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.
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 Supporters argued the law is not only outdated but flawed.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.
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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.
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.