University of Vermont AAHS

Colorado Cruelty to Animals Statutes


COLORADO STATUTES
TITLE 18. CRIMINAL CODE
ARTICLE 9. OFFENSES AGAINST PUBLIC PEACE, ORDER, AND DECENCY
PART 2. CRUELTY TO ANIMALS


18-9-201. Definitions

As used in sections 18-9-202 and 18-9-202.5, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) "Abandon" means the leaving of an animal without adequate provisions for the animal's proper care by its owner, the person responsible for the animal's care or custody, or any other person having possession of such animal.

(2) "Animal" means any living dumb creature.

(2.5) "Disposal" or "disposition" means adoption of an animal, return of an animal to the owner, release of an animal to a rescue group licensed pursuant to article 80 of title 35, C.R.S., release of an animal to another pet animal facility licensed pursuant to article 80 of title 35, C.R.S., or to a rehabilitator licensed by the division of wildlife or the United States fish and wildlife service, or euthanasia.

(2.7) "Euthanasia" means to produce a humane death by techniques accepted by the American veterinary medical association.

(3) "Mistreatment" means every act or omission that causes or unreasonably permits the continuation of unnecessary or unjustifiable pain or suffering.

(4) "Neglect" means failure to provide food, water, protection from the elements, or other care generally considered to be normal, usual, and accepted for an animal's health and well-being consistent with the species, breed, and type of animal.


18-9-201.5. Scope of part 2

(1) Nothing in this part 2 shall affect accepted animal husbandry practices utilized by any person in the care of companion or livestock animals or in the extermination of undesirable pests as defined in articles 7, 10, and 43 of title 35, C.R.S.

(2) In case of any conflict between this part 2 or section 35-43-126, C.R.S., and the wildlife statutes of the state, said wildlife statutes shall control.

(3) Nothing in this part 2 shall affect animal care otherwise authorized by law.

(4) Nothing in this part 2 shall affect facilities licensed under the provisions of the federal "Animal Welfare Act of 1970", 7 U.S.C. sec. 2131 et seq., as amended.


18-9-202. Cruelty to animals--neglect of animals--offenses--repeal

(1)(a) A person commits cruelty to animals if he knowingly or with criminal negligence overdrives, overloads, overworks, tortures, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance, unnecessarily or cruelly beats, needlessly mutilates, needlessly kills, carries or confines in or upon any vehicles in a cruel or reckless manner, or otherwise mistreats or neglects any animal, or causes or procures it to be done, or, having the charge or custody of any animal, fails to provide it with proper food, drink, or protection from the weather, or abandons it.
(b) Any person who intentionally abandons a dog or cat commits the offense of cruelty to animals.

