Don’t Ban Responsible Rescue Group From Transporting Animals

Dog Rescue by The U.S. Army

Target:  Program Administrator for Department of Agriculture’s Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act (PACFA), Nick Fisher

Goal: Don’t prevent animal rescue group from operating in Colorado due to new law that targets neglectful and irresponsible animal transporters.

Colorado recently began to enforce a licensing rule, which should lead to the better care of animal rescues during transport. Instead, the rule effectively outlaws other safe transportation methods, which also keep animals safe and make transportation less stressful. As a result, Going Home Animal Rescue and Transport (GHART) can no longer bring rescues into Colorado.

The Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act (PACFA) requires that GHART obtain a pet handler’s license. Without it they are no longer welcome in Colorado. To qualify for this license, transport methods need to include walking the dogs at rest stops throughout transportation. GHART currently transports animals during the night because it is less stressful for the animals. Complying would mean stopping at 4 a.m. in unfamiliar places to walk up to 30 dogs. This is neither practical nor safe.

PACFA Program Director, Nick Fisher, insists that the rule is necessary due to a spike in disease and illnesses among pets brought into the state. While his intentions are good, the rules negatively affects transporters and rescues who already have best-practice transportation rules in place, and transport healthy dogs.

It is possible for GHART to formally ask for an exemption to the licensing rule based on these grounds, but it could take a year and a half for this to be granted. Help speed up the process by showing your support. Add your name to the petition to show PACFA that the public believes GHART should be exempted from the rule, and fast.


Dear Mr. Fisher,

I commend the interest you have taken in the well-being of animal rescues coming into Colorado. We understand that often times the situations under which these animals are transported are deplorable, and can lead to disease and illness among your canine population. Even so, I do not agree with the enforcing of only one acceptable method of transporting animals into the state, which effectively places a ban on animal rescues like GHART.

These rescues use other methods that have proven satisfactory to farms and animal shelters who have an equal – if not greater – interest in the welfare of the animals brought to them. GHART prefers to transfer animals overnight because it is less stressful for the animals, who usually rest at this time. If GHART should comply with your rules, this would mean instances like stopping at 4 a.m. in the middle of nowhere to walk up to 30 dogs at a time.

This increases the risk of injury to the animals, undermines the safety of volunteers, and may lead to dogs getting lost as volunteers struggle to manage all 30 dogs. It also lengthens the transportation time, which adds further stress to the animals.

We urge you to consider revising this rule so that animal rescues using alternative measures can continue to do so. Walking dogs at 4 a.m. does not help you to learn about the animals’ health background, and does not prevent them from spreading diseases they already have. In the meantime, we also ask that you grant an exception to GHART so that they can continue to offer their services to shelters and farms in Colorado.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: The U.S. Army

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  1. Carlie Doebereiner says:

    I’m curious about how the state is enforcing this rule to stop and let the dogs out at rest areas? And if this is a requirement, are they re-evaluating the safety of rest areas for dogs? Many rest areas do not have safe areas to walk your dog. They are often the unmaintained areas on the grounds and often the areas closest to dangerous traffic. If they are going to enforce this rule, they need to require that all rest areas are equipped with better maintained and SAFER areas for dogs.

    • Lajeanne Leveton says:

      THAT would just make the entire transport situation that much harder to comply with! If the transporters have to FIND rest stops with designated places to walk the dogs, or wait until these are created, this would cause a great loss of life among homeless dogs.
      Transporters of dogs are taking HOMELESS dogs to places elsewhere in the country where they should have better luck in finding a home….for instance, Calif. shelters are FULL of German Shepherd dogs and Chihuahuas….Thousands of them are killed in Calif. shelters….if they are transported to the east coast or midwest, where they are more rare, they USUALLY find homes! BUT the key problem is getting them there! Thats where the dog transports come in, and have made such a huge difference in saving dogs’ lives!
      NO REASON to add bureaucratic rules & regs to the transport of dogs! It just makes it harder to do this, and leaves more dogs in shelters where they’ll be killed.

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