Challenging Denver’s Pit Bull Ban

Posted by Megan A. Senatori, ALDF Volunteer Attorney on June 10, 2009

The United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit recently released an important decision allowing a case challenging the City of Denver, Colorado’s pit bull breed ban to move forward. The Animal Legal Defense Fund was part of the successful effort.

The history of the Denver pit bull breed ban is long and complicated. The ban was originally enacted by the City of Denver in 1989. Shortly after its enactment, a group of dog owners and humane associations challenged the constitutionality of the ban. The case ultimately was heard by the Colorado Supreme Court, which rejected the challenges and upheld the ban. Colorado Dog Fanciers, Inc. v. City & County of Denver, 820 P.2d 644 (Colo. 1991). Since then, numerous other legal challenges to the ban have been mounted. However, to date, those challenges have been unsuccessful.

In Dias v. The City & County of Denver, three plaintiffs sued the City of Denver, the County of Denver, and certain officials in the District Court of Colorado under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 challenging the pit bull ban. In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs, all of whose companion dogs had been targeted by the City of Denver, alleged that the breed ban was vague on its face and deprived them of procedural due process, substantive due process, and equal protection of the law. The plaintiffs contended that since May 9, 2005, Denver has impounded and killed at least 1,100 dogs pursuant to the breed ban. The plaintiffs sought to invalidate the ban and recover damages for the expenses they incurred in moving out of the city to comply with the ban. Early in the case, Denver moved to dismiss the action. Without allowing any oral argument, the United States District Court for the District of Colorado dismissed the case. The plaintiffs appealed to the Tenth Circuit.

Before the Tenth Circuit, ALDF filed an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief in support of the plaintiffs, highlighting for the Court the close bond between humans and their dogs. The goal of the amicus curiae brief was to stress to the Court the significant and important stakes the case presented for consideration. Under the breed ban, companion dog owners in Denver have been deprived of the companionship of their dogs for no other reason than the fact that their dog either was a pit bull or was perceived to be a pit bull. The Denver ordinance requires no showing that the dog presents a danger or risk to human safety in any respect. Rather, the ban is solely based upon the breed, or perceived breed, of the dog. ALDF does not support breed bans.

Last month, the Tenth Circuit issued its opinion which, among other things, reversed the District Court for dismissing the plaintiffs’ substantive due process claim at such an early stage of the litigation. The Tenth Circuit noted that the plaintiffs’ legal challenge to the statute was not controlled by the numerous other decisions rejecting challenges to pit bull bans. This is because the plaintiffs contended that although pit bull bans may have been justified 20 years ago by the then-existing body of knowledge, the state of science in 2009 no longer supports continuation of the ban. The Tenth Circuit noted that the plaintiffs’ claim found some support in the American Kennel Club and United Kennel Club standards themselves, which describe the American Pit Bull Terrier as an “extremely friendly” breed and “excellent family companions.” Therefore, while not ruling on the merits of the plaintiffs’ legal challenge to the ban, the Tenth Circuit reversed the District Court’s dismissal of the case and remanded the case for further proceedings.

Given the Tenth Circuit’s ruling, the case will now proceed in the District Court, where the plaintiffs will be able to present their case that the Denver breed ban is not rationally related to a legitimate government interest. In other words, the plaintiffs will be arguing that while protecting the public from dangerous dogs is an important goal, the Denver breed ban is an irrational way to serve that goal and, therefore, should be unlawful.


91 thoughts on “Challenging Denver’s Pit Bull Ban

  1. pit lover says:

    As the owner of pitbull, I can atest to their friendlines, their intelligence and their need for affection and close human companionship. Pit bull bans are ignorant, pointless and cruel.

  2. d says:

    Will someone please tell me all of the cities and counties in Colorado that have banned pit bulls? I have a relative who is going to move to Colorado and we need to know the areas that do not allow them. I used to think pit bulls were mean dogs but I found out that there are good and bad in all. This pit bull is THE SWEETEST dog ever!!

  3. Nat says:

    Does anyone know when the courts will be voting on this and if the public can have any say?

  4. Jerusha says:

    I am a pit-bull mix owner of five years and my dog is loving and wonderful. I am applying for jobs across the country and have some prospects in Denver. I wonder how this would hold up (Constitutionally we have the right to move from State to State without undue burden) if I were to move to Denver for a job? I don’t think I can risk having her ‘destroyed’ to prove a point though.

  5. Marliese Bonks says:

    There are no bad and dangerous dogs, only bad, mean, dangerous and criminal humans! If Denver bans pit bulls perceiving them as dangerous, why not ban drunks for killing people, gun owners, lunatics (particularly politicians), etc., etc., etc.

  6. Kathryn Dalenberg says:

    “Daddy” the pit bull is the balanced mentor dog used by The Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan, when he works on cases of dog behavior issues. The breed is not the problem. The problem is how the so-called caretakers are taking care of the dog. Come-on Colorado politicians! Don’t be so ignorant about this! Undo the mistake of banning the breed.

  7. Pit-bullied says:

    Pitbulls may be loving to their owners, but that doesn’t mean they’re not vicious to strangers or other dogs. Here in the Bay Area, where pitbulls are allowed, we see people and other animals attacked all the time — sometimes mauled — by pit bulls they’re adoring owners refused to take responsibility for. As someone who’s been chased and threatened by pitbulls when walking down my street or in my park (where I had to give up walking), I don’t care if pitbulls are loving to their families. That’s the problem with kennel clubs and dog owners — the rest of the world doesn’t exist when it comes to their animals.

    I’m sure many of these vicious pitbulls were very sweet — to their owners. Pitbull owners blame the victims — their denial is disgusting and outrageous. Allowing such people to have pitbulls is like giving mentally disturbed people assault weapons.

  8. Missy Hamilton says:

    To Pit-bullied:

    I have to say that I don’t think it is fair that you can say that you’ve had to give up walking in the park because you feel threatened by the pit bulls in your neighborhood. I am the owner of 2 pit bulls, and my dogs are not only friendly to my family, but also to people they don’t know, who we encounter on our evening walks. And as a matter of making a point about the problem with the owners vs. the problem with the breed I will tell you that I have been attacked by 3 dogs in my lifetime, and none of them have been pit bulls. My brother lost part of his right hand protecting me from an attack by a german shephard, and those are what are used as police K-9 officers!

    Now I’ll be the first one to admit that I never leave my pit bulls alone with my children, but that should go without saying for any breed. ANY BREED AT ANY TIME CAN TURN ON IT’S MASTER. The problem here is that pit bulls are targeted because they have the capability for more damage, even though they are far from the top of the list of aggressive breeds. I wonder if anyone stopped to think about the fact that Chihuahuas are more aggressive, before they decided to start sticking them in their purses?!?

    I consider myself to be a responsible pit bull owner. Both my male and female are fixed, so we won’t run the risk of people getting our puppies for fighting purposes, I keep up on all their shots including rabies, and I keep them inside until it’s time for a potty break in which case they are always on a leash anyway. As I have said before, I NEVER leave them unattended with my children, even though they are in their teens. All of these precautions I take, and my bulls are still targeted. And no one even realizes that my 3rd dog (a miniature greyhound) is actually way more aggressive.

  9. Missy Hamilton says:

    Oh, and by the way, more than likely, the park is a public park and not YOUR park…

  10. Judith says:

    To pitbullied: I totally disagree with your contention that pitbulls are not to be trusted. Unlike their human counterparts, i.e. Michael Vick et al. Dogs are not untrustworthy. Virtually all the pitties that were horribly abused by this sociopath have been rehabilitated and have new homes. To exclude a whole breed, which by the way, is an ancient breed, because you are afraid means perhaps you should get some help from a good therapist to deal with your irrational fears. It is fact that most dog bites in the U.S. are not from pits. Rather, from a variety of dogs who have mostly been harassed by the two-legged vAriety. You see, people such as yourself spread fear and hatred like a wildfire out of control and then others pick up on it and pretty soon, erroneous beliefs become true and a breed, or people of color or religion etc. are not welcome. Not because of them, but because of you.

  11. K. James says:

    Pit-bullied –

    You clearly illustrate your ignorance just like that of much of the general public when it comes to dog breeds. In an ever-increasing number of alleged pitbull attacks, investigation has shown the the dogs involved were not pitbulls or pitbull mixes, but in fact completely unrelated breeds. Pitbulls, bull terriers, staffordshire bull terriers, and other similar breeds of dogs are not naturally human-aggressive like protection breeds such as German Shepards, Akitas, Rotts, Dobbies, etc. Additionally, the breeds most likely to bite humans are Chihuahuas and Yorkies not pitbulls.

