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 2022 Colorado Legislative Session:

The AWAC Advocacy Committee worked on all aspects of the renewal of the Veterinary Practice Act and advocated strongly for the creation of a mid-level practitioner position to be created.

Although that position, which would have especially helped rural areas with few veterinarians, did not make it into the legislation, efforts will be made during the 2023 session to create it. Townhall meetings are being planned to raise awareness about the need for this type of position.

One of the proposed changes to the act that did pass allows for the expansion of those persons who can administer rabies vaccines.

The committee also supported efforts by AWAC board member Dave Lewis to add animal control officers and code enforcement officers to the Privacy Act. Those groups are now among the people who can seek a privacy determination from county assessors’ offices.

The committee supported a bill that removed the exemption for greyhound breeders from PACFA. This elevates greyhounds to the status of companion pets. This bill passed.




AWAC advocacy committee:

Duane Adams – co-chair
Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region

Anna Stout – co-chair
Roice-Hurst Humane Society

Diane Matt
Colorado Veterinary Medical Association

Char Gonsenica
Eagle Valley Humane Society

Jan McHugh-Smith
Humane Society of Boulder Valley

Dave Lewis
Englewood Code Enforcement

Krista Amatuzio
City of Steamboat Springs Animal Control

Maggie McSchaefer
Foothills Animal Shelter

Rigo Neira
Larimer Humane Society

Dawn Neely
Rifle, Colo. 

Rachel Heatley
Denver Dumb Friends League

Judy Calhoun
Larimer Humane Society

Melanie Sobel
Denver Animal Protection