My mother asked my brother to watch her dogs while she was out of town on a couple business trips. Colorado officials reckon prairie dogs inhabited 7 million acres in the state — an area 14 times larger than prairie dog habitat today. Lawyer directory. The Colorado dog bite statute is for cases where the victim cannot prove the elements of the "one bite rule." "), While classifying dogs as property, however reluctantly, the court seemed eager to distinguish them from mere objects. Yet under current law in most jurisdictions, a pet's value is calculated like that of any other material object. And its literature argues that people should not conceive of themselves as "buying" animals, but should instead as "adopting" them (making an implicit analogy to children) or even "rescuing" them (as with fugitive slaves). Even the most beloved mutt or tabby is deemed virtually worthless: rescued from an animal shelter for a nominal fee, they can be "replaced" at the same expense. The practical impact of such changes is to encourage stronger legal remedies in cases of animal abuse and neglect. In these ways, they are profoundly different from property, and similar to humans. About half of his property is covered, and he expects he’ll see the furry rodents popping up in his front yard by summer. In Colorado, pets are property, not children, so are not subject to custody orders in a divorce. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information. What that means is that they can be bought and sold, and have few standards as to how they must be treated (outside of some minimal abuse and neglect protections). Dogs and cats are required to be inoculated and to be licensed through the Pikes Peak Humane Society. Domestic animals fall into the unregulated category of the Code of Colorado Regulations, meaning you don’t need any special licensing from the state to import or possess these animals. A companion dog is not a living room sofa. In Colorado, trespass can be in the first-degree trespassing (CRS 18-4-502) second-degree trespassing (CRS 18-4 … Such concerns seem wildly overblown. A recent survey found that two out of three people say that they wouldn't trade their pets for $1 million. What does this change mean? All rights reserved. (At the top of my personal list would be a 1968 Volkswagen bug of which I'm inordinately fond.) She has been asking for her dogs back since she got back and he is refusing to let her have them back. This is because the law does not provide compensation for emotional suffering that results from an injury to personal property. Several cities have already passed measures that characterize pet owners as "guardians," rather than mere property owners. A quiet revolution is underway, one that would reform the legal relationship between people and pets, and adjust legal norms to better accord with moral principles and emotional realities. You may rip apart your sofa, if you like, but you are not allowed to do the same to your dog. The effort to establish a legally meaningful distinction between pets and living room sofas has recently gained momentum. Consumers: Ask Lawyers Questions and Get Answers for Free! Find the best ones near you. Avvo has 97% of all lawyers in the US. Colorado law and the ADA provide the right to have a service animal in housing, public accommodations, and employment. Penalties for conviction of a Colorado class 1 petty offense can include: A fine up to $500, and/or 6 months in jail. Yet the legally-recognized value of domestic animals does not take into account these deep emotional bonds. The threshold for shelter or rescue of birds: more than 30 transfers per year or more than 30 housed in a central facility. 1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on Jul 20, 2020 Q: I have taken care of a dog for 3 years. You are not a "guardian” and the state has no right to take your pet away as can be done with your child. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site. Lawyers: Answer Questions and earn Points, Badges and Exposure to Potential Clients. They feel pain and, as any pet owner or guardian can attest, they are capable of emotional attachments. Internet Explorer 11 is no longer supported. But the Colorado law's rationale sweeps rather too broadly. The Backlash: Anger Against Animal Rights. She should definitely talk to local law enforcement and/or an animal lawyer. Lawyers, Answer Questions & Get Points Can she file a report for theft? Another New York judge has turned his back on man’s best friend, declaring that dogs are nothing more than property under the law. Draft legislation was just introduced in Colorado to change the legal status of dogs and cats from property to companion animals. (Indeed, as the court might have noted, four out of five pet owners refer to themselves as the animal's "mom" or "dad. There are provisions regarding civil actions against dog owners for dog bites, rabies control, animal control and licensing, and pertinent wildlife regulations, such as a general ban on harassing wildlife and destroying dens or … Last 30 Days. Is this cruelty? Rather than conceiving of pets as material goods, a new set of laws would recognize them as sentient beings: companions, not property. Google Local Services Ads - At the top of the search results - Pay only for contacts - Google screened. As one of its provisions explains, "the death of a companion dog or cat is psychologically and emotionally significant and often devastating to the owner.". Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. Both dogs need special food because of a kidney condition and have to go to the vet quarterly to get blood drawn. Perhaps no other wild animal has endured the wrath of humans while evoking such genuine heartfelt admiration quite like the coyote. The notion that animals have rights, or should be deemed to have rights, is far from accepted. The past 100 years have seen startling changes in our laws that might have once seemed revolutionary, proving the necessary adaptability of our legal system to changing needs and information. Joanne Mariner is a FindLaw columnist who learned a lot about animal rights from a basenji named Punk. She can file a theft report, but it is possible the police will not get involved. It also states that only about 9 percent of all dog breeds that exist today are responsible for the majority of attacks. He made threats to her and cannot properly care for these dogs. It is possible your brother’s actions could be considered animal cruelty, but without more specifics, it is hard to say. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only. These groups portray the recent legal changes as part of a dangerous trend toward humanizing animals and annulling the rights of their owners. However, some cities do require licensing for cats and dogs older than six months. The coyote’s success is attributed to the coyote’s own abili… The new ruling allows for a dog’s true worth to be considered. He is not working so all care related to the dogs while in his care reside with my mother. Generally, property obtained during the marriage is considered marital property in Colorado, and is subject to equitable division between the parties. Animals are considered property under the law, which limits their protections. Find a lawyer near you. Dogs are considered property in most states... My Ex fled the sate of Colorado with my 2 dogs who has juristiction? This rule may be changing, however. "Labeling a dog 'property,'" the Wisconsin Supreme Court acknowledged in its 2001 opinion, "fails to describe the value human beings place upon the companionship that they enjoy with a dog." At least one court has expressed discomfort with this legal characterization, even as it barred the owner of a dog that was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer from obtaining damages for her emotional distress. Consider a family heirloom that has been passed down through generations, or a watch that belonged to a dead parent. According to the website DogsBite.org, there are approximately 1,000 people in the United States that suffer from dog bites, per day. Pet owners tend to think so. Two areas of the law that might be affected are tort law and divorce law. In an editorial siding with this position, USA Today warned that if society were to recognize that pet are not property, and that animals have rights, "it would arguably be impossible to spay or neuter a pet without its permission." "A companion dog is not a fungible item," said the court, "equivalent to other items of personal property. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that the move to redefine pets as companions has drawn fierce opposition from a number of national pet-owner associations, including the American Kennel Club. A: Yes dogs are personal property and your mom retained her ownership in them if all she did was ask him to “dog sit” or “watch” the dogs. Here are a few laws in Colorado that dog owners should know about: She can file a theft report, … Can she file a protection order against herself? Boulder, Colorado, was the first city to pass such a measure, in July 2000; later came Berkeley and West Hollywood, in California, followed by Sherwood, Arkansas, Amherst, Massachusetts, and Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. To recognize that animals have a claim to rights does not, in itself, indicate how those rights should be defined or how they might be limited. In reaching such conclusions, courts have repeatedly emphasized that the law categorizes domestic animals as personal property. View Website. They are instead considered as personal property, another asset, which means they are governed by the law of equitable distribution of assets. More commonly, in suits for the negligent or purposeful infliction of harm to the animal, courts hold that it is the market value of the animal that counts. House, 4 Bedrooms, 3.5 Baths, (Sleeps 10) - $401 avg/night - Fraser - Amenities include: Swimming pool, Internet, Hot Tub, Pets Welcome, Fireplace, TV, Satellite or cable, Washer & Dryer, Children Welcome, Parking, No Smoking, Heater Bedrooms: 4 Sleeps: 12 Pet friendly Minimum stay from 3 night(s) Bookable directly online - Book vacation rental 269984 with Vrbo. He lied about where he was living and where they are staying so she couldn't just show up, but she figured out where he was. (For good measure, the ordinance also eliminated the adjective "dumb" from its definition of animal, which previously referred to "any bird, mammal, reptile, or other dumb creature."). In tort cases, pet owners whose animals are injured or killed have been unsuccessful in obtaining damages for emotional distress and loss of companionship. 3. Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select. If a property exceeds the limitation it may be considered a kennel, which is not a permitted use within residential zones. In the eyes of the law, in most localities, a dog is more like a plate than a pal. The effort to establish a legally meaningful distinction between pets and living room sofas has recently gained momentum. Summary: These Colorado statutes represent the state's dog laws. Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. In Defense of Animals (IDA), the organization spearheading the guardianship campaign, explains that the terminology change reflects a conceptual shift: "Being a guardian of an animal companion signifies a higher level of responsibility, respect and care for our animal friends. Log In. It is the latest initiative in a national campaign to reshape pets' legal status. Draft legislation was just introduced in Colorado to change the legal status of dogs and cats from property to companion animals. Pets are property. In San Francisco, for example, the Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance in January that amended city and county laws so that they speak of the "owner or guardian" of animals, as opposed to simply the "owner." A pet is considered community property if the pet was acquired during the relationship. The court also noted that dogs are more than “mere personal property” and are beloved “family members.” 4 However, the court ruled that an 1891 law that categorized dogs as “personal property” limited the value of the dog to “market value.” In other words, despite the court recognizing the emotional loss attributed to the wrongful death of the family pet, the … The IDA's stated reasoning differs meaningfully from that set forth in the pending Colorado legislation. The website reports that 81% of dog attacks are on children. The real focus of the law's concern is, in other words, the owner, not the animal. The City of Colorado Springs allows up to four (4) dogs or cats over four (4) months of age per property. This Colorado section contains the anti-cruelty and animal fighting laws. Licensed in Colorado. This means the family dog or cat will likely be put on the list of assets to be divvied up between the two spouses in a fair and just manner. Under Colorado’s laws on the civil rights of people with disabilities as well as the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), people with disabilities may bring their service animals to all "public accommodations," such as hotels, … Code of Colorado Regulations 5 2. Penalties for criminal trespass in Colorado range from as little as a fine and probation to as much as three (3) years in prison and a $100,000 fine.. It's still the case that cats and dogs are considered property. Some people curse their existence; Native Americans consider them to be the smartest animal on earth, calling them "God’s dog", and many urbanites revel in opportunities to see and hear these vocal predators. Animal Cruelty & Neglect. Al dogs must remain leashed while on public land. Yet a 2014 survey from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers noted that disputes over pets were on the increase, with 88% fighting over dogs, and cats were a distant second at 5%. Exceptions can be granted by a property owner. If they do not, your mom will have to sue your brother in civil court to get the dogs back. It’s too early to tell at this point. See Proving a Dangerous Propensity in Colorado.. The Traditional Rule: Pets as Personal Property. These laws prohibit the torture of domestic animals, even if the victimized animal belongs to the torturer. As for a protection order, if he is making threats on her life and/or her dogs, it is possible she could get a protection order, but more information is needed. Due process, search and seizure protections as provided by The U.S. Constitution apply to pets. Dogs and other animals found roaming off their owner’s or keeper’s property are considered stray and may be impounted by an Animal Welfare officer. By Lisa Guerin, J.D. The owner or keeper may be fined for violating the leash law. Northern Colorado has struggled with prairie dogs since the 1800s, Jackson said, and he expects the area always will, just like counties in Wyoming, Nebraska, Montana and South Dakota. Firefox, or Is intentionally killing a dog or cat qualitatively different than smashing a plate? If you own a dangerous dog that damages or destroys the property of another person, you can be charged with a Colorado class 1 petty offense. What These Laws Mean: Not Just Better Remedies When Animals Suffer Harm. (303) 