Colorado Voters for Animals Positions
Colorado Voters for Animals has specific positions on state animal welfare programs and issues.
Animal Adoption Programs
CVA supports animal care and control agencies that institute adoption programs that focus on placing pets with appropriate and responsible caregivers who will provide permanent homes. All adoption programs should be accompanied by educated counseling, assistance in choosing an appropriate animal, and follow-up welfare checks. Each adoption organization must comply with state requirements for spay/neuter and inoculations.
CVA is opposed to animal contest/entertainment events in which the welfare of participating animals is not a priority. Welfare concerns are physical, emotional, and cognitive. Events that feature physical neglect, abuse, and/or cruelty also result in emotional stress for the animal forced to participate. Extreme fear/discomfort results in cognitive damage that can become permanent. Desensitized human observers/participants condone animal suffering and rationalize the social acceptability of such “entertainment.” We do not support those arguments. These contests include but are not limited to: animal/bird fighting, any kind of bullfighting, dog and horse racing, greased pig events, rodeos, and any other contest that does not positively utilize inherent natural instincts of the animal involved. We oppose any forced compliance of animals in unnatural and dangerous scenarios contrived solely for human enjoyment.
- a) CVA condemns all types of combat involving animals. Suffering caused by stress, torture, injury, and death is unacceptable. Bait animals are used to positively reinforce fighter animals by easy and inhumane killings. We actively seek and support passage of strict enforcement of felony laws when dealing with animal fighting and blood sports.
- b) CVA opposes all forms of animal racing.
Dogs: Selective breeding results in the culling of unacceptable puppies and dogs; contributes to overpopulation; results in unwanted healthy adult dogs that are euthanized for poor performance only; race training often entails live lure use which results in the inhumane and grisly deaths for subject animals.
Horses: Selective breeding results in the culling of unacceptable foals and adult horses; contributes to overpopulation of unwanted horses; causes horses that cannot/do not perform to human expectations to be auctioned to unscrupulous users; exposes immaturely developed animals to high physical and emotional stress which often results in disabling injuries and trauma; encourages use of illegal performance drugs, cruel training methods, and euthanasia.
CVA insists that current state laws regarding animal racing need to be more diligently enforced and stricter criteria developed to ensure the health, welfare, and treatment of animals allowed by law to race be a legislative priority.
Off-track betting is not encouraged by CVA, for the welfare of animals in other states.
Breed Specific Legislation
CVA is opposed to legislation aimed at banning ownership and local residence of dogs based solely on their breed. CVA believes in and supports “aggressive dog” legislation, regardless of breed.
Temperament is scientifically found to be the result of both “nature” and “nurture.” Poor breeding in which aggressiveness is a desired trait can result in a hard-wired tendency, but even it is not the ultimate determination of a dog’s temperament. Early socialization, over-riding genetic influence, responsible care and supervision, behavior of an alleged victim, dog health, and sex altering, also contribute to dog temperament.
CVA supports objective, science-based determinants of dog behavior and temperament. All breeds hold the potential for aggression and we therefore encourage legislation that addresses all dog aggression circumstances. We encourage a legal criterion that takes into consideration treatment of the dog by the owner, behavior of the alleged victim, scenario evaluation, dog health, and awareness of true dog behavior motivation for an alleged attack or incident.
CVA also encourages alternatives to resultant punishments for altercations. We strongly encourage professional attempts at rehabilitation, relationship evaluation between dog and owner, and ongoing legal supervision—before euthanasia is the outcome.
Feeding Wild Animals
CVA supports state law that prohibits feeding wild mammals.
Feeding, either purposeful or inadvertent, habituates wild animals to humans, which eliminates healthy fear and encourages unnatural dependence. Dietary compromises, elimination of natural ability to hunt, and the generational training of animal parents towards offspring alters behaviors that ultimately result in nuisance animals. Nuisance animals are euthanized, regardless of age or health. The failure of human/wild animal cohabitation is avoidable and the responsibility of people who insist on living in natural habitats.
Assisting songbirds during extreme weather conditions is lawful and encouraged. Appropriate foodstuffs and water are necessary to aid in the survival of these most vulnerable of wild creatures. CVA supports the responsible provisioning of local bird species that winter over in our state.