Service animals and working animals play vital roles in our society.
They help people with disabilities live more independently, provide support and assistance to law enforcement officials, and serve as companions to their handlers.
In the US, there are around 61 million adults living with disabilities, and many of them rely on service animals to assist them.
However, these animals are often subjected to violence and harm, which is why a new bill proposed by the Colorado legislature aims to increase penalties and fines for such crimes and provide greater protection for these animals.
Combating Cruelty Towards Service and Police Animals
Despite Colorado’s reputation for strong animal protection laws, service and police animals are still targeted by criminals.
According to a report by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Colorado ranks fourth in the nation for animal protection laws.
Still, there is room for improvement in the state’s animal cruelty laws.
Increasing the severity of penalties can deter individuals from committing such crimes and help protect service and police animals from harm.
HB 1286: Increasing Penalties for Cruelty to Service and Police Animals
House Bill 1286 is a bill proposed by the Colorado legislature that would make cruelty against service animals a Class 5 felony and aggravated cruelty a Class 6 felony.
The National Police Association, a leading advocacy group for law enforcement officials, has urged the legislature to pass the bill and strengthen laws protecting service and police animals from harm.
Supporting the Rehab and Care of Harmed Animals
The fines collected from the increased penalties can also provide medical care, housing, and other resources to the animals and their handlers.
This can help ensure that the animals recover from their injuries and continue serving their handlers and communities.
Sending a Strong Message Against Cruelty
Passing HB 1286 would send a strong message that cruelty towards service and police animals will not be tolerated in Colorado.
The bill would provide greater protections for these animals and support the rehabilitation and care of the animals that have been harmed.
Take Action to Protect Service and Police Animals
If you’re passionate about animal welfare, there are several ways you can take action to protect service and police animals in your community.
You can contact your local legislators and urge them to support bills like HB 1286 that increase protections for these animals.
You can also volunteer at local animal shelters or advocacy groups that work to support service.