    The problem with dangerous dogs are bad, irresponsible owners not any particular breed! There are good and bad representatives of every dog breed. I urge you to go visit a responsible pitbull breeder or owner. You will see how loving and sweet pitbulls are to all humans.

    Breed bans are useless! Punish the deed, not the breed!

  12. K. James says:

    In an ever-increasing number of incidents of alleged pitbull attacks, investigation has shown that the doggie culprits were not pitbulls or pitbull mixes, but other unrelated breeds. Pitbulls and related breeds are NOT naturally human-aggressive as are protection breeds such as German Shepherds. The breeds most likely to bite humans are Chihuahuas and Yorkshire Terriers.

    The problem with dangerous dogs are bad, irresponsible owners not particular breeds. There are good and bad representatives of every breed. Punish the deed, not the breed!

  13. Kirstan Sanders says:

    It’s not a ‘my dog does this’ type of thing. THIS is a problem of the lack of owner responsibility, the apathetic council members, and their zealot city attorney (and the fact that he lends himself to ‘other cities’ to teach them to ban). There IS truth backing the fact that breed bans do not work. There IS truth that any dog can be responsibly managed. People need to be held responsible for the actions of their ‘charges’ be it a child or a pet. It doesn’t matter what type of pet. Owners should be held strictly accountable and be slapped with brutal, drop them to their knees, fines should their pet be found uncontained or unleashed or out of voice control. Voice control, incidentally, is calling your pet and, regardless of what or where they are, they spin around and come flying back to their owner no matter what. MOST (I’d guess over 90%) pet owners have NOT got this much of a relationship with their pet. Most pet owners do not do the work involved in having off leash reliable animals. This wouldn’t be a big deal if they’d keep their pets leashed. This is where fines come into play. It applies to all owners of whatever type of pet it is. YOU are responsible for what your dog does. YOU. Not the situation, not the dog.

    The right track for Kory Nelson and his lazy crew would have been to enact swift, financially staggering policy that would hold accountable the owners. They didn’t. They banned a breed and it did NOT cut down on the # of dog bites in the city. It’s lazy, it’s bias. It’s expensive. It’s unfair policy.

    Most organizations, including the CDC, the AVMA, the AKC, UKC and the ADBA along with the AHA, and the ASPCA are against the idea of banning or restricting pet ownership based on breed. Indeed, the STATE of Colorado does not support the idea of a breed ban.

    Just so you know: Kory Nelson did not defend the city’s right to BAN, he successfully defended the city’s right to home rule so the ban Denver enacted was upheld. To you Kory and Council: Unless you can sit in a shelter room and watch dog after dog after dog be put to death for nothing more than having a square head, you should NOT have the ability to make such a decision. You are gutless and you lack soul. Karma WILL catch up with you.

    Thank you ALDF and keep at it!

    Kirstan Sanders (and, of course, the pit bulls).

  14. MT says:

    d – I know it’s a little late to respond to your post, but here is a link with the cities that have banned certain breeds in Colorado. http://www.understand-a-bull.com/BSL/Locations/colorado.htm

    I hope that justice is served one day and that the owners are held accountable, not the breed. My pit has been attacked 3 times by mini pinchers. All 3 times he shook his head and they flew off, meanwhile their owners got mad at me. Another instance at a dog park fight; my pit came back and sat by me while all the other owners struggled to get their dogs out of the fight. At the conclusion of the dispute, many owners came over to me in disbelief because they had feared for their dogs life (because they knew my dog would destroy them). Before we left they wanted to know why he behaved so well. TRAINING!

    Thank you to all the folks working to protect my kid. My grandma’s nursing home thanks you as well.

  15. KS says:

    To Pit-bullied: I challenge you to own a pit bull yourself to truely understand their sweet nature. “You don’t know until you try”. Watch the Dog Whisperer on National Geographic channel, Its Me or the Dog on Animal Planet, read breed specific books, spend some time with pit bulls to get a clearer picture. Please educate yourself before you make a sweeping generalization for the entire breed based on your experience in a park. You are entitled to your opinion, but make sure that its an educated one.

  16. Lord B says:

    Well, I guess it’s my time to speak about this a little. I am a dog man. Have always been one. I have game dogs, house dogs, horses, cats, birds, fish, and even turtles. They all live together. My game dogs go hunting with me (boar) and they are old world blood (fighting stock). This means, that they come from some of the best blood in the world, (colby, jeep, snooty, alligator). Now if I was a man who fought his dogs, I would say I have some of the best dogs for it. However, I don’t. I live with my family in Calabasas (in Los Angeles county). I use them for boar hunting which one of my monthly activities. These dogs are left alone with my children, sleep in my bedroom (and the kids rooms), protect my house, love my family, and are just as much a family member as anyone else. All of my animals get along and love each other because we created that environment from the very point they entered my property. Aggressive behavior is discouraged. Tranquility in the house is rewarded. It’s just that simple.

    So, bottom line, treat your animals as such and all will be well. Encourage agressive behavior and your result will be an aggressive dog. If you are a young teen or an adult who is insecure and needs a tough looking and acting dog to feel powerful, then you should be euthanized for your incompetence in the human race.

    To people in states that their dogs are taken away or have been taken from them: I sympathize with you greatly. If someone were to come to my door to take away any animal I own, you would have to do it taking my life, because you would be met with an arsenal. I would fight to the death before you would claim any one of my dogs, as it would be like taking a child of mine.

    From one dogman to another.

    Lord B

  17. KiraDnote says:

    I know it’s late to add to this post. But as a first time pit bull owner I have two of them. My two pits have never harmed me or anyone that I know in any way. My oldest pit Ceaser is almost two and he’s wonderful with childern and he’s never left unattended with them. Ceaser isn’t dog aggressive towards other dogs either, nor is he aggressive towards his brother Bronx which he’s only 8 weeks old. As a responiable pit bull owner, I socialize my puppies as earlier as four to six weeks of age, with people, childern, and other dogs and even cats and ect. So my point is, it’s how you raise any dog, not just the pit bull breed.

  18. Tanya says:

    I think that pitbulls are very friendly dogs. Ignorant people like Michael Vick are to blame. Ignorant people need to be punished NOT the dogs. I have 6 pitbulls and I can take them anywhere and I have no problems with them. They come into my house and play with my cat and they show no aggression. I am angry for what Denver, Colorado is doing to pitbulls and it needs to be stopped. We as pitbull owners need to stand up for the right of the dogs and fight against those who no longer want them living. Think about it if someone hit you and beat you everyday would you attack others or love others. Same goes for the dogs . If you hit a dog everyday any dogs they are not going to be nice. That goes for any breed of dog. Please as animal lovers help stop the punishment of the dogs and stand up for there rights.

  19. Andrea says:

    To Missy Hamilton:

    Yes, any breed can turn on its owner. But there are few breeds that have the strength a pit bull does if it does decide to snap.

    On a more general note:
    While I totally agree that it has more to do with pit bull owners than the pit bulls (many of which I have seen on the news after maulings seem to be the type that can’t seem to accept any responsibility), until we have some sort of system to completely remove irresponsible owners from the mix, I am not against the ban. They can be dangerous dogs in the right hands, let alone the wrong ones. Let me know when that happens, and then maybe I’ll change my opinion.

  20. Stacy says:

    Andrea, by that logic we should also ban cars, knives, guns, and over the counter medications as any irresponsible idiot can use these to harm other people. Would you give up your car because some people are irresponsible with them?

  21. ashley says:

    this is the dumbest shit i have ever herd..banning pitbulls from colorado.. ..wtf thats the dumbest shit i have ever herd in my fucking life. …i think thats a little bit prejadse …just becuase the dog is a pitbull they automatically assume it has to be destroyed what type of shit is that..so what happens when people start fighting german shepards and shit are they going to ban that breed too..thats the stupidest shit i ever herd in my life. maybe they should restrict CERTAIN people to have aggressive dogs…..instead of being lazy and just trying to ban a breed thats horrible..law enforcemnt needs to grow up they are a joke so is this criminal justice system.

  22. Lauli says:

    That logic is absurd, Andrea. ……..I am the owner of a pit bull mix and i live in Denver. I moved here not knowing about the ban until it was too late to back out. I have to HIDE my best friend and drive an hour away to let him off his leash to run around!! This ban is rediculous. My dog gets along great with all dogs, children. He doesn’t need a leash and is very well trained. I can’t walk him down the same street I was walking down the night that my neighbor’s chow bit ME!!!

