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Colorado Animal / Dog Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: Can you get arrested if you Do not return a dog in a civil case in Colorado?

The judge ordered against me today and a temporary judgment and told me to return my dogs to my ex-girlfriend. At the end of the trial he acted like he did not know she committed domestic violence in September when the clerk told me that he was aware.

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Dec 11, 2019

It’s a little unclear what happened and what the order was. Depending on the order and the type of case, you could be held in contempt of the order and arrested based on that contempt until you comply.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: My dog went through ER surgery last week to remove a mass that had ruptured. We are now waiting on biopsies.

June 2018 we had a radiograph done for another matter concerning her stomach showing abdominal opacities in the area of concern that her primary vet didn't respond to or suggest further diagnosis when I asked via email if we should confirm per the specialist that looked at them. Do I have a case?

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Dec 7, 2019

Possibly. More information is needed, likely following the biopsy.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: Can animal control take my dogs even if there’s no proof from my neighbor’s allegations?

Animal control showed up with a complaint from one of our neighbors saying two black dogs were in their yard through the fence. While I have two black dogs and a third small tri color dog, no new fence boards are up and they were watched all day when being let outside. The officer said the fence... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Dec 4, 2019

Animal control is being a little overzealous, here, in that threat. They technically can take your dogs, but they usually don't, especially when they can locate the owner.

And yes, you can get a criminal charge based on some random neighbor making some random complaint, without video or...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: Ex left dog with me and my dog, she is an unfit parent who has made no effort to reclaim him and lied about why

My ex left her dog with me in October, he had been with me since June, but she left in October and left him behind and has not come back. She will ask how he is occassionally, but thats it. He is thriving in his new home with my other dog.. She now claims it was at my request that he stay, it was... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Dec 4, 2019

There’s no way to preemptively take the dog from her. Technically, the only she can get him out of your possession is to sue you and win. So unless and until she does that, the dog can stay with you. The longer he stayed with you, the stringer case you can build that he should remain with you.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: We brought our dog from Vietnam to the US and my stepdad registered and microchipped our dog in his name.

We are currently moving away from him due to family issues and we would like to bring our dog with us. What can we do to legally get our dog back? Can we re-register him and change the ownership of the chip from his name to ours?

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Nov 30, 2019

Microchipping is not indicative of ownership. So you can move with the dog regardless of the microchip.

The only way to change it, though, is to call the microchip company. They will say they need his permission, but if you explain the abuse that’s happening, they might let you change it...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: My dog attacked a neighbors dog, harming but not killing him. My neighbor says he is suing. What liability could I have?

My dog ran out my front door before I could stop him. He has no history of violence; he's never bitten a person or dog before. He ran across the street where a neighbors dog was barking at him. He gained entry to the neighbors yard through a hole in his fence and attacked his dog. The dog survived... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Nov 24, 2019

He can sue you and probably win based on these facts, but his recovery is limited to the value of the vet bills. You could also get a criminal citation that will go on your record unless you fight it. If the person gets their vet bills through the civil process or the criminal process, he has been... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: A month ago my daughter took my dog and will not give her back or even let me see her .I have had her for 8 years .

Every one of her vet and tag papers are in my name.She took her to the vet 1 time now she says she is her dog.Can I file for visitation at the very least?Im in Denver and she is in Golden Co.

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Nov 20, 2019

You can sue her in civil court to get your dog back, or you can file a police report and see if the police will help you get your dog back. If the police won't help, your only recourse is to sue her in civil court and you should speak to an attorney about handling that so it is done properly.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: Can someone point me to a link or direct contact to answer questions regarding animal property law in a marriage?

I had previously asked if a spouse could get rid of a pet without the consent of the other spouse but I need more information on this. Thank you

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Nov 19, 2019

The only way to get a direct answer is to speak with a lawyer and the lawyer will likely ask you to pay for his/her time since you are asking for specific legal advice and not a general answer.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: In colorado, if my husband and I are married, can I disburse of a pet without his consent?

We aren't getting divorced, just going through a rough time.

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Nov 19, 2019

It depends on who owns the pet. If you own it, you can do whatever you want with it. If he owns it, you need his consent. If you own it jointly, you need his consent.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: My 8 month old cattle dog had gotten out of his dog run and got into my neighbor's yard to which he had shot him

My 8 month old cattle dog had gotten out of his dog run and got into my neighbor's yard to which he had shot him with a bird shot shotgun round and left 30 pellets in his front leg I was curious if we can sue him for over a 1000$ in vet bill?

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Nov 4, 2019

Yes you can sue him. Defending cattle/livestock is a defense to shooting a dog, but that wasn’t the case, then you’re likely to be successful.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: Someone I know was forcefully and falsely accused of animal cruelty/abuse of a stray cat that wasn't a pet of his.

It delivered a litter on his property, and developed an illness. The Code Enforcer cited him an ticket for animal cruelty / abuse, he told her it was not their pet its a stray so take her and her babies away he does not want nor ever claim ownership. What can he do about this?

