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Pit Bull Prohibition to Resume

Pit bull owners in Denver have 30 days to remove their dogs from the city.


Comments regarding Denver's pit bull ban can be sent to the Mayor's Office, Denver City Council, and Denver Animal Care & Control using our online
Talk-to-Us e-mail feature.

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photo of a pit bull dog APRIL 11, 2005 -- On April 8, the Denver District Court upheld the constitutionality of Denver's ordinance that prohibits pit bulls in the City and County of Denver. The city will resume its enforcement of the law on May 9, which gives pit bull owners in Denver 30 days to remove their dogs from the city.

Denver's original ban on pit bulls went into effect in 1991 following the 1990 decision of Denver District Court Judge Rothenberg in the Colorado Dog Fanciersí lawsuit against Denver. The ban was later upheld by the Colorado Supreme Court in 1991.

Denver's ordinance was challenged last year when State Representative Debbie Stafford sponsored a bill (HB04-1279) prohibiting all Colorado counties and municipalities from having breed-specific bans on dogs. The state legislature passed the bill, which forced the city to file a lawsuit in May 2004 against the state of Colorado.

In December 2004, Denver District Court Judge Martin F. Egelhoff issued a ruling that HB04-1279 violated Denverís home rule authority under the Colorado state constitution, concluding that the state could not impose such limitations on Denver.

On Thursday, Judge Egelhoff also found that the State Attorney Generalís Office failed to provide any new scientific evidence in the field of animal behavior or other new information to undermine Denver's original pit bull ordinance.

Denver's pit bull law prohibits any person from owning, possessing, keeping, exercising control over, maintaining, harboring, or selling a pit bull in the City and County of Denver. A pit bull is defined as any dog that is an American Pit Bull Terrier, an American Staffordshire Terrier, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, or any dog displaying the majority of physical traits of any one or more of these breeds.

However, it is permissible to transport a pit bull directly through Denver, from a starting point outside of Denver to another destination outside of Denver, provided that the pit bull dog remains in the vehicle.

Copies of the three official breed standards are available online, or at the Denver Municipal Animal Shelter, which is located at 678 South Jason Street. For more information, call 303-698-0076.

Posted by Internet Site Administrator Betsy Kimak, Customer Information Services. Source: Denver Division of Animal Care & Control.

-- Last updated on July 21, 2005

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