Colorado’s New Bill to Spay/Neuter Mandate for Pet Sales Moves Closer to Become Law

A bill to prohibit the sale of puppies and kittens that have not been spayed or neutered is getting closer to becoming law.

The House Agriculture, Water, and Natural Resources Committee heard testimony on the legislation on Monday.

While existing legislation mandates sterilization before selling a pet, animal rights campaigners claim that certain rescue organizations are misusing the law’s health exception to sell thousands of unsterilized pups and kittens. The initial bill provided an exemption only if an animal’s life was in danger.

However, the committee revised the bill to reinstate the health exception in certain situations for animals born in Colorado. Gov. Jared Polis’ administration collaborated with bill sponsors on the amendment.

According to the governor’s office, it is intended “to provide Colorado veterinarians with additional flexibility.” She points out that it also “provides an important requirement for data reporting to the Department of Agriculture so the agency can more closely monitor the issue.”

Lynn Gerber, an animal rights advocate who helped develop the bill, believes the modification weakens it.

“It concerns me that our governor and our First Gentleman continue to get in and change things that don’t need to be changed,” she was quoted as saying. My main concern is that this will open up Pandora’s box. It sparks debate, it sparks ideas–it’s quite simple: we shouldn’t be bringing unaltered animals into Colorado.”

The Denver Dumb Friends League says it received a record number of unsterilized animals last year, and its shelters have never been so full.

The modified bill passed the committee unanimously.

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