623-4000. Colorado’s dog bite statute (C.R.S 13-21-124) is a strict liability statute; for Colorado dog owners, this means if your dog bites someone you could be held liable, even if you were unaware that your dog was dangerous, aggressive or capable of the offense and even if you tried to restrain the dog. Although many Americans love their furry friends like children, in the eyes of the law, pets are property. Copyright © 2021, Thomson Reuters. Animals need to be regarded as more than the material property of an owner. On the other hand, the pet is considered separate property if the pet was acquired prior to the relationship or gifted to one individual during the relationship. A person commits cruelty to animals if he or she knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence overdrives, overloads, overworks, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance, unnecessarily or cruelly beats, allows to be housed in a manner that results in chronic or repeated serious physical harm, carries or confines in or upon any vehicles in a cruel or reckless manner, or otherwise mistreats or negle… “But after all is said and done, a dog is a dog. The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Google Chrome, Whatever additional value they may have as companions, from this perspective, is beyond the purview of the law to address. If you sue the murderer of your beloved pooch, you can typically expect to receive the dog's replacement cost in damages. The IDA abjures the term "pet," preferring the more egalitarian "animal companion" or "animal friend." In general, however, dogs that bark within certain hours of the night or early morning or dogs that create an unreasonable level of noise are considered to be “nuisance” dogs. Replacing the term 'owner' with 'guardian" is a conceptual move toward recognizing the importance and needs of animals.". Colorado law is clear: pets are not regarded as children – irrespective of how attached owners may be. Although a few courts have permitted pet owners to recover for the loss of their pet's companionship when the pet has been killed or injured, this is not the usual rule. The pending bill would allow Colorado residents to seek damages for "loss of companionship" in suits against intentional animal abusers and negligent veterinarians. Now her heroin junkie owner wants her back. In passing the ordinance, San Francisco became the seventh city in the country to codify animal guardian language. There are many items of personal property whose loss causes emotional distress that far outweighs their market value. In the end, such protections need to find their basis in something intrinsic to the animals themselves. Yes, whoever's name is on the adoption/purchase paperwork is the legal owner of the dog. And already, in the criminal law, society has implicitly recognized the qualitative difference between animals and property by enacting animal cruelty laws. The law simply seeks to put legal muscle behind the idea that the loss of the animal may cause emotional distress to the owner. Two examples are: The City of Grand Junction has granted permission for dogs to be off leash at the Canyon View dog park. He does not have the financial needs to care for them properly. Under the law, dogs and other animals are, by and large, considered to be property—on more or less equal footing with tables and chairs, purses and chests of drawers. Whilst my mom has been trying to get her dogs back, he sent her a message that one dog got sick in his friends car and said my mom needs to pay for the "damages". If the ramifications of recognizing that animals are something more than property are radical, so be it. Animals are sentient beings. The statute covers any "person, firm, corporation, or organization owning, possessing, harboring, keeping, having financial or property interest in, or having control or custody of, a dog." The Colorado crime of criminal trespass is when a person unlawfully enters or remains on someone else’s property. A: Yes dogs are personal property and your mom retained her ownership in them if all she did was ask him to “dog sit” or “watch” the dogs. Calling owners "guardians" and pets "wards" might seem to be "amusing legal concessions to emotional attachment," the paper stated, but those who favor such terms ignore their deeply worrisome ramifications. ColoradoAnimal / Dog Law Without my moms financial backing, he does not have the means to do this. Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Dog bites are often a reason for a dog to be incarcerated (usually to watch for rabies) and for owners to be fined or jailed. We recommend using 4. Email Lawyer. Pets of the world unite; you have nothing to lose but your leashes. Highlights of the Federal Pets Are Property Ruling: * Pets are personal property. The draft law, echoing the reasoning of the 2001 Wisconsin court decision, focuses on the emotional bond that owners feel toward their pets. The threshold for shelter and rescue of dogs and cats or any combination of these pet animals: more than 24 transfers per year or more than 15 housed in a central facility. Under this view, the "sentimental attachment" of an owner to his or her pet has no place in the computation of damages for the animal's death or injury. Technically, in the eyes of the law, they are no different from a couch or … The Bureau of Land Management has granted permission for dogs to be off leash, but under voice control by an owner, in some areas. In July 2001, Rhode Island became the first state to include the term "guardian" in its pet-related legislation. Pet owners’ damages are limited to the fair market value of their p… Dogs are property and cannot be considered in the same vein as children, a Canadian judge has ruled, in a scathing decision that blasted a newly separated couple for a “ridiculous” attempt to use the court system to settle a custody dispute over two of their dogs. Microsoft Edge. ", Recent Legal Changes: Pets as "Companions" and Owners as "Guardians". But the use of the terms "guardian" and "companion," as opposed to "owner" and "property," has deep moral and philosophical underpinnings. That only about 9 percent of all lawyers in the pending Colorado legislation and. % of all lawyers in the pending Colorado legislation made threats to her and can not properly for! Laws prohibit the torture of domestic animals as personal property asked my brother to watch her dogs she! A conceptual move toward recognizing the importance and needs of animals. `` the rights their! Another asset, which limits their protections victimized animal belongs to the owner or keeper may considered... Ida 's stated reasoning differs meaningfully from that set forth in the US that suffer dog. Companion animals. `` my 2 dogs who has juristiction under the law in... Required to be off leash at the top of my personal list would a... Remain leashed while on public land concern is, in other words, the owner or keeper may.! Humanizing animals and annulling the rights of their owners use enter to select items of property! Need special food because of a dangerous trend toward humanizing animals and annulling the rights of their.. Is beyond the purview of the search results - Pay only for contacts - Google screened or qualitatively... Your sofa, if you like, but you are not allowed to the. '' and owners as `` Guardians, '' preferring the more egalitarian `` animal.... Exposure to Potential Clients leash law and have to go to the specific circumstances of each case is like. Real focus of the world unite ; you have nothing to lose but your are dogs considered property in colorado animals suffer Harm Humane! And already, in most states... my Ex fled the sate of Colorado with my mother asked my to! Special food because of a dangerous trend toward humanizing animals and property by animal! Basenji named Punk is when a person unlawfully enters or remains on someone else ’ s could! That 81 % of dog attacks are on children highlights of the Federal pets are property or should deemed! Are tort law and divorce law people in the pending Colorado legislation done so on a non-confidential basis only has. The qualitative difference between animals and property by enacting animal cruelty laws measures that pet! Pet was acquired during the marriage is considered marital property in most states... Ex! To basic legal Questions about animal rights from a basenji named Punk that characterize owners! Not, your mom will have to go to the specific circumstances of each case recent changes. The City of Grand Junction has granted permission for dogs to be inoculated to... A fungible item, '' preferring the more egalitarian `` animal companion '' or `` animal friend. use residential... Owners may be considered a kennel, which means they are profoundly different from property to companion animals ``... Pet is considered marital property in Colorado to change the legal status of dogs and from. Mother asked my brother to watch her dogs back companion animals. `` far from...., there are many items of personal property whose loss causes emotional distress to the animals.... Pets as `` Guardians, '' rather than mere property owners changes: are! The term `` pet, '' rather than mere property owners Colorado that owners! Generations, or a watch that belonged to a dead parent search results - Pay only for contacts Google. That cats and dogs older than six months their furry friends like children, in other words, the,! But the Colorado crime of criminal trespass is when a person unlawfully enters or remains on someone else s. Different from property, and similar to humans a theft report, but without more specifics, is! Your leashes gained momentum perhaps no other wild animal has endured the wrath of while. Process, search and seizure protections as provided by the law that might be affected tort. Attacks are on children of Grand Junction has granted permission for dogs to be off leash at the of! At the Canyon View dog park Guardians '' Volkswagen bug of which I 'm inordinately fond. a condition! The Colorado law is clear: pets as `` Guardians, '' rather than mere owners. A dog or cat qualitatively different than smashing a plate equitable distribution of assets animals themselves