PACFA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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What is PACFA?

The Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act (PACFA) 35-80-101 through 35-80-117, C.R.S. is a model program that was enacted to protect the health, safety and welfare of animals in pet animal care facilities and to protect consumers who use pet related services. 

PACFA is committed to making sure that pet care facilities meet, or exceed, minimum standards for physical facilities; sanitation; ventilation; lighting; heating; cooling; humidity; spatial and enclosure requirements; nutrition; humane care; medical treatment; methods of operation and record keeping.

PACFA gives the Colorado Department of Agriculture the statutory authority to license and inspect all pet animal care facilities/businesses. Any person or firm who is operating a pet animal facility/business that engages in selling, transferring, adopting, breeding, boarding, training, grooming, sheltering, rescuing or transporting pet animals may need to be licensed under PACFA.

What is the difference between PACFA, Animal Control, and Bureau of Animal Protection?

PACFA is a regulatory program that requires pet animal facilities/businesses to comply with rules and regulations in order to obtain and maintain a state license to operate a pet animal care facility. PACFA inspection and investigation staff may work in partnership with animal control if questions of animal welfare and neglect are present at a licensed or unlicensed pet care facility. PACFA is required by state statute to report animal cruelty or neglect to local law enforcement or the Bureau of Animal Protection (BAP).

County and municipal governments may enact city or county animal control ordinances to protect public health and safety and may have ordinances that prohibit animals running at large, noise disturbances, aggressive and/or vicious animals, animal bites, and animal cruelty and neglect. City and county codes or ordinances may also be in place that limit the number of household pets someone can have relative to a zoned district (i.e., residential vs. agricultural). PACFA does not have any statutory authority or jurisdiction to enforce county or city ordinances or codes related to animal control, zoning or code enforcement. You can contact your local police, sheriff’s department, or planning and zoning department to find out more about the animal, zoning or code ordinances where you live.

BAP conduct outreach and education and administer and enforce the provisions of the Animal Protection Act to prevent the neglect, mistreatment, or abandonment of domestic and companion animals in Colorado.

The BAP oversees and trains approximately 100 commissioned volunteer animal protection agents, administers a stakeholder task force to obtain feedback from diverse perspectives on animal protection issues, conducts outreach and education, and works with local animal protection and law enforcement officials to advance cooperation in the investigation of potential animal mistreatment, neglect or abandonment. 

The BAP has both civil remedies and limited criminal authority to enforce Colorado’s cruelty to animals statues. The BAP program operates on a complaint-basis: staff and agents respond when called upon, whether by a local sheriff’s department, veterinarian, or concerned neighbor, in order to enforce the law.

What should I do if I have concerns about a pet care business/facility?

We encourage anyone to report concerns they have about a licensed or unlicensed business pet care facility. Reports are accepted anonymously but to assist our investigations providing contact information is always helpful to help us thoroughly investigate the complaint. Concerns and complaints can only be submitted through our online form here.

Complaints that are submitted are reviewed and assigned for investigation. The investigator or inspector will contact you if you have provided your information. Once a complaint is submitted, it is considered an open investigation and information regarding the investigation cannot be provided until the case is closed. Click here to visit the Complaint Information page and form

How does PACFA enforce its rules?

PACFA has a number of tools used to generate compliance with the rules including follow up inspections, civil fines and penalties, license suspension, denial and/or revocation.

What happens if a pet care facility fails an inspection?

A follow-up inspection will occur after time has been provided to correct the violation. These inspections are usually unannounced.

Are inspections scheduled or announced?

Pre-License inspections are generally scheduled with the facility. Routine, follow up and complaint investigations are usually unannounced and are an important tool for the pet care program.

Can PACFA shut a pet care facility/business down?

Because PACFA is a regulatory program, it may take disciplinary action against a business or facility license pursuant to Article 4 of Title 24 of the Colorado Revised Statutes also known as the Administrative Procedure Act. The PACFA Program may use several different tools to address disciplinary matters including cease and desist orders, criminal summons and complaints, and temporary or permanent injunctions to generate compliance with the Pet Animal Care Facilities Act. PACFA’s goal is to educate our licensed community in order to generate voluntary compliance with PACFA and the rules and regulations. 

What is the PACFA Education Program?

The PACFA Program is excited to launch the Education Program starting in the fall of 2021. PACFA’s Education Program will establish a baseline of knowledge for all licensees to help achieve greater compliance and enhanced pet animal health, safety and welfare, and enhance consumer protection for those consumers who use pet-care related services. Click here to visit the “PACFA Licensing and Education Program” program to learn more! 

How do I get a PACFA license?

To obtain a PACFA license, you must first complete and submit the PACFA License Application online through the PACFA Licensing Portal. The PACFA Licensing portal can be accessed through any device including phones and tablets.  

How long does it take to get a pre-license inspection scheduled?

Depending on if there are any corrections that need to be made on your application, or how long it takes you to complete the education course it may take 1-3 weeks. Also take consideration of inspectors’ schedules. Inspectors are typically scheduled about 2 weeks out.

We communicate with applicants via email and the licensing portal so please check both often.

How do I get a Colorado issued Bird Leg Band Number?

To obtain a Colorado Bird Leg Band Number, you must complete and submit an application online through the PACFA Licensing Portal.