  23. Andrea Stachowski says:

    I grew up in Denver for almost my entire life. During that time I worked at the Denver Humane Society and watched as they put every pit-bull they found in a cage a euthanized them only an hour later. No behavior tests were performed on the dog, no aggression screening. I was indifferent to pit bulls at that point in my life- no bias but I never thought I would want one. I then moved to Durango, Co where I reside now. The most beautiful boy I have ever seen entered my life on June 26th of 2009. He is full blood pit and we lovingly named him Cassisus. He is the light of my dark days and I can’t imagine him being out of my life. Because of economic downturn, there are no jobs to be had in Durango, so myself, my fiancé and Cassius will have to move back to Denver. There is no way I will ever give him up and I am very angry that I cannot return to a city I was born and raised in with the dog I have the Constitutional right to have. This is not equal protection of the laws as Denver is flatly discriminating against pit bulls based solely on biased formed by legislature, I hope this case is ruled and the law reversed so I can enjoy my hometown with my best friend.

  24. Megan says:

    to anyone who has said they have been chased or bullied by pitbulls, take a look at this website to see if you can identify the pitbull, then you can re-evaluate whether you are qualified to identify the dogs that are “bullying” you.

    http://www.pitbullsontheweb.com/petbull/findpit.html

    also, as the owner of an extremely friendly lab dog, i can attest that we sometimes walk by people who start yelling and freaking out as we walk by, even if my dog is completely ignoring them or wagging her tail. people are ignorant.

  25. William A says:

    Ignorance is bliss!!!

    First off, let me explain I am a victim of a dog bite, in fact I was 8 years old and attacked in my own living room by my loving Lab. Who was abused by my mothers boyfriend with an axe handle. I then since grew up with pit bulls other labs etc. I currently am the proud owner of a boxer, a rat terrier mix, a cocker spaniel and a pit bull/rottie mix. The fact is my cocker spaniel who is an ex show dog and won best of breed many years in a row is more aggressive at 15 years of age than my pit bull. My 12 week old rat terrier is more aggressive than my pit bull/rottie mix is.. in fact he is common for running and crying because the rat terrier hurt him.

    I have seen and rescued pit bulls that have been so abused one that had battery acid poured down its back and she thinks she is a lap dog. I have seen pit bulls roll over submissive to a new born baby being brought home.

    Any terrier breed including pit bulls needs to be properly socialized within the first six months of life. It should meet over 100 different people, be exposed to many sounds, placed etc. To be a well rounded animal. Proper health, training an home is what makes a good dog. I have been around wolf hybrids and many dogs all my life. I have been more scared of house cats than I will ever be of a pit bull. Common sense and approach to any dog you dont know is proper.

    It frustrates me with anyone who allows their child to walk up to my dogs without asking my permission. They do not know my dog. And for the person who posted they they have been chased by a pit bull .. i would imagine any dog would chase you. Animals sense feelings an emotions. If you show fear they want to know why. Standing your ground and showing alpha position is what is required. The dogs that turn are because they have not been shown their proper placement in the pack and in the human world.

    The history of the pit bull an terrier breeds ranges back to frontier times. They were often used to keep rodents away. Their breed is one in a million.

    My take on this issue is a socialably acceptable type of racism. Giving a blanketed stand point to put everything in a nice neat pile of BS!!! The bottom line is this breed has been exploited and the worse brought out in it. The same can be held true for almost any breed that has not been properly screened before allowing it to spawn. ….

    Perhaps the ban should now be carried to stupid people with a lack of wisdom so they could not breed more stupid ignorant people. Perhaps then those in the animal kingdom trusted to us would be far better served.

    Proper safety in approaching any unknown animal are as follows!

    1. Never approach an animal you don’t know without the permission of the owner.
    2. Allow the owner to make the introduction.
    3. close your hand in a fist position and let the dog smell you before you reach to touch it.
    4. If the dog shows no signs of distress than you may pet the dog, cat, horse whatever.

    A close fist will in fact protect you if the dog does go to bite or any animal for that matter.

    In the end both sides need to wake up. Those that have any dog who are not really in tune with their animal should not have animals. And those walking around spreading half truths should educate themselves on what they speak about before they speak out of turn. Education and knowledge has always set things in the right direction. Animals are very much nature. but their behaviors can be modified to appeal to humans. It is all about properly educating yourself to deal with the breed you wish to own. And being consistant with its training and behavior.

  26. josie says:

    I have two amazing pit bulls with the warmest sweetest temperament of any animal I have ever interacted with. This breed is amazing and misunderstood, as for the ban it’s racist!!!

  27. Anonymous says:

    THANK YOU FOR THIS! I cannot find a place to live ANYWHERE in the metro area because of this ban. My pitbull is the most lovable pet i’ve ever had, and it’s not fair for her or for me, as her owner. We get looks of disgust from people on the street for no reason at all and it’s *NOT RIGHT*. The ban should be for AGGRESSIVE pets in general, on a case by case basis, not breed restrictions. I was almost mauled by a Rottweiler as a child, it’s not right. PERIOD.

  28. Edster says:

    Anyone that owns and exposes the public to a pit bull or any other “aggressive” dog is a selfish, small-egoed, hateful, self-serving bastard. Plus, the type of person that owns these dogs are aggressive by nature. Why else would they seek out these breeds…huh?

  29. catladyd says:

    Edster… before you start throwing out opinions, gets your facts right!! Most pit bull owners are quite the opposite from aggressive! That’s why they are able to own a strong willed dog, and not have issues with them. Dogs look to their owner for guidance for behavior, if it’s the right guidance any dog can be a great dog. Do you own a dog? if so what kind? Do you know the statistics are higher for Golden’s biting? It’s mostly because ignorant owners think “perfect family dog” means they don’t have to train, or work with them. Did you also know you are more likely to be struck by lightning that seriously injured from a dog bite? Learn your statistics before saying certain dogs should be banned, or killed! All dogs can bite, especially if they’re in the wrong owner hands. I’d like to know what kind of research you’ve done to have such a strong opinion.
    Pit bulls are great dogs! Did you know that most of Vick’s dogs were rehabilitated, and are now living in homes with people? I bet not! I’ll bet you can’t even recognize a Pit when face with one. I’ll even provide you with a link to see if you can pick out a Pit.
    Here’s another interesting fact, as a child I was bitten by a Spaniel, not the pits I worked with in the shelter.
    Here’s an analogy… the gun didn’t pull its own trigger, the person holding it did!
    Here’s the link, let me know what you find out.
    http://www.pitbullsontheweb.com/petbull/findpit.html
    P.S. There was a recent article about a Pit fighting to stay alive because when four other dogs (not pitts) attacked, she didn’t fight back. My what a mean dog! Doesn’t make sense does it? If you want a ban, don’t live with one.
    I’d love to see the ban on Pits lifted, and a ban on ignorant people voting passed!

  30. John Benjamin says:

    My beloved friend Cuervo Gold (who happened to be a “pit bull”) passed away after 16 years. Cuervo was not only my best friend but was also a valued, trusted and loved member of our family. Never attacked another animal or person and was one of the most stable animals I have ever been around.
    I have always been a responsible pet owner and understand that any dog in the hands of an incapable, irresponsible or ill-intentioned person can be dangerous. I believe the Denver breed specific ban is not only ignorant but dangerous. The humans/sociopaths that could not be responsible to provide and care for a bull terrier will move onto some other breed that they won’t be able to be a responsible for and then what- poodles will be banned. I love the city of Denver (mostly) I am however very ashamed that we have let the people who we put in office put such a knee jerk, half thought out law into effect. You know what’s even more shameful- the punishment and fines that get imposed on the sociopaths who abuse, neglect and torture innocent animals. Not that Michael Vick didn’t take a few lumps (not near enough in my book) for his atrocious behavior but I think there are many more Michael Vicks out there that get off much easier and with a lot less notoriety. Let’s face it-any person that mistreats an animal is the worst of our society has to offer but we don’t treat them that way. Instead we euthanize canines. To take this one step further, in the next election I will be looking at the people that I choose to cast a vote for to be smart and logical enough that they can decipher between hysteria and logic.

    Let’s ban together against the breed specific ban and the nuts who put it into law.

  31. Jon says:

    I agreed to petsit what people tell me and I have come to conclude is an APBT. This was in like early May 2010. The guy I worked with, he was moving and couldn’t hold onto Blue (who was 11 months old) during this time. He lived in east Aurora with Blue, unregistered of course because of BSL. I live in south Denver city and county and when I agreed to watch Blue I knew pit bulls were banned in Denver but I knew nothing specific about the history or the actual technicalities of the ban. Come to find out when I read the bill, it seems like you can’t even VISIT Denver and bring your pit. The law is transparently ignorant but there’s been enough said about that already.

