Humane Society of Boulder Valley Says Good Bye Choke Chains

In what is considered to be a pioneering program, the Humane Society of Boulder Valley is offering free dog harnesses. Well, not entirely free. In order to get a comfortable harness that keeps the dog owner in complete control…you have to bring in a choke collar or shock collar. The goal is to make it as easy as possible for owners to drop the harmful practice of choke chains or spiked collars in favor of harnesses.

So far, according to the Denver post, there have been almost 500 harnesses handed out in exchange for these cruel collars. Sometimes, laws are behind humane practice.Unfortunately, it’s a little more than sometimes. Boulder isn’t waiting on a law to make a change and this approach appears to be successful.

These types of collars have been popularized by trainers in the past who used them force the dog to do what they wanted rather than encourage through positive reinforcement. But even if you look at a choke collar through the strictest behavioral sense they aren’t a great tool for the job. The same stimulus (pain from the prongs) is presented whether the dog is scared, excited, happy, whatever. If they move too quickly they get stabbed. This lack of precision does not lend itself well to functional training.

Boulder focuses on the simple fact that the act is painful and not humane.

While the program focuses more on the humane component more than the training perspective the campaign is still quite effective. Even better, the funding came from an outside source that collected over $2,500 in funds to promote the humane collars.

The shelter hopes that the program will take off in other areas (which is likely due to the great and marketable return on investment).


serval cat- illegal in denver

A Look At Savannah Cat Laws In Colorado

The Savannah cat, while majestic and beautiful, is still considered a dangerous animal in most regards. It is a hybrid animal that is a cross between a domesticated cat and a wild serval. The serval is responsible for the large size and unique appearance of the cat. It’s also the reason this cat is considered exotic, dangerous, and illegal in many areas. In particular, Savannah cat laws in Colorado prohibit the ownership of this cat in the city of Denver.

The First Savannah Cat

The first Savannah cat was bred in 1986. It was a cross between a Siamese cat and a male serval cat. A serval is a medium-sized cat with large ears that is found in the wild in Africa. Following the first breeding in 1986, the Savannah cat quickly grew in popularity. It was even accepted as a registered breed in 2001 by the International Cat Association.

However, the acceptance of this cat as a new breed does not make it entirely safe or legal in many cities in the country. The safety of these cats can often be determined by how many generations they have been bred and raised in captivity.

For example, Denver law prohibits the ownership of hybrid cats between domestic and non-domestic breeds. It does allow one exception. That exception states that the ownership is legal if the ancestor of the non-domestic cat was a Bengal cat and that all ancestors of the new hybrid have lived in captivity for at least the last five generations.

This exception is allowed because of the great length of time in which Bengal breeds have been bred and crossbred with domestic cats. Even so, the law still recognizes the potential danger in these hybrid Bengal breeds. This is why there are a mandatory five generations of captivity required before the cat can be owned in Denver.

Savannah Cat Laws In Colorado

Such a law does not apply to hybrids like the Savannah cat. For the case of the Savannah breed, they are classified as “wild or dangerous” according to Denver legislature. They are found in the same group of animals as scorpions, poisonous spiders, monitor lizards, and nonpoisonous snakes that are longer than six feet. These “wild or dangerous” animals cannot be owned, possessed, maintained, or sold within Denver city limits. The only exceptions to this rule are circuses, zoos, and other similar institutions.

The Savannah cat laws in Colorado vary from one city to the next. As far as state laws are concerned, there are no regulations found for hybrids. However, there have been various studies launched over the years. These studies were deemed mandatory by the legislature. One such study found that hybrids are dangerous animals and need to be carefully regulated.

What Does This Mean For You?

What does that mean if you have an interest in owning or breeding a Savannah cat? First and foremost it means that you cannot do so within the city limits of Denver. As for other cities, you will need to familiarize yourself with the local regulations. Some cities will allow it while other cities do not. You will need to be extremely careful when transporting from one location to the next. Simply passing through a city that does not allow it could get you into trouble.

Finally, you should carefully consider the decision even if it is legal in the city where you live. Studies have found that these cats are still considered dangerous and many organizations are pushing for tighter regulations. It may not be long before there are new laws, either city or state-wide, that completely prohibit ownership of these animals in Colorado.

Want to know more about what we do and how you can help? Check out our homepage to learn more and see our upcoming classes!

6 Things You Can Do Today to Help Protect Animals

Gandhi once said, “What you can do in response to the ocean of suffering may seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.”

This is in essence what this article is about – the need to do our part in changing the world one little bit at a time. You might think that your efforts are too small to make a difference, but this is not true. Every little bit helps and every time you help protect an animal, more people become aware. It is important that we all stand together to protect the animals that offer us comfort, unconditional love, and wet kisses.

Things you can do today:

Speak up – If you see anyone being cruel or abusive to an animal, report it. Check it out this post for more information on what information you need to report a case.

Don’t litter – Plastic bags, containers, rope, etc. are all hazardous to animals wild and domesticated. It can kill them if it gets stuck around their necks or in their throats. Keep your world cleaner and safer for animals.

Eat less or no meat – It may seem drastic, but you can limit your meat intake or at least choose meat that comes from animals that didn’t suffer. You can ask the butcher or do research on where you can find meat that was slaughtered humanely. Kosher and Halaal meat are best. Also, when you do eat meat, honor the animal that gave its life to feed you.

Adopt or donate – Adopt an animal or three from a shelter and give them a happy and loving home. If you cannot adopt, volunteer at your local shelters or make a donation to organizations that protect animals. You can make the difference between life and death for animals by donating and adopting.

Create awareness – Help animal protection organizations and wildlife protection groups by creating awareness. Social media can be a powerful tool, so use it for a good cause. Don’t post pictures of mangled animals, rather post the information needed to identify and report abuse.

If we all take the time to do these little things, we can make a big difference. Every little thing we do contributes to the bigger picture.

5 Things To Do When You Witness Animal Cruelty

Witnessing animal cruelty or neglect can be a disheartening experience. It can make you feel helpless or hopeless. That’s why we put together this quick article on what to do if you witness an animal offense. However, check out our training page for more information on what we offer.

1. Gather information of evidence

You should never put yourself at risk. Write down the date, time, and an exact account of what you saw. Include the address and name of the person if you know it. If you can provide a recording or photograph as evidence that will help animal protectors in their investigation.

2. Report the incident

Once you have all the important information, report the incident as soon as possible. You can contact your closest SPCA or other animal protection associations. Give them as much information as you can. If someone else was with you, include their names in your report as this will further strengthen the case against the abuser.

3. Keep your own records

After you have reported the incident, make sure to write down the date, time, name and surname of the person you spoke to, their response to your report, and what the end of the discussion was. This way you can follow up if nothing is done within a reasonable amount of time.

4. Thank the people who responded

When animal protection services come out and rescue the animals, make sure to thank them. It is important that they know they are not alone in the battle for justice for animals. They will be grateful to know their work is appreciated.

5. Stay educated and do your part

To help protect animals, make sure you know the animal laws where you live. Know the authorities and animal-protection groups that you can call. Keep an eye out for any animals who are being mistreated, and make sure that you speak out on behalf of them

It is our jobs to help protect those who cannot speak for themselves and who are at the mercy of cruel humans.