Denver City Council votes to lift city ban on pit bulls, though some regulations remain

The new law will take effect in 90 days
Posted at 9:45 AM, Feb 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-11 10:02:58-05

DENVER — After more than 30 years in the books, Denver's pit bull ban will be a thing of the past, following a decision by city council Monday night to give the controversial breed a chance within city limits.

Denver City Council voted 7-4 to repeal the long-standing ban, replacing the law with what could be best described as a "probation" for the breed.

The vote came after more than an hour of public hearing on the issue.

Under the new ordinance, the owner must register with Denver Animal Protection and get their dog a "breed-restricted" license. The owner will also have to provide the name and home address of the dog, plus two emergency contacts, an accurate description of the pit bull and proof that the animal was microchipped and proof that the dog received an up-to-date rabies vaccination.

Other restrictions under the new law include: a limit of no more than two pit bulls per household, a requirment for the owner to notify Denver Animal Protection within eight hours if the dog escapes or bites, and a requirement for an owner to notify the agency within 24 hours if the dog dies or the owner moves to a different address.

If the pit bull shows good behavior after three years, Denver Animal Protection will remove the breed-restricted license, and the dog will be given the same license as any other dog within the city.

The new ordinance will take effect 90 days after Denver Mayor Michael Hancock signs it into law.

The nearby cities of Lone Tree, Louisville and Commerce City have bans on pit bulls. The City of Aurora is discussing whether to change its law.

Castle Rock's Town Council repealed its ban in 2018.

This story was originally published by Óscar Contreras on KMGH in Denver.