3 Steps to a pet friendlier Colorado

I’ve heard people say Fort Collins is a pet friendly city, and Colorado is a pet friendly state, but what does that mean, really?

While some cities in Colorado have a way to go in enacting pet friendly legislation or, as the case may be, abolishing unfriendly animal legislation (I’m looking at you, Breed Specific Legislation! *evileye*), recent local legislation and national reports have shown Colorado is a pretty awesome place for pets!

01. Shelter dogs and cats are the official Colorado state pet!

On May 13, 2013, Governor John Hickenlooper signed a bill to make shelter dogs and cats the official Colorado state pet. Governor Hickenlooper brought his dog, Skye, a former shelter pet, to Denver Animal Shelter to sign the bill.

Hickenlooper signing Dog Protection Act & Colorado Shelter Pets billGovernor John Hickenlooper May 13, 2013 bill signing. Photo via Gov. Hickenlooper’s Facebook page.

02. Colorado law enforcement officers are required to learn about dog behavior and handling.

In addition to signing the bill making shelter dogs and cats the Colorado state pet, on Monday Governor Hickenlooper signed the bill commonly called the Dog Protection Act which requires Colorado law enforcement officers to receive training on dog behavior and handling in an effort to reduce the number of family pets shot and killed by law enforcement in the line of duty.

03. Pets in Colorado live longer!

According to the 2013 State of Pet Health report, published by Banfield Pet Hospital, dogs in Colorado live an average of 11.4 years- a longer life span than most other states.

The longer average lifespan in Colorado is largely attributed to the high spay/neuter rates in the state. There are many health benefits to spaying and neutering your pet, and Colorado is on the right track. Let’s keep working towards 100% spay/neuter rates!

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Coloradoans love our pets, there’s no doubt, and I’m exciting to see progress in pet health and safety in our state! One day I hope to write that all cities in Colorado have abolished breed discriminatory legislation in favor of other legislation and programs that fairly and equally protect our citizens and pets- in the meantime, yay to progress!

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