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Ballot Measure 2J: 
Pit Bull


 

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Live Forum Information

A Denver Decides Ballot Issue Forum in anticipation of the general election coming up on Tuesday, November 3rd. Ballot Measure 2J reads in part: Shall the voters for the City and County of Denver adopt an ordinance authorizing the city to grant a provisional permit to owners or keepers of a pit bull, provided the owner microchips the animal and complies with additional requirements set by Denver Animal Protection? The person set to speak in favor of Ballot Measure 2J chose not to participate, and Paul Vranas, parent and community organizer, speaks against the measure.
 


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Ballot Measure 2J

Shall the voters for the City and County of Denver adopt an ordinance authorizing the city to grant a provisional permit to owners or keepers of a pit bull, provided the owner microchips the animal and complies with additional requirements set by Denver Animal Protection?

¿Los votantes de la Ciudad y el Condado de Denver deberían adoptar una ordenanza que autorice a la ciudad a otorgar un permiso temporal a los propietarios o cuidadores de un perro de raza pit bull, siempre que el propietario coloque un microchip al animal y cumpla los requisitos adicionales establecidos por Protección Animal de Denver?

Ballot Details

Breed-specific bans do not work, they don’t make Denver safer and they don’t encourage responsible dog ownership. 30 years ago Denver implemented a ban on all dogs that look like pit bulls and it has cost the City of Denver more than $5.8 million to enforce. There are better uses for those millions of dollars. Denver is the largest city in America to have a breed-specific ban. A dog’s breed is not an indicator of whether or not a dog will bite, responsible ownership is. There are no controlled studies that show pit bulls are any more dangerous than any other breed. The American Veterinary Medical Association has done the definitive study on dog bite risk and comes to the conclusion, “owners of pit bull-type dogs deal with a strong breed stigma, however controlled studies have not identified this breed group as disproportionately dangerous.” They also found that, “breed-specific bans do not reduce the rate or severity of bite injuries.” Pit bull bans and any laws specific to breed are opposed by, among other groups, the Humane Society of the United States, the American Veterinary Medicine Association, the ASPCA, and the American Bar Association.

2J will end the ban on pit bulls in Denver and put into place a breed-restricted permit which will require dogs looking like pit bulls to be microchipped and neutered or spayed. Owners will be required to notify animal control if their dog escapes or bites anyone and only two permitted dogs will be allowed in a home. These measures will encourage responsible dog ownership and allow Denverites to stay safe while still allowing responsible dog owners to enjoy their best friends within our city limits. 

Visit www.DenverLovesDogs.org to learn more about 2J and ending the ban on pit bulls in Denver and encouraging responsible dog ownership.

  • Denver’s pit bull ban was enacted in 1989 after 20 people had been attacked by pit bulls in the previous five years. One was a 3-year old who was fatally attacked in 1986. 
  • The ban, considered a safety issue, was upheld by the Colorado Supreme Court in 1991.
  • The Denver City Council narrowly voted to repeal the ban earlier this year. Mayor Hancock successfully vetoed the attempt. Previous city councils considered and rejected a repeal. 
  • Ironically, according to news media in Illinois, Florida, and California, the day Denver City Council tried to repeal the ban, a 25 year old Plainfield, Illinois, man died from a pit bull attack that also injured three other people. A five year old boy died in California after the family’s pit bull attacked him. In Florida, a 64 year old woman and her small dog were mauled in her own home when pit bulls forced their way through a partially open sliding door. 
  • The pit bull ban has worked in Denver. No pit bull fatalities have been reported since the ban’s enactment.
  • At least four other Colorado cities have similar pit bull bans – Aurora, Commerce City, Lone Tree, and Louisville. There may be others. • The ordinance that banned pit bulls continues to meet its safety goal. We do not want to end a 30 year success story