Denver Votes to Allow Restricted Breeds in the City With a Permit

Published on November 04, 2020

Voters approve an assessment process administered by Denver Animal Protection

Denver Animal Protection (DAP), a division of the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment, announces that Denver residents voted November 3, 2020, to repeal the restricted breed ban that has been in place in the City and County of Denver. Under Denver’s Ordinance Sec. 8-67, pit bull breeds (American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, or Staffordshire Bull Terrier) are prohibited unless they have been issued a provisional Breed-Restricted Permit.

This means that Denver residents may not own or keep any pit bull within the City and County without first obtaining a Breed-Restricted Permit satisfying the conditions of the amended language.

Although the ordinance will not be officially amended until January 1, 2021, Denver Animal Protection (DAP) has established an initial Breed-Restricted Permitting Process based on the amended language to help pit bull owners plan for the changes. It is the responsibility of any new owner of an adopted breed-restricted animal to contact DAP to initiate the provisional permitting process. Information on how to schedule an assessment after January 1 through Denver Animal Protection will be posted on the site shortly; no appointments for assessments are being scheduled at this time.

The process includes a breed assessment that will take 30-45 minutes and will be conducted by trained professionals at the Denver Animal Shelter. The assessment fee is $25 per dog and is non-refundable. No owner or keeper of a pit bull may own or keep more than two (2) pit bulls per household.

Through the assessment process, if the dog is determined not to have a majority of the physical characteristics of the banned 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 Denver Animal Protection. All dogs in Denver are required to have a rabies vaccination, city license, and be spayed or neutered, or obtain an intact permit (an intact permit allows an animal to not be spayed or neutered).

If, through the assessment process, the dog is determined to have a majority of the physical characteristics of the banned breeds, dog owners and keepers will need to follow the application process for obtaining a Breed-Restricted Permit.

The application process for a Breed-Restricted Permit to own or keep a pit bull will require the following:

  • Name and address of the owner or keeper where the pit bull will be located
  • The names and addresses of two (2) people who may be contacted in the event of an emergency involving the pit bull
  • An accurate description of the pit bull and recent photograph
  • The payment of the $30 Breed-Restricted Permit fee (this is in addition to the $25 assessment fee)
  • Proof that the animal has been neutered or spayed, or holds an intact license allowing the pet to remain unaltered
  • Proof that the animal has had a registered microchip implanted
  • Proof that the animal has a current rabies vaccination
  • Proof that the animal has a city license ($15 annually or $40 for three years)
  • Any other information that DAP reasonably requires

Once an animal has been determined to be a pit bull, the animal will be required to wear the permit tag attached to its collar or harness at all times when it is off the property of the owner or keeper. The fee for the permit is $30 per animal, per year and must be renewed every year for three (3) years. If there are no violations within the three years, Breed-Restricted Permit holders can request to be removed from the Breed-Restricted Permit requirement.

Please visit our website for the most up-to-date information on the Denver Breed-Restricted Permit process.