After getting Dexter safely back to his home in Thornton, O'Connell decided to pay the $50 hearing fee to dispute Denver's determination that the dog is a pit bull. "He was picked up from a yard for doing nothing, and he was charged and judged for something he's not," he points out. O'Connell called a lawyer friend who agreed to represent him. He also had Dexter reviewed by two dog breed experts, one a certified American Kennel Club judge, the other a judge with the United Kennel Club, and they both determined that he is "definitely not a pit bull."

O'Connell was looking forward to his day in court last Friday. He had an affidavit from one of the experts; the other was going to appear in person. He had his whole argument planned, one that he was sure would free Dexter from pit bull profiling. But on his drive to Denver, he got a call from his attorney. The hearing officer had the flu, so justice for Dexter would have to wait.

In the meantime, O'Connell decided he'd find a way to make things right with the owners of the Chihuahua that his Presa Canario had mauled. "I guess he was so messed up after my dog got him that they had to put him to sleep," he says.

He won't be making amends in court, however. Since the owner of the dead dog declined to sign a complaint, O'Connell never even got a ticket for the real attack dog.

Kiernan Maletsky contributed to the research for this story. To find out more about Denver's pit bull ban, go to westword.com. Contact the author at jared.jacangmaher@westword.com.

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60 comments
Tommy Garrett
Tommy Garrett

This whole thing is repulsive and all of the people who are responsible will have to answer for what they have done at some point in their lives or by the ultimate judgement after. The idea of going over a dog for three days to decide if the dog fits a certain type is disgusting and i wonder if over the three days anyone checks these dogs for temperament . This country should be ashamed of it's self for allowing a travesty of this nature to happen in this day and age.What's next in Denver all the Irish must go to mandatory rehab for alcohol , or all Italiansget a life sentence for the Rico act. I'm also ashamed of all of all the responsible owners in Denver who have let these fascist's violate their right to fair process. Countless thousand's of Americans gave their live's paving the way so we could have a constitution and have rightsand to just let them walk all over them is shameful. But i guess we are just different over here in Boston ,maybe because this is where we fought to make America a free country i'm really not sure but I promise you this would not fly over here. And to suggest that a breed isrent born violent is as ignorant as people who used to say African Americans were not smart enoughto be Quarterbacks in the NFL, or had weak ankles so they could not play hockey in the NHL.Bottom line is people buy these dogs and put them in a pit to fight ,people abuse them ,people train them to attack, people are the ones who do not take the position of a responsibleowner and train & socialize these dogs and now people want to kill off their entire breed.Tell me who's really the monster. I challenge anyone to justify this, there is a estimated15 million registered Pitbull terriers in our country, so that means there is around 25 or 30 million pitbulls here so even if there was 20 death's a year by pitbulls how do you justify killing the other 99.99 % for the actions of a few dogs who i'm sure in most cases were abused or owned by criminals who worked at making these dogs dangerous.. I fully agree something need's to be done but this is not the answer & i really cant believe that nobody can come up with a better solution. Large fines for unregisted dogs and when you register them you have to bring themdown every year and have them evaluated if you put these types of restrictions on the breed these unsavory types of people would not bother owning them only the true lovers of the breed would want them. You could also clamp down on bad breeding ...also a huge problemthey are inbreeding ,crossbreeding,and god knows what else to make these genetic monstersthats how Pitbulls went from 30 to 55 lbs for over a hundred years and now they average70 ti 120 lbs and somehow they turned blue. Stand up for your selves Denver ...out east we Bostonian's have a saying ...Give me liberty or give me death ...and that is what it would take to take my dog & my rights from me. I have owned 4 Pitbulls over the last 27 years and everyone of them have been like family members and none of them have ever bitten meor eaten any children my newest one #5 his best friend is a cat who lives next door.Punish the ones responsible not the innocent... who are you to pass judgment on a animalfor a crime that has not been committed yet because thats what your doing by banning awhole breed. BSL is wrong it,s just a eazy way to make your selves feel like youve done somthing about the real problem...fix this mess before every thing we fought for in this country is lost. A concernd patriot.

