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  Denver Kills Dogs  

Vet Warns Dog Owners: STAY OUT OF DENVER

Pit Bull Videos

Courtesy of Dr. Paula Terifaj,  DVM:   1 pit bulls kioska.png   1 pit bulls kioskb1.png

                                       Please donate to help keep these posters displayed in Denver.    

"If you are the dog owner of an American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, or any mixed breed dog with the physical characteristics of the above breeds, you are not welcomed anywhere within the city limits of Denver. Not even for a visit! In fact, living in Denver has become a death sentence for more than 1,700 dogs and still counting.
I believe you must be sadly unaware of Denver’s dog ban against the above mentioned breeds. In 2005, the city of Denver adopted a breed ban that forced dog owners to either re-locate or surrender their dogs. Any dog fitting the physical description of a “pit bull” will be confiscated and euthanized, regardless of temperament. Please do your own research and report on these facts. You will be doing your readers a great service.
I urge you to print a retraction removing Denver as a prized dog-friendly city desirable to dog owners. Also, please issue a warning to all dog owners that it is not safe to visit, let alone move to Denver if your dog looks anything like a “pit bull”. Thousands of innocent family dogs have either lost their homes (being surrendered to animal rescue groups and shelters outside of Denver) or have been executed under breed ban ordinance sec. 8-55.
Please read the popular on-line petition “Spend No Dollars in Denver” ( http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/spend-no-dollars-in-denver-colorado) and see why nearly 3,000 concerned citizens — and still counting — in the US and abroad have decided to boycott Denver. And be prepared to receive more mail on this subject."

Denver Code Sec. 8-55.  Pit bulls prohibited.

