At their February 24 meeting, Denver City Council members will vote on whether to override Mayor Michael Hancock's veto of council's recent repeal of the city's pit bull ban. In advance of that vote, Councilwoman Deborah Ortega is surveying Denver residents for their thoughts on "Breed Specific Legislation in Denver."
"The City and County of Denver has not allowed pit bulls within City limits since 1989," notes Ortega, who served on council in the ’80s, too. "Denver City Council passed a bill lifting the ban and replacing it with a registration system on Monday, February 10. Currently only 20% of dog owners register their dogs with the city."
The proposal vetoed by Hancock would have lifted the breed-specific ban, but would have required that owners of these breeds register with the city; it also would encourage more owners to register other dogs. It will take nine members of council to override Hancock's veto, and in the meantime, there have been plenty of biting comments on all sides of the issue. Says Randy:
My compliments on a Mayor that would do the right thing. Not the political thing. The right thing. Pretty cool.
BSL is an extremely archaic policy that’s rooted in fear, not facts. Banning a dog breed is like banning a plant. You’d figure a city that paraded the end of cannabis and psilocybin prohibition would be just as progressive in lifting bans on living creatures. And it was, until the lame duck mayor vetoed it against the wishes of the people and the city council.
Banning something has never prevented people from doing it. There are plenty of adorable pitties in the metro area and that will never change. What should change is legislation that rounds up someone’s family pet and euthanizes it. Concentrate on infrastructure, education, healthcare, and quality of life. Not banning a puppy based on its breed.
There isn't a single breed that's naturally vicious. We. the humans who choose them, turn them vicious. Dogs will do anything you want to please you, so if you act happy when it gets in a fight the dog thinks it's a good thing and that it has pleased its human. It's the owners who screw up everything.
Westword has been covering the pit bull controversy since before the initial ban was approved over thirty years ago. Michael Roberts wrote several stories this past week alone, concluding with "Does Science Prove Pit Bulls Are Vicious or Misunderstood?" That prompted this response from Dorian:
Thank you for an article that provides balanced information that readers can weigh. Frankly, I thought Westword's coverage so far was so hopelessly compromised by pro-pit-bull advocacy that I almost didn't bother to click on the link. I'm glad I took the chance.
And then there's this from David and Team Pit-a-Full:
As a very general/broad-stroke statement, we most definitely agree that the human component is most often the source of behavioral issues with ALL dog breeds. But to be fair to dog owners, the vast majority of those incidents of behavior due to the human component are unintentional AND correctable.
Our position is based on thirty years of dog training and rehabilitation of all dog breeds and their owners, specifically from abusive/negligent backgrounds (i.e., dog fighting, chained/ tethered, bite/attack history, etc).
We appreciate the balanced approach Westword has always applied to the pit bull topic here in central Colorado.
Want to learn more about pit bulls? In addition to "Does Science Prove Pit Pulls Are Vicious or Misunderstood?," try "Denver Dogs That Bit More People Than Pit Bulls in 2019" and "Mayor Hancock Vetoes Ordinance Legalizing Pit Bulls in Denver." And to see just how hot this topic has gotten, don't miss "Denver Pit Bull Vote Preview: Polis Trolls Hancock and More."
What do you think Denver City Council should do tomorrow? Post a comment or email email@example.com.