gjwriter
gjwriter

Some of the comments below show that fear mongering works, good job Denver. It is interesting to note that Tate had a history of problems with other people. I'd be willing to bet that his owner was irresponsible. Ultimately it really comes down to human responsibility. We live in a society where "responsible" is practically blasphemous, and it is a death sentence for a lot of dogs, not just pit bulls. Human beings are the domestic animals worst enemy or best friend, depending on the persons willingness to be responsible and accountable. I was fearful of pit bulls too. I had heard the media blitz and bought it. I rescued a puppy three years ago who was kicked out of a car by an inbred. She's a pit. Instead of immediately getting rid of her, I did extensive research, became a responsible, loving and caring dog handler and she is a great dog. I live in one of the towns that was mentioned as having no pit bull attacks. There are a lot of pit bulls in my town, and everyone of us will tell you they are the best dogs we've ever had. Smart, loyal, friendly and fun. All because each one of us is a responsible, accountable and caring human being. It's that simple, folks. It is such a shame that we support victimhood and irresponsibility in this country over the other. It will be our undoing.

Geckoic
Geckoic

Breed specific legislature is racism...plain and simple. If we're not allowed to be racist towards each other with out reprecussions then it shouldn't be allowed towards dogs either. We are all God's creatures....I have an idea....EVERYTIME a dog(reguardless of the breed) bites or attacks a person or another dog, let's euthanize both the dog and it's owner. That'll put an end to all this bullshit.

Just me
Just me

To all the Pit Bull haters, you must not have read the whole article. In Oregon, German Shepherd Dogs are the most aggressive, then Pit Bulls, FOLLOWED BY LABS. There are MORE cases of severe dog bites ending in hospitalization in Denver, who HAS a Pit Bull ban, than the surrounding counties who do NOT have Pit Bull Bans. Little Rascals Petey was a Pit Bull, These famous people all had, or have, Pit Bulls.# Theodore Roosevelt# Woodrow Wilson# General George Patton# Helen Keller# Jamie Foxx# Rachael Ray# Jon Stewart# Ken Howard# Jessica Biel# Jessica Alba# Kevin Federline# Pink The Pit Bull dog, to this day, is the only breed of dog featured on the cover of Life magazine 3 times. Stubby, a Pit Bull, is the only K-9 who was promoted to the rank of SGT for services rendered on the battlefield. During WW1 and WW2 was on numerous recruiting and propaganda posters on top of gaining the nickname "nanny dog" for their history as great companion animals for children. American Temperament Testing Society give the rating of the following dogs Breed tested passed failed percentAMERICAN PIT BULL TERRIER 772 664 10886.0%AMERICAN STAFFORDSHIRE TERRIER608 510 9883.9%STAFFORDSHIRE BULL TERRIER 115 103 1289.6%GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG 3,038 2,559 47984.2%GOLDEN RETRIEVER 746 631 11584.6%CHIHUAHUA 38 27 1171.1%

The world's first face transplant recipient, Isabelle Dinoire, was mauled her sleep by her Labrador Retriever.Please do some research before shooting off at the mouth.

Gene Gregorits
Gene Gregorits

For anyone who may be swayed by the enormously pro-pit bull sentiment here, I urge you to DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH. A few minutes of Google queries will yield recent pit bull statistics, which even the most intelligent pit bull defender conveniently fails to acknowledge. THREE HUNDRED EIGHTY EIGHT PEOPLE were ATTACKED BY PIT BULLS in 2009. Almost all of these injuries were severe, and at least 20 of these people are now dead. Quit screwing around with breed specifics and personal anecdotes, NONE OF THAT IS RELEVANT. The numbers speak for themselves.

