Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

Pit bull proponent Ken Foster headed to Denver for book signing, breed ban protest

Timing is everything: While tempers are flaring over the shooting of a pit bull named Chloe this past weekend -- an act that Commerce City police defend -- Ken Foster, author of I'm a Good Dog: Pit Bulls, America's Most Beautiful (and Misunderstood) Pet, is on his way to Denver for a reading at the Tattered Cover Colfax tonight -- after a few stops along the way.

Initially, the author and founder of the New Orleans-based Sula Foundation, which promotes pit bull ownership through low-cost veterinary service, education and adoption, didn't plan to come to Denver. But he decided to add a stop in this city at the end of his month-long tour. "I wasn't going to include Denver for a number of reasons, including just basic logistics," Foster told Westword's Samantha Alviani yesterday, "but as the book's publication date approached, I began to see how much the book meant to people who love their dogs. And it felt like an oversight not to do something in Denver, where change is so desperately needed."

Denver has had a breed ban against pit bulls for 25 years, despite numerous attempts to change that prohibition to regulations that would affect all bad dogs, regardless of breed. That's why Foster is planning two stops before tonight's appearance at the Tattered Cover: He plans to deliver copies of his book both to Denver City Council and the Denver Municipal Animal Shelter.

He should get a much warmer reception at the bookstore, where he's requesting that fans of pit bulls bring pictures of their pets. "Heaven knows, we all love showing off our dogs," advises Sonya Dias, a pit proponent. "He wants to get a photo at the signing of all us attendees with our dog pix."

Foster will be at Tattered Cover Colfax at 7:30 p.m. tonight. Find more information on his appearance here. Read more about Foster here.

From our archives: "For two decades, pit bulls have been public enemy #1 in Denver. But maybe it's time for a recount."

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun