Thursday, January 22, 2009

House Committee Clears Mandatory Cat ID Chip Bill

A bill that would require all cat owners to implant their feline companions with an identification microchip or buy an ID tag for their cat cleared a House committee today.

HB 1019 was approved by the Local Government Committee on an 8-2 vote.

"Cats shouldn't be this poor second cousin to dogs," Colorado Veterinary Medical Association president Jed Rogers told the committee. "It's easy for people to spot their dog at a shelter. Whereas my little black cat, there could be 50 black cats at a shelter. And it's a black cat."

Rogers said that fewer than one in 20 cats is retrieved from a shelter.

The bill also allows municipalities and counties to charge pet owners fees if the cat's identification tag or chip does not include a home address. It also would require city residents who regularly feed or shelter a stray cat to tag the animal.

The bill now moves to the House floor.

HB 1019 is sponsored by Rep. Cherilyn Peniston, D-Westminster, and Sen. Joyce Foster, D-Denver.