If you insist on having one of these vile creatures and it attacks a human being, kiss your life goodbye for the next couple of years. Lawyers love dog bite cases, and while the population may be willfully ignorant about the reality of pit bulls, and the idiocy of owning them in a residential area, law enforcement feels slightly different about the dogs, because they actually SEE the damage they do, every week. In Detroit, cops have been running down packs of stray pits with their cruisers, because 911 calls from traumatized pet owners reporting yard or street attacks by pit bulls have become a near-daily occurrence. The entire breed needs to be WIPED OUT. To all pit bull victims: know that pit bull owners are as stubborn and as dangerous as their dogs. I recommend a couple of cheap steaks soaked in anti-freeze, and a move out of town if this tragedy befalls you. It's quicker and cheaper than what you'll have to deal with in bringing a pit owner up on criminal charges. They'll walk over their own mothers to defend their hateful, vicious dogs.

Diana
Diana

I wouldn't move to Denver for any reason because of this stupid law. And people who agree with it are just animal haters. If you are okay with killing one breed of dog, you must be okay with killing all breeds because ANY dog can be made to be mean, even taco bell dogs and weiner dogs,(actually I have been attacked more little dogs than any big dog) We just don't hear so much about the little dog that bit the kids nose off.The theory is that once you ban pit bulls, with includes ALL terrier breeds, then you have to go on to rottweillers, german sheperds, dobermans, chows, bull dogs, boxer, dalmations, and the list goes on. Because if you are a bad guy who wants a mean dog, any breed will do. So where does it end?It all goes back to how the dog is treated and socialized. My pit bull has been raised with kids and other dogs. She has never bit anything but her frisbee after 7 years. Lets focus more on stopping the dog fighters and criminal breeders and less on the family pet.

N/A
N/A

People that say that pit bulls should be banned and burn in heck =]

Kelsey
Kelsey

Not all pit bulls are mean they turn mean when you abuse them. I think its not right to ban pit bulls because there not really bad there more dogs that are meaner than pit bulls i have a three yr. old pit bull and he is not mean he's good around kids he whatch my brother makes sure he dont go any where he protect they family. I think that law is really just plain right out stupid. NOT ALL PIT BILLS ARE BAD!

Tamika
Tamika

They should all be banned...They are not really good for much

Sierra
Sierra

Stop BSL, its not like the dogs asked to act like that, and its not their fault. I've seen a lot of things happen with pit bulls and banning them wont help. Ban bad owners. Look at it this way, you suddenly get taken away from the only place you call home and from the only mom/dad you know. You're placed in a cage and you're surrounded by others just like you. You have no idea why you're there. You just know you're scared and you want to go home. Then you're taken into a bright room and you have 3 people around you... they stick a needle into you, you're breathing heavy and you're dizzy. Then everything goes black. You're dead. Its all your owners fault. For some its other people making the bad name for a pit bull. Next time you go to make a Law agaist Pit Bulls just think about this!

selwyn marock
selwyn marock

Jane I read your comment was a tad confused,were you referring to humans or pitbulls when you stated zero tolerance?For the record in the whole of the USA their are less than 20 fatal dog attacks per year(all breeds)Am quite sure if you buy any newspaper in Denver ,just last night in Denver there were more than 20 deaths caused by Drunke-drivers,Rapists,Drug-Dealers,Paediaphiles etc. etc etc.These crimes are being perpetrated by us, the master race,thehumans.In this department I do agree with you zero tolerance.am sure to this you were referring.smarock10@yahoo.com

selwyn marock
selwyn marock

"Hunt with the hounds and run with the hares"never was a saying more appropriate than watching that Genocidal Maniac Doug Kelley hugging a pitbull.He and the likes of Hinklepooper and the "self proclaimed war hero "K. Nelson will fight tooth and nail to keep BSL alive.After 20 years of creating this Murderous Screw-up in Denver,you are now asking them to admit failure,it wont happen easily you will have to VOTE them out.

smarock10@yahoo.com

Jane
Jane

HELLO???? Mauled a chihuahua!!!! Next stop, mauling and killing a two week old baby!!! These vicious animals need to be put down before they have a chance to do anymore harm than they already have. We need a zero tolerance against this type of violence.