    I have a wife and a 4 year old boy and before I agreed to watch Blue I read literature from various sources on pits and concluded Blue, with proper supervision and care, would be a great dog to have around for a few weeks. We knew Blue was very hyper, his owners let him tear stuff up around the house, they let him wrestle, and he only had one very small hard plastic toy that looked much older than he was. They lived in a small apartment and Blue only got walked for 15 minutes a few times a day.

    Not to mention before these owners Blue was born into an abusive household – I have no idea about his history in terms of his family tree so to speak. To this day he still flinches if you move to pet him too fast… So I knew what I was getting myself into from the beginning. I would need to vigilantly watch this dog while he was with us. I grew up rescuing and training dogs with my mom. Our family dogs I grew up with were all the variety that would drop what they were doing when offeash and come every time. So although I had zero previous experience with pits, I was (and still very much am) supremely confident I would be an excllent match for this kind of dog.

    So now its July 6th 2010 and I haven’t heard from Blue’s previous owner since May. We’ve basically adopted him for now, although we are of course concerned about Denver’s BSL and its implications on our life. I have no problem ignoring Denver’s BSL until someone comes trying to enforce it. No matter how much I love this dog if the government tries to enforce their bullshit there is probably not much I can do reasonably to stop them. We can’t move right now or we would in a second. And come on, you must understand how I feel about the thought of giving this dog to yet another person or rescue facility or whatever. We have family a short drive away with lots of land and if we absolutely have to we love this dog so much we are going to keep him close to home.

    First of all, to be clear, Blue is a completely different dog now almost. During the first week at our house he DID NOT like my son and would stalk him around the basement, even nipping at him twice. Amazingly Blue took our proper discipline and care EXTREMELY well. Blue turned around with our son quicker than I have ever seen a dog become friendly with kids. Our child is respectful and kind to Blue as well, unlike some parents allow their children to act with animals.

    Either way : in 2 months with a pit bull with a questionable past in terms of training, discipline, and socialization and so on… in 2 months this dog loves (nice) kids, learned and is very obedient for a dozen or so commands, and has really earned a little love and respect from my family and a few of our neighbors. I don’t know at all how common this is, but Blue almost always obeys a direct command from my son as well. He does this of his own volition as we never would have tried to train a dog to listen to a preschooler.

    We still don’t let him off leash at all except alone in the back yard. To clarify we will almost certainly never let him off the leash in any type of public area. We have friends in Lone Tree with baby girl boxers and pits so we’ll be up there to socialize our dogs. Otherwise when Blue meets strange dogs on leash in the park he’s just very hyper and doesn’t really seem to know what to do. He doesn’t “play nice” although he is never the aggressor. If either dog is aggressive it is without exception the other dog. Blue is curious when the other dog barks or growls but he never shows fear or distress. He’s a great dog.

    As I write this I am sitting on my back porch and Blue is splayed out in the shade on the lawn under the tree. Later today we’ll probably all 4 of us go to a park in Littleton where there is no BSL. I still risk walking Blue at the park near my house, hoping that a simple walk won’t ever turn into me getting harangued and Blue possibly getting taken away.

    I’m scared a little for Blue and don’t know what to do. I can’t find any recent info about how serious the pit bull ban is in Denver. This damn dog doesn’t need yet another home somewhere he needs a happy stable nice life which MY FAMILY can give him. My head is going to explode. WHAT DO I DO?

  32. Mike says:

    I like many other bullie breed owners have found that people are not educated about this breed. Just think if we where 150 years ago we wanted strong, protective, and multi-tasking breeds. We created the breed so we must understand that they are a working dog. All they want is to please their pack leader. If you do not know how to train a dog to interact with your pack, you will have animals acting on instinct. Each dog has a personality. If you see you have an alpha dog make sure you know how to cater to that trait. When training a bullie NEVER HIT THE DOG!!!! I can not say that loud enough. Do not ever, ever, ever take any object and smack, pop, thrust at the dog in any way. What you are doing is teaching the dog that when something the pack leader doesn’t allow you must use force to enforce the rules. When you see a dog all of a sudden lash out it is only doing what you taught it. When you do something they do not like use force to enforce. That is why you see children mauled, the dog see’s it self status in the pack higher than a child. So when the child is doing something the dog thinks is not right it will lash out thinking it is teaching the child either the pack order or pack behaviors. Since you taught them to use force they will. There are good online sites to help you with being a good pack leader (Go Caesar Milan!! HAHA). Sorry for my rambling! I just want to educate those who have the breed, so they understand it is their responsibility to make sure this never happens again. I would rather take a 20 hour class to own a bullie than see government nonsense laws.

  33. sir says:

    i agree with mike on everything he is saying. and i am a pitbull owner and i live in denver but im never going to give up my dog to any one this breed in my opinion is the most loyal breed of them all and they are great family dogs. i want to start a pettion but don’t know can anyone help me.

  34. Jaime says:

    Sir: unfortunately, it’s too late for a petition that would get any vote on the ballot this year. On the other hand, that’s probably a good thing; with all the ignorant individuals out there like Kory Nelson and your average “Joe the Plumber” types who wouldn’t know a pittie from a donkey, we’d likely end up with a breed ban in the whole state! Frankly, that’s what I’m afraid of happening if Hickenlooper becomes governor – and I have his sign in my front yard, so this isn’t a political rant, just a legitimate worry based on the fact that he as mayor of Denver supports this ban.

    I don’t live in Denver, thank God, because I now have a pit bull of my own, and I would also fight to the death to DEFEND her and keep her safe. To the ignorant individual who said that those of us who “seek out these breeds” are aggressive, let me state that this dog happens to be my service animal, as I am a disabled female. Can’t get less aggressive than someone who is crippled, eh? This “breed” happens to be more empathetic, loyal, even-tempered, trainable and intelligent than any other, thus making it perfect for such a role. Scary thing is, however, that people like this guy get all emotional every time we walk down the street (with all the neighborhood dogs in their backyards that don’t ever get socialized barking and hurling themselves against their fences and my perfectly well-behaved dog completely ignoring them). These people actually RUN away from us – a tiny woman and her clearly identified service animal – because of their ignorance and self-imposed stupidity. And they are the ones who are screaming for these bans to continue, and who are getting them enacted in more cities around the country every day. I’m facing the prospect of having to move back to the metro area soon for medical reasons, and have no idea where I’ll go. Even in the cities where my companion isn’t banned, the rental units ban the breed, homeowners and renters insurance companies won’t write policies to people who own them, cabs refuse to pick us up, bus drivers won’t let us on – all this is discrimination prohibited by the ADA, by the way. But until Denver’s irrational, ill-conceived, hysteria driven, Nazi ban is struck down, we will continue to suffer.

  35. pheret says:

    having dealt with the “pit bull problem” for more than a decade in san francisco and oakland and now to come to colorado to find the same problem all i can say is a dog is what you create.

    remember that most dogs were bred for a reason and you were quite aware of it and, for instance, did not let your mastiffs near your hunting dogs.

    we have spent eons breeding these animals to be what we wanted and now we are condemning them for performing spectacularly.

    it is the complete responsibility of the adult dog guardian to prevent injury to another person and, no doubt, the destruction of an animal that had no idea it was doing “wrong.”

    if you or your child are afraid of dogs, please do not go through your local dog park. it’s hard enough to maintain a balance among the dogs without the tension of the fearful.

    i have been bit, btw, by lahsas, a mastiff, dachsunds, a german shepherd, a golden retriever and a lab. i spent a lot of time at my dog park. never once did i feel threatened by a pit bull except for their tails which really are deadly to sunglasses.

    i would not personally have a pit bull because, if people would do their homework, because this is a TERRIER which means LOTS OF ENERGY and i am lazy! and again we bred them to HOLD ON and that they do!

    you know, the state of colorado can’t manage to keep track of its own wildlife; if somebody asks it’s a staffy mix or bull terrier mix or an american bulldog and i guarantee you few will know the difference. just be good to your dog, yourself and your community.

  36. jd says:

    In the 60’s it was German Shepards.
    In the 70’s it was Dobermans.
    In the 80’s it was Rotwillers.
    Now it’s Pit Bulls.
    Who will be next.

    Gang members, child molesters, rapists,and murders are treated better then my lap dog.

    When will these ignorant goobers see the light?

  37. Lin says:

    Denver, CO is not just banning the dogs…they stole them from their owners and murdered them. I was just on a horrendous site and saw a picture of piles of dogs and puppies slain by the cruel, heartless fools in Denver. Shame on you Denver. What a worthless place to live!! Anyone who thinks this is a solution I also consider worthless, cold, and evil.