(a)   It shall be unlawful for any person to own, possess, keep, exercise control over, maintain, harbor, transport, or sell within the city any pit bull.
(b)   Definitions.
(1)   An "owner," for purposes of this chapter, is defined as any person who owns, possesses, keeps, exercises control over, maintains, harbors, transports or sells an animal.
(2)   A "pit bull," for purposes of this chapter, is defined as any dog that is an American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, or any dog displaying the majority of physical traits of any one (1) or more of the above breeds, or any dog exhibiting those distinguishing characteristics which substantially conform to the standards established by the American Kennel Club or United Kennel Club for any of the above breeds. The A.K.C. and U.K.C. standards for the above breeds are on file in the office of the clerk and recorder, ex officio clerk of the City and County of Denver, at City Clerk Filing No. 89457.
(3)   A "secure temporary enclosure," for purposes of this chapter, is a secure enclosure used for purposes of transporting a pit bull and which includes a top and bottom permanently attached to the sides except for a "door" for removal of the pit bull. Such enclosure must be of such material, and such door closed and secured in such a manner, that the pit bull cannot exit the enclosure on its own.
(c)   Exceptions. The prohibition in subsection (a) of this section shall not apply in the following enumerated circumstances. Failure by the owner to comply and remain in compliance with all of the terms of any applicable exception shall subject the pit bull to immediate impoundment and disposal pursuant to subsection (e) of this section, and shall operate to prevent the owner from asserting such exception as a defense in any prosecution under subsection (a).
(1)   The owner of a pit bull, who has applied for and received a dog license for such pit bull pursuant to section 8-61 at the Denver Municipal Animal Shelter on or before the date of publication of the ordinance enacting this section 8-55 [August 7, 1989], who has applied for and received a pit bull license in accordance with subsection (d) of this section, and who maintains the pit bull at all times in compliance with the put bull license requirements of subsection (d) of this section and all other applicable requirements of this chapter, may keep a pit bull within the city.
(2)   The city's municipal animal shelter may temporarily harbor and transport any pit bull for purposes of enforcing the provisions of this chapter.
(3)   Any humane society operating an animal shelter which is registered and licensed by the city may temporarily hold any pit bull that it has received or otherwise recovered, but only for so long as it takes to contact the city's municipal animal shelter and either turn the pit bull over to the municipal animal shelter employees or receive permission to destroy or have destroyed the pit bull pursuant to the provisions of subsection (e).
(4)   A person may temporarily transport into and hold in the city a pit bull only for the purpose of showing such pit bull in a place of public exhibition, contest or show sponsored by a dog club association or similar organization. However, the sponsor of the exhibition, contest, or show must receive written permission from the manager, must obtain any other permits or licenses required by city ordinance, and must provide protective measures adequate to prevent pit bulls from escaping or injuring the public. The person who transports and holds a pit bull for showing shall, at all times when the pit bull is being transported within the city to and from the place of exhibition, contest, or show, keep the pit bull confined in a "secure temporary enclosure" as defined in subdivision (b)(3).
(5)   Except as provided in subdivision (4), above, the owner of a pit bull may temporarily transport through the city a pit bull only if such owner has obtained a valid transport permit from the manager. Upon request, the manager shall issue such permits only upon a showing by the owner that the pit bull is being transported either from a point outside the city to a destination outside the city, or from a point outside the city to an airport, train station or bus station within the city. In the latter case, such owner must provide evidence of an intent to send or take the pit bull outside of the city by producing an airline, train or bus ticket, or other equivalent document, showing a departure time within six (6) hours of the time of the transport. At all times when the pit bull is being transported within the city, it must be kept confined in a "secure temporary enclosure" as defined in subdivision (b)(3) of this section. In all cases before issuing a transport permit, the manager must find that the transport would not constitute an unnecessary or undue danger to the public health, welfare or safety, and shall not issue the permit where the manager cannot so find. All transport permits issued shall only be valid for the time, date and pit bull specified on the permit, and shall not be construed to permit any activity otherwise prohibited.
(d)   The owner of any pit bull which had been licensed pursuant to section 8-61 on or before the date of publication of the ordinance enacting this section 8-55 (Ordinance No. 404, Series of 1989) shall be allowed to keep such pit bull within the city upon compliance with the terms of the exception contained in subdivision (c)(1) of this section only if the owner applies for and receives an annual pit bull license on or before January 1, 1990. As a condition of issuance of a pit bull license, the owner shall at the time of application comply with or otherwise provide sufficient evidence that the owner is in compliance withall  of the following regulations: 
(1)   The owner of the pit bull shall provide proof of rabies vaccination and shall pay the annual pit bull license fee of fifty dollars ($50.00).
(2)   The owner of the pit bull shall keep current the license for such pit bull through annual renewal. Such license is not transferable and shall be renewable only by the holder of the license or by a member of the immediate family of such licensee. A pit bull license tag will be issued to the owner at the time of issuance of the license. Such license tag shall be attached to the pit bull by means of a collar or harness and shall not be attached to any pit bull other than the pit bull for which the license was issued. If the pit bull tag is lost or destroyed, a duplicate tag may be issued upon the payment of a two-dollar fee.
(3)   The owner must be at least twenty-one (21) years of age as of January 1, 1990.
(4)   The owner shall present to the manager proof that the owner has procured liability insurance in the amount of at least one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00), covering any damage or injury which may be caused by a pit bull during the twelve-month period covered by the pit bull license. The policy shall contain a provision requiring the insurance company to provide written notice to the manager not less than fifteen (15) days prior to any cancellation, termination, or expiration of the policy.
(5)   The owner shall, at the owner's own expense, have the pit bull spayed or neutered and shall present to the manager documentary proof from a licensed veterinarian that this sterilization has been performed.
(6)   The owner shall bring the pit bull to the Denver Municipal Animal Shelter where a person authorized by the manager shall cause a registration number assigned by the department to be tattooed or otherwise marked on the pit bull. The manager shall maintain a file containing the registration numbers and names of the pit bulls and the names and addresses of the owners. The owner shall notify the manager of any change of address.
(7)   At all times when a pit bull is at the property of the owner, the owner shall keep the pit bull "confined," as that term is defined in subsection 8-52(b). At all times when a pit bull is away from the property of the owner, the owner shall keep the pit bull either securely leashed and muzzled or in a "secure temporary enclosure," as that term is defined in subdivision (b)(3) of this section.
(8)   The owner shall not sell or otherwise transfer the pit bull to any person except a member of the owner's immediate family who will then become the owner and will be subject to all of the provisions of this section. The owner shall notify the manager within five (5) days in the event that the pit bull is lost, stolen, dies, or has a litter. In the event of a litter, the owner must deliver the puppies to the Denver Municipal Animal Shelter for destruction or permanently remove the puppies from Denver and provide sufficient evidence of such removal by the time the puppies are weaned, but in no event shall the owner be allowed to keep in Denver a pit bull puppy born after the date of publication of Ordinance No. 404, Series 1989, that is more than eight (8) weeks old. Any pit bull puppies kept contrary to the provisions of this subdivision are subject to immediate impoundment and disposal pursuant to subsection (e) of this section.
(9)   The owner shall have posted at each possible entrance to the owner's property where the pit bull is kept a conspicuous and clearly legible pit bull sign. Such pit bull sign must be at least eight (8) inches by ten (10) inches in rectangular dimensions and shall contain only the words "PIT BULL DOG" in lettering not less than two (2) inches in height.
(e)   Notwithstanding the provisions of Article VIII of this chapter, the manager is authorized to immediately impound any pit bull found in the City and County of Denver which does not fall within the exceptions listed in subsection (c), above, and the municipal animal shelter may house or dispose of such pit bull in such manner as the manager may deem appropriate, except as the procedures in subsection (f), below, otherwise require.
(f)   When the manager has impounded any pit bull dog pursuant to this section, and the owner of such dog disputes the classification of such dog as a pit bull, the owner of such dog may file a written petition with the manager for a hearing concerning such classification no later than seven (7) days after impoundment. Such petition shall include the name and address, including mailing address, of the petitioner. The manager will then issue a notice of hearing date by mailing a copy to the petitioner's address no later than ten (10) days prior to the date of the hearing. Where no written request from the owner for a hearing is received by the manager within seven (7) days of impoundment, the pit bull shall be destroyed.
The hearing, if any, will be held before the manager or a hearing officer designated by the manager. Any facts which the petitioners wishes to be considered shall be submitted under oath or affirmation either in writing or orally at the hearing. The manager or hearing officer shall make a final determination whether the dog is a pit bull as defined in subsection (b)(2) of this section. Such final determination shall be considered a final order of the manager subject to review under Rule 106(a)(4) of the state rules of civil procedure.
If the dog is found to be a pit bull, it shall be destroyed, unless the owner produces evidence deemed sufficient by the manager that the pit bull is to be permanently taken out of Denver and the owner pays the cost of impoundment. If the dog is found not to be a pit bull, the dog shall be released to the owner. The procedures in this subsection (f) shall not apply and the owner is not entitled to such a hearing with respect to any dog which was impounded as the immediate result of an attack or bite as defined in section 8-51. In those instances, the dog shall be handled and the procedures governed by the provisions of article VIII of this chapter.
(Ord. No. 404-89, § 1, 7-31-89; Ord. No. 631-89, § 1, 10-23-89; Ord. No. 1110-96, § 1, 12-16-96)
Quoted from the Never in Denver Buycott:
12:59 pm PDT, Oct 10, Kira Valentine, Colorado  