Theresa
Theresa

I just don't have a lot of pity for the owners of some of these dogs. I think there should be some sort of training requirement to own one. My border collie mix, Lucy was mauled badly by an at-large pit bull who had escaped its owner at a nearby screen door as we walked on the sidewalk several yards away. I then found out that this same dog had nearly killed a pomeranian, the pet of a neighbor, the previous year AND the owners had already had a larger male dog taken from them and euthanized for attacking a landscape worker in our town home complex.

Sadly, this dog, named Blondie, was also taken from them and euthanized. They just didn't show any remorse or sense of responsibility or even LOVE for their dogs. I probably cried more for Blondie than her owners when I found out she'd died for their foolish irresponsibility!

sage
sage

In addition, I agree with the person who has commented above. I too complied with Boulder's dog regulations. Happily. The city of Denver must be spending ridiculous amounts of money housing and then euthanizing pit bulls. Imagine, instead, if they would have created a few extra Animal Control city positions, where Animal Control officers could check up on pit bull owners (to ensure no fighting is taking place) or implement training classes (more jobs created) for supposed "mean breeds." They could have even spent money AND created jobs testing purported "vicious" breed pit bulls for behavior issues. All of these options would have created jobs and allowed responsible, loving pit bull owners to keep their pet AND live in the city that they want to live in. I eventually wanted to move from Boulder to Denver but could not because of my dog. If ever there is a class action law suit against the city for infringment upon some of my basic human rights, I'll be the first to sign up.

Sage
Sage

I am in support of repealing the Denver pit bull ban. This breed of dog has been unfairly targeted. I lived in Boulder, CO for seven years and much of the sentiment toward the breed was present there as well. Now that I am in Phoenix, a city which seems to be pit bull friendly, I am relieved to walk my best friend (with a leash) and not get the comments and dirty looks that I often got in Boulder. I am submitting a link to an article below that includes some of my thoughts on the pit bull ban and the Michael Vick case.

http://sagejessica.wordpress.c...

Rachel Lillian Allon
Rachel Lillian Allon

Right now it's a human eat dog world in Denver.

�In the Dog House� by Jared Jacng Maher reviews the history and issues surrounding Denver�s breed ban. The article grazed the surface. As a legal, social, and economic issue it is substantially more complex. The bottom line is that the problem is less about canines and more about humans. Neglect and abuse of dogs will often lead to attacks. The owner should be culpable and criminally prosecuted to the full extent of the law. No matter what the breed. It is about behavior rather then lineage.

Denver Animal Control will not permit DNA evidence for a dog to be submitted. Scientific blood tests confirm the exact breed of any animal. When a dog is detained in Denver as a �pit bull� they are looking for �traits� or characteristics that determine whether an individual is considered likely to commit a particular type of crime. Does that sound familiar?? It�s called racial profiling.

Animal control officers are burdened with the task of determining what animal might fall into this mysterious realm of �pit bull.� They are also responsible for determining if a threat to society exists. Swimming pools and toys should also be considered.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission states, �There were an estimated 220,500 toy-related injuries in 2006 to children under the age of 15.� Swimming pools were the cause of 3,582 deaths in America in 2005.

The Westward article says, �Firearms killed 30,000 people in the United States in 2006.� The Center for Disease Control is more specific about these deaths regarding accidents or violent crime (different numbers). Also, according to the CDC, �16 fatalities in 2005 were a result of injuries sustained in dog attacks.� 16 total deaths in the entire United States.

Deaths:

Dog 16 Swimming pool 3,582 Toys for Children 220,500

Swimming pools and toys are far more dangerous then dogs. Luckily, Denver has seized and euthanized approximately 3,497 dogs that might have been �pit bulls.� But they might not have been. They could have been your typical boxer mutt or lab mix labro-doodle.

Fear is powerful.

