Colorado may be a lot less tolerant of animal abuse in the future.

A bill has been introduced in the Colorado legislature that would impose stiff penalties on individuals convicted of animal cruelty. The bill gets its first hearing Thursday in the House Judiciary Committee.

If House Bill 19-1092 passes, anyone convicted of misdemeanor animal abuse would be prohibited from owning, possessing, caring for, or living with an animal for five years. Felony abuse convictions would result in a 10-year ban.

Violators would face a $5000 fine for the first offense and $10,000 for a second offense.

Animal abuse comes in a variety of forms whether it's a pet owner failing to provide adequate food, water, and shelter for a pet or the flat out torture of animals. Sometimes abuse happens out of anger, and sometimes it's simply a matter of laziness and irresponsibility.

It makes me angry when I see or hear about people abusing animals of any kind. The thought of a poor, helpless dog chained up outside in the freezing cold with no protection from the elements makes me want to do the same thing to the owner. Or seeing an angry pet owner taking their anger out on a frightened and vulnerable animal just infuriates me.

Just having those thoughts in my head makes me want to rush home and give my dog Frisco some extra loving and make sure she feels loved.

We'll be watching the plight of this animal abuse bill in the legislature hoping our lawmakers will see their way to try and further protect the animals that have been placed in our care. People who abuse animals should not be allowed to own animals. That we know for sure.

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