Denver -- A new Colorado law requires sterilization of all dogs or cats prior to adoption from shelters.
-- A new Colorado law requires sterilization of all dogs or cats prior to adoption from shelters. The law took effect on Jan. 1.
The new law also allows shelters and rescue groups to transfer the sterilization responsibility to adopting owners, but the procedure must be completed within 90 days. To ensure compliance, the new system requires the adopting owner leave a deposit with the shelter. Once the animal is sterilized, the adopters would get the deposit back. If they don't comply within the 90-day period, the new owners are obligated to return the animal to the shelter and the deposit is forfeited to the state’s Animal Overpopulation Fund.
Veterinarians who, on occasion, take in animals for the purpose of finding them homes won’t be subject to the law, according to a Colorado legislative counsel spokesperson. If a veterinarian were to consistently offer animals for adoption, then the law might be applicable to them. Bill sponsor Rep. Cherylin Peniston (D-Westminster) concurred, saying she doesn’t think the law should apply to a veterinarian who adopts out an animal from time to time.
States with similar laws include California, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New York, New Mexico, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah and the District of Columbia.