If any person keeping a public ranch or stable uses or allows to be used, without the consent of the owner, any horse, ox, mule, or ass that may have been left with him to be ranched or fed, he shall forfeit to the owner all ranch or stable fees that may be due upon such animal used and the additional sum of five dollars for each day such animal has been used, to be collected in the same manner as other debts.
Source: R.S. P. 234, 175. G.L. 775. G.S. 1035. R.S. 08: 2069. C.L. 6309. CSA: C. 50, 8. CRS 53: 41-2-4. C.R.S. 1963: 41-2-4.
Law reviews. For article, Measuring Damages for Tortious Injury to Companion Animals, see 42 Colo. Law. 21 (Feb. 2013).
This section evidently aims at people who keep public places. Its specific language is a public ranch or stable. This language can only be taken as intended by the general assembly to apply to those who keep stables or ranches for general use, and take, the contract being otherwise acceptable, whatever stock may be offered and by whomsoever it may be offered, so long as the parties are unobjectionable and willing to pay. Manifestly, it does not include all ranchmen nor all stable keepers. Harper v. Lockhart, 9 Colo. App. 430, 48 P. 901.
A keeper who has used some of the animals entrusted to him may nevertheless retain a lien upon those not used. Harper v. Lockart, 9 Colo. App. 430, 43 P. 901 (1897).
Burden of proving reduction in amount of lien is on plaintiff in replevin. A plaintiff in replevin, to recover animals from an agister, who desires to rely on the provision of this section, is bound to state the number of animals used, and to offer his proof for the definite purpose of reducing the amount of the lien which the defendant would be entitled to insist on. Harper v. Lockhart, 9 Colo. App. 430, 48 P. 901 (1897).