  38. Jeannette says:

    Agressive animals MUST be put to sleep. The breed of the dog does not matter, but it just so happens that Pittbulls are very agressive and statistically have killed and injured many people and dogs. To protect ourselves from these dogs, we have made laws that you may or may not agree with. If you don’t like Denver’s law, don’t move there, but I know I would, because everytime I walk in my neighborhood, I have to watch out for two Pitts that growl, jump into the fence, bark like mad – very scary animals. How fair is it to me that I can’t even get mail without being assaulted by these dogs? Until they shred a kid, nothing will be done. How badly do I want them killed? I wish for it everyday…

  39. Sarah says:

    Pit bulls are people friendly and dog aggressive. Any dog can be scary even a chihuahua. I have two pits myself and they are the most wonderful dogs ever. Very friendly, loves to be around my husband and me. They are wonderful with kids and yes even my 3 month old nephew. People are dumb and ignorant. Every time you hear about a dog attacking they say a pit bull, but it could be any bully breed. Its all how you raise them, as with any dog. These bans and laws are so f***ing dumb. Charge the damn owners not the dogs. Normal dogs just dont attack for no reason. Try to remember that! If you have a pit on one side of a gate and have kids throwing stuff at them and being mean to the dogs, then yeah I would attack you too. Why dont people just think?

  40. masondog says:

    anyone know when a decision will be reached on the legality of the ban? or is the judicial system going to turn a blind eye to logic and keep up their blatantly ignorant enforcement of prejudice against these animals?

  41. johnny says:

    has anybody seen the pictures of the pit bulls slaughtered because of the ban. they look like pictures from the holocaust, bodies stacked on bodies, id be more worried about the type of people allowing this to take place more than the breed itself. all in all it is very cruel. what more can bull owners and admirers do to put the hammer down and save this beautiful loyal breed, and reverse the ban.

  42. Laura says:

    I agree. The ban on pit bulls is turning out to be the same as genocide. I own a pit bull and honestly he is the most affectionate dog I have ever encountered. He would rather cuddle with me on the couch or play ball at the dog park than hurt anyone. Every single breed of dog has the possibility of being dangerous, it completely depends on how they are raised. The ban is discriminatory and should not be tolerated.

  43. I wont testify in church about how sweet my three pit bulls are, or that they stood vigil over my mom for 2 weeks while she recovered from her 4th brain tumor surgery. I wont go on to say that they are friendly with children nor will I note they have a keen sense in detecting special needs children and act accordingly in their presence.

    I WILL go on record as saying that the ban in Denver has no (nor did it ever have) any merit except the city of Denver’s Home Rule Authority. The city has not one expert witness who endorses their breed ban, they have no public records demonstrating the bans effectiveness, and even in the face of certain litigation (that they themselves admit they will lose)… Denver City officials cant get out of their own way.

    Personally, I have been on the Anti Denver BSL wagon for just under 5 years. In that time, I have moved from So Calif to Colorado to engage the city and its officials directly. I have met the players, listened to their stances, and can confidently say … It’s time the city of Denver had new leaders. The current governing body is old, old in their thinking, in no way concerned with public safety, and are all about avoiding liability. Oddly, the city now (2011) faces multiple class action and federal lawsuits over their ban.
    The one thing they most wanted to avoid has come up and bit them all in the (_Y_).
    Funny old world we live in, huh?

    Chef David Edelstein
    and Team Pit-a-Full
    http://www.TeamPitAFull.org
    The Denver Dog Killing Machine/ Facebook.com

  44. Samantha says:

    I own a pit bull and I am not aggressive nor selfish. The pit bull I have I rescued from a bad home and he is amazing. I gave a 3 year old nephew that likes to ride him and Tank (my pit) loves it. It is the owners that think that they do not have to work with their pit. Pits are very strong and very protective. I can not imagine my life with out Tank. I have had several dogs over the years and honestly my pit is the best dog I have ever had. It is ignorant owners. Every year approx. 16,000 people are murdered and no one seems to care but as soon as some one gets attacked by a pit and mind you 90% of “pit attacks” the dog is in fact less than half pit breed. Labs have the highest attack rate in the nation chihuahuas are second. Pits are one of the last dogs on the list. No body bothers to research that. It us not the breed it’s the owners but people are to cowardice to own up to their mistakes and would rather blame the breed than their own ignorance and neglect.

  45. Kristi says:

    I have grown up with pits my entire life. When I was 2 years old my dad got me one as my first pet. Now although I can’t remember that age. I see the videos as him walking next to me and always being by my side but would never hurt a fly, in fact most of my time with him was him licking me more than anything. Since then I have owned 7 pit bulls in my life time and they are the most loyal dog I have ever had. I currently live in Lakewood with my pit Gage. The neighbors next door have a 2 year old that comes over and plays with her almost every day, she wouldn’t hurt a fly. PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW ITS NOT THE DOG ITS THE OWNER THEMSELVES DOING THIS. I can’t stand anyone who says its just the breed because they honestly have no idea what these dogs are really like. Maybe you guys should spend some time with these dogs and realize they are just as sweet and loving and caring as any other breed.

  46. Matthew Foster says:

    “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. ”
    Ghandi

    During World War 2, Jews living throughout Germany had few options. They had to leave Germany, hide, or face death. Many Germans allowed/supported the situation because of misinformation they were fed about the proposed danger of Jews to Germany by politicians.

    Pit Bulls used were well known as Nanny Dogs once upon a time. Follow this with the fun fact that Pit Bulls were mascots for America during the World Wars and now they are either hidden, relocated, or executed without any form of human compassion at all. Now many Americans are allowing/supporting this persecution of pit bulls because of the misinformation and portrayal of the breed by our current media.

    Denver=Nazi Germany if your a pit bull lover. Very sad for such a progressive City.

  47. anonymous says:

    the pits ARE NOT destroyed in denver, if they catch you your dog may be taken in and held at the shelter until you move yourself to a nearby county that allows pits, or rehome the dog wether its with friends/family/or a new owner that also live in a area where pits are allowed. also when they do get pits at the shelter they find rescues or other shelters that allow pits. the very very very very last resort is euthanizing the animal. and thats very rare.

  48. Barry says:

    Dog breed specific bans are unjustified. Pit bulls are not inherently aggressive and dangerous dogs. They are one of the best family dogs in any of the breeds and were the number one family pet in America at the turn of the century. Im sorry to say this but the powers in being who passed this law in Denver are beyond the words ignorant and this law should be reversed and all such laws banning dog breeds should be reversed as well.

  49. love my pitbulls says:

    I have three pitbulls and they are the best dogs I have ever owned. My oldest male is a big baby that loves attention and the only thing he will do is lick you to death. Vicious, right? My younger male is playful and a lover. He always wants to be near me and he likes to cuddle. My female, who is the youngest, loves everyone. The only time she gets angry is if you’re not petting her. So many people want to blame the breed and that is not right. Blame the owners. Any dog can be aggressive if they are trained to be and small dogs bite more than larger breeds. Look at Michael Vicks dogs. He was terrible to them and taught them to fight. All of his dogs were taken from him, thankfully, and they were given to rescues. There is a show on tv called dog town. They were given many of Vicks dogs for rehabilitation and adoption. One female stood out due to her aggression. The judge told dog town that they could take her so she would not be destroyed but there was a catch. Dog town had to keep her and she was not to be adopted due to the aggression. They showed this girl on tv and she was very aggressive. She had to be kept separate and in a private room. When the camera men approached the room to film her through the window, she acted like she was going to rip the door down. That dog has since been rehabilitated and adopted. Another example would be the baby that was killed by the family dog in California. The baby was left alone with the dog, the dog mauled the baby and she later died of her injuries. The family dog was a pomerainian. Pitbulls are considered to be one of the best family dogs. They are smart, loyal, great with kids, and aim to please. When it comes to the fight or flight response, pitbulls are said to be more apt to respond to the flight response. For example, if you have your dog in your yard and an intruder enters, the dog will respond by barking and backing away. If you have your dog tied up in your yard, he will bark and attempt to flee. When he cannot flee, he will be more likely to bite out of fear. I read many comments on here of people bashing the breed and they are uneducated and ignorant. Learn about a topic before you run your mouth about it. I have been around many pitbulls and I have never been attacked and my friends children all play with my pitbulls without one single thing happening. Don’t blame the breed. Instead, blame the bad owners who turn these loving friends into violent weapons.

