(Nicely done, PC. – promoted by Aristotle)
HB 1063, Wes McKinley’s bill to eliminate nonprofit cruelty investigators and transfer care costs for impounded animals to the agencies rescuing them, has been postponed indefinitely by a vote of twelve to one. This bill would have devastated animal welfare agencies statewide, and presented an unfunded mandate to local governments that came with a tab of at least $340,000 in training costs alone.
The bill’s failure represents a victory for Colorado’s families, pets, and communities. As I said in my previous diary, animal welfare is good for people and for Colorado. Healthy, well cared for pets and livestock are a benefit to our communities. Diseased, neglected, and potentially aggressive pets and livestock are not. Continuing to enforce our animal cruelty laws will keep our communities safe and healthy.
I was at the Capitol to participate in this hearing, but regrettably had to leave before the vote to get Mini Cowgirl, my niece, to bed on time. After taking care of the kiddo, I logged on to Pols and discovered the great news!
Congratulations to all who opposed this bill. Many Colorado animal welfare professionals spoke eloquently in opposition, despite some amount of badgering from Representatives McKinley and Coram. Chairman Sonnenberg did an admirable job of keeping the committee in line, stepping in repeatedly to redirect comments that were verging into statement territory rather than presenting questions to those giving testimony. A great deal of credit also goes to those behind SB 009, a moderate and animal welfare focused alternative that addresses many of the problems identified by Wes McKinley and acknowledged by animal welfare agencies throughout the state.
Every Coloradoan who loves his or her pets can go to bed tonight feeling secure in the knowledge that when you wake up tomorrow, the Denver Dumb Friends League, Larimer Humane Society, Boulder Valley Humane Society, and many others will still be available to investigate cases of cruelty and neglect in your neighborhood.