Another consideration is that Denver is a city with almost no off-leash parks. It�s a perfect storm. Captivity and restraint for a long duration leads to depression and dementia. The same is true for humans. Goldfish have less of a problem with this. Animals need exercise, but especially the ability to be un-tethered. Play and interaction is essential.

The County Court is overwhelmed with off-leash dog violations. Including vaccination/registration, breed ban, and reproduction sterilization tickets. The money generated in fines for these infractions, does not come close to what it costs taxpayers to keep County Courts tied up.

Are dogs really that important? $150M in the red for budget, huh.

Crime reduction in a city can be the result of any number of factors. Since, 1989 Denver has made positive steps to improve the city through community development and gentrification. It is unlikely there is a breed ban correlation.

It would be remiss to not also point out Denver breed ban, leash laws, and other related infractions are a socio-economic issue. The poor are not equal when it comes to ownership. Financial stability often provides a pet with obedience classes, backyards, and proper veterinary pet care. The amount of money a pet owner has is an undeniable factor. It�s a social class issue. People with cash can also fight the system.

There is no perfect solution. None. Here is an idea to start:

End the Denver dog breed ban.

Create more parks with dog specific areas. Fenced and unfenced, small sections of EVERY park in Denver should allow off leash. Not the entire park. Bikes, kids, and unrestrained dogs are a horrible combo. Provide sections within each park. People from all parts of the city need to access a park convenient to where they live.

Boulder, Colorado has created a system for monitoring dogs. Owners register dogs and they are tested for voice command and the ability to listen. It is also an opportunity for officials to observe the health and wellbeing of a pet. Jobs are created and revenue is generated for the city. At least might influence a small piece of that $150M. People can stop hiding in the parks or trying to out run officials to avoid tickets. Less �us� versus �them.� Compliance is rewarded. The dogcatcher job will be to ensure safety. Yes, safety.

Owners with animals that are involved in violent crimes should face extremely harsh consequences. Send them to Guantanamo. Fines and criminal prosecution on par with DUI, or in more dramatic criminal attacks charges of attempted manslaughter. Breed is arbitrary. Dangerous dog law for all breeds is the way to go, with harsher penalty for owners.

Please speak up and stand up. MANY THANKS to Westword.

Denver doesn�t have a dog problem. Denver has a human problem.

Resources:

http://www.denverpost.com/sear...http://www.denverpost.com/sear...http://www.denverpost.com/sear...

http://www.americanhumane.org/...http://www.hsus.org/pets/issue...

http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecr...http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/previe...http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/previe...

Jon Paul
Jon Paul

This is a very well written article. Maher has done his research and provided a thorough and unbiased report on this travesty of an issue.

Elizabeth O'Connell
Elizabeth O'Connell

I am Kevin O'Connell's mother. He and Dexter (his dog, which is NOT a pit bull) lived with me for about 2 yrs. I have a small Yorkie and a little Maltese. The three dogs were best friends. Dexter would lie down and the maltese would open his lips and clean his teeth. Strange thing to watch but, just to let the "powers that be" in Denver know he is one of the most gentle dogs any of them could ever come into contact with. He played with other dogs in the neighborhood and the children of all sizes. No one was ever afraid of him. The Denver "gestapo" needs to rethink what they are doing. They are acting like Hitler when he rounded up all the Jews and killed them.

Clay
Clay

Nate from Tamuning,You just showed your obvious lack of knowledge about dogs and your leanings.

"I think that on a private property it's okay to have your pit tied up with a chain,.."

It`s not ok to have any dog tied up with a chain guarding your property.Pit Bulls especially love people and need to be with people.They are family dogs not guard dogs.How would you like to be left outside with no coat,no love and chained all day?

Get a Security System or put the money that is being wasted on BSL to hire more Police Officers to deal with the problems in the neighborhood.

Resident dog vs Family doghttp://nationalcanineresearchc...

