Denver Ends 30-Year Pit Bull Ban, Making Way for These Notorious D-O-Gs

[UPDATE 11/5/20] Finally we get proof that good things CAN happen in 2020. After 30 years, pibbles are allowed to grace Denver with their blockhead presence. While votes are still being processed, the measure is projected to win. So let’s puppin’ celebrate! Without further a-doo, here are some of the Notorious D-O-Gs descending on Denver in January, 2021. WARNING: Encountering one of these blockheads may result in a sudden onset of joy.

Luzi & Disco

These mothafluffers are bad to the BONE. Hide ya shoes; hide ya Nikes, because Luzi likes to carry them outside while DISCO DANCES! THE HORROR!

Cincy and Hudson

Like the infamous Bonnie & Clyde, these two are ride-or-dies. Catch ‘em playing a MEAN game of tug or taking their 13th nap of the day while they dream of doing naughty things like eating another dog’s poop. Cincy (right) is the pawtner lucky enough to be part Pittie!

Big Head Todd

He big, he bad, he sit on your lap with all 50 pounds of love. Todd is v chatty when he gets excited so expect him to be barkin’ up a storm spreading the woof that he’s LEGAL.

Rufus Maxwell

Rowdy Rufus is pup to no good. When it’s time to go to his dog bed at night, he snugs his Mama as hard as he can, tries not to move, and pretends he can’t hear Dad calling his name. In the mornings right before the alarm goes off, he sneaks back into bed to get some early morning cuddles. Also, his parents say he isn’t very sneaky.

The best part? Now that pibbles are legal, Rufus is getting a little sister named Waffles. We’re not crying, you’re crying. 

P.S. Law goes into effect January, 2021, so don’t take those “Labrador mixes” out of hiding just yet. 

[UPDATE 9/28/20] As Election Day creeps closer, we will continue to share ways to help Replace Denver BSL raise funds and spread the woof to vote #YesOn2J. Aside from donating dollars, here are two opportunities to get involved.

Virtual Silent Auction – 10/12-10/16: Bid on prizes for your pup (FREE vet care for a year, staycation at dog-friendly Hotel Boulderado, & much more) during Replace Denver BSL’s Virtual Silent Auction. Funds support Vote Yes on 2J initiative.

To donate goods or services, check out this submission form or email

National Fetch Day Fundraiser – 10/17: Visit Watering Bowl from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for a National Fetch Day celebration with ChuckIt and Replace Denver BSL. Enjoy a bake sale, costume contest, $25 all-you-can-drink, and poodles of giveaways! (Pssst: Watering Bowl is on our Denver Dog-Friendly Brewery Pass.) Email Replace Denver BSL to donate.

dog cookies on baking sheet
Photo by Tatyana Abramovich

[UPDATE 9/14/20] Replace Denver BSL received their official ballot number. To h*ck BSL, vote YES on 2J. The official ballot wording is:

Shall the voters for the City and County of Denver adopt an ordinance authorizing the city to grant a provisional permit to owners or keepers of a pit bull, provided the owner microchips the animal and complies with additional requirements set by Denver Animal Protection?

Vote Yes on 2J image

Show your support no matter where you live by sporting their official merch or checking out these opportunities.

Spread the word. Replace Denver BSL needs volunteers in two key roles: FUNdraising and Outreach. To get started, email

Replace Denver BSL is grassroots, and all this organizing isn’t cheap! To help educate the masses on how to vote this November, they could sure use a paw. Donate here, and share their fundraising campaign. The money goes toward research and education about our favorite blockhead doofuses.

[UPDATE 8/18/20] Dogs are on the ballot in 2020! After a grueling Council meeting and nearly four hours, the Council powered through the remaining agenda items with bulk voting and passed the initiative with all 13 votes. A unanimous decision takes a Mayor Hancock veto off the table. Woofhoo!

While this is definitely cause for celebration, it’s a ruff battle ahead.

“This is just the beginning. It will take all of us to make sure this passes and to create momentum for the next city.  Denver needs your help today to campaign for the pit bulls.”

– Replace Denver BSL Team

[UPDATE 7/29/20] After a COVID paws, the BSL repeal is bark in biz. The ballot proposal passed the finance committee and is on its way to City Council and then mayoral approval. We’re going to be spilling the kibble along the way, letting you pups know how you can help. Follow Dog-Friendly Denver and Replace Denver BSL for pupdates.

[UPDATE 3/22/20] In light of COVID, many efforts have had to pause. This is not out of a lack of passion for our cause, but simply a way to help our partners and supporters focus on taking care of themselves and their four-legged friends! We’ll keep strategizing & updating everyone. Thank you for your patience: stay home, stay safe, and stay paw-sitive!

[UPDATE 2/18/20] The City Council vote has been postponed until 5:30 p.m. MST on Monday, Feb. 24. Be a doggone hero: call or email the councilmembers below to voice your support.

[UPDATE 2/15/20] Yesterday afternoon Mayor Hancock vetoed this bill, but there’s still hope: City Council votes Tuesday and can override his veto with nine votes. Call or email the councilmembers who voted no and the councilmembers who were absent to voice your support:

[2/11/20] Breed-specific legislation (BSL) has torn families apart and led to thousands of lovable doggos crossing the rainbow bridge for no good reason. Which is why we got *goosebumps* when our city ended its 30-year ban on pit bull breeds last night. This is the best thing that’s happened to our velvety wigglybutts since they stopped discriminating against humans (which was never).

The Denver City Council passed a bill sponsored by District 8’s Chris Herndon in a 7-4 vote in a room full of supporters like Replace Denver BSL, a community action group that helped work on the bill. Now, that magical paper heads to Mayor Michael Hancock’s desk for one final sig. He has until V-Day to sign or veto, so email or call 720-865-9090 to show your support. You can simply say you’re encouraging him to sign the new legislation and give your ZIP code.

Herndon’s update to our animal ordinance isn’t a full repeal of BSL (annoying, but keep reading). Blocky-headed angels will be allowed in the city for the first time since 1989 with these rules:

  • You can only have two. Dog parents can have up to two American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, or Staffordshire Bull Terriers. So only two of your three woofers can be pitties. Weird but better than zero.
  • There’s a probation period. Pibble parents will apply for a three-year provisional pet license, which can be exchanged for a regular pet license after three years if there are no ordinance violations. (Not that we’re not grateful, but what happened to innocent until proven guilty?)

Even though pitties’ll still be treated differently than their furiends (which you know is just plain ol’ stupid if you’ve ever been smothered by a snuggly pibble), this bill is a HUGE win for pups, families, and activists who’ve been fighting to change Sec. 8-67 of the municipal code. For more than 30 years, it has mandated that if a dog is at least 51% pit (based on looks alone, rude), it must either be forcibly removed from city limits or killed. Now, at least, they’ve got a chance to prove they’re good doggos, which basically means being their goofy, smiley, cuddly selves.

Has your family been affected by BSL? What do you think about the new ordinance? Bark at us in the comments!

Featured photo: Robson Hatsukami Morgan

Sidewalk Dog’s mission is to help dog parents spend more time with their puppers by discovering and sharing activities they can do and places they can go—together! Sniff out our award-winning newsletter and Instagram, then join our Dog-Friendly Denver Facebook Group.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The internet’s most dog-friendly website. Sidewalk Dog is your go-to resource for all things dog. Trusted by more than 250,000 dog people around the world.

Join the Pack