  50. Jerome Simms says:

    My neighbor has a pit bull, we cannot be anywhere in our yard or around our house without being barked at non-stop. If we go anywhere near our side of the fence in our yard, the pit bull lunges at the fence and barks even more. We are going to have to move before we have kids, as there is no question that a hand through the fence would be ripped off. I have never seen an animal this mean, loud, vicious, and aggressive, even in a zoo. We don’t feel safe in our own yard. There are several other breeds that can assist human’s as service dogs that are not as threatening to every human other than the owner. What about my right to not get attacked every time I am outdoors in the vicinity of my own house on my property. These dogs should be banned. Owners should quit acting like this is about the rights of the owners and admit that they simply love the fact that these beasts scare the s… out of everyone.

  51. People like you annoy me. says:

    @Jerome Simms,

    Don’t blame a dogs behavior based on the breed of it. Seriously, blame the owner for not teaching the dog how to act right.

  52. Ray says:

    Jerome what makes you think that the dog next door is mean and aggressive just because its a pitbull? I have a neighbor who has a 9 pound chihuahua who is the most vicious little dog imaginable. the dog attacks everyone so maybe we should have a blanket ban on chihuahua’s cause you know the one next door is aggressive so they all must be aggressive right? I have seen mean dogs of every breed shape and size shit ive even seen a vicious teacup poodle. To say the pitbull ban is justified in anyway is just plain dumb and ignorant. Sure there are mean pitbulls there are mean cats and snakes and even bunny rabbits but they don’t speak for the entire breed now do they? Look up dog attack statistics and you will actually see that most attacks aren’t in fact by pitbulls. Educate yourself next time so to prevent yourself from sounding like an illiterate bastard

  53. Ray says:

    oh also say we are just talking about nice simple statistics. Well the 3 breeds of dogs that are most likely to be aggressive/bite are in order:
    1: Daschund- yes the hot dog/sausage dogs statistically 1 in 5 bites a stranger
    2:Chihuahua- yep those annoying little yappers are 10!!!!! times more likely to bite a stranger than a pitbull
    3: and last is the Jack Russel Terrier another small dog but equally as prone to meanness.
    Now i dont believe any dog is born mean it is all how they are raised but for those who like simple facts well enjoy the statistics

  54. Susan Greenberg says:

    I am not a Pit Bull owner, but an care greatly and am appalled to hear this ban in Denver. I amount of ignorance displayed in enforcing this ban is paramount. Pit Bulls should NOT be the scapegoats. NOTE to those who exploit these animals are indeed criminal. You have succeeded in developing a bad name for a truly loving breed. Funny the only dog that ever bit me was a small breed mix. NOT a pit bull. How horrible
    Denver has become to generalize that ALL of any breed is dangerous. Many families love their pit bulls and are responsible dog owners. Why can’t Denver judge dog attacks by individual cases and not generalize , and mark for death this breed.
    STOP THIS MADNESS!!!

  55. aaron says:

    Jerome, have you tried to talk to the neighbor to get introduced to the dog?

  56. carrie says:

    I grew up with German shepherds my whole life.about 6 years ago my parents who were both police officers at the time decided to purchase another one. Well for the first time in my life I actually saw a mean one. He went after the face of any uniformed officer or red head. I feel any and every breed can get a so called bad seed. Just like humans that murder. Not all of them were raised in a abusive home. I feel it is totally unfair to do this to pit bulls. How about abusive men even woman that are aggressive towards their spouses. Should we euthanize them? No they get so called rehabilitated and are out of jail in no time. Bull crap to Denver law… I would move for my 5 dogs even if its a county over before I let them take away my best friends….. Carrie/Massachusetts

  57. Jill says:

    I am very disgusted by the ban on pit bulls. My family and I were going to visit Denver on family vacation. WE ARE CANCELLING IT! I cannot believe the killing of innocent dogs the CITY OF DENVER is doing. The whole thing makes me sick. Hope Denver can do without our vacation dollars from the state of Ohio.

    SAVE THE BULLYS!

    BOO DENVER!

  58. princess & grumpy express llc says:

    My husband and I drive truck and love (or should I say did live Denver ) we were even thinking about moving there. UNTIL we found out there is a pittbull ban. All of our lives we have been raised with cows bulls dogs cats chickens. Everything u can imagine. My mom raised full bread springer spaniels. They were the most aggressive dog or so I thought then I saw my gransfathers rotts. Tear him to peaces. And he still kept them because they attacked him it was his fault the female was in heat when my gransfathwra entered and the male was protecting her. Now with that said I own a pit. And she travels with me and has in fact been in Denver we did not know about the bad. We deliver there all the time. Let me tell u the cop would have to kill me to get her. When I had cancer she NEVER LEFT my side. She could tell when I was getting worse before the doctors when I was in pain she laid on me and never left me. Bad dogs are the result of BAD OWNERS. The dog that makes u feel like u can’t go in Ur back yard is because the dog has not been trained and does not get walked or taken to meet other dogs or people. That’s not the dogs fault its the owner. So we will no longer deliver to Denver and will not move to Colorado I am glad I learned this now karen. It’s a shame because we own a company so we will take our company and business and employ folks somewhere else

  59. June S says:

    We have had Pit-bulls in our family for over thirty years, and not ONE has ever bitten any-one enemy or friendly visitors. They do what they are taught to do. It takes a special type of dog owner to know how to train these wonderful animals, We can train a Pit-bull or Pit-bull cross to be an assist dog in six months to a years. Where as other breed take up to two to three years. We need assist dogs for our vets and accident victims. Shame on you people that want to destroy a breed just because you believe in gossip. One of our dogs was shot in the face with a shot gun. It was at a great distance and as any gun owner will know the pattern of a shot gun gets wider with distance. My grand-daughter and her little friend were playing along side of the dog, on their own property. The dog was blinded by the shot. Thankfully the girls weren’t hit. The man shot across a state Hi way and the law wouldn’t do any thing about it.
    He has a notorious reputation for killing protected Eagles, dogs, cats, protected hawks. and still the law won’t do anything to this man.
    A man as violent as this is worse than any pit-bull.
    Here’s the kicker my daughter was a para-medic at the time, and later the man had an heart attack and she had to save his worthless hide. He actually insisted on holding her hand the thirty miles to the hospital.
    What is worse a man that has so much hate in him, that he kills any thing even if it is not on his property. He has even put out wire snares to catch any living animal, this is on other peoples property. (This Is Iowa folks.)
    We have very little law out here on the three dividing county lines.

  60. Nia says:

    I’m so much upset and ashamed of human race who is ridiculously selfish and always think this earth is only for him. Discrimination against pitbull is so not fair to the breed and whole dog race. Today its pitbull tomorrow it might be another dog. Animals bite thats why they animals but as you choose dogs to be your family member you should train them good. Denver is taking immature steps and dont you dare promoting other states to follow your brutal ones. Why is it always question about man safety. What about the animals who cant speak? At least they would have let the owners take the pitts out of the restricted areas other than showing up people’s house and snatching their buddies away and kill them. What the heck is “euthenized” mean to them? It is available for those who have hard time in living and more suffering then better for them that they could atleast die peacefully. If pittbulls are suffering and they require mercy killing its understandables upto an extent but this case is about human safety??!! Seriously?? I want to curse and swear and everything to show my anger!! Human can kill another race of animal by giving any outrageous excuse just to prove they are superior mfs. If any one of you even think of taking my baby away I’m kill His ass on the spot without even thinking of what will happen to me after that. I dont own pittbull but i come across with pittbull oftenly and i think they are adorable babies and great companions just like any other dog.

  61. Jack Fleming says:

    Pit Bulls have hair, a brain, a heart, legs, and teeth. So how are they different from us?

    I work at a dog rescue Brother Wolf and the pit bulls are always the nicest dogs there but people don’t even take a chance to look at them. Maybe cities should focus more on the people with guns and crime before the dogs.

  62. Lydia says:

    I don’t own a pit bull, I own a golden retriever. I don’t care what the breed is BSL is not right. If I lived in Denver and owned a Pit Bull, there is no way in hell they would be taking my dog away from me to kill. They’d have to kill me first. This pit bull ban needs to be over. It’s disgusting.

  63. Skye G. says:

    if were going to play this game… blacks are more likely to commit crimes then any other race.. shall we go round them up?

    I’ve grown up with pit bulls and pit bulls mutts. and its a load of crap how people act.. many people who say their scary never even knew one!! my current dog is half pit and he is the biggest baby. I’m a dog lover (with the exception of annoying little dogs) and it comes down to the owner, breed doesn’t matter. if anyone tried to take my pit mix, they’ll see its the owner who counts cause id be the giving them something to cry about.

    During WW 1 and WW 2 the pit bull was the symbol of America, they stood for strength and loyalty! where’s our loyalty now when were taking them from loving homes to be killed!!!