Nate
Nate

Pitbulls....people don't just like pitbulls as a pet, they like them because it protects their property from anything and everything, if a coconut fell off a tree, the pit would maul the nut as if it were a chihuahua. Yes, they are very good at guarding the property, I think that on a private property it's okay to have your pit tied up with a chain, but on a residential area, they should with out a doubt be caged up! They can still protect the property but without any one getting harmed! Private properties they can do whatever it is that they want to, some people trespass and what do they get for disobeying a posted sign, would be their own fault!

JF
JF

Thanks for writing a fair & unbiased article about a "hot button" dog. I am amazed by the comment attributed to Brown (?P14, bottom of column 1)"the word 'obedience' and pit bulls-to me there's a disconnect there. If I took my young dog to an obedience class and there was a pitbull there, I'd turn around and walk out" shows the level of prejudice that some people carry. To me, that equates to this: if there was a black person in the school I was taking my children to, I'd turn around and walk out.

Many pitbulls are extremely obedient and I believe that is a breed trait. I also believe many people have a problem when their little, untrained dog acts agressively towards a larger dog, and pack behavior takes place. I will acknowledge that my dog plays rough, and only some dogs like to play with her, but I trust her 100% around children.

Did you know that the original staffordshire terrier was known as "the nanny dog" because of their temperament with people? Check out "Bully, it's the pits" by Paul 107 for some good pictures and factoids about these misunderstood canines. Thanks again for the article. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you for the breed.

By the way I live in Hawaii where the pit bull is almost the unofficial state dog, if the yard census is anything to go by.

Erin  H.
Erin H.

I am thrilled to finally read an article that lists arguments from both sides and still comes to a logical conclusion: breed bans do not work. How arrogant are the city officials of Denver?!! They don't care that a multitude of people have fled the city and will not return. They care very little for many of the former citizens of Denver-those with paws and without. I used to love the city wholeheartedly as a child. When I adopted Arabella, however, my now 5 year old boxer/pit mix in 2004 I contemplated moving to Denver. Thank the lord I didn't Not even a full year later I would have been scrambling to get out of town to save the life of my beautiful baby girl. I don't have children, Bella is family to me. Taking her away would be like taking away my family. You are NOT protecting the citizens of Denver by banning a single breed. Mark my words: In 5 or 10 years another "dangerous breed" will be "terrorizing" the streets of Denver and no one will be safe because it is only the pit bulls we need to worry about right? Don't mind that salivating German Shepard or that Labrador who has bitten 6 people in the neighborhood...the streets are safe because we've killed thousands of little furry family members of former Denver residents..GET REAL!

Jan32
Jan32

HELLO ?? Dogs will kill cats - when did we become so ignorant of canine behavior that we think that this is a breed specific behavior?My uncle's Collie killed my cat - we NEVER even thought of killing his Collie for this - It's ugly, but it's nature.Cats kill mice - would any sane person think that this is a reason to kill a cat?Geez, to kill your dog because it killed your cats is a disgusting - if this happened - it is your fault for not understanding canine behavior and failing to keep your cats safe.

Clay
Clay

And Tony I should add that I think you made a huge mistake killing your dog for that behavior,it was your behavior that needed to be adjusted if you wanted to have both dog(s) and cats living together. If my dog was to kill a cat,I would be the one to blame,certainly not my dog and I wouldn`t kill my dog if my behavior led to it killing a cat.I don`t blame my cats or kill them for killing mice.

I hope you learn more about dog behavior before bringing ANY dog of ANY Breed into your house or you may come home to more dead cats in the future if you believe that it`s a Breed specific trait.Dogs are individuals and that`s the way you need to look at them.

Clay
Clay

Tony,I`m sorry about your cats butthat`s all Breed behavior,not Pit Bull Breed specific behavior.

Cat chasinghttp://www.diamondsintheruff.c...

I have a Lab that lives with 3 cats.She`s fine and enjoys their company while I`m present but there is no doubt in my mind thatshe would kill at least 2 of them if I was not present and she would kill any and all cats she encountered outside in a blinding flash.

She is separated from them when I`m away and smart cats should not jump into out backyard because there would be a cat "murder".

