The Voice for Animal Welfare Organizations

The Animal Welfare Association of Colorado is the voice for animal welfare organizations at the Colorado state capitol. AWAC has been pivotal in enacting critical animal protection laws for many years. Our work has resulted in regulation of commercial breeders and pet stores, increased penalties for animal cruelty, spay and neuter requirements for shelters, and much more. We have also been on the frontlines of forming socially conscious sheltering legislation.

Recap of the 2021 Colorado Legislative Session:

The AWAC Advocacy Committee had a successful 2021 at the Colorado Legislature. Our priority bill, House Bill 21-1160/Socially Conscious Sheltering, passed with bipartisan support and was signed by Gov. Jared Polis May 21, 2021, during an event at the Dumb Friends League. Duane Adams and Anna Stout, co-chairs of the committee, and other committee members attended and spoke on behalf of AWAC and the Advocacy Committee.

The passage of this bill represents a major milestone in the prevention of animal suffering and in the advancement of the socially conscious sheltering principles that create the best outcomes for our shelter pets.

The Advocacy Committee also tracked and ultimately supported House Bill 21-1102, the Pet Store Consumer Protection Act. This bill will require pet stores to provide pricing and breeder information about the pets they are selling. This bill was signed by the governor on May 2, 2021.

Late in the session, the Advocacy Committee voted to support House Bill 21-1235, Regulation of Fireworks. This bill will further regulate the sale of fireworks to non-commercial buyers and was passed with broad bipartisan support.

Finally, the Advocacy Committee monitored Senate Bill 21-135, the Traveling Animal Protection Act, which passed and will prohibit the use of certain animals in a traveling animal act.

-Ali Mickelson




AWAC advocacy committee:

Duane Adams – co-chair
Dumb Friends League

Anna Stout – co-chair
Roice-Hurst Humane Society

Diane Matt
Colorado Veterinary Medical Association

Martha Smith
Colorado Pet Overpopulation Fund

Ali Mickelson
Dumb Friends League

Char Gonsenica
Eagle Valley Humane Society

Jan McHugh-Smith
Humane Society of Boulder Valley

Dave Lewis
Englewood Code Enforcement

Alice Nightengale
Denver Animal Protection

Krista Amatuzio
City of Steamboat Springs Animal Control

Liz Smokowski
Longmont Humane Society

Maggie McSchaefer
Foothills Animal Shelter

Rigo Neira
Larimer Humane Society