Colorado’s Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act (PACFA)

Here in Colorado, there’s no doubt we love our pets! So what is the State doing to make sure your pet stays safe when you bring them to the kennel or groomer? Or to ensure that animals in rescues, breeding facilities, and pet stores are protected and healthy? These facilities are licensed through the Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act (PACFA). PACFA requires licensure of a wide range of services including shelters and rescues, breeders, groomers/bathers, boarding kennels, pet stores, trainers, handlers, and transporters. Under Colorado law, these operations are subject to inspection and must renew their licenses annually. PACFA, the licensing authority, is part of the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

Licensed facilities must adhere to standards regarding sanitation, nutrition, and medical care for the animals. Physical buildings must meet standards for heating, cooling, and ventilation. PACFA also has rules on recordkeeping, and on the sizes of enclosures for animals. It’s all about making sure animals, who can’t speak up for themselves, are safe and well cared for.

This summer, the Colorado Legislative Council published an Issue Brief outlining PACFA and how it works. The State continually monitors the program. In 2018, PACFA was reviewed by the Department of Regulatory Agencies through the sunset review process. The 2018 review report can be viewed here. Reviews were also completed in 2013 and 2008. In addition, the State Auditor’s Office conducted an audit in 2015. For more on PACFA, including statistics, forms, how to obtain a license, and how to report a complaint, see the program’s website. For Colorado animal shelter and rescue statistics, go to the Colorado Information Marketplace.