By Karen Morfitt

DENVER (CBS4)– At the Denver City Council meeting Monday night, the public weighed in on the proposed repeal of the ban on pit bulls and other terrier dogs. The proposal passed by a 7-4 vote.

The law will take effect in 90 days if approved by the mayor. It ends the 30-year-old breed specific ban.

(credit: CBS)

The decision to replace the ban with breed specific licensing was made after more than an hour of comment from the community. Supporters argued the law is not only outdated but flawed.

“I think that it is archaic and based on bad information,” one supporter said.

The ban was put in place 1989 after a high profile attack on a 3-year-old child.

Opponents Tuesday argued a continued risk to public safety.

“In a nurturing environment pit bull behavior may be no different than any other dog, however many pit bulls do get cared for differently, which is why they are involved in a higher number of attacks,” an opponent said during his testimony to City Council.

(credit: CBS)

The divide among community members is one fueled by emotion and easily seen by those who showed up to Monday night’s council meeting, sharing personal experiences both good and bad.

“I walk these dogs with my mom and all they want is love and snuggles. It breaks my heart knowing they don’t have the loving home they deserve,” a young girl said about her experience working volunteering at a shelter.

“My wife and I walk a seven mile circuit in Montbello for exercise. Over a 10 year period we were attacked three times,” one man said.

The change would allow pit pulls in Denver under specific licensing requirements including the dog must be micro-chipped, vaccinated and spayed and neutered. It would also limit the number of pit bulls per household to two and owners would have to notify animal protection if the dog escapes or bites.

While some believe the changes were being considered too quickly, others say it is long overdue.

“It’s unfortunate to see a lot of our movements and progressive directions that are necessary that this is one that is overlooked,” one person said.

The changes will take 90 days to take effect at which time the city plans to release detailed information about new requirements.

Councilman Chris Herndon brought forward the legislation that would repeal the ban.

Karen Morfitt

Comments (6)
  1. Jacob and Susan says:

    Since we live in Denver and love bully breeds, if the ban stays then we’ll probably be adopting a Dogo Argentino (an amazing breed that is not banned) in the next few weeks.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dogo_Argentino

    While my wife and I didn’t initially want a dog this large (Dogo Argentinos are on average 2-3x larger than “pitbulls”, Dogos can be up to 120lbs while most “pitbulls” are around 40-50lbs), we’re closing on a house next week that has a larger yard and is is close to several parks and trail systems. Food and veterinary care will cost more, but if we can’t adopt a pitbull mix then we’ve already located a wonderful Dogo to adopt from a shelter in Texas.

    So, if the ban’s intent is to lead responsible owners who love the bully breeds to larger bully breeds, I guess so be it.

    Jacob & Susan in Denver

  2. JOHN C says:

    I FULLY SUPPORT THE REPEAL OF THIS INEFFECTIVE, DISCRIMINATORY, AND INHUMANE BAN. I LIVE IN DENVER AND WILL BE VOTING FOR COUNCIL MEMBERS THAT ARE IN SUPPORT OF THIS. THANK YOU!

  3. Richard L DePaulo Jr. says:

    💢The Full BAN should be “Restored”.
    💢The councils current measures as “A Big Joke”.
    💢Give them a little money because the city is money hungry and they’ll sell out Public Safety “. 💢No amount of money collected , No Doctor , No Hospital , – can put back one’s face, life or heart beat when the dog mutilates them.
    💢No Doctor No Medical Policy can restore anyone.
    💢 The people that own these dogs are irresponsible and insurance companies are raising all premiums in cities that “DoNot Ban Them”, do to the shelling out in all the cases of money by them to no end.

  4. Julie says:

    Thank you Denver for finally getting rid of the discriminatory ban! BSL is ineffective, obsolete, and is not supported by best practices for public safety that focus on relevant factors related to incidents such as behavior, aggression, and irresponsible ownership. There have been 40+ breeds and mixes that have been implicated in fatal attacks over the last several years which is why strong breed-neutral regulations (leash laws etc.) are more important and more effective: https://www.fataldogattacks.org/

  5. Julie says:

    Thank you Denver for finally getting rid of the discriminatory ban! BSL is ineffective, obsolete, and is not supported by practices for public safety that focus on relevant factors related to incidents such as behavior, aggression, and irresponsible ownership. There have been 40+ breeds and mixes that have been in implicated in fatal attacks over the last several years which is why strong breed-neutral regulations (leash laws etc.) are more important and more effective: https://www.fataldogattacks.org/

  6. Justin B in Denver says:

    Thank you Denver City Council for doing the right thing! Discrimination against great dogs and responsible owners has finally come to an end in Denver. For the council members that voted against this proposal, I will not be voting for you.

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