At The Animal Law Firm, our Colorado animal lawyers see a lot of good dogs turned over to animal control under pressure from animal control officers. However, you do not have to do this! Make them get a warrant!
If your dog is accused of violating Colorado’s Unlawful Ownership of a Dangerous Dog statute, make them get a warrant to take your dog from you. Don’t give up your dog. Legally, the statutes (C.R.S. §§ 18-9-204.5 and 18-9-202.5) do not give the animal control officers any authority to seize your dog without a warrant! You do not have to give up your dog just because they told you to. They might also threaten to call a police officer. Let them! The police officer can’t take your dog, either! The police officer can threaten to arrest you for not complying with a lawful order (or “interference”) but they most likely won’t because they have better things to do than arrest you and then process you and do all that paperwork. Likely you will just get charged with interference and the animal control officer will have to leave to get a warrant to take your dog.
If you willfully give up your dog for impoundment pursuant to these charges, you will not be able to get your dog back except through an impound hearing — and those are very difficult to win because the prosecution’s burden is basically nothing. Then you’re stuck paying impound fees pending disposition of your case, which could drag on for months. Usually impound fees (also known as “costs of care”) run anywhere from $300-600 per month for a single animal. If more than one animal is seized, you are looking at paying significantly more for your pets to sit in a cold, hard kennel without love, affection, or any idea of what is going on and why you’re not there. It’s a heartbreaking and pointless law that only hurts the dog, but the Prosecutor does not care about you or your dog and neither does the State.
If you are accused of Unlawful Ownership of a Dangerous Dog and/or your dog was impounded, call our experienced Colorado animal attorneys today at 303-623-4000 and we will Fight for your Underdog!