COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KXRM) — A bill that would introduce a pet registration fee for Colorado pet owners was postponed indefinitely on Monday, according to the bill’s sponsor State Rep. Regina English.
English said the original idea behind the bill was inspired by concern for senior citizens and their pets. The bill would create an avenue to ensure someone is designated as a caregiver for the pet should something happen to their owner, be it a hospitalization or other emergency.
However, the bill has now been postponed, and English has issued a statement.
As the bill progressed, it went someplace different to where I didn’t think it was going to go. The intent was not to cause the people of Colorado any financial hardship. The bill was not intended to have someone have to relinquish their pets or any of that. So, for the rhetoric and the hate I’ve received and the threats on my life behind a piece of legislation that I wasn’t even happy with myself is beyond me. So, I made a decision to postpone the bill indefinitely.
State Rep. Regina English
Bill would have required pet owners to pay a fee for registration
The new bill was introduced in the Colorado Legislature and if passed, it would have created a registration system and annual fees for pets to help first responders locate their owners or caregivers in the event of an emergency.
The bill (HB24-1163) would require the Department of Agriculture to develop, implement, and maintain an online registration system and enterprise that would provide services to pet owners who pay yearly registration fees.
The bill proposes that pet owners would first be required to register their pets and pay the yearly fee that would go toward helping maintain the registration system while also connecting pets with their owners or caregivers during or after emergencies and supporting animal shelters.
The proposed bill would recommend pet owners designate a caregiver for their pets in the event the owner is unable to do so. If a designated caretaker cannot be located or refuses to take custody of the animal, the pet will be taken to the animal shelter.
According to the bill, the yearly fee would be set by the enterprise and be no more than:
- $8.50 per animal with a designated caregiver
- $16 per animal that is a dog or cat that is not neutered or spayed and has a designated caregiver
- $25 per animal without a designated caregiver
The proposed fees would be separate from other fees and registrations currently required by individual jurisdictions.
The system would only be accessible to first responders and the Department of Public Health and Environment, according to the bill.