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Say No to DENVER - Stop Breed-Specific Legislation and Stop Killing Dogs


New research exposes high taxpayer cost to ban pit bulls

Breed-discriminatory legislation that targets pit bull-type dogs is an expensive waste of tax dollars, according to an economic study commissioned by Best Friends Animal Society. The Utah-based national animal welfare organization has worked with American pit bull terriers for many years and in the past two years has been working to rehabilitate dogs from the Michael Vick dog fighting case. 

The study, completed by John Dunham and Associates and based on data from a variety of sources including  the Federal government, serves as core information for a new online “Fiscal Impact Calculator” that Best Friends says will help state and local governmental entities calculate the true cost of implementing and enforcing breed-discriminatory laws. Such laws exist in approximately 300 different U.S. communities and involve regulating or banning certain breeds of dogs based solely on their lineage with no regard to the animal’s behavior or temperament.

Bottom line finding: It would cost governmental entities in excess of $450 million to enforce a nationwide ban on pit bulls, which would include costs of enforcement, kenneling and veterinary care, euthanizing and disposal, litigation and DNA testing.

~Read Entire News Release~

Alternative Pit Bull Ban Proposal
by Jan Keith
Denver Kills Dogs

Date: Thu, 6 Aug 2009 12:06:13 -0700
Subject: Alternative Pit Bull Ban Proposal

Dear Mayor Hickenlooper and Council Members:

The recent CBS4 news item which included a video interview with Councilman Michael Hancock describing his unfortunate encounter with a pit bull perfectly illustrates how rational thought can be replaced by fear and skepticism.  This dog attack occurred when Mr. Hancock was a child and has understandably left an indelible mark on both his mind and body.  The circumstances of this incident were not mentioned in the interview, but my guess would be that a negligent human being was instrumental in this dog bite incident.  That is not to say that I can't appreciate the fact that dogs bite people---ANY dog can bite.  I'm curious.  Had a Labrador Retriever, Cocker Spaniel, Lhasa Apso or Dalmatian bitten Mr. Hancock, would he be advocating a ban on those breeds?

This leads me back to my original assertion that fear and skepticism can wreak havoc on peoples' lives when used to shape laws by which others are forced to comply.   Supporting a law that cuts into the very core of an American's right to privacy and right to live free of government intrusion into an issue so mundane as dog ownership, is not only extreme and unreasonabIe, it's harmful!   Think about the hundreds of families who face financial hardship as they leave their homes and move out of Denver?  How do you explain to a child to trust authorities when they witness their innocent family pet who has done absolutely NOTHING wrong is being dragged off by police and animal control?  How do you teach tolerance when you have a law that essentially racially profiles and targets a dog's life because of its "look"?  How do you defend the nearly $1 million per year in costs to enforce this ridiculous ban?  How long will it take to recoup the dollars lost in tourism and new families who avoid your dog-unfriendly city?

Ignorance breeds contempt and fear.  Under your watch, you are pulling a "fast one" on Denverites when you make false claims about the city being safer without pit bulls.  It's simply untrue (HSUS study 6/09).  You have the power to repeal this absurd, Draconian law that has done nothing to support your safety concerns and replace it with tough "dangerous dog" regulations with consequences for PEOPLE who own ANY breed.  I sincerely hope you set aside your fear and ignorance and learn the facts,

Please stop this dog holocaust and do the right thing.

Jan Keith

Denver councilwoman proposes easing pit bull ban

Kim Posey KDVR Reporter,0,7108689.story
August 4, 2009

DENVER - Could pit bulls be allowed back into Denver? The dogs are banned in the city, but councilwoman Carla Madison is proposing changes to the ban that would allow dogs back into the city with some restrictions.

"It still would be illegal to own a pit bull in Denver unless you are willing to go through these hoops, and comply with the ordinance," Madison said.

Under her proposal pit bull owners would have to be 21 years old, pay $50 for a permit, and agree to home inspections. They would need at least $1,000,000 in homeowner or renter insurance, and the dog would need temperament testing, obedience training and to follow muzzle restrictions.

"I say let them back in," says resident Greg Stewart. But many don't want the dogs in their city again. "Pit bulls are bread to fight," said resident Spencer Chase. "Just because you muzzle them is not going to take away the dangers that exist."

The issue is not yet scheduled at a city council meeting. Councilwoman Madison says she would like to hear what residents have to say about the idea.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Were innocent dogs killed?

Pit bull advocates wonder if city has put down misidentified dogs

The Denver Daily News

Peter Marcus, DDN Staff Writer

Pit bull advocates would like to know just how many innocent dogs have been killed by the city simply because the dogs were wrongly identified as being part of the banned breed.

Suggesting that hundreds of innocent dogs may have been killed by the city, advocates are calling for an immediate re-evaluation of the city’s controversial ordinance.

