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Colorado Revised Statutes Title 35. Agriculture § 35-42-109. Protection of animals mistreated, neglected, or abandoned

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(1)?No animal shall be mistreated or neglected to such degree or abandoned in any circumstance so that the animal's life or health is endangered.

(2)(a)?The commissioner may take charge of, provide for, or remove from the area or building where found any companion animal found to be mistreated or neglected to such degree or abandoned in any circumstance so that the animal's life or health is endangered. ?The commissioner shall petition any court of competent jurisdiction for a prompt hearing to determine whether the owner, if known, is able to adequately provide for the animal and is a fit person to own the animal.

(b)?Pursuant to court order, the commissioner may take charge of, provide for, or remove from the area or building where found any livestock found to be mistreated or neglected to such degree or abandoned in any circumstance so that the animal's life or health is endangered. ?The commissioner shall petition any court of competent jurisdiction for a prompt hearing to determine whether the owner, if known, is able to adequately provide for the animal and is a fit person to own the animal.

(3)(a)?The commissioner shall cause to be served upon the owner:

(I)?If the owner is known and residing within the jurisdiction wherein the animal is found, written notice at least five days prior to the hearing of the time and place of the hearing;

(II)?If the owner is known but residing out of the jurisdiction where such animal is found or if the commissioner is unable after reasonable attempts to serve the owner, written notice by any method, including posting at least five days prior to the hearing at a place provided for public notices in the jurisdiction wherein such hearing shall be held, or service of process shall be given.

(b)?If the owner is not known, the commissioner shall cause to be published, in a newspaper of general circulation in the jurisdiction wherein such animal is found, notice of the hearing, and shall further cause notice of the hearing to be posted at a place provided for public notices in the jurisdiction wherein such hearing shall be held, at least five days prior to the hearing.

(4)?Such hearing shall be held promptly after the date of the seizure of the animal.

(5)(a)?The commissioner may, in his discretion, provide for such animal until judgment by the court.

(b)?The court may order the animal sold and the proceeds deposited in the registry of the court pending a decision.

(c)?The court may adjudge that the owner is a person able to adequately provide for such animal and a person fit to own the animal, in which case the animal shall be returned to the owner after all reasonable expenses of any food, shelter, and care provided by the commissioner have been paid; ?except that, if such expenses are not paid within ten days of a court order adjudging the owner a person able to adequately provide for such animal and a person fit to own the animal, the commissioner may, in his discretion and without liability, dispose of the animal by selling it at public auction, placing it for adoption in a suitable home, giving it to a suitable animal shelter, or humanely destroying it as deemed proper by the commissioner.

(d)?With respect to the sale of an animal, the proceeds shall first be applied to the costs of the sale and then to the expenses for the care and provision of the animal, and the remaining proceeds, if any, shall be paid over to the owner of the animal. ?If the owner of the animal cannot be found, any remaining proceeds shall be paid into the estray fund, created pursuant to section 35-41-102.

(e)?At least six days prior to disposing of the animal, the commissioner shall provide written notice to the owner at his last-known address of the time and place of the disposition of the animal.

(6)(a)?If the owner is adjudged by the court a person unable to adequately provide for the animal or a person not fit to own the animal, then the court shall order that the animal be:

(I)?Sold by the commissioner at public auction;

(II)?Placed for adoption in a suitable home;

(III)?Given to a suitable animal shelter;

(IV)?Humanely destroyed as deemed proper by the court; ?or

(V)?Disposed of in any other manner as deemed proper by the court.

(b)?In no case shall the person adjudged unable to adequately provide for the animal or unfit to own the animal be allowed to purchase directly or indirectly the animal at any sale.

(c)?With respect to the sale of an animal, the proceeds shall first be applied to the costs of the sale and then to the expenses for the care and provision of the animal, with the remaining proceeds, if any, being paid over to the owner of the animal. ?If the owner of the animal cannot be found, any remaining proceeds shall be paid into the estray fund, created pursuant to section 35-41-102.

(7)?Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the destruction of an animal as provided in section 35-42-110.

(8)?Any officer or agent of the bureau may lawfully interfere to prevent the perpetration of an act of mistreatment, neglect, abandonment, or cruelty, pursuant to part 2 of article 9 of title 18, C.R.S., which act occurs in his presence.

Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Colorado Revised Statutes Title 35. Agriculture § 35-42-109. Protection of animals mistreated, neglected, or abandoned - last updated January 01, 2019 | https://codes.findlaw.com/co/title-35-agriculture/co-rev-st-sect-35-42-109.html


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