DENVER — Newly introduced legislation in Colorado would limit the number of dogs owned by commercial breeders and mandate veterinary
certification exams for dogs that are bred commercially.
Introduced by Beth McCann (D-Denver), the bill would allow breeders to own 25 unsterilized dogs over 6 months of age.
The measure calls for annual certification by a licensed veterinarian to ensure each animal is "suitably healthy for breeding
before the dog may be bred."
Rules on veterinary certification would be created by the state's agriculture commissioner.
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the American Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) support
A similar bill was introduced in Illinois, but would not require annual certifications by veterinarians, only examinations
of unsterilized animals once per year or at each pregnancy. That legislation, introduced by Rep. John Fritchey (D-Chicago),
does, however require annual unannounced home inspections for breeders.
Breeders are defined in the bill as anyone owning more than three females and selling their offspring. Breeders would be limited
to owning 20 unsterilized dogs over 1-year-old, and subjected to fingerprinting and criminal-background checks, rigid new
facility requirements and breeding-age limits. They would have to file detailed annual reports with the Illinois Department
of Financial and Professional Regulation.