The Bureau of Animal Protection (BAP) is hosting multiple trainings throughout the state of Colorado to help law enforcement officers recognize and respond to cases of potential equine and livestock neglect and mistreatment.
The BAP has been hosting monthly trainings, and so far has worked with the Sheriff’s Offices for Lincoln, Pitkin, and Rio Grande counties. During trainings, law enforcement officers receive an overview of the BAP program, common signs of animal mistreatment, and how to address animal mistreatment. These signs can include a lack of food or clean water, thin animals, or untreated wounds and unhealthy medical conditions.
For the Lincoln County training, an equine endorsed BAP agent with the Colorado Humane Society brought horses to provide officers a hands-on experience with animals. During the trainings, BAP staff share how they can serve as a resource to law enforcement. For instance, BAP staff and agents can provide expertise during investigations and help with the removal, transport, and handling of animals during a law enforcement action.
Advancing animal health and welfare is one of the Department priorities for the CDA. Dr. Rebecca Niemiec leads the Bureau of Animal Protection and over the next few years, she plans to dive deeper into how Colorado can provide animal care resources and mental health support in order to prevent some of these issues.
“There is a large and growing body of research on the link between animal mistreatment and mental health challenges and difficult life circumstances, and we see this trend in the types of cases we deal with,” said Dr. Niemiec. “One of the priorities in our strategic plan is to explore how we can provide animal care resources and mental health support to people in crisis to prevent animal neglect and mistreatment.”
BAP will continue to provide training opportunities and resources to law enforcement to help officers recognize signs of animal mistreatment and identify resources to help, while working to ensure the safety of pet animals, livestock and their owners.
The next educational opportunity for the Bureau of Animal Protection is the two-day Annual Conference, taking place on February 2 and 3, 2023 in Denver. More information can be found on the BAP Upcoming Events page.