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Colorado Animal / Dog Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: Can animal control give me a ticket for an incident they never showed up to and happened a week ago ?

My dog got out and was excited and jumped on a neighbor so they called animal control but I got my dog back inside and animal control nor police ever showed up. They called me this week and told me I have to go to court

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Jul 7, 2021

Yes. They can file a criminal complaint against you with just a complaint (verbal or written) from the alleged victim. It would be in your best interest to hire an attorney to advocate for you at court. These dangerous dog or potentially dangerous dog charges are serious, carrying with them a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: My ex won't return my dog. She claims I gave him to her. What court do I file a lawsuit in to get my dog back?

I have the purchase receipt in my name only. I also had to get my mother's permission to buy the dog, since I'm living at home and attending college. We're both listed on the veterinarian records Although she filled them out and put her name first. Because of this this registration... Read more »

Juliet Piccone
Juliet Piccone answered on Jul 2, 2021

You would file a replevin action in the county court where the dog is assumed to be located at.

Replevin is a complicated process but you can attempt to represent yourself by using forms created by the state of Colorado. The forms are categorized under "Money Cases" for some...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: So my mom won’t let my dad have my dog over to his house cause my dog is comforting her new boyfriend who is bipolar

My mom and dad bought the dog and gave him to me my name is on his collar can I legally take my dog to my dads and leave him there? Also I would like for my dog to stay at my dads because he is diabetic and has kidney failure so I want my dog to be his service animal he wants that also. My dad... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Jun 14, 2021

Yes legally you can take your dog to your dad’s house and leave him there.

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption, Animal / Dog Law, Civil Litigation and Civil Rights for Colorado on
Q: If I bought a dog from somebody and they weren't up to date on the shots and I wanted to return the dog and get a refund

And is it illegal to sell a dog without up-to-date shots to somebody

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Jun 9, 2021

Depending on where the dog came from, it is very likely a PACFA violation. Age could also be a problem (a dog sold too young (i.e., less than 8 weeks old) to receive certain shots is a violation - although dogs do not have all their shots at 8 weeks due to boosters being necessary over a period of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Libel & Slander for Colorado on
Q: Can I sue for defamation for a neighbor spreading lies about our dog?

Our neighbor has been spreading lies about our dogs for years. Saying they were viscous, they have attacked them, etc. Our dog got into some trouble and their lies caused the situation to escalate quickly and resulted in our dog being taken away for 6 weeks, and going through a whole ordeal. In... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Jun 8, 2021

Unfortunately, no because Colorado views dogs as property so that would be like suing for defamation for someone spreading lies about your couch. But you will need representation if you have been cited for a criminal violation by animal control. If you can prove your neighbors engaged in abuse of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption and Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: Under abandonment and neglect laws what to do?

Friend drops off dog in January or February of this year. Since then the dogs anxiety of missing owner kicked in forcing us to purchase 2 dog cones by now to prevent excessive licking of paws. Both broke. We've contacted owner saying either to pick up the dog or schedule a vet appointment so... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on May 21, 2021

Take the dog to the vet and send the owner the bill.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: We adopted a puppy from a local rescue. We need to relinquish puppy but rescue is non-responsive. What are our options?

The contract we signed stated in the event of relinquishment, we are required to return the dog to the rescue. Legally, how long does the rescue have to accept the dog back? It's been 2 months since we contacted them. While they may be overwhelmed, this isn't a good situation all around... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Apr 21, 2021

They are most likely overwhelmed. But that does not excuse them from their contact. Keep trying. In the meantime, if you’re reasons for relinquishment are behavioral, consider hiring a trainer or see if there’s dog has underlying health issues like an undescended testicle or something otherwise... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: Is it legal to put poison in trash when a dog keeps getting into it and ripping it up or to shoot at the dog.
Juliet Piccone
Juliet Piccone answered on Apr 20, 2021

Are you asking if you can poison a dog or shoot it for getting into your trash? I would say either would fall under animal cruelty laws. I would suggest you get a better trash receptical.

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Small Claims for Colorado on
Q: Are there laws to protect people who get attacked/chased by “service animals” who are not on leashes and aggressive?

The dogs are aggressive and chase me and my dog who is on a leash beside me. I’m afraid to leave my apt. What do I do?

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Apr 15, 2021

Yes. Service animals are required to be under the owner’s control at all times. So the dog cannot chase and attack you and be exempt from the law. Such behavior could fall under Colorado’s dangerous dog statute. If you are being chased or attacked by any dog, regardless of designation, you can... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Libel & Slander for Colorado on
Q: When are constant calls from animal control harassment? And what can be done?

My dad has a great Pyrenees Moutain dog. The dog lives outside to protect the chickens. Animal control has come to confirm that he has, food, water, shelter, and updates on his shots. We provided all of this and they said we are good But someone in our neighborhood is constantly calling in about... Read more »

Juliet Piccone
Juliet Piccone answered on Mar 30, 2021

Your dad is being lied to. Have him submit a Colorado Open Records Request (most have a form on their websites) to the law enforcement entity(s) asking for all records of all complaints related to his address for the past year. Those are PUBLIC records and more importantly they are records... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: A man gifted my mom his dog after his wife passed away- a couple of months later he changed his mind and is asking for

The dog back now. My mom only has texts from him saying “she’s yours you can keep her” but she is afraid that isn’t enough and he may come for the dog either legally or by force. What do we do?

