Applause: Pueblo City Considers Law Protecting Shelter Animals
I would like to applaud the City Council of Pueblo, Colorado for considering a new law that would regulate animal shelters in their City. Passing this proposed law, called the Pueblo Animal Protection Act or PAPA, would save animals' lives in their shelters and would not be burdensome to animal shelters in their City.
PAPA was written based on the Companion Animal Protection Act (CAPA), which has been implemented in communities in different parts of the USA with great success, because the provisions of the proposed law are basic, common-sense requirements to ensure animal shelters do what they already say they are doing: make euthanasia a last report.
Many animal shelters - including the majority of shelters in Colorado - comply with the provisions of CAPA/PAPA voluntarily, simply because they believe that they should exhaust all possible alternatives before ending the life of a healthy or treatable pet. That is one of the reasons Colorado animal shelters have, on average, some of the highest Live Release Rate (LRR) of shelters in the nation. Unfortunately, however, it is not universally true for all shelters.
Because the City of Pueblo contracts their animal control services with a private nonprofit animal shelter, a law like PAPA is essential to ensuring their contracted agency - no matter who it is - has the expectations of practices, policy and performance written out in black and white. Without it, the City is failing to articulate the most basic and important aspects necessary for the City to manage that contract.
Additionally, when CAPA is passed into law, it has improved live outcomes in animal shelters, without costing more money. That is because killing and disposing of animals is 100% revenue negative. Placing an animal with a rescue saves this expense. Adopting an animal saves the expense and generates revenue. The law, therefore, does not cost any extra money.
I, therefore, applaud the City of Pueblo for taking this important step. Expecting animal shelters to operate in a way that is consistent with what they tell their members and donors, and ensuring that euthanasia is used only as a true last resort, is the minimum everyone should be able to expect from any animal shelter.