EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. - Update: Thursday morning, El Paso County Commissioners sent staff a reworked version of the ordinance on roadside pet sales. They want staff to take out the ban on sales of pet animals on private property. This would be the only major change to the ordinance. County Commissioner Amy Lathen says, "Within the ordinance, it made it so that an individual property owner couldn't allow someone on the property to sell animals or buy, sell, trade or giveaway animals. That's an impact to their property rights." Staffers will return the rewritten ordinance to the Commission on January 15th. Until then the ordinance is suspended.
The Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region is among several animal advocacy groups hoping to keep El Paso County Commissioners to their word and retain a ban on roadside pet sales.
The ban on selling or giving away animals in parking lots or street corners in unincorporated El Paso County passed in November.
On Thursday, El Paso County Commissioners vote for the first time on changes to the law. The new language cites safety as the primary concern.
"The El Paso County Sheriff advises citizens not to invite strangers to their homes for sales or transactions of any kind and instead advises such transactions to be made in public areas," reads the amendment to the law.
But a humane society spokeswoman said the ban is important.
"What we're trying to do is prevent the sale or giveaway of animals from irresponsible breeders from puppy millers," said Katie Borremans of the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region.
The humane society is part of the Southern Colorado Animal Coalition. It has been pushing for bans like this all over the region to keep the pet population under control.
"[The animals are] not getting the proper vaccinations, they are not spaying or neutering the animals or they may be too young to be away from their moms," Borremans said of the animals bought and sold in places like flea markets and in parking lots.
Similar bans on selling or giving away animals in public places exist in Colorado Springs and Fountain.
The SCAC has been pushing people to call commissioners and email them in hopes they'll reconsider pulling the ban. Borremans said they've gotten good response in the week they've been asking people to contact El Paso County lawmakers.