|Statute by category||Citation||Summary|
|CO - Assistance Animals - Colorado Assistance Animal/Guide Dog Laws||C. R. S. A. § 12-240-144; § 12-245-229; § 12-255-133; § 18-13-107, § 18-13-107.3, § 18-13-107.7; § 18-9-202; § 18-1.3-602; § 24-34-301; § 24-34-309; § 24-34-801 - 804; § 40-9-109; § 42-4-808||The following statutes comprise the state's relevant assistance animal and service animal laws.|
|CO - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty/Animal Fighting Statutes||C. R. S. A. § 18-9-201 - 209; § 35-42-101 - 115||This Colorado section contains the anti-cruelty and animal fighting laws. A person commits cruelty to animals if he or she knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence overdrives, overloads, overworks, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance, unnecessarily or cruelly beats, allows to be housed in a manner that results in chronic or repeated serious physical harm, carries or confines in or upon any vehicles in a cruel or reckless manner, or otherwise mistreats or neglects any animal. A person commits aggravated cruelty to animals if he or she knowingly tortures, needlessly mutilates, or needlessly kills an animal. Cruelty to animals is a class 1 misdemeanor and aggravated cruelty or a second conviction of animal cruelty is class 6 felony. This section also prohibits animal fighting (not limited to certain species such as dogs or chickens). Violation of this law results in a class 5 felony. This section also makes it illegal to own a dangerous dog and "tamper" with livestock.|
|CO - Dangerous Dog- Article 9. Offenses Against Public Peace, Order, and Decency.||C. R. S. A. § 18-9-204.5; C. R. S. A. § 35-42-115||
This Colorado statute defines a "dangerous dog" as one that has inflicted bodily or serious bodily injury upon or has caused the death of a person or domestic animal; or has demonstrated tendencies that would cause a reasonable person to believe that the dog may inflict injury upon or cause the death of any person or domestic animal; or has engaged in or been trained for animal fighting as described by statute. Owners found guilty under the provisions will be subject to misdemeanor penalties if their dogs cause bodily injury or felonies if their dogs cause the death of a person. Section CO ST § 35-42-115 mandates that the bureau create a a statewide dangerous dog registry consisting of a database of information concerning microchip types and placement by veterinarians and licensed shelters in dangerous dogs.
|CO - Disaster - Part 6. Uniform Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioners Act||C. R. S. A. § 25-1.5-601 - 613 (formerly C. R. S. A. § 12-29.3-101 to 113)||The Uniform Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioners Act applies to registered volunteer health practitioners and who provide health or veterinary services for a host entity during an emergency.|
|CO - Dog Bite - Civil actions against dog owners.||C. R. S. A. § 13-21-124||
This 2005 Colorado law makes a dog owner strictly liable for dog bites only if the victim of the bite suffers serious bodily injury or death from being bitten by a dog while lawfully on public or private property regardless of the viciousness or dangerous propensities of the dog or the dog owner's knowledge or lack of knowledge of the dog's viciousness or dangerous propensities. Further, the victim is entitled to recover only economic damages (as opposed to noneconomic damages like pain and suffering, inconvenience, etc.) in a civil suit against the dog owner. Also, the statute provides that an owner is not liable where the victim is unlawfully on public or private property; where the victim is on the owner's property and the the property is clearly and conspicuously marked with one or more posted signs stating "no trespassing" or "beware of dog"; where the victim has clearly provoked the dog; where the victim is a veterinary health care worker, dog groomer, humane agency staff person, professional dog handler, trainer, or dog show judge acting in the performance of his or her respective duties; or where the dog is working as a hunting dog, herding dog, farm or ranch dog, or predator control dog on the property of or under the control of the dog's owner.
|CO - Dogs - Consolidated Dog Laws||C. R. S. A. § 35-43-126; § 13-21-124; § 24-80-910.5; § 25-4-601 to 615; § 30-15-101 to 105; § 33-3-106; § 33-4-101.3; § 33-6-128; § 35-42.5-101; § 35-50-112||
These Colorado statutes represent the state's dog laws. There are provisions regarding civil actions against dog owners for dog bites, rabies control, animal control and licensing, and pertinent wildlife regulations, such as a general ban on harassing wildlife and destroying dens or nests. However, there is an exception making it permissible to take wildlife when it is causing excessive damage to property.
