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3,497 dead dogs and other numbers from Denver's pit bull ban

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Like many stories about dog attacks, the recent description of an aggressive "fight dog" that bit a woman on the thigh and elbow in a Superior parking lot prompted many online comments at Denverpost.com.

"Anyone who owns a mutt from one of these killer breeds should be REQUIRED to have 100k in liability insurance," wrote one person. Another poster seethed about seeing more unleashed pit bulls without muzzles in public places: "I used to only carry a weapon to kill pit bulls in cities, and now the situation is only getting worse. Aggressive dogs should all be put down. Peace, Love, and Golden Retrievers!" Despite the fact that the article states very clearly that police listed the dog "as a mastiff or German shepherd mix," several other comments also mention pit bulls in reference to the attack.

Such assumptions aren't surprising. People often use "pit bull" as a synonym for any dog that is hyper-aggressive and dangerous. In hopes of preventing severe dog attacks, Denver has maintained a controversial twenty-year prohibition on any dog that appears to be more than 50 percent pit bull. In this week's story examining how Denver's pit bull ban has performed over the years, Westword intern Kiernan Maletsky and I spent several months collecting dog bite statistics from Denver and several other metro-area cities with and without breed bans. Click below for some visuals on what we found.

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Denver's bites (click to enlarge)
First, we looked at the number of bites recorded by Denver Animal Care and Control going back to 1990, the first full year the breed ban was in effect. (Click charts to enlarge.) Aside from a bump in 2004 when enforcement of the ban was temporarily suspended, reported bites from pit bulls in Denver have stayed relatively static -- around twelve per year. What is notable is the significant drop in dog bites of all breeds, from 1,146 in 1990 to 305 in 2008. Animal control officials attribute this decrease in total bites to increased enforcement of Denver's non-breed specific dog laws and county-wide spaying and neutering efforts.

Some studies on dog bites show pit bulls and Rottweilers as inflicting the most reported bites; others show Golden Retrievers, Labs and Chow Chows as causing the most. But is this because these breeds bite more often or because more of these dogs are represented in a given area? Since there's no reliable doggy census, it's nearly impossible to know if one breed bites more often than another.

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Bite hospitalizations (click to enlarge)
Proponents of breed bans, such as Denver Assistant City Attorney Kory Nelson, instead argue that pit bulls are more dangerous because, when they do bite, the injuries they inflict are more serious. So we looked at figures gathered by the Colorado Department of Public and Environment on hospitalization rates for dogs by county. From 1995 to 2006, more people sought medical attention for dog bites in Denver County than anywhere else in the state. Counties without pit bull bans -- Boulder, El Paso and Jefferson -- showed fewer people going to the hospital dog bites.

Are bites from pit bulls more severe?

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Bite severity by breed (click to enlarge)
The Coalition for Living Safely with Dogs, a Colorado group made up of veterinary associations and animal welfare groups, gathered information from animal control divisions across the state. Their report found that the severity of pit bull bites -- 1 being a "bruising" and 5 being a "maul (serious bodily injury)" -- was about the same as bites from breeds such as Australian Cattle Dogs and Akitas, and below breeds such as American Bull Dogs, Dalmatians and Dachshunds.

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Dog bites in cities without bans(click to enlarge)
In late 2005, Aurora joined Denver in banning pit bulls. Here's how their average number of reported dog bites stack up against Broomfield, Boulder and Lakewood, which don't outlaw pit bulls.

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Pit bulls impounded(click to enlarge)

Denver has impounded 5,286 dogs under its pit bull ordinance. In 1992, the third full year of the ban, Denver impounded 27 pit bulls. In 2000, the number increased exponentially until its height of 1,011 in 2005, when animal control began to enforce the ordinance after a one-year moratorium. Last year, 354 pit bulls were impounded.

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Pit bulls killed(click to enlarge)
The more pit bull that are impounded, the more pit bulls are euthanized. In 2005 and 2006, Denver put 1,453 pit bulls to death. City staff only had euthanization numbers back to 2002. But by applying the impound/euthanization rate to the previous ten years, we estimate that at least 3,497 pit bulls have been euthanized under Denver's ban.

From investigation to impound to euthanization, it costs the city roughly $256 per dog.

The recent case of a Pomeranian that was banned from Aspen shows that any dog breed can be vicious.