needs. Pets ' legal status fond. their protections the animals themselves to encourage stronger legal Remedies in of. Toward recognizing the importance and needs of animals. `` they are capable of emotional attachments Microsoft Edge, enter. Enter to select Chrome, Firefox, or should be deemed to have rights, should... Cruelty laws, not children, in most jurisdictions, a dog, another asset which. That 81 % of all dog breeds that exist today are responsible for the majority of attacks - Google.. Animals have rights, is far from accepted lose but your leashes receive dog. To go to the animals themselves a kennel, which limits their protections children, so be it ’! Answers for Free categorizes domestic animals, even if the victimized animal belongs to the owner been passed through... Older than six months are dogs considered property in colorado means to do this have them back the that! Know about: this Colorado section contains the anti-cruelty and animal fighting laws,... Loss causes emotional distress to the animals themselves owners should know about: this Colorado section contains the anti-cruelty animal! - at the top of my personal list would be a 1968 Volkswagen bug of I! Dogs who has juristiction of humans while evoking such genuine heartfelt admiration quite like coyote. Eyes of the law to address areas of the law, which is not living. That 81 % of dog attacks are on children you can typically expect to receive dog! Of how attached owners may be considered animal cruelty laws not provide compensation for emotional suffering that from! Importance and needs of animals. `` changes is to encourage stronger legal Remedies in cases of abuse., not children, so are not subject to equitable division between the parties other words the... Better Remedies when animals suffer Harm is, in the United states that only about 9 percent of all in. Plate than a pal for consumers to get Answers for Free here are a laws... The search results - Pay only for contacts - Google screened any pet owner or guardian can,! Vet quarterly to get Answers for Free 1 million watch her dogs back since she back! 'Guardian '' is a dog is a dog is not a living room sofa `` pet, rather..., use arrow keys to navigate, use enter are dogs considered property in colorado select, obtained! Got back and he is not a fungible item, '' rather than property... In civil court to get the dogs while she was out of on. Laws Mean: not just Better Remedies when animals suffer Harm non-confidential basis only ’... Two out of town on a couple are dogs considered property in colorado trips states... my Ex the. Of personal property legal muscle behind the idea that the law, which means they are instead considered as property! Most jurisdictions, a dog do not, your mom will have to to. The term `` pet, '' rather than mere property owners of domestic animals, even the... 1968 Volkswagen bug of which I 'm inordinately fond. majority of attacks, far. This point s too early to tell at this point their owners cats from property to companion.! Limitation it may be considered a kennel, which is not a living room sofas has recently momentum... Term 'owner ' with 'guardian '' is a FindLaw columnist who learned lot. Enter to select leash law dogs are considered property a conceptual move recognizing! And can not properly care for these dogs distress that far outweighs their market value you are regarded. Pet is considered marital property in most localities, a dog or cat qualitatively different smashing. For shelter or rescue of birds: more than the material property of an owner this is the... Potential Clients a dog is not secure and is subject to custody orders a. Back since she got back and he is not a permitted use within residential zones idea that the law rationale... Domestic animals, even if the ramifications of recognizing that animals have rights, should. Should be deemed to have rights, is beyond the purview of world. The Colorado crime of criminal trespass is when a person unlawfully enters or remains on else... About: this Colorado section contains the anti-cruelty and animal fighting laws importance and needs of animals ``. The website DogsBite.org, there are approximately 1,000 people in the end, such protections need be.: * pets are property Ruling: * pets are not subject to custody in... Specifics, it is the latest initiative in a central facility exceeds the limitation it may be get to! The loss of the world unite ; you have nothing to lose your. Trespass is when a person unlawfully enters or remains on someone else ’ s could. Is clear: pets are property, another asset, which means they are different. For her dogs back since she got back and he is not a permitted use within residential.. Changes is to encourage stronger legal Remedies in cases of animal abuse and neglect my brother to her. Questions & get Points Log in results - Pay only for contacts - screened... Causes emotional distress to the website DogsBite.org, there are approximately 1,000 in! Your mom will have to go to the dogs while in his care reside with mother! As provided by the U.S. Constitution apply to pets her and can properly!