|CO - Domestic Violence - Animals and Domestic Violence; Definition.||C. R. S. A. § 18-6-800.3; C.R.S.A. § 13-14-101, 103||
This statute includes within the definition of "domestic violence" any other crime against a person, or against property, including an animal, or any municipal ordinance violation against a person, or against property, including an animal, when used as a method of coercion, control, punishment, intimidation, or revenge directed against a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship. Under Article 14 on Civil Protection Orders, the phrase "protection order” means any order that prohibits the restrained person from contacting, harassing, injuring, intimidating, molesting, threatening, touching, stalking, or sexually assaulting or abusing any protected person or from entering or remaining on premises, or from coming within a specified distance of a protected person or premises, or from taking, transferring, concealing, harming, disposing of or threatening harm to an animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by a protected person, or any other provision to protect the protected person from imminent danger to life or health.
|CO - Emergency - § 25-3.5-203. Emergency medical service providers--certification||C. R. S. A. § 25-3.5-203||This law concerns emergency medical service providers. An emergency medical service provider may provide preveterinary emergency care to dogs and cats to the extent the provider has received commensurate training and is authorized by the employer to provide the care. Requirements governing the circumstances under which emergency medical service providers may provide preveterinary emergency care to dogs and cats may be specified in the employer's policies governing the provision of care. “Preveterinary emergency care” means the immediate medical stabilization of a dog or cat by an emergency medical service provider, in an emergency to which the emergency medical service provider is responding, through means including oxygen, fluids, medications, or bandaging, with the intent of enabling the dog or cat to be treated by a veterinarian. “Preveterinary emergency care” does not include care provided in response to an emergency call made solely for the purpose of tending to an injured dog or cat, unless a person's life could be in danger attempting to save the life of a dog or cat.|
|CO - Endangered Species - Article 2. Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation||C. R. S. A. § 33-2-101 - 108||
These Colorado statutes provide the State's intent to protect endangered, threatened, or rare species and defines the terms associated with the statute. It also has a provision specific to the reintroduction of the bonytail and black-footed ferret. Under the management program, Colorado law provides for the acquisition of habitat for species listed as well as other protective measures.
|CO - Equine Activity Liability Statute - Article 21. Damages.||C. R. S. A. § 13-21-119||
This Colorado statute embodies the intent of the general assembly to encourage equine activities and llama activities by limiting the civil liability of those involved in such activities. This section also contains specific provisions related to llama activities. Liability is not limited by this statute where the equine or llama sponsor provided faulty equipment or tack, failed to make reasonable and prudent efforts to determine the ability of the participant to engage safely in the activity, owned or otherwise possessed the land upon which an injury occurred where there was a known latent condition, or if he or she commits an act or omission that constitutes willful or wanton disregard for the safety of the participant or intentionally injures the participant.
|CO - Exotic - Article 81. Hybrid Animals||C. R. S. A. § 35-81-101 to 102||
This Colorado statute authorized the commissioner of the department of agriculture to appoint and convene an advisory group to study the behavior of hybrid canids (wolf hybrids) and felines, including a review of any incidents involving property damage and personal injury caused by such animals. The department was to present its findings and proposals for legislation in January of 1998.
|CO - Facility dog - § 16-10-404. Use of a court facility dog--definitions||C. R. S. A. § 16-10-404||This Colorado law enacted in 2019 states that a court may order order that a witness's testimony be offered while a court facility dog is in the courtroom during a criminal proceeding if the judge determines by a preponderance of the evidence that: (1) the presence of a court facility dog with the witness during the witness's testimony would reduce the witness's anxiety and enhance the ability of the court to receive full and accurate testimony; (2) the arrangements for an available court facility dog during the witness's testimony would not interfere with efficient criminal proceedings; and (3) no prejudice would result to any party due to the presence of a court facility dog with the witness. A "court facility dog" must be a graduate of an accredited internationally recognized assistance dog organization.|
|CO - Farming - Article 50.5. Confinement of Calves Raised for Veal and Pregnant Sows||C. R. S. A. § 35-50.5-101 to 103||This 2008 Colorado statute applies to the confinement of calves raised for veal and pigs during pregnancy. This statute provides that calves raised for veal and sows during pregnancy must be able to lie down, stand up, and turn around without touching the sides of their enclosure.|
|CO - Fur - § 12b. Prohibited methods of taking wildlife (Constitutional Provision)||CO CONST Art. 18, § 12b||
This Colorado constitutional provision provides that it is unlawful to take wildlife with any leghold trap, any instant kill body-gripping design trap, or by poison or snare in the state of Colorado subject to the listed exceptions.
