April 01, 2003


 Companion animal bill withdrawn

Posted March 15, 2003

Controversial legislation proposing to elevate the status of pets from property to companions in Colorado was withdrawn shortly after its introduction in late January.

Under the landmark legislation, pet owners in Colorado could have sued veterinarians and animal abusers for up to $100,000 for loss of companionship. In addition, the bill sought to impose standards for inoculating dogs and cats and mandated that owners be fully informed of any veterinary procedure that involves a substantial risk to their pets.

Colorado is home to more than two million dogs and cats. Boulder was the first city in the country to adopt an ordinance making pet owners guardians.

In February, state Rep. Mark Cloer withdrew his bill, however, reportedly because he didn't feel the state was ready for the change. The Colorado VMA opposed the bill, saying it would raise the cost of veterinary care.