The Denver Pit Bull ban is a great example of ignorance. The ban includes all dogs within the city limits that can be visually distinguished as a pit bull, which includes American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and Staffordshire Bull Terriers.
In 2003, Denver confiscated 652 registered pit bulls. They were only returned to their owners, if the owners agreed to permanently take them outside of the city limits. Otherwise, they were euthanized after the standard 5-day waiting period.
In 2006, one of the city officials was quoted saying, “The easiest way to define a dog as a pit bull is to just look at it. If it looks more like a pit bull than anything else, we confiscate it.” The quote alone states that two puppies of a mix-breed litter can be visually identified as two different breeds. One puppy may be confiscated as pit bull and the other may not.
Between 2005-2007, the city of Denver killed 1,667 dogs that they identified as pit.
bulls, most of which were living peacefully as family companions.
In 2010, Jennifer Reba Edwards, an attorney and founder of Animal Law Center, had three plaintiffs who claimed their pit bulls were used as service dogs. Two of Edwards plaintiffs were disabled vets who sued the cities of Denver and Aurora for discriminiated their service dogs. The complaint alleges that banning pit bulls as service dogs violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Until 2011, the city of Denver even seized pit bulls that were trained service dogs, but animal control officers who encounter a pit bull being used as a service animal under the new procedure, must as 1) if the animal is required because of a disability, and 2) what task is the animal trained to perform. The dog can still be seized and impounded if it displays aggressive behaviors.
Ths law is responsible for many deaths of innocent pets. The ban only puts a bandaid on the problem at hand, and it doesn’t protect the community. Since the pit bull ban was enacted in Denver, thousands of pit bulls and dogs that may appear to have pit bull traits have been seized and euthanized.
Despite Denver’s breed ban and euthanization of these “vicious” dogs, the city has seen no appreciable difference in the number or severity or dog attacks when compared with other cities without breed specific legislations.