Once again the Media has you believing that this is Pit Bull specific because the Media reports cat killings ONLY when it`s a Pit Bull and they`ll actually call it a cat "murder'.Denver is notorious for reporting cat "murders" and there will be hundreds if not thousands of comments.It`s ridiculous to think that only Pit Bulls will kill cats.

Many dogs will give chase and many dogs will kill cats.

Tony Sullivan
Tony Sullivan

I just had to put my pitbull down. I've always been in favor for getting rid of the laws against the breed until last week. A week ago while I was at work my 6 year old dog killed my two cats. There was no reason for the action at all. Now I favor having the entire breed be destroyed.

Keek
Keek

My husband and I rescued our adorable pit bull, "Buddy," five years ago when we were living in Boulder and the Denver law was in abeyance. But when I got a job in downtown Denver, my dreams of living in a city neighborhood and waling to work were dashed. To keep our dog, we moved to Wheat Ridge and began commuting every day, adding to the ozone problem and the Denver bottlenecks. We would love to live a green, carless life, paying taxes in a city that we actually enjoy--but we love our dog more. I firmly believe that our commuter lifestyle does more harm to Denver than our Buddy ever would.

As a final thought, as Denver faces its $150M budget shortfall, does rigid enforcement of this ban make budgetary sense? If it takes three trained examiners three days each (that's nine employee days) to examine a single dog for pit "characteristics," this is not an inexpensive program. What's the annual cost, and is Denver getting its money's worth? Would the city rather kill dogs or preserve its police force, community mental health programs, and its snow removal systems? Has a misplaced fear completely overtaken a rational approach to the budget crisis?

Thanks so much for a wonderful, well-reported article.

EmilyS
EmilyS

excellent article.One correction: Wellington no longer has a breed ban; they rescinded it several years ago

Kate
Kate

A few years ago I was bitten twice while walking home by the most vicious dog I've ever encountered - a Dauchshund. The dog's bad behavior was clearly the fault of its owner, a terrified woman who could not leash the dog (who had just had puppies)because, she told me angrily, "she bites." Breed bans do nothing to discourage poor training, poor care, or lack of responsibility on the part of dog owners. The several pit bulls I've encountered over the years at parks, on walks, in the neighborhood, have never exhibited half the aggression that the little weiner did.

Gaille Robertson
Gaille Robertson

The problem is not with Pit Bulls or any other breed for that matter. The problem is with irresponsible owners who either do not train their dogs correctly or train them to be used as weapons. Drug dealers and other people who own dogs as a method of intimidation are what should be banned from the community. And people who get a dog and then make it live at the end of a chain in the yard for its entire life so it is never socialized to humans or other animals also bear responsibility for badly behaved dogs. THEY need to be fined and the dog taken away just like an abusive parent would lose the rights to their children. Of course given how many people fail to raise their kids to be responsible and respectful why be surprised that they don't raise their dogs properly either.

Anonymous
Anonymous

As a pit bull owner residing in Denver, reading all the ignorant statements made by ban supporters is absolutely infuriating. It is a ban born of hysteria, and here is no rationalization for punishing a dog because of the actions of its owner. Having known many pit bulls, the only way they would ever act violently is due to mistreatment by their owners. Every day I am reminded of the violations to my rights as I walk my incredibly friendly dog around my neighborhood with constant paranoia in the back of my mind. I know there is support in the city to lift the ban, because I cannot walk around the block without at least one person crumbling to pieces over the sweet face and demeanor of my pit bull.

Striker
Striker

I wonder, that dog that Doug Kelley is hugging, was that sweetie killed by Kelley and company after that photo shoot?

Was that friendly, happy dog taken out back and thrown in the trash with the other pit bulls Denver has killed?

Kelley, hugging dogs for the camera, and killing them when the cameras are off.

Fayclis
Fayclis

TIME to make bad owner's responsible and NOT their dogs!

How many thousands of good innocent dogs have been slaughterd for the actions of a couple of dogs with irresponsible owners?