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Mar 10, 2021

The text messages give your mom a very strong case. I would highly recommend she speak to an animal attorney to help her.

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: What can I do about my neighbors dog that been crapping in my lawn for a month?

I moved in my new place a month ago and my neighbors dog craps in my yard every day, I told them to stop before and nothing, so I called the cops and nothing, after it continued for a week after the first call I called again and this officer told me it’s not his problem and I need to go confront... Read more »

Juliet Piccone
Juliet Piccone answered on Feb 21, 2021

There are usually municipal ordinances that cover this type of habitual behavior, which are usually handled by animal control or code enforcement. If you have am HOA they also probably regulate this. But you’ll need proof which means videotaping the act as many times as you can as well as (as... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: I know someone who habitually kills their own animals, rather than pay for euthanasia. Is there a law against this?

This person has killed their own pets, for reasons ranging from genuinely putting a pet out of its own misery, to the pet peeing around the house too much. It's deeply disturbing, but is there a law in Colorado regulating what methods of at-home euthanasia are allowed? If so, how would this... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Feb 5, 2021

Generally speaking, animal owners can dispose of their animals however they see fit, so long as it doesn't create unnecessary pain or suffering (i.e., shooting the dog and letting it bleed to death, instead of a "kill shot", or drowning). That said, I would recommend gathering... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: My girlfriend (17) has a rabbit and her stepdad is threatening to press charges if she ever brings the rabbit to his--

house again. The rabbit hasn't hurt anybody and the only problem that they've mentioned is uncleanliness. Is there any legal basis behind that or is he bluffing?

Sabra M. Janko
Sabra M. Janko answered on Feb 1, 2021

He has no grounds to press charges, however if your girlfriend's father has no custodial responsibilities for her, he has no obligation to allow her or the rabbit to come into the home. If he does have custodial responsibilities, he still has no legal obligation to allow the rabbit into the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: What kind of POA do I need for court

My roommate needs to file an appeal for a court case she has involving our dog but she is away at treatment and can’t physically be present at court. What power of attorney can I use granting me permission to file the appeal on her behalf?

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Jan 12, 2021

There is probably not anything you can do to get a POA for her if she is not suffering from a medical debilitation. She needs to contact an attorney to file the appeal. She can give you permission to do it for her, but the attorney will probably need to see something in writing. You should double... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Civil Litigation for Colorado on
Q: I legally purchased a dog from an animal shelter a year ago. The previous owner somehow got my personal information fro

from the animal shelter, name, phone, address, etc., and has called me wanting the dog back. I clearly said no. He claims his ex wife gave the dog away to the shelter and he didn’t find out until 4 months later. He has since sued me and the animal shelter for custody of the dog. The dog is... Read more »

Donald C Eby
Donald C Eby answered on Jan 2, 2021

You will definitely need to defend yourself in the Court action and prove ownership. WRT your safety I recommend considering a Protective Order. You should contact an attorney to discuss this matter in more detail so that the specific facts of our case can be reviewed and you can receive detailed... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: I boarded my 14 yr old healthy cat and my 6 yr old cat at a vets boarding facility for one week. I called during the

week to check on them and was told they were fine. When they were picked up the older cat was visibly sick and died 2 days later. Any recourse?

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Nov 30, 2020

Yes, you’ll need to act quickly to get any surveillance footage from the facility. Most security footage is only stored for 10-14 days depending on the system. Having an attorney write a letter to preserve the evidence and a demand letter after an investigation into what happened can help either... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: Negligent breeder gave me wrong dog and wants it back.

Bought a puppy in Colorado. Drove a 1k miles (roundtrip) and they gave me the dog. Two days later they inform me it's the wrong one and want it back. I say no - family already bonded. They then reported the microchip on the dog stolen which is different from the one on the contract.... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Nov 29, 2020

That definitely sounds like an awful mess! It sounds like you’re going to need an attorney to help you fight this because you have some good defenses if it’s in small claims court. You also have some good defenses based on what you described, no matter what court the breeder takes you.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: Can I press charges against my mom for neglecting and feeding my dog without my permission while I’m still in her house?

She’s refusing to let me feed my dog (who she signed over to me) what I feel is best for him. She said she will throw away the food (which if I’m understanding is my property) and refuses to feed THE DOG FOOD to my dog if I ask her to feed him. She also refuses to accept that my dog eats 1x per... Read more »

Juliet Piccone
Juliet Piccone answered on Nov 12, 2020

Do you live with your mother? I would suggest moving out and taking your dog with you and then the problem is solved. Otherwise, I think you need to talk to a landlord/tenant attorney since this is not really an animal law issue.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: Outdoor dogs must have food water shelter but isn't there a regulation now that says they can only be outside for1hr?
Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Nov 12, 2020

Unfortunately, no, there is not. People can more or less treat their dogs like trash under the Denver municipal code. Contact your city representative to get the law changed.

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