Denver Votes To End Its 30-Year Ban on Pit Bulls
Though the ban was lifted in a 7-to-4 vote, the measure that will replace it still comes with restrictions on the breed.
The Denver City Council voted to reverse a 30-year ban on pit bulls in the city.
A 7-to-4 vote on Monday lifted the ban, which was first enacted in 1989. It will be replaced with a new code, allowing owners to register their pit bull with Denver Animal Protection (DAP) to get a breed-restricted license. The measure will go into effect in 90 days, pending approval from Mayor Michael Hancock.
According to the Washington Post, the measure was proposed by council member Chris Henderson, with the help of Shira Herald who had to make the choice to move to Arvada rather than Denver in 2018 because of her pit bull Merry.
To get a breed-restricted license, owners will have to provide proof that their dog has been microchipped, spayed or neutered, and vaccinated for rabies. They will also be restricted to two pit bulls per household. If a pit bull goes 36 months without an animal safety violation, owners could be eligible to register under the same requirements as other breeds through DAP. Pit bull bans will remain in place in several nearby cities.
Though breed restrictions exist around the country, many say that bans should be based on an animal’s behavior and not its breed.
“Breed bans de-emphasize the importance of responsible pet ownership in preventing dog bite injuries, diverting attention and resources away from effective measures such as socialization and training, neutering of male dogs, and licensing and leash laws,” American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior assistant director Kendall Houlihan told the Denver Post.