury or exhibits signs of illness or injury for which there is a realistic prognosis for a good quality of life;
  • Demonstrates a willingness to interact socially with humans; and
  • Has not exhibited behavior that is likely to result in bodily injury or death to another animal or human being.”

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We hope other states will follow Colorado’s lead! We encourage everyone seeking a pet to adopt, not shop! Read more resources about adopting animals on One Green Planet, including 7 Reasons to Adopt Your Next Furry Best Friend, 5 Reasons Why Everyone Should Adopt a Pet, and These Heartwarming Before and After Pictures of Adopted Rescue Animals Will Make Your Day! Read tips for pet adoptions and what to consider before adopting an animal.


Read more about shelters, “no-kill” shelters and euthanization in One Green Planet. Sign this petition to make all states “no-kill” states. Check out these articles:

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