(2)(a) Cruelty to animals is a class 1 misdemeanor.
(a.5)(I)(A) In addition to the sentence imposed pursuant to this subsection (2), any person convicted of committing cruelty to animals pursuant to subsection (1) of this section, the underlying factual basis of which has been found by the court to include the knowing or intentional torture or torment of an animal that needlessly injures, mutilates, or kills an animal shall pay a surcharge of up to four hundred dollars to the clerk of the court in the county in which the conviction occurs or in which a deferred sentence is entered. Each clerk shall transmit the moneys to the court administrator of the judicial district in which the offense occurred for credit to the fund.
(B) This subparagraph (I) is repealed, effective July 1, 2005.
(II) In addition to the sentence imposed pursuant to subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (a.5) any person convicted of committing cruelty to animals pursuant to subsection (1) of this section, the underlying factual basis of which has been found by the court to include the knowing or intentional torture or torment of an animal that needlessly injures, mutilates, or kills an animal, may be ordered to complete an anger management treatment program or any other appropriate treatment program.
(III) The court shall order an evaluation to be conducted prior to sentencing
to assist the court in determining an appropriate sentence. The person ordered to undergo an evaluation shall be required to pay the cost of the evaluation, unless the person qualifies for a public defender, then the cost will be paid by the judicial district. If the evaluation results in a recommendation of treatment and if the court so finds, the person shall be ordered to complete an anger management treatment program or any other treatment program that the court may deem appropriate.
(IV) Upon successful completion of an anger management treatment program or any other treatment program deemed appropriate by the court, the court may suspend any fine imposed, except for a five hundred dollar mandatory minimum fine which shall be imposed at the time of sentencing.
(V) In addition to any other sentence imposed upon a person for a violation of any criminal law under this title, any person convicted of a second or subsequent conviction for any crime, the underlying factual basis of which has been found by the court to include an act of cruelty to animals, shall be required to pay a mandatory minimum fine of one thousand dollars and shall be required to complete an anger management treatment program or any other appropriate treatment program.
(VI) Nothing in this paragraph (a.5) shall preclude the court from ordering treatment in any appropriate case.
(VII) This paragraph (a.5) does not apply to the treatment of pack or draft animals by negligently overdriving, overloading, or overworking them, or the treatment of livestock and other animals used in the farm or ranch production of food, fiber, or other agricultural products when such treatment is in accordance with accepted agricultural animal husbandry practices, the treatment of animals involved in activities regulated pursuant to article 60 of title 12, C.R.S., the treatment of animals involved in research if such research facility is operating under rules set forth by the state or federal government, the treatment of animals involved in rodeos, the treatment of dogs used for legal hunting activities, wildlife nuisances, or to statutes regulating activities concerning wildlife and predator control in the state, including trapping.

(b) In the case of any person incurring a second or subsequent conviction under the provisions of paragraph (a) of this subsection (2), a sentence of imprisonment within the minimum and maximum terms for a class 1 misdemeanor as provided in section 18-1-106 shall be mandatory and shall not be subject to suspension, nor shall such person be eligible for probation or parole for any part of such period. A plea of nolo contendere accepted by the court shall be considered a conviction for the purposes of this section.

(3) Nothing in this part 2 shall be construed to amend or in any manner change the authority of the wildlife commission, as established in title 33, C.R.S., or to prohibit any conduct therein authorized or permitted.

18-9-206. Unauthorized release of an animal--penalty--restitution

(1) Any person who intentionally releases any animal which is lawfully confined for scientific, research, commercial, legal sporting, or educational purposes or for public safety purposes because the animal has been determined to be dangerous to people, has an infectious disease, or is quarantined to determine whether or not it has an infectious disease without the consent of the owner or custodian of such animal commits the offense of unauthorized release of an animal.

(2) Unauthorized release of an animal is a class 2 misdemeanor.

(3) Any person who is convicted of unauthorized release of an animal shall be ordered to pay restitution for any damages resulting from such release, including the cost of restoring any animal to confinement, the cost of restoring the health of any animal which is released, the cost of any damage to real or personal property which is caused by a released animal, or any cost which results if the release causes the failure of an experiment, including the costs of repeating the experiment, replacement of any animal released, and the cost of labor and materials associated with such experiment.



18-9-207. Tampering or drugging of livestock

(1) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:

(a) "Exhibition" means a show or sale of livestock at a fair or elsewhere in this state that is sponsored by or under the authority of the state or any unit of local government or any agricultural, horticultural, or livestock society, association, or corporation.

(b) "Livestock" means any domestic animal generally used for food or in the production of food, including, but not limited to, cattle, sheep, goats, poultry, swine, or llamas.

(c) "Sabotage" means intentionally tampering with an animal belonging to or owned by another person that has been registered, entered, or exhibited in any exhibition or raised for the apparent purpose of being entered in an exhibition.

