PACFA's Licensing Authority
The Colorado Department of Agriculture enforces the provisions of the Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act (PACFA), which allows for licensing pet animal facilities in accordance with the Colorado Revised Statutes (Title 35, Article 80).
Any person or firm who is operating a pet animal facility or business that engages in selling, transferring, adopting, breeding, boarding, training, grooming, sheltering, rescuing, or transporting pet animals may need to be licensed under PACFA.
Access Relevant Statutes
C.R.S. Reference for PACFA: Title 35, Article 80
Colorado Revised Statutes are made available for public use by the Committee on Legal Services of the Colorado General Assembly through a contractual arrangement with the LexisNexis Group. Any person wishing to reprint and distribute all or a substantial part of the statutes in either printed or electronic format must obtain prior permission of the Committee on Legal Services; permission is not required to reprint fewer than 200 sections of C.R.S. (§2-5-118, C.R.S.).
The LexisNexis website is the only official source of the Colorado Revised Statutes.
How do I get a PACFA License?
The first step to getting a PACFA license is to complete and submit a PACFA License Application through our PACFA Licensing Portal, pay the required application/license fee, and submit any required documentation.
To start the application process, register as a new user in the PACFA Licensing Portal by clicking on ‘Sign Up’.
We communicate with applicants via email and the licensing portal. Please check it often to ensure you are responding in a timely manner.
To avoid delays in the approval of your application, read the application instructions carefully to ensure all required documents are uploaded to complete your application.
The following licensing requirements must be completed before a license is issued:
- Application Approval
- Completion of the Qualifying Education (QE) course: New PACFA applicants are required to complete the QE course. Visit the “PACFA Qualifying and Continuing Education” page to get more information.
- Passing a pre-license inspection
Plan accordingly. The PACFA application and licensing process may take up to 2-3 weeks, depending on:
- Application corrections
- Completion of the qualifying education course
- Scheduling the pre-license inspection
- Any violations that need to be corrected after the first pre-license inspection.
|Important Licensing Information|
PACFA Licensing Questions
PACFA Licensing Categories
Review the following rule definitions for license categories carefully prior to selecting a category or categories on your application. If you are uncertain if your business meets the definition, please email or call us (303-869-9146) prior to submitting your application.
If you are applying for two or more categories, the fee will be the cost of the highest-priced category plus $50 for each additional category.
- Animal Rescue Facility
Any firm, person, or corporation that accepts pet animals for the purpose of finding permanent adoptive homes for these animals and does not maintain a central facility for keeping animals.
Small Rescue: >99 transfers per year
Large Rescue: <99 transfers per year
Small Rescue Fee: $325
Large Rescue Fee: $425
- Animal Sanctuary Facility
A sub-classification of “animal shelter” is any private facility that harbors pet animals, that is not used for impoundment purposes, and that is used exclusively for the purpose of caring for or housing pet animals indefinitely.
- Animal Shelter Facility
Any firm, person, or corporation, whether public or private, that houses pet animals for impoundment purposes; or a centralized, private facility that accepts or houses pet animals and whose facilities are self-contained and used exclusively for the purpose of caring for and housing pet animals according to PACFA Rules.
- Bird Breeder Facility
Any firm, person, or corporation engaged in the operation of breeding and raising birds that produces or transfers more than 30 birds per 12-month period.
- Boarding/Training Facility
Any firm, person, or corporation that cares for, or houses more than three pet animals at one time (in addition to their own pet animals), or trains pet animals in the absence of the owner, or such owner's designee, and receives compensation for said services or correctional facility pet animal training programs regardless of compensation.
- Cat Breeder Facility
Any firm, person, or corporation that is engaged in the operation of breeding and raising cats and that produces more than three litters of kittens or transfers more than 24 cats per 12-month period.
- Commercial Pet Animal Facility
Any firm, person, or corporation, whether on a permanent or temporary basis that uses pet animals exclusively for commercial exhibition, recreation or sporting purposes.
- Dog Breeder Facility
Any firm, person, or corporation engaged in the operation of breeding and raising dogs and that produces more than two litters of puppies or transfers more than 24 dogs per 12-month period.
Small Scale: <99 Transfers
Large Scale: >100 transfers
Small Scale Dog Breeder Fee: $450
Large Scale Dog Breeder Fee: $550
- Groomer facility
Any permanent or mobile establishment where a person pays a fee to have their pet animal’s skin, coat, hair, or feathers cleaned, styled, or maintained or where a person pays to have their animal’s physical appearance changed.
