For Denver, the fight to end breed-specific legislation isn’t quite over yet. Although the Denver City Council voted 7-to-4 Monday in favor of reversing its controversial 30-year ban on pit bulls. But, Mayor Michael Hancock has not yet decided whether he’ll sign the ordinance.
City councilmembers voted to repeal the 1989-enacted pit bull ban in favor of new ordinance that allows—but highly regulates—ownership of “pit bull type dogs” including the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and mixed breed dogs having the physical characteristics of these breeds.
Under the new law, pit bull owners must register with Denver Animal Protection to obtain a “breed-restricted” license for the animal. The owner will have to provide the name and home address of the dog, two emergency contacts, an accurate description of the animal, and proof that the dog is microchipped and up-to-date on a rabies vaccination.
In addition, the new policy limits pet owners to two pit bulls per household. And requires owners to notify the city within eight hours if their dog bites or escapes. If the dog dies or the owner moves, the city must be alerted within 24 hours. If there are no incidents 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 in the city.
However, while this is a small victory for pit bull advocates and those that oppose breed specific legislation, the fight isn’t quite over yet. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock has not yet decided whether he’ll sign the ordinance.
In a statement from his office, a spokesperson said “Mayor Hancock wants to be thoughtful regarding his decision about this, and as such he hasn’t decided to sign the ordinance or not at this time.”
Hancock has until Friday to make a decision. If he chooses to veto the ordinance, City Council will need 9 votes to override his veto. Since only 7 councilmembers voted in favor of the repeal on Monday, it is unlikely to pass without Hancock’s signature.
If signed, the new ordinance would go into effect in 90 days.