"I would like to say that some of the best dogs I have had have been pit bulls. What will it take for you to realize that it is not the dog - it is the owner. Look at all the other publized and non regarding dog bites! German Sheperds, Chow's, Rotties, Chihuahua's....they all bite - because of the OWNER. I was horrified at your city officials when they came and took my pitbull away. Our neighbor falsified statements regarding my deaf pitbull - whom never barked, never bit, was only the sweetest dog imagineable! Your "officials" came and took him like he was a criminal in front of my then 3 year old daughter. What did you guys just teach her??? I was teaching her that the police were there to protect her and get bad guys.....you just made me a liar!"
Please see:

Never in Denver Boycott: Freedom loving Americans together with our fellow global allies have promised not to spend a single dollar in Denver. No vacations. No homes. No Shopping. Can you hear that Denver?

Boycott Denver Petition please click on paw paw_button.cmp


To my colleagues at the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners,

As a proud member of our veterinary profession for the past twenty-five years, I continue to be disappointed by the lack of organizational support the veterinary community has shown in opposition to breed discriminatory laws — both by city governments and insurance companies. The pet owning public expects that veterinarians will act in the best interests their pet’s welfare and protect them from foreseeable harm. As a collective group, we have failed and ignored the dire consequences of allowing cancerous legislation that seeks to destroy a dog based solely on physical characteristics.