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Dog attack fatalities (click to enlarge)
But which breeds have killed in Colorado? As this list reveals, out of nine reported dog attack fatalities in the state since 1980, pit bulls were responsible for two.

For more information, read the Westword feature story on the pit bull ban, view photos from the city's "pit bull row" and check out a sidebar on how the City of Boulder is dealing with aggressive dogs without banning pit bulls.



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102 comments
everyonehasanopinion
everyonehasanopinion

Ok this is ridiculous. For starters, all dogs bite people, its not just pit bulls. And there really shouldn't be a ban for pit bulls. If you don't like pit bulls or you think they are dangerous, THEN DONT GET ONE. Its as simple as that. All dogs deserve to be treated nicely and with love. The only reason SOME of them are aggressive is because of their owners, not the dog. Thats all….

Tammymcmasters
Tammymcmasters

There are no bad dogs only bad dog owners. Pits just want to please their owners. Pit owners should know with a powerful dog comes a great responsibility. So you should be in control of your dog, but that also goes for any dog. People should be the ones held responsible for the actions of their dogs regardless of the dogs breed. Love your dog, train your dog and be responsible.Pit bull Lover.

DUH!...
DUH!...

Now here's a really obvious solution how about the pitbulls who murder people get put down and the ones who don't live on simple.

PitbullNutterButter
PitbullNutterButter

DERP! 100% of arrests are caused by police! lets ban them too and have a crime free nation!!! derp

ifyoudontchewbigredthanf*ckyou
ifyoudontchewbigredthanf*ckyou

I've been bit by a friends german shepard. Ive been bit by a policeman's german shepard. been bit by my own german shepard. they continue to be the best dog.

Austin Moore
Austin Moore

Funny you say pitbulls are horrible yet one of your charts show that their are 6 different breeds that have a higher rate of biting then a pit bull. Kind of dumb of you to be honest

Pit_Lover!
Pit_Lover!

I've owned a pitbull for two years, I got her out of a horrible situation. She was just a puppy. Starved, and lonely. Her name is Cashew, and I have a one year old son now, and she absolutely loves him! Lets him pull her hair, tail, ears, bite her, bounce on her, just everything! She just lays there and takes it, and licks his face. There is NOTHING WRONG WITH PITBULL and it tears and my heart to read things like this. Yes, I will admit, there are pitbulls that attack, but that is because of careless and cruel owners. Pitbulls that have been fought or abused are the ONLY ones that attack. I believe that people should be entitled to the right to own WHATEVER kind of dog they please and I think it is against our Constitutional rights to take that priveledge away. Why punish the dogs? They have done absolutely nothing wrong. It's the people. Punish the people who make dogs the way they are.  IGNORANCE!

John
John

I think that it depends on the people who raises pit bulls. I mean pit bulls don't start biting, or become aggressive when they are born. It is up to human beings how they are trained. say for instance, when we raise our children, we teach them to love, respect, we don't raise them to be bad children do we? The same for pit bulls and any kind of animal of breed. Animals react to what they have been taught. They are not born to murder, or attack., nor are children. You hear soooo much bad things about pit bulls attack, or murder, that people are basically brainwashed. they automatically want to put the pit bull down. What about the good that pit bulls do? For instance, they use pit-bulls are used as guide dogs, and also to search for people when they are lost. Pit bulls are beautiful, and I tink it is unjust and completely UNFAIR to put them down. I hope that one day the city counsel would wake up and smell the coffee, and realize pit-bulls have just as much love for humans as any other breed, if not more love.

Lovemypits
Lovemypits

You people make me sick that think all pitbulls are just so terrible.I own 3 and never had a problem with any of them.They guard our kids,treat strangers like family and our my bestfriends. You should be ashamed of yourself putting down all these animals and for what. Why dont you do something with all those stupid yappy dogs but they arent aggressive right? Psh

Onekoolleo
Onekoolleo

I will say again: the government will only take my pitbull with their bullet riddled body and my cold dead hands. I have never had a problem with pitbull, just other breeds and espcially those worthless mean, yappy, snappy little dogs that most 'ladies' coddle and cause to be mean by negative reiforcement.

HeatherChriR
HeatherChriR

OH! And one more thing... MANY MANY MANY of dog attacks, that were NOT pit bulls, or any kind of mix of the breed, are PUBLISHED as Pit-Bulls, regardless! There could be an Akita attack, a Golden Retriever attack, a BLACK LAB ATTACK. They have all been originally published as "Pit-Bull Attacks... etc."... If they ARE corrected, it is done days later, after all the hype... in Section B of the paper, half-way.

