There are a lot of opinions spreading regarding what the PACFA rules govern and do not govern. The Pet Animal Care Facilities Act (PACFA) Program is a licensing and inspection program dedicated to protecting the health and well-being of those animals in pet care facilities throughout Colorado.

We went straight to the source and asked Nick Fischer who is the Director of the program.  Here are the questions we asked Nick, and his responses:

Does the PACFA transporter license requirement apply only to PAID or commercial transporters?

No, anyone who transports animals for the purpose below is required to be licensed except for commercial carriers.


Commercial transporters are exempt under the PACFA statute 35-80-103 C.R.S.

(11)  “Pet animal facility” shall not mean a common carrier engaged in intrastate or interstate commerce.

Here is the Pet Transporter definition directly from our rule:

1.00 Definitions and Abbreviations

  1.  “Facility” means all buildings, yards, pens, and other areas, or any portion thereof, at a single location in which any animal is kept, handled, or transported for the purpose of adoption, breeding, boarding, grooming, handling, selling, sheltering, trading, or otherwise transferring animals.
  1.  “Pet transporter” means any firm, person, or corporation that 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.

Does every volunteer transporter need a license? Are there any exceptions?

EVERY volunteer that transports needs a license.  This means if you are a volunteer using your own vehicle, or one you rent, you need to be licensed to be in compliance.  The only exception allowed is if you are driving a vehicle owned by a licensed rescue or shelter.  In this specific case every volunteer does not need a separate license however they DO need to have a signed volunteer agreement with that organization and the organization must be current with their PACFA licensing.

Do volunteer transporters have to be licensed and inspected as well if they are using their own vehicles?

We would prefer that the licensed organization use the same vehicles, if volunteers are using personal vehicles they must pass inspection.

Are there any volume based delimiters (i.e. only over xx transports per year) or even to do one transport do you have to be licensed?

One animal transport and you have to be licensed, we have found it is very difficult to deal with threshold limits

Do the rules apply to any transport conducted within Colorado state lines regardless of origin and destination?

Yes, rescues and shelters are covered under their license if they pickup and transport to their facility but if they pick up for other groups they need a transporter license.

If a transport is 'transient only' and does not stop within Colorado does the transporter have to be licensed?

These are usually the commercial carriers, we usually don’t require a license if they do not stop in Colorado.

Are these requirements related only to the import of animals or also the export from Colorado to somewhere else?

PACFA only has jurisdiction in Colorado so we are focused only on the importation not the exportation of animals to other states.  I believe it is very rare that exportation happens in this state.