The Latest: Denver’s 30-year Pit Bull Ban

[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:

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!

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One thought on “The Latest: Denver’s 30-year Pit Bull Ban

  1. Christopher Disch

    This is fantastic news! In our operation at Oneka Pet Resort some of the most well behaved dogs are pit bulls. Most people don’t take the time to understand the breed whether legislating, or adopting. If both of these groups did spend a little time researching we would not be in this situation with pit bulls.


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