(d)(I) "Tamper" means any of the following:

(A) Treatment of livestock in such a manner that food derived from the livestock would be considered adulterated under the "Colorado Food and Drug Act", part 4 of article 5 of title 25, C.R.S.;

(B) The injection, use, or administration of any drug that is prohibited by any federal, state, or local law or any drug that is used in a manner prohibited by federal law or the law of this state or any locality thereof;

(C) The injection or other internal or external administration of any product or material, whether gas, solid, or liquid, to an animal for the purposes of deception, including concealing, enhancing, or transforming the true conformation, configuration, color, breed, condition, or age of the animal or making the animal appear more sound than the animal would appear otherwise;

(D) The use or administration for cosmetic purposes of steroids, growth stimulants, or internal artificial filling, including paraffin, silicone injection, or any other substance;

(E) The use or application of any drug or feed additive affecting the central nervous system of the animal;

(F) The use or administration of diuretics for cosmetic purposes;

(G) The manipulation or removal of tissue, by surgery or otherwise, so as to change, transform, or enhance the true conformation or configuration of the animal;

(H) Subjecting the animal to inhumane conditions or procedures for the purpose of concealing, enhancing, or transforming the true conformation, configuration, condition, or age of the animal or making the animal appear more sound than the animal would appear otherwise;

(I) Attaching to the animal's hide foreign objects, including hair or hair substitutes, cloth, and fibers, for the purpose of deception, including concealing, enhancing, or transforming the true conformation, configuration, color, breed, condition, or age of the animal or making the animal appear more sound than the animal would appear otherwise;

(J) Substituting a different animal for the animal registered or entered in the exhibition without the permission of a responsible official of the exhibition.

(II) "Tamper" does not include any action taken or activity performed or administered by a licensed veterinarian or in accordance with instructions of a licensed veterinarian if the action or activity was undertaken for accepted medical purposes during the course of a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship or any action taken as part of accepted grooming, ranching, commercial, or medical practices. "Tampering" shall not be construed to include normal ranching practices.

(2)(a) No person shall commit any act in this state that would constitute tampering with or sabotaging any livestock that has been registered, entered, or exhibited in any exhibition in this state.

(b) No person shall administer, dispense, distribute, manufacture, possess, sell, or use any drug to or for livestock unless such drug is approved by the United States food and drug administration or the United States department of agriculture; except that, if either agency has approved an application submitted for investigational use in accordance with the federal "Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act", the drug may be used only for the approved investigational use.

(c) No person shall administer, distribute, possess, sell, or use any dangerous drug to or for livestock unless the drug is accompanied by a prescription issued by a licensed veterinarian entitled to practice in this state.

(3) Any person who violates the provisions of this section commits a class 1 misdemeanor. However, in lieu of the fine provided in section 18-1-106, the court may impose a fine of not less than one thousand dollars or more than one hundred thousand dollars.

(4) The name and photograph of any person convicted of violating the provisions of this section shall be made available for publication in newspapers of general circulation and trade journals.

TITLE 31. GOVERNMENT--MUNICIPAL
POWERS AND FUNCTIONS OF CITIES AND TOWNS
ARTICLE 15. EXERCISE OF MUNICIPAL POWERS
PART 4. POLICE REGULATIONS


31-15-401. General police powers

(1) In relation to the general police power, the governing bodies of municipalities have the following powers:

(a) through (h) omitted.

(i) To prohibit and punish for cruelty to animals.

(j) through (p) omitted.

(II) The governing body of the municipality may enact ordinances which provide that any establishment which engages in repeated or continuing violations of regulations adopted by the governing body shall constitute a public nuisance. In addition to the power provided for in paragraph (c) of this subsection (1) the governing body of the municipality may bring an action for an injunction against the operation of such establishment in a manner which violates such regulations.

(III) Nothing in the regulations adopted by the governing body of the municipality pursuant to this paragraph (p) shall be construed to apply to the presentation, showing, or performance of any play, drama, ballet, or motion picture in any theater, concert hall, museum of fine arts, school, institution of higher education, or other similar establishment as a form of expression of opinion or communication of ideas or information, as differentiated from the promotion or exploitation of nudity for the purpose of advancing the economic welfare of a commercial or business enterprise.


Amended in 1997, 1999.
Reviewed by AAHS in September 2001.


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