At the center of the debate is a recent case in which an administrative judge ruled that animal control officers wrongly labeled a boxer-mix as a pit bull. Three so-called experts with Denver Animal Care and Control had labeled Kevin O’Connell’s dog Dexter a pit bull. But O’Connell’s own experts - American Kennel Club judges and professional dog handlers - testified last week that Dexter was in no way a pit bull.

~Read More~

Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Pit Bull Ruling Puts Spotlight On Denver's Breed-Specific Ban
Dog Owner Wins Case Against City

Jaclyn Allen, 7NEWS Reporter

DENVER -- When the city of Denver said Kevin O'Connell's dog was a pit bull, they took away his best friend.

Now, one dog owner's win in court is putting Denver's controversial pit bull ban back in the spotlight.

"He never gets tired," said O'Connell, as he threw a tennis ball for his 4-year-old boxer-mix, Dexter. "He's always by my side. He sits in the front seat of my car whenever we go anywhere."

During one business trip in July, though, O'Connell left Dexter with a friend in Denver.

An animal control officer responding to an unrelated call saw Dexter in the back yard, thought he was a pit bull and took him to the pound.

~Read More~

Sunday, October 11, 2009
Ruling on "pit bull" revives debate on Denver's ban

By Jordan Steffen
The Denver Post

On Monday, an administrative judge ruled that Denver Animal Care and Control must remove the pit bull breed label from Kevin O'Connell's dog.

On Friday, O'Connell, 40, of Thornton, and his boxer-mix Dexter celebrated the ruling.

O'Connell's attorney, Jennifer Edwards of The Animal Law Center, said the reversal could be a first step toward combating the controversial ordinance that bans pit bulls from Denver.

"This ruling absolutely disqualifies Denver in having any expertise in breed determining," Edwards said.

Breed determination, Edwards said, is the crux of the city's ability to enforce its ban on pit bulls.

~Read More~
Date: Wed, 30 Sep 2009
Subject: The Manifestation of the Denver Breed Ban

**WARNING** Graphic Photos Of Denver's Breed Ban Inserted (Don't Open If You Have A Weak Stomach or An Overly-Empathetic Heart...Seriously!)

Many of you B.A.N.D. (Breed Awareness, Not Discrimination) members have been here with me and so many others since Denver reenacted the breed ban in May of 2005. Various members have done and continue to do rescue, fostering, letter writing, phone calls, and every other kind of action that goes into helping those affected or changing these insane laws to something saner, kinder, and smarter than rounding up family dogs and killing them.

Lately, for several reasons, I've not sent out much information about what is going on with the court cases or what you can do to help if you're looking to. A small part of those reasons is that doing some of this is hard and awful and I just plain don't want to relive it by telling others--I've pretty much clammed up as a defense mechanism. For me, one of the worst aspects of this is helping people through the system to get their dogs out. Animal control does not make this easy and anyway, almost everyone is scared and crying, and that's just the people.

~Click here to read more IF you can handle graphic photos~

Tuesday, November 3, 2009 (SF Gate)
Michael Vick's unpaid dues: Why dog advocates aren't moving on
By: Christie Keith, Special to SF Gate

When football player Michael Vick made his first post-prison appearance in a Philadelphia Eagles uniform, he got a standing ovation from the hometown crowd. His recent reception in the Bay Area was far cooler -- at last month's game between the Eagles and the Oakland Raiders, he was greeted with protestors, picket signs and a plane flying over the stadium with a banner reading "Dogfighter Go Home!"

But even in the dog-loving Bay Area, Vick had plenty of defenders. "Sooner or later you're going to have to forgive the guy anyway," Charles Wright, a 44-year-old Oakland tow truck driver, told protestors after the game. "You may as well get it out of your system."

Another fan yelled, "Come on, the dude paid his debt to society."

~Read More~

In Your Hands
Johnson: If experts cannot ID dog breeds, how can cities?
By Bill Johnson
Denver Post Columnist
Posted: 12/16/2009 01:00:00 AM MST
Updated: 12/16/2009 02:22:00 AM MST

So you think you know about dogs?

Sorry, you do not.

I break this news to you only because I got put to such a test Tuesday, along with about two dozen animal-shelter directors, volunteers, dog trainers and others who make a dog-related living.

The task was simple: View 20 dogs on a videotape and identify each one. Is it purebred or mixed? If believed a mix, what is the mixture of each?

How hard could it be?

~Read More~

Victory! Huffington Post Removes Pit Bulls From List of Dangerous Pets
by  Stephanie Feldstein
Published March 05, 2010 @ 12:19PM PT
Two days ago, pit bulls were named one of nine dangerous pets "not meant to be domesticated" by the Huffington Post. Hundreds of community members sent letters to the editor asking them to stop the spread of misinformation about these dogs.

As of this afternoon, there are only eight dangerous pets in the slideshow. Pit bulls are no longer included.

~Read Article~

~ Read More -- Continue on Page 3 ~