Election 2018Hot Sheet

A platform for pets? Polis has one

Author: Erin Prater - April 12, 2018 - Updated: April 12, 2018

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“Happy #NationalPetDay!” U.S. Rep. Jared Polis tweeted April 11, the day he launched his animal welfare plan. (Photo courtesy of @PolisForCO)

Pets — there’s a platform for that.

Jared Polis has one, at least.

The Democratic congressman from Boulder and candidate for governor believes Colorado should be “the best place to be a wild animal,” according to his campaign.

In that spirit, he announced his position on animal welfare Wednesday by launching a dedicated page on his website.

“In honor of our furry (and feathered) friends, I’m releasing my animal welfare plan – we can make Colorado even better for wildlife, farm animals, and our animal companions!” he posted to Instagram Wednesday along with a family photo that includes his pooch. He included the hashtag “#PupsForPolis 🐶.”

Why an animal welfare policy? This year the Trump administration eliminated Obama-era animal welfare rules and removed animal welfare information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website, according to Polis’ campaign website.

“You can tell a lot about people by the way they treat animals, and the same can be said for our society,” the website reads. “Colorado is home to some of North America’s most majestic wild animals, and millions of domestic and farmed animals, too. Like on so many issues, Washington D.C. is walking away from its moral responsibilities, and it’s time for states to lead.”

Some of the platform’s points:

  • If elected governor, Polis pledges to sign an executive order “requesting that CPW (Colorado Parks and Wildlife) evaluates alternative methods to mitigate human-bear conflicts.”
  • Colorado should launch a “statewide tracking system for convicted animal abusers that will be available to local and state law enforcement.”
  • Animal cruelty must be addressed “because there is a well-documented link between violence towards animals and violence towards other people.”
  • Leaving a dog outside during extreme cold should be included in the definition of animal abuse.

While it’s common for candidates to enumerate their stances on issues like education, the economy and health care, an animal welfare platform appears to be a first — at least among Colorado gubernatorial candidates.

Erin Prater

Erin Prater

Erin Prater is Colorado Politics' digital editor. She is a multimedia journalist with 15 years of experience writing, editing and designing for newspapers, magazines, websites and publishing houses. Her previous positions include military reporter at The Gazette, general assignment reporter at The Huerfano County (Colo.) World, copy editor at David C. Cook publishing house and adjunct mass communication instructor at Pueblo Community College. Her bylines include The New York Times Upfront, The Argus Leader (Sioux Falls, S.D.), Military Spouse magazine and Omaha Magazine (Omaha, Neb.). Her syndicated bylines include The Denver Post, MSNBC.com, Military.com and wire services.