Heather
Heather

Pit Bulls are ranked as #2 of best family dog, only following the black lab. Chows and Retrievers are responsible for more bites than pitbulls, as they always have been! Pitbulls, normally, will not start a fight, but yes, they will finish one. Their jaws do NOT 'lock', they are just VERY powerful. They have been trained by assholes, idiots and just flat out STUPID people to fight, to 'guard' to do everything a pitbull should NEVER be trained to do.I'm sorry but the case with the 3 year old wondering into their neighbors yard? WHERE THE %$^& WERE THE PARENTS?!. That dog was probably only doing what it was TRAINED TO DO by HUMANS and protect the house! If you saw a 3 ft. 'thing' walk onto your property, that you had never seen before, and was not of your species, what would you do? especially if you were locked outside with it, it came running up to you, and tried to pull on your hair/ears/tail/ etc. and you had been trained by instinct flight or fight, and by your owners to attack if necessary?The problem is the people. People think that they are gonna get a pitbull and train him to be "bad", a "guard-dog" or a "fighter".Pit Bulls are the SWEETEST most loyal, loving dogs ever, mine is sleeping on the floor right behind me right now, and I'm surprised that her best friend... a 7 YEAR OLD DSH CAT isn't laying with her all cuddled!And pitbulls do not attack adults as much as they do children... pit-bulls protect their families. If they are trained as guard dogs, they will do just that. They want nothing more than to please, love and be loved. I have had, been around, worked with and trained MANY pits. They are so, so, so smart, loving and down right adorable. They do not deserve this at all.

www.understand-a-bull.com/

If you don't believe me, just visit that website. Theres so much great info on there. Thanks for the people who built it.

If I lived in Denver, and someone tried to take my dog away from me? They would meet the dangerous end of a shotgun. Its the owners you all have to worry about, not the dogs. I would live on the streets before I gave up my dogs.

I could go on about this subject and the IDIOCY of breed-specific-legislation and restrictions. However, I'm sure this comment will get some very friendly feedback as-is, and I will get the chance to continue. CO needs to open their eyes, along with everywhere else banning these wonderful breeds of dog.

PIT LOVER AND PITS LOVE.
PIT LOVER AND PITS LOVE.

i didn't read all the comments , and don't have the facts. i can say if this is true let me know. these people (humans+ignorant) who (if true) killed all these pit bulls should be brought to justice. this is not over. pitbulls are a purebred. i'll leave that short.am. staff=A.K.C.=$ etc.. etc... i owned 6 pitbulls since 1987. many years of research too, and still going. there are bad breeders crossing to other breeds calling thier dogs pitbulls but for fact they are mixes. the bully XXL bullies=mixed. fact is pitbulls have one of the best temperments of all breeds . fact .

#1 pit supporter
#1 pit supporter

I am a pit breeder. I have never had a problem with and with any of my puppies becoming aggresive. They only become agressive if they are raised by morons who think that its "cool" to have a mean dog. I ave a special needs sister and my mother pit has been a great dog for her to bring joy into her life. I also have 3 small children and my dogs are great and protective over them! I think that all of you out there who believe that all pits are mean and not safe around children are complete idiots!!!!!! Pitbulls are beng used now as seeing eye dogs for the blind and also for special needs children! I dont care if anyone agrees with me. I know the breed very well. I have shown them bread them and trained many! pitbulls are one of the best breeds to own because of their loyalty to their owner, and their love for playing and also their protection of their families that own them.