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Nov 4, 2019

Without more information, it’s hard to answer this question. But he needs to show up to court, otherwise he will get a warrant for his arrest.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: Can animal control get a warrant for my puppy even if it’s not my home?

My 7mo old puppy had a bone fracture a few weeks ago, the emergency vet recommended surgery and called animal control to make sure it was done so basically I have a case open to verify that she’s getting vet care for her leg which she is, I’ve gotten a second and third opinion from orthopedic... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Nov 3, 2019

It would be best to save up the money and the dog the surgery she needs because otherwise she could have long term health problems. If you have a financial hardship, call around to different vets and see who will work with you. Yes, animal control can seize your dog if you don’t get the surgery... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Wrongful Death for Colorado on
Q: Can I get compensation for my neighbor shooting my registered breeding dog in Colorado?

My neighbor runs a feedlot and my young registered breeding dog visited the feedlot and he shot her. He never talked to us before he shot her or asked us to come and get her he just shot her. She never killed any animals and I was training her to stay home but she was only 7 months old and still... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Oct 29, 2019

Yes you can sue to get your $2,000 back.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: Chip company changed the ownership without my consent !!

I have talked to them a couple times to be reassured that it couldn't be changed by anyone else. Mya is a highly desirable dog in our area often they are stold , there are fighting rings they use these dogs for!! Our worst fear happened the chip was easily changed ownership , the company will not... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Oct 23, 2019

You might want to report the dog as stolen to your local police. The chip company shouldn’t have changed the chip. You might want to try and speak to someone higher up in the chain of authority.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: my daughter's emotional support dog back She is chipped in my daughter's name a family Member Change It illega

I had left our dog for approximately 3 weeks coming and check in on her and she had food , my mother knew we were to bring her home . We were waiting on the papers from the doctor my mother called and pretended to be my daughter to the company that has the chip in her and had the chip changed... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Oct 22, 2019

I’m very sorry to hear about your situation! First, it would be a good idea to call the chip

Company and let them know about the fraud. The second thing is to speak to a local animal attorney right away and file a replevin action to get the dog back. Since you don’t know exactly where...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Civil Rights and Landlord - Tenant for Colorado on
Q: I live in Colorado and I rent an apartment/condo. My neighbor threatened to kill my dog, what legal action can I take?

I have reported this to my subdivision leasing office. Then it happened again today so I called the main leasing office and they advised me to call the police. The police came and spoke with me, then spoke with the neighbor. He admitted to saying he would kill my dog but claimed he didn't say it... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Oct 14, 2019

If you do not feel safe, then your best option might be to break your lease and move. If the threats continue or escalate, you might also be entitled to a restraining/protection order, but that all depends on whether or not the cops will press charges.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: My girlfriend and I have been separated for nine months she return to grab some of her property and stole my dog

I have witnesses that I’ve had the dog for well over nine months while she was in Arkansas. I also filed a police report. The microchip is in her name because I didn’t have time to go get the microchip done so she did it for me. I acquired the dog through a friend so I have no Billis sale and... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Sep 30, 2019

You can sue her in court to get your dog back. It sounds like it might be a tough case because of the ownership documents issue, but not unwinnable. You should talk to an attorney to go over your options.

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption and Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: How long before you can keep a dog your watching?

An old friend of ours asked us to watch there dog for a couple of weeks. Since then they have not called or visit to ask or see how the dog is doing. Since then thw dog has ran out of food and we had to go buy more for him. And his behavior is a lot better since we have gotten him. They use to keep... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Sep 23, 2019

Dogs are property under Colorado law. Under Colorado property law, property is not considered abandoned until 5 years have passed. So, until 5 years passes with no contact from the owners - or until they gift or sell the dog to you, the dog belongs to the original owners. You could reach out to the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: Can a boarding facility hold your dogs until your bill is paid in full?

Our dogs needed to be boarded as we lost our apartment. It supposed to be temporary, however due to circumstances they have been there for just about 2 months. We want to bring them home but the facility says they will not release them until the bill is paid in full. We have paid some of the bill... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Sep 18, 2019

Generally speaking, no. Unless you signed a contract that says they can do this. This is a highly unusual situation and veterinarians can technically keep dogs/animals as collateral for unpaid veterinary bills, but that is provided for by statute. I am not aware of a statute that permits boarding... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Colorado on
Q: We bought a parrot in 1996 & in 2009 I became unable to care for him due to cancer so family member #1 took him after

our possessing him for prior 13 yrs. Family member #1 then gave him to family member #2 in 2013 & in 2017 #2 moved into our home with bird after a divorce. From then on member #2 left all of his care to us, feeding, cleaning cage, etc. & has lived in our home until present (2019). We've now given... Read more »

Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten answered on Sep 5, 2019

If you never sold the bird or gave the bird to family member number two, then the bird is yours and you never lost on ownership in the first place, and family member number two has no right to take the bird from you.

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