• Kristina Bergsten

Denver's Pit Bull Ban Repealed! But that's not the end of the story...

Ballot Measure 2J was passed by a 64% margin in Denver. It will go into effect in January. The new law will create a permitting system for "pit bulls," also known as American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and Staffordshire Bull Terriers. So technically, pit bulls are only "legal" if the pit bull owner registers his/her dog with Denver Animal Protection under a "breed-restricted permit." This will also require the owner to set up a breed assessment with Denver Animal Protection at a cost of $25. Scheduling for this assessment is not available, at the moment.

The permit will require an owner to provide his/her name and address where the dog will reside, two emergency contacts, an accurate description of the pit bull, an annual fee (of $30 that must be renewed every year for at least 3 years), proof of rabies vaccination, proof of spay/neuter (unless you have an "intact" exception permit), proof of a city license, proof the dog was microchipped, and "any other information DAP reasonably requires."

Residents will be allowed to own up to two pit bulls per home. If no violations for the dog are recorded for three consecutive years, pet owners will be allowed to register their pit bull like any other dog in Denver.

Examples of potential violations include, but are not limited to:

  • Off-leash charge

  • Lapsed permit charge

  • Excrement charge

  • Bite charge

  • Excessive barking charge

  • Potentially dangerous animal/dangerous animal charge

Each violation will result in resetting the three-year time period (i.e., back to start), and/or other consequences. A charge of potentially dangerous animal also carries a permitting requirement (at $300/year), in addition to muzzling and caging your dog. A dangerous dog charge carries a penalty of not allowing your dog in the Denver city limits. So make sure you call a lawyer if you are facing any of these charges!

In order to reapply for a Breed-Restricted Permit, owners and keepers must show proof that the violation has been corrected.

DON'T FORGET: Aurora, Lone Tree, Louisville and Commerce City still have bans on pit bulls, though Castle Rock repealed their ban in 2018. The Aurora City Council discussed breed restrictions in August, but tabled the issue.