    There’s a pit bull who has a brick on the wall of honor for all he’s done!

    if anything we should be working to protect the pit like it’s protected us! from people who abuse them for dog fights and drug dealers!

  64. myra says:

    I am a pit bull owner of 5, I have 3 males and 2 females. My husband and I used to breed our pits but after the Michael Vick fiasco, we couldn’t give them away. We got our first pit when our youngest son was not quite 2 yrs. old. Nikki went everywhere he and his brother went. She would lay on the floor and they would use her as a pillow. All of my grandchildren have been raised around pits and not one of my dogs has ever attempted to bite or even growl at them. Pits are family oriented dogs, they are loyal and loving. Pits are highly active dogs and have to be exercised to get rid of pent-up energy. It makes me heart sick to think that Denver, Co. is killing these beautiful dogs because of the breed. If a pit is vicious, look to the owner and blame them, NOT the breed!

  65. Lorena L Rodriguez says:

    Shame on you Denver,CO. Why ban the most ideal dog ever. Those who do not know these wonderful dogs seem to only go by the horrific reputation these poor dogs developed through no fault of their own. The owners are responsible. Don’t blame the breed, and if you’ve never actually known a true well behaved pitbull, then don’t judge what you don’t know!

    ~Lorena Rodriguez
    Florida

  66. Emily says:

    It is absurd that such an ignorant law can still exist today. But that is besides the point…… what I want to know is, how do we stop this? What can we do, and how do we fight the pitbull ban???? I don’t own a pitbull and never have, but cannot stand by and do nothing when such a horrible law exists out there. Breed Specific Legislation… HA! Thats just a fancy word for racism(or I guess i should say breedism) in my opinion. I would be willing to die for the cause.

  67. Jody Bardenheuer says:

    Dear Residents and Legislators of
    Denver, Colorado –

    I respectful request you end your Breed Specific Legislation against Pit Bulls and don’t ever target another breed.

    Also please stop using helicopters to round up wild horses in NW Colorado.

    Respectfully yours,

    Jody Bardenheuer
    Massachusettes

  68. marsha smith says:

    what is really a sad and very ignorant fact is these animals that the government is wasting so much time and money on, and totally taking the beautiful and most wonderful species of dogs and horses from people who love,respect and cherish these animals, and i might add, pay for, by city ordinances and vet bills,our government is ignoring the ABSOLUTE FACT that they are taking from legal and private homes and habitats, whom pay taxes whom,take care of their animals. the situation our government is in isnt gonna be solved by the inhumane killing of pit bulls and wild horses. I believe the government needs to put a leash on there star satus lifestyles, because u are stealing from the american people, and if that isnt enough, u are killing our most precious animals, mainly the pit bulls, and our gorgeous wild horses. join the real world.
    Marsha Smith

  69. Cynthia Viard says:

    I just watched Shorty on “PitBoss” and happy to report that he and other service dog owners won their lawsuit against the city of Denver! We are now working on the ancient breed specific law a.k.a- B.S. Law, allowing beautiful families to be reunited with their beloved Pits,like Zoe, who was showcased today! To put that poor animal and the family through all of that stress and drama was heartbreaking to watch..Thumbs up to all of you secret angles out there helping out and even opening up there own homes outside of the city limits to this loving breed! Pit Bulls are very misunderstood,they only know what their taught by us humans… and to think otherwise is ignorant!

  70. joan says:

    I never thought I would own a pitbull but we ended up rescuing one and she was the best dog in the world.The cat is way meaner than Chopper ever was.We had to put her down a couple of months ago and it was the hardest thing I have ever done.We just got a purebred blue nose pitbul and she is beautiful.Thank God I don’t live inDenver!!!!

  71. John says:

    Banning a breed is like banning a race.

  72. american staffordshire terrier fan says:

    does denver realize that poodles and dalmations are more aggressive breeds than pitbulls. The last thing that I want is to put dalmations and poodles on that list too. this just shows that denver have no right to ban pitbulls for aggressive behavior

  73. brando says:

    for the record…. pit bullied clearly doesnt understand that “bad rap kennels” which is from the the bay area took in quite a few of the vick dogs and they all have their CGC’s and therapy dog qualifications. im almost willing to bet that he didnt even bother to notice that the attacks he heard about were on fox(you know.. that far right wing news station that attacks everything that doesnt fit their standards). i am also from the bay and i grew up with a pit.. he was my best friend for 8 years bruno was and will always be my best friend. the sweetest dog that you could ask for. he even used to meet me at the bus stop when ever he could escape our backyard. then i had to give him up because of ignorant neighbors much like pit bullied because got into a fight in our backyard(he lost btw) to a dog(a damn black lab) from around the corner

  74. David Stafford says:

    I have read everyone’s comments and wonder how people can still own a dog of this nature. My black lab was attacked in a dog park by a pit half his size. They were both one year old and the pit was female in case some one was wondering. It may not be that this breed has any worse tempermant than any other but it took me, my wife and the ower of the pit more that a minute to get the pit loose from my lab which she had by part of the neck and the ear. The bite was like a bear trap slamming shut. If my wife would have been the only one there that day my dog would be dead. After reading hundreds of posts I do agree that a chiwawa is a much more agressive breed but when was the last time the taco bell dog killed someone? And incase someone thinks this is untrue read about the family pit that killed the wife and her unborn child in California earlier this year which by the way was a big supporter of pit adoption and recently adopted the two or the family pet that never hurt anyone until it got in the bassinet and killed a 5 day old infant. Trust these dogs if you want but I am starting a petition to have the breed banned from the dog parks here.

  75. Chelseab says:

    To David Stafford, I can certainly understand your fear of the breed after that experience, but I’m also curious as to how many other pit bulls that you yourself have personally encountered and known to act this way. With the millions of pit bulls and pit mixes there are out there, it seems extremely unfair to blame every one of them for the actions of the one you encountered. I teach Pre-Kindergarten at an accredited academy and regularly bring my 2 pit bulls into my class of 4 and 5 year olds to demonstrate pet care, pet safety, and to be honest, just because the kids love spending time with them. I cant speak for other pit bull owners, but the reason I own dogs “of this nature” is because their nature is sweet, unconditionally loving, and silly. Im sure these are some of the same reasons you chose your lab, the same reasons that anyone decides on a pet. Dogs are INDIVIDUALS, with separate and unique personalities. Set your judgements aside, and answer honestly, how would you feel if I attempted to remove your well-mannered lab, and all other labs in my community because a Yellow Lab mauled my 14 week old kitten to death (the same kitten that used my 2 Pit Bulls as a bed!). Unfortunately, there are as many scary, and horrific stories of dog bites/attacks as there are breeds of dog. Unless your solution is banning domestic dogs all together, I suggest a more effective plan is taking a stand to ensure proper leash laws are being followed whether that dog be Pomeranian, pit bull, or pug. If my class of 4 and 5 year olds understand that you can’t tell what something is on the inside based on what it looks like on the outside, then you and the city of Denver can too.

  76. Amanda says:

    I personally own two pit bulls and they are the most amazing two dogs I have ever been around. They are so happy go lucky and intelligent. I live in a small town and get a lot of bs for owning two pit bulls they are not common around here and everyone thinks they are going to just attack them and their kids apparently. Well I got news, I moved to new residence about two years ago when I moved my neighbors freaked out! Well the one day while moving my pit bull slipped out the door while carrying stuff and the neighbor was loading his kids up into his van my dog jumped right in the van and sat down between his two kids and was ready to go for a ride from that day forward they all came and visited the dogs. I also have a small mix breed dog out back and two young children that play right beside that fence and their friends come over all the time my dogs are so happy to see them and my two dogs just adore them and MIND YOU I HAVE A FENCE KNEE HIGH MADE OF CHICKEN WIRE AND MY DOGS HAVE NEVER JUMPED IT PERIOD LET ALONE TO MAUL ANYONE OR ANY DOG!!!! Another day I was walking my pit bull down the street to my dad’s house minding my own business and out runs a little chiwawa doesn’t that dog chase me and my big bad pit bull down the street literally biting my heels and my BIG BAD PIT BULL did nothing but tuck his tail, out comes the owner running and screaming frantically to grab his dog, like it really was in any danger, and to look at me like dear god my poor dog. I said, “really!” I was just chased down the street and you cannot even apologize I was wrong, Oh right because my dog was a pit bull. If people would only take the time to get to know the breed!! My dog could have easily turned around and swallowed that chi chi in one bite but he didn’t he is too much of a lover and was actually shocked that a dog wanted to hurt him and not play with him. Not all people I have come across have been terrible for instance a little lady was weeding her garden I figured she would get up and get into her house asap seeing my dog but instead she waits watching me, looks up when I was right in front of her and says to my dog you may look tough but I am not afraid of you she said and smiled that honestly made my day for one person to say such a thing instead of grabbing her things and running. Yes there are some bad people out there that really damage the breed and the reputation and it makes me sick because it is unfair people need to realize that it’s not the breed it is the owners. This goes for anything, think about children and the things they are exposed to as a child, those things stick with them throughout their lives. If you are only shown the bad it is hard to not grow up thinking and acting under those circumstances, that goes the same for a dog and that is any dog not just pit bulls. They really are great dogs and are so loving I have never had a dog give so much love and expect so little back. It takes alot of a dog to undergo beating and mistreatment to only want to be loved and held by a human that had caused it so much pain and pit bulls are that dog.

