Animal shelters show support for Colorado bill that would prevent euthanizing pets due to lack of space

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DENVER (KDVR) -- Shelters like the Dumb Friends League are supporting a Colorado bill aimed at preventing shelters and rescues from euthanizing pets due to lack of space. However, not everyone supports the bill.

"I was the only person who testified against it," Maxine Mager of Creative Acres, an animal sanctuary in Hudson, said.

Mager says she feels like the bill's wording is too vague.

"I don't believe you should be able to kill an animal without transparency," Mager said. "What I was in a bill is disclosures, disclosures of policies and resources."

SB 164 bans shelters and rescues from euthanizing pets due to space issues and is estimated to impact more than 300 sites across Colorado. Animals could still be euthanized over health and behavioral issues.

The Denver Dumb Friends League issued the following statement Monday about the bill:

"SB 164 includes a clear description of the PACFA(Pet Animal Care Facilities Act)-regulated requirements of every shelter and rescue in Colorado. As with every bill, lawmakers have to find a balance between being overly prescriptive and unreasonably broad. While some opponents want to argue that the bill is vague because it doesn’t include every single regulation they would like included in the law, the broad coalition of animal welfare advocates that wrote this bill recognized that every shelter and rescue needs to have the ability to tailor Socially Conscious Sheltering to their individual needs and community.  This flexibility is intentional and a necessary part of ensuring success of the new law."

Lawmakers say bipartisan support is expected.

If passed in its current wording, it does not appear the bill could impact Denver's pit bull ban. According to the Denver Department of Health and Environment, here are the euthanasia numbers for pit bulls in Denver in recent years:

2019: 68 pit bulls euthanized
2018: 63 pit bulls euthanized
2017: 64 pit bulls euthanized
2015: 73 pit bulls euthanized

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