Colorado rescinds mandatory dog ownership

“It’s OK not to have a dog.”

(Crested Butte) The state of Colorado has overturned a decades-long ruling with a sticky provision that had required each new mountain resident to acquire a dog upon arrival to the specific town. The revocation frees residents from canine stipulations and allows for a dog-free household depending on human preferences, needs and capabilities.

The old law, that states clearly that all mountain town residents be required to “own” a dog, was seen by many as a dinosaur that needed to be put to rest. Progressives and conservatives have called the focus on new occupants unconstitutional.

“The law first emerged when there were only a few people around,” said one old timer. “We needed dogs to guard against bear and mountain lions and lord only knows what else is out in these woods. Now there are far too many. Now we have draconian leash laws that make a mockery of running free in the wilds.”

The legislation, which goes into affect in 2019, did not undress the irresponsibility of humans, pooper scooping, dogs-at-large or the price of pet food at the local market.

“What a relief,” said one dog owner. “Now people in mountain towns can choose whether they want a dog or not. It’s OK not to have a dog. It doesn’t mean you are insensitive or not tuned into our mute friends. You can still have dogs that are your friends without the closer relationships brought on by such social arrangements as dependence, co-habitation and dramas with cats (if there is one on premises).”

Most people here in the upper Gunnison Valley say the new law will not affect them since they have a dog and everyone seems pretty happy with the day to day exchanges between human and canine. Many feel dogs will enjoy more freedom if there are fewer living here.

– Kashmir Horseshoe

Filed Under: Lifestyles at Risk


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