Denver’s Pit Bull Ban Stirs Controversy Across US
Last Friday, protesters traveled from all over the country to voice their displeasure over Denver’s law banning pit bulls throughout the city. This law, passed by city officials more than 20 years ago, requires pit bulls to be taken away and euthanized. It was enacted in response to several dog bite attacks involving pit bulls, including one where a 3-year-old boy was killed and another where pastor was almost killed.
However, the city’s put bull ban has recently garnered national press due to an episode of the Animal Planet show “Pit Boss” which focuses on the law. As a result, protesters have been pushing for the city to repeal the ban, threatening to bring action in federal court.
One of the most controversial aspects of the ban deals with the use of pit bulls as service dogs. Federal courts ruled that the Americans with Disabilities Act takes precedence over Denver’s law when pit bulls are used as service dogs. However, the Denver City Council voted to appeal this ruling, claiming that this law presents a loophole that jeopardizes the safety of Denver citizens. This appeal will be heard in federal court this March.
Is this law unfairly targeting one particular dog breed, or is there merit to the claim that pit bulls are generally a more dangerous breed of dog, responsible for many serious dog bite attacks? It appears that this question will be widely debated in the city of Denver in the upcoming months. Regardless, it seems that the onus should fall on dog owners to ensure that that their dog does not endanger the welfare of others. When people choose to own a dog that has a greater propensity towards violence, such as a pit bull or Rottweiler, they must be even more diligent in their efforts.