CO: Oppose Efforts to Restrict Access to Vet Care!

Black pug
CO H.B. 24-1048Proposed Bill to Block Access to Remote Vet Care
ASPCA Position: Oppose
Sponsors: Reps. McCormick & Martinez, Senators Ginal & Pelton

Update—April 19, 2024: Despite our collaborative efforts to protect access to veterinary telemedicine, this restrictive bill was signed into law today. The new law erects unnecessary barriers for Coloradans who already have difficulty accessing vet care in the face of an ongoing veterinary shortage in the state. However, the Governor did hear our collective concerns and has expressed disappointment in how the bill limits telemedicine. He also shared his desire for the state to take future action to remove those barriers. Thank you for your support throughout the 2024 legislative session. 

Why Veterinary Virtual Care Is Important

This new law will restrict access to remote veterinary appointments by requiring in-person exams, and it could not happen at a worse time for Coloradans. The state is facing an unprecedented veterinary shortage, and more than half of Colorado pet owners report that they are unable to access veterinary care. This law will further limit treatment options for pets throughout Colorado.

Video calls with veterinarians from the comfort of a pet’s home can help treat a host of ailments and expedite routine, preventive services, and this option should be available broadly to all families and Colorado-licensed vets. 

Veterinary telemedicine is a lifeline for pet owners who live in remote or underserved areas, struggle to afford vet care, or who face other obstacles such as work schedules that conflict with normal clinic hours. Pets who are large, frightened of going to the vet, a little spicy with other animals or difficult to transport benefit immensely from better access to virtual care.

The veterinary industry is facing a critical shortage of professionals in the workforce. As we have seen in human medicine, expanding access to video telemedicine helps patients get seen despite workforce shortages and other barriers to healthcare. 

What You Can Do

Please use the form below to send a message to Governor Polis, thanking him for both recognizing the importance of veterinary telehealth and advocating for increasing access to it during future sessions.