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Ranch Watch & Crime Prevention
The RANCH WATCH PROGRAM ® is designed to prevent criminal activities in rural subdivisions and ranching communities. Prevention of criminal activities is done through neighbors watching for suspicious activity and through the Sheriff's Deputies patrolling county roads and highways where county citizens reside, all working together to keep Rio Blanco County a safer place to live.

The RANCH WATCH PROGRAM ® logo (handcuffs with eyes) is a deterrent to those thinking about committing a crime in our county. The logo is used on warning signs for county roads and private driveways. 


The RANCH WATCH PROGRAM ® offers Extra Patrol Requests for county residents who leave on vacation or have to be away from home. When time allows an on duty deputy will make extra patrol checks of the residence and area.

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Common Livestock Laws
"Livestock" means all cattle, calves, horses, mules and burros, or sheep may be treated as livestock.
Officer may inspect vehicle. Any duly authorized inspector, sheriff, deputy sheriff, or peace officer is authorized to stop and inspect any motor or other vehicle transporting or containing livestock, or the carcasses thereof, and demand from the person operating the said motor or other vehicle the exhibition of a bill of sale, permit or certificate.
(C.R.S. 35-53-117)

Regulations on Brand Inspections
An inspection is required every time an animal is sold or purchased (horses, cattle, mules and donkeys) or when any change of ownership occurs, regardless of whether or not the animal is transported after or prior to the sale.
(C.R.S. 35-53-105, 35-53-112)

An inspection is required when livestock is to be transported over 75 miles within the boundaries of Colorado (some expectations).
(C.R.S. 35-53-105, 35-53-112)

An inspection is required every time livestock leaves the state regardless of circumstances.
(C.R.S. 35-53-105, 35-53-112)

Items 2 and 3 may be accomplished by the owner obtaining a "PERMANENT TRAVEL CARD" (for horses only). Simply contact your local inspector.
(C.R.S. 35-53-129)

Health Certificate, all animals coming into Colorado must have health inspection papers prior to entering the state. (Utah reqiures the same.)
Dog worrying Livestock, Any dog found running, worrying, or injuring sheep, cattle or other livestock may be killed, and the owner or harborer of such dog shall be liable for all damages done by it.
(C.R.S. 35-43-126)

Livestock Running at Large. It is unlawful for the owner or any person in charge of any livestock knowingly to cause or permit such livestock to graze or run at large in any incorporated or unincorporated municipality, lane, road, or public highway if the same is separated from the land or range of such owner or person in charge by a fence or other barrier sufficient to keep livestock from reaching such municipality, lane, road, or public highway. In case any such livestock so running at large is killed or injured by any vehicle, the owner, driver, or person in charge of such vehicle shall not be liable therefore if the killing or injury is not malicious, willful or wanton. Nothing in this section shall be applicable to livestock having a person in charge when such livestock are being driven on or through such municipalities, lanes, roads, or public highways or when range livestock being ranged on their usual range or allotments have broken through maintained drift fences or cattle guards and are on the premises unknown to the owners.
(C.R.S. 35-46-105)

Trespass by livestock is not a criminal offense, it is a civil matter whereby damages may be recovered together with costs of court and arbitration. Owner may recover for trespass. Any person maintaining in good repair a lawful fence, as described in section 35-46-101, may recover damages for trespass and injury to grass, garden or vegetable products, or other crops of such person from the owner of any livestock which break through such fence. No person shall recover damages for such a trespass or injury unless at the time thereof such grass, garden or vegetable products, or crops where protected by such a lawful fence. Even though such land, grass, garden or vegetable products or other crops were not at such time protected on all sides by a lawful fence, if it is proved by clear and convincing evidence that livestock have broken through a lawful fence on one side of such land to reach such land, grass, products, or crops, recovery and the remedies under this section may be had the same as if such land, grass, products or crops had been at such time protected on all sides by a lawful fence.
(C.R.S. 35-46-102)

"Lawful fence" must fence livestock out, is a well-constructed three barbed wire fence with substantial posts set at a distance of approximately twenty feet apart, and sufficient to turn ordinary horses and cattle, with all gates equally as good as the fence, or any other fence of like efficiency. Railroad right-of-way fences constructed in compliance with the statute in force on the date of construction and maintained in good condition shall be considered legal fences.
(C.R.S. 35-46-101)

Cruelty to Animals. "Abandon" means the leaving of an animal without adequate provisions for the animal's proper care by its owner, the person responsible for the animal's care or custody, or any other person having possession of such animal. "Neglect" means failure to provide food, water, protection from the elements, or other care generally considered to be normal, usual, and accepted for an animal's health and well-being consistent with the species, breed, and type of animal.
(C.R.S. 18-19-201)