Until the OWNER's are made to pay dog attacks will NOT decrease and this has been PROVEN. Netherlands removed their ban after documenting for 20 years NO decrease. Italy up to 92 banned and/or restricted dogs and stopped their ban this year because of NO CHANGE.

Golden Retrievers are NOW the number 1 biter in Denver because people just change dogs and do not become better dog owners.

There are 24 registered breeds of dogs COMMONLY MISTAKEN for pit bull type dogs and IF you include the mixes of those dogs there are THOUSANDS of dogs with NO pit bull in them that are subject to this DARCONIAN law in Denver.

STOP THE SLAUGHTER, STOP THE WITCH HUNT, STOP CANINE GENOCIDE.

Make owner's accountable and dog attacks WILL DECREASE.

Myra
Myra

Excellent article.Finally, a reporter who WORKED on a story - and who bothered to check his facts and do some critical thinking.

It will take a whole lot more articles like this to restore my faith in the media - but this is a start.

Amd I am glad Westword chose the Pit bull issue, as the amount of misinformation, sloppy, and downright disgustingly irresponsible reporting of "pit bull issues" has brought so much harm to this breed.

Thank you Westword!

Tommy Garrett
Tommy Garrett

Checked your site casa..the first five videos i tried to open were not there ..im also not trying to say that they are all good im trying to say alot of bad people do bad things with them ,but if you get rid of all the pitbulls tomorrow dont you think those criminals are justgoing to go out and buy Rotties or Akitas and train or abuse them in the same fashion.Open your eyes it's people who are the problem not the dogs and most of the dogs people think are Pitbulls are not..

Paris
Paris

I do not respect this website. The first page, the opening page that anyone sees says "quadtriple." What is quadtriple? I know "quad" means four, and "tri" means three... Oh wait, did the author mean "quadruple?" If you're too dumb to use spell check, which is automatic in most programs, I refuse to repect your research.

rhodgman
rhodgman

@Theresa I too, am crying for Blondie and if she were raised right, this never would have happened ... how I wish people could be euthanized for the irresponsibility of their pets ... may Blondie know peace at Rainbow Bridge .. her owners know the worst karma I could ever imagine

Rebecca Furr
Rebecca Furr

What you numb skulls FAIL to take into account is that the CAT is someone's pet while the mouse that the cat kills is usually NOT someone's pet. You pit bull nuts complain about dog "racism" yet you are the biggest proponents of species prejudice I have ever seen. You act like it's no big deal when your vile pit bull kills someone's pet cat but I've got news for you.. some of us love our cats VERY much and will take whatever action is necessary to protect or avenge our cat's life up to and including lethal means! Thanks Denver and Aurora for being brave enough to ignore the loudmouth pit bull fans and for putting the public's safety ahead of the selfish pit bull fanatics. Keep up the good work!

Rebecca Furr
Rebecca Furr

And many cat owners will KILL a dog that is chasing their cat or any other cat.

Rebecca Furr
Rebecca Furr

I'm sorry for your loss :-( I feel the same way about my dogs, they are just mutts but when I take any dog in I make sure they don't try to chase my cats, not even in play. I have zero tolerance for it and they know it. If they step out of line, they go down the road. I have no use for pit bulls, they are ill bred, unpredictable and vicious. Almost every day there is another story of a pit bull attack. I wish they would be forced into extinction. I know this post is pretty old but I used to live in Denver and I just stumbled across this story and was reading the comments ;-)

Rebecca Furr
Rebecca Furr

So you're breaking the law then? Hope you get caught.

Brandun Gaña
Brandun Gaña

or we could give a big dose of "Chata Phuck Up" to narrow minded people like you

Paris
Paris

And this author doesn't know left from right... interesting. "Watch Pit bull Attacks on Left." Ummmm... On the left is a list. All the way down. Sweetie, if he can't spell and he can't tell left from right, how in the world can anyone believe what he's blabbering about?

ArtB
ArtB

@Rebecca Furr You stumbled upon this story, huh, rebtris?

 
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