|CO - Humane Slaughter - Article 33. Custom Processing of Meat Animals.||C. R. S. A. § 35-33-101 to 407||
This Colorado section includes both the meat processing laws and the humane slaughter provisions. It covers livestock, which are defined as cattle, calves, sheep, swine, horses, mules, goats, and any other animal which may be used in and for the preparation of meat or meat products. No processor shall shackle, hoist, or otherwise bring livestock into position for slaughter or shall slaughter livestock except by humane methods as defined by regulation; the use of a manually operated hammer, sledge, or poleax is not permitted. Additionally, poultry shall be slaughtered in accordance with "good commercial practices" and in a manner that will result in thorough bleeding. Any person who violates any provision is subject to a civil penalty of not more than $750 per violation for each day of violation and commits a class 2 misdemeanor.
|CO - Hunting - Willful Destruction of Wildlife||C. R. S. A. § 33-6-117||
Colorado has a unique statute specific to poaching for the purpose of acquiring parts or "trophies" from an animal with the intent of abandoning the carcass, or even soliciting someone else to do so. Taking or hunting big game, eagles, or endangered species with this intent results in a felony. The intent of the law is stated "to protect the wildlife from wanton, ruthless, or wasteful destruction or mutilation for their heads, hides, claws, teeth, antlers, horns, internal organs, or feathers."
|CO - Impound - Article 4. Disease Control||C. R. S. A. § 25-4-610||This Colorado statute provides that it is unlawful for any owner of any dog, cat, other pet animal, or other mammal which has not been inoculated as required by the order of the county board of health or board of health of a health department to allow it to run at large. The health department or health officer may capture and impound any such dog, cat, other pet animal.|
|CO - Impound - Colorado Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act||C. R. S. A. § 35-80-106.3||
This is an example of a state statute that creates minimum holding periods that shelters must hold found pets for before allowing the pets to be adopted or otherwise disposed of.
|CO - Impoundment - Article 15. Regulation Under Police Power.||C. R. S. A. § 30-15-104||
This Colorado statute immunizes the board of county commissioners or other local governing entity from liability associated with the impoundment of pet animals. Specifically, it states the board or anyone authorized to enforce a local ordinance shall not be held responsible for any accident or subsequent disease that may occur to the animal in connection with the administration of the resolution or ordinance.
|CO - Initiatives - Amendment 14, Regulation of Commercial Hog Facilities||Amendment 14, 1998||This 1998 Colorado Ballot Measure created additional regulations for large-scale hog producers. The goal was to better curb the waste run-off from such facilities. It passed in the 1998 election with 64.2% of the vote.|
|CO - Initiatives - Amendment 13 (livestock operations)||Amendment 13. Uniform Regulation of Livestock Operations||This 1998 Colorado ballot measure sought to create uniform livestock regulations based on the potential environmental impact that the operation causes (rather than the character of the farm). It specifically sought to target the non-point pollution caused by large-scale operation run-off. The measure further added a definition for "livestock." It failed at the polls with only 38.7% of the vote.|
|CO - Lien, veterinary - Part 1. Lien on Personal Property.||C.R.S.A. § 38-20-102, 103||These Colorado laws concern liens on pet animals for persons who are entrusted with caring for the animals. Under 38-20-102, any feeder, veterinarian, or other person entrusted with the pet for feeding, keeping, boarding, or medical shall have a lien for the amount of costs incurred in the care of the animal. Any contracts (or copies thereof) made by the owner of the pet animal with the person caring for the animals may be filed with the county clerk where the owner resides (or where the contract was made for non-residents). The filing of this contract constitutes notice to the contents of the contract and the legal effect of the filing.|
|CO - Ordinances - Animal control officers--Article 15. Regulation Under Police Power.||C. R. S. A. § 30-15-105||This Colorado statute provides that personnel engaged in animal control may issue citations or summonses and complaints enforcing the county dog control resolution or any other county resolution concerning the control of pet animals or municipal ordinance. Officers assigned to this capacity may be referred to as "peace officers."|
|CO - Ordinances - Pet animal control and licensing||C. R. S. A. § 30-15-101||This Colorado statute states that the board of county commissioners of any county may adopt a resolution for the control and licensing of dogs. These regulations may require licensing of dogs by owners, require that dogs and other pet animals be under control at all times and define "control," define "vicious dog" and "vicious animal," establish a dog pound, or other animal holding facility, provide for the impoundment of animals which are vicious, not under control, or otherwise not in conformity with the resolutions, and establish such other reasonable regulations and restrictions for the control of dogs and other pet animals.|