  77. carrie says:

    Can anyone tell me about flying a pittie into DIA? I am rescuing a blind pitbull from Washington state and the only direct flights go to DIA. Alaska airlines cargo told me there is no issue BUT the rescue seems to think we can’t fly him in. I google and google with no answer. does anyone know for sure?

  78. Rachel Craik says:

    Can anyone give an update on this case?

  79. Carrie — Most airlines ship animals in the cargo hold area of the plane where it is not temperature controlled and can be dangerous for the animal. We suggest people traveling with pets use animal-friendly carriers like Companion Air or Pet Airways. If you’re not able to travel with your dog, another option is to hire a ground transportation service like LNT Pet Transport. Shipping your new friend on a plane by herself is not a good idea. Here’s one reason why: http://travel.usatoday.com/flights/post/2010/08/puppy-deaths-airline-flight/104317/1

  80. John Carter says:

    ‘owners should be held responsible’

    That view requires a victim. Banning or severely restricting owning these dogs prevents victims.

  81. Reb says:

    In response to John Carter’s comment: ‘owners should be held responsible’ That view requires a victim. Banning or severely restricting owning these dogs prevents victims. That is the most sensible comment I’ve seen on this page. Apparently some of the people on here have never heard of the expression “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” At fatalpitbullattacksdotcome there are pictures of over 300 people who have been killed by dogs and the primary culprit? you guessed it, the pit bull. Every year since 2003 pit bulls have held the dubious 1st place in fatal dog attacks. All dogs are subject to bad owners & all dogs may bite but not all dogs cause the severe & life altering damage that pit bulls do. Ban them.

  82. runnergirl says:

    As someone who has been attacked 3 times by dogs, dogs still terrify me. Despite that, I truly love them – all breeds. The number of complaints and statistics on PB’s confirm what I’ve seen firsthand. Pit bulls snap and it is truly vicious. They are strong, and they have the capability to kill. The point of the ban is to protect people and other animals. For once think of whats best for everyone and not just for you. When humans snap and hurt others, they go to jail. I respect the right to own your dog, and I understand that giving up your best friend could possibly be the hardest decision ever, but that is what a “responsible owner” should choose to do, not because it’s the easiest decision but because others safety is what’s at stake. We get it. You the owner, are safe with your dog. Not everyone is.

  83. lisa smith says:

    Ban should be lifted they shouldent tar all pitts with the same brush because a handfull have attacked that means the whole breed is bad? What about men who rape is that all men then? Peadophiles? Everyone thinks that way? If there was something higher than humans and they thought like the ignornat people on this earth wed be extinct by now! I have one of these dogs nothing like poeple make out he love all dogs kids love cuddles of everyone its not fair for people whod like to own these dogs if humans deseve a second chance dosent a dog?

  84. Anonymous says:

    Anyone who would say a pitbull is a dangerous dog is simply ignorant! Obviously they have never owned one or been around one. I’ve been bitten by a few dogs, not one of them a pitbull, even though I’v been around countless numbers of pits. Maybe these people should look at the facts. Only a few dogs pass a temperament test with a higher score than a pitbull. If we’re going to put a ban on breeds maybe we should put a ban on the races that tend to comit most of the crime! Oh, but that would be racist and unethical! These ingnorant individuals are the same ones who want to get rid of our right to bear arms.
    Stop breed specific legislation!!!!!!!

    Sincerely,
    Pitbull owner/assault weapon owner
    (that’s for you “pit- bullied”)

  85. Lora Considio says:

    Look, pit bulls are sweet, loving, tender, animals who don’t deserve to be treated this way. I have had pit bulls all my life, and they have never been aggressive and mean. Pit bulls aren’t born aggressive, its the way there raised and treated. It’s never the dogs fault, it’s the owners! These poor creatures are trained to fight other dogs, and end up doing as there told, and getting killed for it. These creatures if raised properly, are loving playful dogs, that wouldn’t harm a fly. There the most misled dogs, because of rumors and pictures that don’t tell the whole story. It makes people like me sick, to hear these false thing’s about the things we know and love. My 3 year old pit bull named Haties, saved a little girl once, you would call that unsafe? You would call an animal, that saved a humans life, a monster? Haties wouldnt hurt you even if you were threatening her! She would only put even a scratch on you, when she was greeting you at the door with slobbers, and hugs :). This sickens me that people would kill them, for doing orders. Kill them for rumors. Killing them for being forced!! Everyone takes a look at a misled picture, and think that this poor animals would harm them and there life! But no, these lovely creatures would greet you like no other. So stop this nonsense! Stop there pain! Stop our pain! Stop fighting them, and start understanding them! <3

  86. Gerri says:

    I have owned Dobermans, Rottweilers and now a pit bull, all of the “aggressive breeds”. I am not an aggressive person I just enjoy training my dogs and proving people wrong. My dogs have never bitten anyone, in my home it would not be tolerated. Unfortunately, I can’t say that about my neighbors whose roving band of chihuahuas stalk, bark and nip at my heels when i go to the mailbox (they also attack my pitbull who has never offered to retaliate). Denver and other cities in this country have banned pit bulls, well I think its time to ban them. We all need to make an effort not to visit or support these cities in any way and make sure they know it. Do not spend money with businesses in these cities – maybe then they will stand up to help protect the rights of other people. What was the old story – when they came for me there was no one left speak out!

  87. Patsy Posey says:

    This ban is the stupidest thing, it ranks right up there with the “witch hunts”. What idiot officials would agree to single out one breed. They must all be HUNTERS with no oompassion for animals. Its the owners of the dogs who make them mean, there should be stiffer penalties for them instead of punishing the animals.
    From a pure animal lover from Maryland, Patsy Posey

  88. Gigi says:

    If Pit Bulls are so loving and wonderful and never would hurt a fly than why is it that they constitute less than 5% of the dogs in the United States while accounting for more than 50% of dog caused human fatalities? My dog whom I was walking on leash was just viciously killed by 2 “loving family pet never did this before ” Pit Bulls. Pure bred, socialized, and trained. Two weeks ago in Vegas my friend’s Pit, another Pure bred Pit who was socialized, trained and who is doted on, bolted from the motel room and attacked a dog being walked. Ditto my girlfriend’s Pit, who she lovingly raised from a puppy and at 7 years old, for no reason whatsoever, attacked a man in her kitchen. So, it’s not always the owner. These dogs were bred for fighting other dogs since the 1800s, it is in their DNA and the potential for agression is inescapable. While a chihuhua may very well bite more, anyone can abort such an attack and the damage would never be severe. Get real people, yes, all dogs ban bite, but only a Pit will refuse to abort an attack, and a Pit bite causes much more severe damage than pretty much any other dog. I’m all for the ban.

  89. linda says:

    i do not understand how anyone can ban a dog breed that would be like baning blacks/whites or hispanics from the city/town, state or country its not the dogs fault if they are mean dogs its the owners and that is true for any breed pit bulls get a bad rap because of the punks that do dog fighting well not all pit bulls have stupid owners and im not positive but who says that they do not fight other breeds to make them mean. so all im saing is this ban should be abolished because it is not the dog that is agressive its the owner that raises the dog that way and that is true for any breed.

  90. Matt says:

    Personally if I was in Denver and had my pitmix living there with me I’d refuse to give her up. She doesn’t have a mean bone in her body and she’s been friendly to every single person and animal she has ever encountered. I’d straight up refuse to allow her to be taken and if anyone tried to forcefully do so I would defend her with my life and protect her by any means necessary including executing anyone forcefully entering my property with intent to seize her. I wouldn’t want to harm anyone but I would under specific circumstances I would in the blink of an eye and without any remorse.

  91. fotografer says:

    Today, I went to the beach front with my kids.
    I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She
    put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a
    hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back!

    LoL I know this is completely off topic but I had to tell someone!

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