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Dumb Friends League statement in support of House Bill 21-1160.

The Dumb Friends League is proud to support House Bill 21-1160, Socially Conscious Sheltering.  This bill accomplishes two important goals. The first is to make it the practice in Colorado that placement is found for every healthy and safe animal that enters a shelter or rescue. The second ensures that no animal, while in the care of a shelter or rescue, is allowed to needlessly suffer.

Requiring the placement of at least every healthy and safe animal does not place any limitation on the placement of any animal. This allows the League and our many partners to continue to place animals with special medical and behavioral demands and focus on the individual needs and best outcomes for every animal in our care.  

The Dumb Friends League has been included in extensive discussions with stakeholders and partners across the state to ensure that this bill reflects the values of the Colorado sheltering community.  Because of the extensive transfer system between shelters and rescues in Colorado, there is no justification for allowing any animal to suffer in any PACFA licensed facility.

The League is proud to be part of a growing community of shelters, rescues, veterinary practices, foster families, law enforcement and policymakers across the country that are embracing the tenets of socially conscious sheltering and providing the best, most humane outcomes for shelter cats and dogs. With the passage of this bill, Colorado will continue to lead the country in the advancement of animal welfare and the Dumb Friends League is excited to be a part of the progress.

An example of why we support HB 21-1160 and Socially Conscious Sheltering – Dylan’s story

In 2019, Dumb Friends League Board Member, Dr. Vicki Eppard took on the care of a 1 yr. old male dog taken from the Pueblo Animal Shelter who was languishing in that shelter’s possession and not receiving the attention, care, and pain management that he needed.  He had been hit by a car and had a fracture in his lower back.  He had been walking on his elbows because he could not get up and had worn the skin covering both elbows to the bone.  Dr. Eppard and her staff nursed him back to health over three months in their hospital.  It took an additional three months to get the skin to cover the bones of his elbows. 

Thankfully, Dylan got his happy ending. Today, he lives with Dr. Eppard on acreage in Elizabeth and runs and plays like a normal, healthy dog. 

What happened to this young dog in a shelter’s care was beyond horrific. House Bill 21-1160, Socially Conscious Sheltering can help prevent this lack of care by requiring the shelters and rescues to address the medical issues of animals in their care who will benefit from immediate attention to relieve pain and suffering.

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