(1) An animal shelter or pet animal rescue shall not release a dog or cat to a prospective owner unless the animal has been sterilized by a licensed veterinarian. (2) If a licensed veterinarian declares in writing that a sterilization procedure could jeopardize the life or health of the dog or cat, the procedure may be delayed until such time that a veterinarian determines that the dog or cat is fit to undergo the sterilization procedure. At such time, the prospective owner shall have the animal sterilized. If the determination of unfitness for sterilization has been made prior to release, the animal shelter or pet animal rescue may release the dog or cat to the prospective owner, subject to the provisions of this subsection (2). (3) This section does not apply to: (a) The release of a dog or cat to a person with prior and continuing ownership rights to the dog or cat who is reclaiming the animal from an animal shelter or pet animal rescue; (b) The transfer of an animal from an animal shelter or pet animal rescue to another animal shelter or pet animal rescue or to a veterinarian; (c) [Repealed by 2019 amendment.] (d) Public animal shelters eligible for waiver of licensing fees pursuant to rules promulgated by the commissioner; or (e) A facility in an area with limited access to licensed veterinarians that has been granted an exemption by the commissioner. (4) Nothing in this section shall preclude a town, city, county, or city and county from adopting, maintaining, or enforcing an ordinance that exceeds the minimum requirements adopted by the commissioner in implementing and enforcing this section. Nothing in this section shall preclude a licensed animal shelter, whether public or private, from adopting, maintaining, or following a policy that exceeds the minimum requirements adopted by the commissioner in implementing and enforcing this section.
Amended by 2019 Ch. 409,§ 3, eff. 8/2/2019.
L. 2008: Entire section added, p. 200, § 2, effective January 1, 2009.
2019 Ch. 409, was passed without a safety clause. See Colo. Const. art. V, § 1(3).