By Jeff Todd


DENVER (CBS4) – The ban on pit bulls and other terrier dogs took one step closer to being repealed on Monday night. Several Denver City Council members expressed concerns about taking away the 30-year-old breed specific legislation.

(credit: CBS)

“Breed specific legislation has a track record of not only not working in other cities, but actually making it more dangerous. You tend to have more dog bites in cities with BSL because there’s this false sense of security that’s built up by owners of other breeds,” said Shira Hereld, the co-founder of Replace Denver BSL.

Hereld says she and other members from her group have been working for months with Councilman Chris Herndon who has brought forward the legislation that would repeal the ban.

(credit: CBS)

There would still be several requirements pit bull owners would need to meet with Denver Animal Protection.

“It’s clearly not working for the city,” said Hereld who had to move out of Denver when she adopted her dog Mary. “I don’t trust that she would pass a visual assessment. We wanted her to be safe, and we didn’t want to be violating any laws.”

Councilwoman Debbie Ortega said her office is hearing from the public that they want the ban to stay in place by a ratio of two-to-one.

(credit: CBS)

“Our hope is that folks who have pit bulls or want pit bulls have a much higher licensing rates than the rest of Denver, because they know they’re being held under such stricter scrutiny. We want people to go out and license their dog because it’s a huge issue, the under licensing,” said Hereld. “It’s going to tell us a lot about how Denver can safely move forward on this issue.  We are aiming at public safety, and we truly believe that science and lived experience of other cities, shows that this is the best possible way to do this.”

Jeff Todd

Comments (8)
  1. no, I get harrassed for being a victim says:

    they should still be muzzled in public. My grandson is disfigured when my daughters pit of 4 years, just snapped. I was sttacked in WA state on a trial in June 19 and my daughter got bit by a friends pit when sleeping over her house. All Owners of each pit was dumbfounded. All said their babies were so meek and sweet. Stats don’t lie. People are more important than a dog. Any person over any dog.

  2. JULIE W in denver says:

    This is great news and a very positive step in the right direction. If public safety is the concern, then study after study after study has found that breed neutral is the way to go. I understand this isn’t a full repeal of the ban, but it’s still a step in the right direction – for safety and also for wonderful dogs and responsible dog owners. I support this proposal without any hesitation!

  3. Andy says:

    Denver city council are fools, pit bulls, drugs, safe injection camping on sidewalks these morons are turning Denver into a cess pool

    1. Diana Lunn says:

      Omfg 6 million pit type dogs in America and you and your infinite closed minded bigotry think that they are a kin to drugs Idiot

  4. Debbie ortega isnt listening to constituents. She’s listening to Dogsbite mass emails from NPBVA. Do licenses educate people? Sure, if they’re on ALL dogs. You put 1 type of dog under direct scrutiny for responsibility while still ignoring the rest of the owned dogs, even with your bite rates already out of control. In 2014, Denver was listed as a top 10 city for highest bite rates yet BSL was in full effect. Therefore, shouldnt the license be on ALL dog owners instead? to hold all dog owners to the same accountability as block head owners since these stats have shown this trend? Denver isnt being safe in this matter and the disguise of safety for registering dogs and licensing only certain people does NOTHING to promote education or safety for ALL breeds. If you’re going to do it for “public safety” then you’re already failing on public safety premise.

    And from looking at big brian saying “blood on their hands” is the typical dogsbite response of fear mongering attitudes.

    Licenses and period times etc to have registrations is STILL BSL, just a weakened form. What does the city council propose for all other dogs maiming and killing and mauling that dont fit the discription their ACO is trained on or licensurs? When is that going to be addressed?

    1. TimetoENDBsl says:

      Correct blood on their hands is very much a dogs..biteorg saying.. I have had it said to me many times…. responsible owners and there are thousands of them will have no issue abiding by these laws.. do we like it NO but we will comply.. to solely judge pit type dogs because of irresponsible dog owners is absolutely moronic.. having said that my son was badly mauled by a chocolate lab requiring 3 big operations and his leg is mangled.. going to muzzle those too? ALL dogs should be leashed in public REGARDLESS OF BREED. stop punishing responsible owners for the uneducated idiot owners.. dbo needs to stop their fear mongering and lumping ALL pit type owners as irresponsible, EDUCATION is the key.. dog bites are up despite BSL.. time to stop wasting $$$ and educate !!!

  5. Daniel K says:

    I fully support this change and believe that the archaic and discriminatory ban should be lifted. The ban does nothing to address truly problematic or aggressive dogs (of any breed) while still impacting many great dogs and responsible owners. Furthermore, many studies have concluded that risk (bite severity etc) is not breed-specific and that BSL is not effective. Therefore, I support this change which will provide a reasonable balance to support responsible owners while still having controls for irresponsible owners and aggressive dogs (of any breed). Also, “pit bull” is not a breed – it’s a blanket term that can encompass over 20+ different “bully” breeds (and even more mixes) so any “statistics” that lump all these different breeds together are not mathematically or scientifically valid and result in inaccurate conclusions about breeds and risk. This is a positive change representing a reasonable and equitable policy upgrade that is long overdue and I 100% support it.

    Kudos to the Denver City Council for finally tackling this ineffective policy.

  6. Residents want the ban left in place but this wacko city council thinks it knows better. City council will soon have blood on their hands from this.

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