Are pit bull dogs legal now in Denver?
Restricted breeds are still illegal to own within the City and County of Denver unless you have a Breed-Restricted Permit for the dog issued by DAP.
When is the new ordinance active?
The ordinance is in effect as of January 1, 2021. Owners of dogs impounded or evaluated after this date will have their animals returned to them with a breed letter and guidance to apply for and purchase a permit.
What if I have a dog that has already been determined to be illegal under the old ordinance?
Under the new ordinance, you may bring the dog that was previously illegal back to Denver, but first you must obtain a permit. In order to do this, please bring the breed letter you were previously given to the shelter during normal business hours and request a permit application from the staff at the shelter. An application can also be found at DenverAnimalShelter.org.
Can I bring my pit bull into Denver now?
You cannot bring a restricted-breed dog into Denver until you have a Breed-Restricted Permit issued by DAP.
I live in another city and I want to bring my pit bull in for a visit. Do I need a permit?
Yes. All suspected pit bull dogs must have a breed evaluation completed at DAP, and if the dog is determined by DAP to be a restricted-breed dog, a permit is required for the dog to be within Denver City and County limits at any time.
I don’t live in Denver and I want to use a doggie day care in Denver. Do I need a permit?
Yes. All pit bulls must be permitted to be within Denver City and County limits at any time. There is no exception for owned dogs that will be placed at any boarding or day care facility.
I’m thinking of moving to Denver. Can I purchase the permit online or call and buy the permit before I move?
Unfortunately, this is not an option. DAP needs to complete an in-person evaluation of the dog to determine its breed, and then you can purchase the permit, if necessary. If you get your dog evaluated by DAP prior to moving, you are welcome to purchase the permit at the same time and then update it when you move to a Denver address.
Can pit bull dogs be adopted out now by Denver Animal Shelter or other local shelters to Denver residents?
Yes. Adopters of restricted-breed dogs must receive a breed evaluation for their dog and then purchase a permit if DAP determines your dog to be a restricted-breed dog.
If I am a Denver resident and adopt a dog from a shelter other than Denver Animal Shelter that is a restricted breed, what do I need to do next?
Please complete a breed evaluation at Denver Animal Shelter and then purchase a permit if DAP determines your dog to be a restricted breed.
I don’t know if my dog is a pit bull. What should I do?
If you are unsure of your dog’s primary breed, you can get a breed evaluation done at Denver Animal Shelter during 1-3pm any day of the week. Breed assessments cost $25. If your dog is determined to have a majority of the physical characteristics of the restricted breeds, you will need to follow the process for obtaining a Breed-Restricted Permit.
If it is determined that the dog does not have a majority of the physical characteristics of the restricted breeds, the dog will be allowed in Denver without a permit. The owner will be provided with an official breed evaluation letter stating that the dog was evaluated by DAP. All dogs in Denver are required to have a rabies vaccination, city license, and be spayed or neutered, or have an intact permit.
How exactly does the breed assessment work?
During the assessment, two certified breed evaluators will look at the dog’s physical characteristics and compare them to the American Kennel Club and United Kennel Club breed standards for the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier and Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Each of the three evaluators will make an independent determination of whether the dog displays predominate pit bull characteristics or not. There is no evaluation of behavior or temperament during the assessment. All three evaluators must determine that the dog displays predominant pit bull characteristics in order for the dog to be classified as a pit bull breed.
How many pit bulls can I have?
The maximum number of pit bulls that any owner or keeper may have living in your home is two.
Can I bring my pit bull to an off-leash dog park?
Yes, once your dog has satisfied all of the requirements and been issued a Breed-Restricted Permit and a city license, the dog is allowed in any off-leash dog park in the City and County of Denver.
What are the criteria for my dog being labeled a pit bull?
DAP team members have been highly trained to evaluate the characteristics of a dog to determine whether it is a restricted breed. Many of these characteristics are apparent only to a trained professional.
How do I make an appointment for an assessment?
We are not offering appointments. Instead, we offer walk in breed evaluations to be done between 1-3pm daily at Denver Animal Shelter.
What if I disagree with DAP’s assessment of my dog?
If you dispute the classification of your dog as a pit bull, you may file a written petition for a hearing concerning such classification no later than 7 days after the assessment.
Why do I need to provide the names and addresses of two people in the application?
To fulfill the requirements of Denver Ordinance Sec. 8-67, all owners or keepers of a restricted-breed animal must have on file the names and addresses of two contacts.
These two contacts must be people who can take care of the dog or be able to control the dog when you’re not available. The people you designate as your contacts can be a family member, a neighbor or a friend, but that person is going to have to come get the dog if it escapes or is in an altercation. It needs to be someone who feels comfortable with and capable of getting the animal under control. This person is acting on your behalf and is responsible only for the care or control of the dog when you are not able to do so.
What if I don’t get a permit for my pit bull(s)?
If you are stopped by DAP, or are reported to DAP, and found to be in possession of one or more pit bulls that have not been issued a permit, the following protocols apply:
You will receive a warning and a mandatory request to bring the animal(s) in for an assessment. DAP will perform a follow-up verification within 10 days of the warning. If you have not brought the dog in for an assessment and applied for a permit, you may be subject to a court appearance or a fine, or DAP may remove the animal(s) from the home.