|CO - Pet Shop - Article 80. Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act||C. R. S. A. § 35-80-101 - 117||This Colorado Act regulates pet animal facilities (i.e., shelters, large kennels, and breeders). The Act covers licensing of the facilities and those activities deemed unlawful, such as selling a kitten or puppy under the age of 8 weeks and refusing a lawful inspection.|
|CO - Police Training - Dog Protection Act||C.R.S.A. § 29-5-112||This Colorado statute requires local law enforcement to undergo training in order to prevent the shooting of dogs by local law enforcement officers in the line of duty. Specifically, this statute aims to assist in training officers to differentiate between threatening and non-threatening dog behaviors, as well as to employ non-lethal means whenever possible.|
|CO - Service animal - Article 23. Training Veterans to Train Their Own Service Dogs Pilot Program||C. R. S. A. § 26-23-101 - 105||
This set of Colorado laws (effective June of 2016) creates a pilot program for veterans to train their own service dogs. The program identifies a group of up to 10 veterans to pair with dogs. Qualified canine trainers will work with the veterans to use train the dogs for use as service dogs. The program will further offer those veterans who graduate from the program with a trained dog the opportunity and necessary follow-along services to expand the program, if willing, by identifying, fostering, and training a subsequent dog for another eligible veteran who is unable to complete one or more parts of the process due to physical limitations. Other sections of the article explain the criteria for selecting the non-profit agencies for implementation and the creation of a fund in the state treasury.
|CO - State animals - § 24-80-910.5. State pets||C. R. S. A. § 24-80-910.5||
Dogs and cats that are adopted from Colorado animal shelters and rescues are declared to be the state pets of the state of Colorado.
|CO - Trusts for Pets - Article 11. Intestate Succession and Wills.||C. R. S. A. § 15-11-901||
This Colorado statute provides that trust for the care of designated domestic or pet animals and the animals' offspring in gestation is valid. The determination of the "animals' offspring in gestation" is made at the time the designated domestic or pet animals become present beneficiaries of the trust. Unless the trust instrument provides for an earlier termination, the trust terminates when no living animal is covered by the trust (but no longer than 21 years). The trust property then transfers as provided by statute, but the trustee may not covert the trust property.
|CO - Vehicle, animal - § 13-21-108.4. Persons rendering emergency assistance from a locked vehicle||C.R.S.A. § 13-21-108.4, C.R.S.A. § 18-1-706.5||This Colorado law allows the rescue of animals and "at-risk persons" from locked vehicles under certain conditions. "Animal" defined as cat or dog and specifically excludes livestock. A person is immune from civil or criminal liability for property damage resulting from forcible entry into locked vehicle if all of the following occurs: (1) an animal is present and the person has a reasonable belief that the animal is in imminent danger of death or suffering serious bodily injury; (2) the person determines the vehicle is locked and forcible entry is necessary; (3) the person makes reasonable effort to locate the owner as outlined in the law; (4) the person contacts law enforcement/911/emergency responders prior to forcibly entering vehicle; and he or she remains with vehicle until law enforcement/responders arrive.|
|CO - Veterinary - Veterinary Practice Code||C. R. S. A. § 12-64-101 to 127||
These are the state's veterinary practice laws. Among the provisions include licensing requirements, laws concerning the state veterinary board, veterinary records laws, and the laws governing disciplinary actions for impaired or incompetent practitioners.
|CO - Wildlife - Article 6. Law Enforcement and Penalties--Wildlife.||C. R. S. A. § 33-6-101 to 142||
These Colorado statutes represent Part 1 of the state's wildlife code. Among the provisions include violations for improperly taking wildlife, hunting provisions, and a law prohibiting computer-assisted remote hunting.
|CO - Wildlife trade - Illegal sale of wildlife; penalties||C. R. S. A. § 33-6-113||Colorado statute addressing illegal sale of wildlife, including bears.|
|CO - Wildlife, nongame - Wildlife; Illegal Possession||C. R. S. A. § 33-6-109||Colorado law prohibits the taking, hunting, or possession of animals deemed property of the state or wildlife taken in violation of state, federal, or non-U.S. law (including bald and golden eagles), resulting in a misdemeanor with up to one year in jail and fines. Further, there is an additional penalty for the taking of "big game" species. It is also illegal to have in one's possession any nonnative or exotic species.|