The city and county of Denver does not allow for ownership, possession, transportation, or sales of pit bull dogs. Denver defines a pit bull as being an American Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, or dog that exhibits the bulk of the physical attributes of these breeds, according to the American Kennel Club or United Kennel Club standards. The ban was originally implemented in 1989 and was soon after challenged by those claiming the ban was not constitutional. The case progressed to the state's Supreme Court in CO Dog Fanciers, Inc. v. City & County of Denver (Colo. 1991), where the law was upheld by the court.
Colorado Localities with Dog Breed Bans
The following localities in the state have some form of ordinance in place restricting certain breeds of dogs:
- Castle Rock
- Commerce City
- Fort Lupton
- Lone Tree
- Town of Simla
The following represents a list of breeds of dogs included in city ordinances across the United States by percentage
- Pit bulls 100%
- Rottweilers 7%
- Wolf-mix 3%
- Presa canarios 3%
- Mastiff-types 2%
- American Bulldogs 2%
- Dobermans 2%
Impoundment of Banned Breeds in Denver
Dog owners who are uncertain of the breed of their dog may schedule an appointment at the Denver Animal Shelter to make a breed determination. If your dog is being held because it is suspected of being a banned breed, you will be informed of the results in less than five business days. The assessments are done by three trained members of the staff who base their determination on the physical characteristics of the dog. Banned breeds may not remain in the city and must be moved to a location without an ordinance that prohibits the breed. Owners who wish to dispute the breed determination of their dog may file a petition to contest within seven days after the dog is impounded so a hearing can be completed. The Animal Protection Department in Denver will assume ownership of any dog determined to have previously been in violation of the breed ordinance (second offense). The Department may evaluate the dog's behavior and disposition to determine the appropriateness of relocating the animal to an animal rescue center located outside of Denver.
Banned Breeds Visiting Denver
Those who wish to bring a banned breed to Denver for a dog-related event or exhibition may do so under specific conditions. The promoter of the event must obtain a transport permit and safely confine the dog in a secure enclosure. The secured enclosure must have a top, bottom, and sides attached made of sturdy materials and have a locking door.
Colorado Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in an attack by a dog, the state law may allow you to recover sizable compensation for your hardship. The Law Office of Jeremy Rosenthal works on behalf of injury victims to see that justice is rendered. Contact the office today at (303) 825-2223 for a free consultation to review your case.