Sheriff - News

Posted on: July 24, 2017

Animal Control Offers Pet Safety Education at Courthouse

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This summer, Jefferson County Animal Control is partnering with the City of Golden’s Animal Control to provide information and education to visitors of the Jefferson County Administration and Courts Facility. From 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 26, animal control officers will be available outside the courthouse to explain the dangers of leaving pets unattended in vehicles on hot days, and to encourage pet owners to leave their animals safely at home during summer months. As of May, 19 pets had already been left in vehicles in the parking lot of the Administration and Courts Facility since the beginning of the year. While their owners have conducted business inside the climate-controlled facility, many of these pets have suffered from extreme temperatures in closed and locked vehicles awaiting their owners’ return.

In 90° heat on July 17, a dog was left behind to endure temperatures that reached 123° inside a locked vehicle at the Administration and Courts Facility. A summons was issued to the vehicle’s owner after a JeffCo deputy rescued the suffering animal. Many pet owners do not realize that animals left inside vehicles on hot days can sustain brain damage or even die from heatstroke. Therefore, Animal Control will be at the courthouse bi-monthly this summer to educate pet owners of the dangers and inform them of a new law that goes into effect on August 9, 2017.

The State of Colorado recently passed House Bill 17-1179 that grants immunity from civil and criminal liability to persons who force entry into a vehicle to render emergency assistance to animals or at-risk individuals, including children, who are in apparent imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury due to extreme temperatures. The bill requires the person rendering aid to do the following before forcing entry into a locked vehicle:

  1. Make a reasonable effort to locate the owner
  2. Document the color, make, model, license number, and location of the vehicle
  3. Contact a law enforcement agency, fire department, animal control, or a 911 operator

Complete details of the bill can be found here.

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