Primary, Secondary, Mobile, and Self Wash Grooming Facility Fee: $400
Independent Contractor Groomer Fee: $350
Groomer: Any person engaged in the operation of changing the physical appearance of the skin, coat, hair, or feathers of pet animals at a licensed pet animal groomer facility for compensation. Primary Facility Owner
A person or business who owns, leases, or maintains a physical facility. Customers compensate the Primary Facility owner for all work done by the owner, employees, and by contract with IC Groomers.
Secondary Facility Owner
A person or business who rents space from a Primary Facility Owner, customers compensate the Secondary Owner directly, and does not perform grooming services for the Primary Facility owner.
A person or business who performs grooming services by vehicle, trailer, or performs grooming at a customer’s home.
Self Wash Facility
A person or business who owns, leases, and/or maintains a physical facility where customers wash their own pets.
Independent Contractor (IC) Pet Groomer
A person or business that contracts with a Primary Facility owner, does not have their own customer base, customers compensate the Primary Facility owner and by contract gets paid a percentage from the Primary Facility owner.
- Before applying to be an IC Pet Groomer, review the IRS and Colorado Department of Labor laws and rules to ensure you meet all legal requirements of an independent contractor.
- IRS website
- IC Groomers may work at up to 3 locations. You are required to list the business name and address of your locations on your application.
- PACFA Rule 2.7.1 - IC Groomers are required to notify PACFA in writing if they drop or add locations. Location changes must be submitted within 15 days on the online form, ‘IC Groomer Location Change Reporting Form’ on the PACFA webpage, under the Facility Reporting Forms section.
- Pet Transporter
Any firm, person, or corporation who accepts pet animals for transportation or relocation for the purpose of adoption, rescue, selling, harboring, sheltering, trading, or otherwise transferring from one location to another. This includes businesses/people bringing animals into the state from other states.
- Pet Handler
A firm, person, or corporation who does not maintain a central permanent facility for the purposes of training or housing dogs but maintains a mobile or temporary facility for the purposes of transporting or training a pet in the absence of the owner and receives compensation for their services.
- Pet Animal Dealership-Retail
Any place or premises, used in whole or part, whether on a permanent or temporary basis, for the sole or exclusive purpose of retail selling, trading, bartering, or otherwise transferring pet animals directly to the public.
- Pet Animal Dealership-Wholesale
Any place or premises, used in whole or part, whether on a permanent or temporary basis, for the sole or exclusive purpose of selling, trading, bartering, or otherwise transferring pet animals to a retail pet animal dealership.
- Reptile/Amphibian (Herptile) Breeder Facility
Any firm, person, or corporation engaged in the operation of breeding and raising reptiles/amphibians (herptiles) and who produces or transfers more reptiles/amphibians (herptiles) than the maximum number established by the Commissioner by Rule for each particular species.
- Retail Aquarium Only Pet Animal Facility
Any place that trades, sells, barters, or otherwise transfers fish, hermit crabs, or aquatic pet animals to the public.
- Small Animal Breeder Facility
Any firm, person, or corporation who is engaged in the operation of breeding and raising small mammals and produces or transfers more small mammals than the maximum number established by the Commissioner by Rule for each particular species.
How do I get prepared for my pre-license inspection?
All businesses and/or individuals applying for a PACFA license are responsible for understanding and complying with the PACFA Rules and Regulations.
- We recommend downloading the PACFA rules and regulations as soon as possible and reviewing them thoroughly.
- The PACFA rules and regulations will provide you with the requirements applicable to your pet care business.
After your application requirements have been met, you will be assigned an inspector and will be provided with your inspector’s contact information.
- Your PACFA inspector will assist you with any questions related to your inspection and the PACFA rules and regulations, and you may contact them anytime.
- PACFA inspectors do their best to answer questions and assist you in a timely manner, including scheduling your inspection as soon as possible.
Current PACFA License Holders
If you notice any missing or incorrect information on your license, let us know immediately by filling out the PACFA Licensing Correction Form.
How Do I Renew My License?
Renewal opens in December of each year. All facilities will renew your license through your PACFA Licensing Portal account.
Rescues, Shelter, All Breeders, and Pet Transporters: You may renew your license starting January 1st of each year as your Annual Statistics report is required to be submitted with your renewal. Your stats must be reported in the PACFA Statistics Portal ONLY. Click here to access the PACFA Statistics Portal.