Should Pets in Colorado Be Awarded Animal Rights?
In Colorado, our furry companions may be our best friends, but unfortunately, they have about as many rights as your couch.
A new bill was recently introduced in California that asks the people of California to enact a Dog and Cat Bill of Rights. If one state can create an animal bill of rights, it begs the question of whether others should follow.
What Are My Pet's Rights in Colorado?
You most likely don't often think about what kind of rights your pet has until a difficult situation is brought up. Honestly, most people probably never have had the thought cross their mind.
You may be surprised to find out that your animal doesn't actually have any rights here in the state of Colorado.
In the eyes of the law, your beloved family member is just another piece of property, no different than your lamp or stove.
Animal Protection In Colorado
Of course, there are animal protection laws that prevent the neglect, mistreatment, or abuse of animals here in Colorado, but it is not the same as what a pet bill of rights includes.
For example, here are a few things that the California Dog and Cat Bill of Rights would necessitate:
- "Dogs and cats have the right to be respected as sentient beings that experience complex feelings that are common among living animals while being unique to each individual animal.
- Dogs and cats have the right to a life of comfort, free of fear and anxiety.
- Dogs and cats have the right to preventive and therapeutic health care.
- Dogs and cats have the right to daily mental stimulation and appropriate exercise.
- Dogs and cats have the right to be spayed and neutered to prevent unwanted litters."
Why Pets in Colorado Should Have Rights
As a pet owner, the first time the question of whether or not my pet had rights came when I was living at an apartment complex that wanted to collect every pet's DNA for poop testing.
Yep, poop testing! Basically, they contracted a 3rd party to run DNA tests on un-scooped poop so that they could issue a fine to the owners later. To initiate this, they first had to collect every pet's DNA to compile into a doggy DNA database for reference.
The thought of some random company having my dog's DNA made me feel uncomfortable. Plus, it felt as if he was being entered into some doggy criminal database.
Reading further into the company I discovered that they maintained the right to keep the DNA sample as long as the company was in existence. If the company decided to shift operations, my dog's DNA would still be their property for whatever use they saw fit.
Now I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but knowing a company could use my dog's DNA for potentially whatever they wanted in the future was not cool!
As humans, we have a say about if, when, and how we submit our DNA. Our pets don't have that privilege, and personally, that's why I don't think creating a Dog and Cat Bill of Rights is a bad idea at all.
If companies can be considered entities that can sue, heck why can't my dog? Don't even get me started on pet custody, we'll save that for another time.