If you hold your event in Denver, you are shaking hands with a city that carelessly violates our freedom of choice to purchase or adopt a dog. You are in effect endorsing the deaths of nearly 2,000 dogs that Denver has forcibly taken from family homes and killed. Choosing an alternate city to host your symposium would send a powerful message to Denver ’s city leaders.  Be aware that other cities across our country have looked at Denver ’s breed ban as a model ordinance to copy! For full disclosure of what has tragically happened in Denver , please visit: www.DenverKillsDogs.com.

Don’t become a silent partner by financially rewarding a city that has insulted responsible dog owners and stripped away their dog ownership rights. Announce that you will take your event and revenue to a nearby Colorado city, such as Boulder , which welcomes all dogs and the clients we have vowed to serve.


Paula Terifaj, DVM


Calling all Rovers!
We have just updated DenverKillsDogs.com with a sign-up function for Campaign Kick Out 2010.  This is especially important for folks in the Denver Metro area - so please forward to all your contacts in Colorado!
We intend to remove those city council members who remain in favor of the breed ban:
We are boldly moving forward and will renew our contract for the kiosk's- although we are still short on donations - SUPPORTERS ARE COPIED AND ASKED TO GET THE WORD OUT TO HELP US TO REACH GOAL: http://www.thepoint.com/campaigns/which-dog-will-denver-kill-next
Great article in the December 29, 2008 issue of Sports Illustrated by Jim Gorant entitled "What Happened to Michael Vick's Dogs . . ." Check it out http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/magazine/12/22/vick.dogs/index.html.
Abopt a shelter animal: President-elect Obama did!  See a video about their new dog!
A Pit Bull's prayer:
I found this, while I was crying;
It's lonely here in prison,
I dream of sun, of fields,
I saw them from a window once,
but I don't know how they feel.

I've never known a caress,
a friend, a bone, a toy,
I'd happily companion,
a human girl or boy.

But some men have decided,
with selfishness and greed,
that my fate shall be a cage,
and for my keep, I'll breed.

What should fuel this folly?
My kind may bark in vain.
We care not for your commerce,
and few know of our pain.

We're hidden well from justice,
for our freedom same may cry.
God grant me, please, just one request -
Let me play once before I die.

             Possible changes coming for BSL in Denver:

In regards to Kelley's absurd statements – your city leadership has put him in charge of a 3 ring circus, making Denver look all the more incredulous.  It would be funny if the consequences were not so dire for the innocent family dogs you continue to hunt and slaughter in the name of ‘public safety’.  

Doesn’t Denver have any real criminals to chase after– like thieves, rapists, domestic abusers or drunk drivers?  

 Ruling on "pit bull" revives debate on Denver's ban

By Jordan Steffen

303-954-1638 or


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. 

During a July business trip, O'Connell left Dexter with friends who live in Denver. Animal control was called to the residence on an unrelated incident and saw Dexter in the backyard. 

Officers suspected Dexter of being a pit bull and seized him. A few days later, the dog was subjected to a breed examination, during which he was found to have a majority of pit-bull characteristics. 

O'Connell challenged the finding. 

Animal Control director Doug Kelley said that this is not the first time a classification has been lifted and it is not uncommon for dog owners to contest exam results. 

"This is the example of why we have this process in place," Kelley said, "and this outcome only demonstrates that it is working." 

Once a confiscated dog is labeled a pit bull, it can no longer live in or visit Denver. Dogs in violation may be relocated or euthanized. 

The exam panel is made up of two animal-control officers and a veterinarian technician, each of whom completes an exam of the dog to determine its breed characteristics, Kelley said. 

Edwards, who presented testimony from American Kennel Club judges and professional dog handlers during the hearing, said the city's process is inadequate and called the examiners unqualified. She said this ruling could lead to more dog owners coming forward to challenge the results of exams. 

But Kelley said city dog examiners receive special training and field experience in determining a dog's breed based on its physical characteristics and traits.    


Paula Terifaj DVM


  1 pit poster.jpg   1 bsl vote no.png  America's Favorite Animal Shelter Contest - help your animal shelter win $10,000 - vote today!,mariah's promise,Peanuts Place Bully Rescue 
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Take my loyalty... Mousepad

Take my loyalty... Mousepad

Take my loyalty, love and affection. NOT my life. (at bottom) Breed specific legislation is wrong. It punishes innocent dogs and the families who love them. It doesn't save lives - it destroys them

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