Colorado showing leadership.

With tens of thousands of dogs being imported into Colorado by rescues each year — and a corresponding increase in diseases and illnesses — a well-known rescue transporter has been asked by the Department of Agriculture’s Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act to get a pet handler’s’ license. This is something that adds a layer of basic accountability and humane/health requirements, such as allowing transported dogs out of their crates for a walk every six hours (anybody who sells, transfers, adopts, breeds, boards, trains or grooms, shelters or rescues may need to be licensed, though there has been no pressing need to enforce it until recently). As of today, instead of getting a pet handler’s license, they simply aren’t importing dogs into Colorado anymore. This is a very telling response.

No matter the stated intentions, everybody must be accountable for the health and humane treatments of the animals in their care.

At NAIA, we strongly urge people who are looking to get a rescue dog to choose from their own community (or AKC parent club rescue networks) whenever possible, and we believe regulations that protect public health and the humane treatment of animals should apply to everybody.

Furthermore, we also believe that issues of surplus dogs and owner retention can only be effectively solved when dealt with at the source; transport is, at best, akin to bailing water from a sinking boat, at worst a cynical marketing scheme that perpetuates tragic conditions and outcomes for dogs.