Animal Euthanasia on the Chopping Block in Colorado

Adopting a pet is a wonderful way to both create a lifelong relationship and save a life. While pet stores and private breeders might offer exclusive breeds or better quality (and just for the record, that’s usually an expensive mirage), it’s shelter animals that face certain death if a family fails to claim them. This is a cruel reality that animal welfare activists in Colorado are fighting to change.

Attorneys from the not-for-profit organization have submitted a ballot proposal called the Colorado No-Kill Pet Animal Act, which, if passed, would essentially make Colorado the first no-kill state in the nation. Animals Vote was founded on the belief that “the killing and the suffering of animals in deference to our own behest and gratification is an impediment to the moral and social progress of mankind.” Unlike other animal rights groups — the Humane Society of the United States, PETA and the ASPCA — Animals Vote spends 100 percent of its revenue to affect meaningful legislation on behalf of animals.

Current state law in Colorado only requires that an animal be sheltered for five days — regardless of whether it has been abandoned or is just temporarily lost. If an owner or adoptive family doesn’t surface in that tiny window of time, it’s perfectly legal for the shelter to euthanize it. “For animals without identification, the holding period is three days, though some counties have longer holding periods,” reports the Denver Post. And if there’s no room available or if the animal acts in a way that indicates injury or an aggressive personality, the shelter can euthanize it immediately.

This barbaric policy means that thousands of animals are killed each month, simply because there wasn’t time for their family to materialize. And it’s something that Animals Vote organizers say must stop.

According to the Denver Post, the proposed initiative “would strip shelters from the ability to put animals down if they’re deemed dangerous or if the shelter does not have additional resources. Moreover, only after a certified veterinarian has examined the animal, and in a written opinion deemed the animal as suffering, could it be euthanized.”

Do you believe there’s a better way to reduce the homeless pet population? Care2 member Chris Wolverton believes that animals should have more than a few days to be reconnected with their families, whether old or new. Please sign and share his petition below to show support for the Colorado No-Kill Pet Animal Act.

Image via Thinkstock

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven2 months ago

thanks for the article.

Carrie-Anne Brown
Carrie-Anne Brownabout a year ago

signed, thanks for sharing :)

Julie c.
Past Member 1 years ago


Theresa Robinson
Theresa Robinson1 years ago

PLEASE HELP! DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS MATTER NOW!! TODAY!!!!!!!!!! Thank-you for sharing. Theresa R.

Patricia Raven
Past Member 1 years ago

This is wrong what if the family has gone on holiday and asked a friend to care for the animal which may have wondered off or been wrongly identified as a stray by the time they get home their pet/family member is dead

l.r perry
l.r perry1 years ago


Rosa Arsiaga
Rosa Arsiaga1 years ago

Education is the key. Push for spaying and nuetering. Euthanasia is Not the answer!

Evelyn Colbert
Evelyn Colbert1 years ago


Jana DiCarlo
Jana DiCarlo1 years ago

agree with thought of mandatory spay neuter laws - euthanasia is not the answer

Mike M.
Mike M.1 years ago

Great idea but hard to implement and manage. Signed and I wish them the best with the effort.