Y’all know our goal is to completely end breed-specific legislation in Denver. Voting #YesOn2J and allowing pitties back into Denver under a special license is a great first step! But to achieve truly breed-neutral legislation, the kind we know is most effective based on science, we not only need to win in November, we also need to improve dog safety in Denver after pitties are legalized. And the truth is, Denver, there are some serious opportunities for improvement here. 

Let’s discuss the two big concerns most frequently cited when discussing dog safety in Denver.

  1. LICENSES. Did you know that less than 1 in 5 dogs in Denver is licensed? Denver dogs are required by law to be licensed within 6 months – everybody, even the huskies and poodles and shih tzus.

Lack of compliance with licensing laws makes it harder to get lost dogs back home, as well as making it difficult for the city to best understand how and where to provide the types of services dog owners need – like dog parks!

  1. LEASHES. You all knew this one was coming. Denverites have a serious problem following leash laws!

Off-leash citations were the most frequently-issued citation by Denver park rangers in 2019. Lack of compliance with leash requirements was also the main issue cited by City Council and Mayor Hancock during the initial discussions regarding legalizing pit bulls back in February of this year. If you’re feeling emotionally stable and have put away all the sharp things within reach, you can read more about folks who don’t leash their dogs in this article with the astonishing and delightful headline #SCOFFPAWS.

So we all know banning pit bulls clearly didn’t do the trick. 75% of Denver residents do not feel that BSL made them safer. What will actually work to improve dog safety in Denver?

Passing #2J would be a good step — legalizing pit bulls would mean that Denver Animal Protection could divert resources they previously spent investigating claims and impounding suspected pit bulls, and dedicate those resources instead to providing pet safety, health, and training services such as their low-cost spay/neuter and microchip programs.

What are your thoughts – what more can we do to improve dog safety in Denver?