Colorado Lawmakers Introduce Socially Conscious Sheltering Bill

Dumb Friends League supports statewide adoption of compassionate, thoughtful and transparent animal sheltering model

The Colorado Socially Conscious Sheltering Act, Senate Bill 20-164, was introduced in the Colorado State Senate this week with support from the Dumb Friends League and the Colorado Federation of Animal Welfare Agencies (CFAWA).

The bill, which is sponsored by Senators Joann Ginal and Rhonda Fields and Representatives Monica Duran and Alex Valdez, formally adopts Socially Conscious Sheltering principles that ensure every healthy and safe cat and dog in a shelter is placed for adoption and the medical and behavioral needs of cats and dogs are appropriately and individually addressed while they are in the care of the shelter.

Many animal shelters across the country, including the Dumb Friends League, have already adopted the Socially Conscious Sheltering model and, as a result, pets nationwide are experiencing exceptional outcomes.

“This animal welfare model protects pets and creates safer communities,” said Dumb Friends League President and CEO Dr. Apryl Steele. “Passing the Colorado Socially Conscious Sheltering Act means our state will lead the nation in ensuring the best, safest and most humane outcomes for cats and dogs that enter shelters every day.”

Socially Conscious Sheltering is a framework that allows shelters and communities that support them understand their roles in creating the best outcomes for pets. This concept is based on respectful treatment of animals. Its core tenets include placing every healthy and safe animal that ends up in a shelter or rescue, transparency, leadership, thoughtful public policy and safe communities.

The Dumb Friends League encourages people to get involved and help shape the future of animal welfare by supporting the Colorado Socially Conscious Sheltering Act. Visit the League’s advocacy section on to learn how to take action and make a difference in the lives of shelter pets.

Learn more about Socially Conscious Sheltering at

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Maia Brusseau

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