Rey Foxx
Rey Foxx

Hey Nopits,

Don't take this the wrong way, but you either need to show the proof. Please listen with people that have experience with dogs, I have about 20+ years in animal control and humane society experience to state these facts. With out evidence, people not only going to start to ignore you, but will start to do the oppisite that you want them to. You might be right about the Pit Bull being a dangerous dog, with 500 years of different blood thirsty sports in their history, it still dosen't mean that every single Pit bull is a aggressive dog. It's almost like stating that every toy is safe for all children, with something as simple as a teddy bear could have marble eyes that can be swallowed and choked by a toddler or small child. While you might have some evidence providing proof that a few pit bulls are dangerous, there are 30 times more reports with as much info stating the oppisite. One instance, the is no such thing as a pit bull. AKC states that it is a term and can be fitted by any breed used for dog fighting, mainly because the dog are put into a "pit", and are ordered to attack the other dog. Second, not only, the dogs called pit bull are perfectly safe, most refuse to fight. Third, more "pit bulls" are used for special need adults and children than any other breed in the United States, not only because of their feirce dedication to their owner, also the dog has a high tolerance to discomforting situations and to pain. As is, my neihbor has a Aspergers (Austism) child who is with a Stafordshire Terrier, a pit bull breed. She is the most cowardly dog I have ever seen, running away from a 5 pound chiwaw dog at the park just last week. I also have placed Pit bull breeds with other special need children, all with incredible results for both dog and owner. I am going to end this comment with this. One or two reports, dose not make facts. Evidence and experience shines greater than what the shadows of contraversey and hate can hide. If you truly beleive that dogs known as pit bull are dangerous, bring me the evidence that is unfaultering. Until then, I stand with the belief that all life should live.

Pat Dunaway- Most Hated Women
Pat Dunaway- Most Hated Women

Pat Dunaway? She is the laughing stock of the internet. She is the most hated women in the world! I've seen a couple "I HATE PAT DUNAWAY clubs!! She creates the stupidest websites that make you laugh. She writes a commment and follows it up with 20 comments all under different names pretending to agree with her. She is NUTS! Everyone knows she is insane. She is a completely deaf Lesbian with no girlfriends. In fact she has no friends at all. She is really disturbed and not at all succesful in any aspect of life. Her highest job was working as a clerk at a trash company. She has been collecting welfare for years. We tax payers are funding her ridiculous websites of HATE that promote the death and abuse of animals. She hates Nathan Winograd because he found out San Bernardino animal control accused her of abusing her dogs. Others swear she brings puppies and kittens to another psycho there and they kill them in secret to 'cure overpopulation'. In a paranoid frenzy she ran as fast as she could to Orgegon, telling anyone who would listen that Nathan Winograd was going to kill her (as if he would give this loser the time of day!) She was a complete failure in California and snuck out with her tail between her legs to Oregon to live in a run down cabin in the wild. She never combs her hair or brushes her teeth. No one respects her. Everyone hates her. She is the most hated woman in the world.

forthebullybreeds
forthebullybreeds

now all of you make good arguements but untill you own or have been around bullies your self shut your mouth your doing the very same thing that has been done to mexicans arabs and colors folks all over the world its called racial profileing and its wrong stop judging a book by its cover maybe they should take they time to get to know the dog in qwestion instead of going uh its a pit bull half of you probly dont know the differance between a APBT AMSTAFF and a STAFFY inclluding the american bull dog thses are four different breeds that buy everyone has just been called pitbulls this is not true i sugestt you take your self to the american temperment society web site and look up bite stas by breed and find out witch breed is most likely to bite you might just bee suprissed at what your going to find ive been around bullies my entire life i currently have four purple ribbion breed american pit bull terriers my mother has two of them allso we have never had any problems with ours dogs this all started becouse one cop in the san fran attk said and i quote "IT REMINDS ME OF A PITBULL ON STEROIDS " THESE DOGS THAT KILLED THIS WOMEN WAS 180 POUNDS THE SIZE OF A MASTIFF BUT THEY ARE CALLED CANERY DOGS I CANT EVER BEGIN TO SPELL THE TRUE NAME BUT pitbulls got a rap for some othe breed witch is ban in 14 countries in europe but guees where its not ban and completely legal to own one you guess right denver i like to use this as an exaple of how this has happened to the pitbulls yes they look big and scary but think of this if you or i were to hit someone with a car it might make the news for a single day but mike tyson bite off a mans ear weve heard about this for round about 15 years simply becouse he was famous and scary simple thing is a scap goat was needed and that one single stament it reminds me of a pitbull on steroids gave them just what they needed

Pitlovern
Pitlovern

DENVER POWER TRIPPING LAW MAKERS!! Don't you get it (nope) ANY DOG, ANY BREED, CAN BE MEAN AND MADE TO FIGHT, OR ATTACK! More children know this before the 1st grade, what the heck is your excuse? Who put this type of power in law makers hands? When will you stop your "racism on dogs"? Does a dog teach another dog how to abuse another? Who abuses the dog to depths you can't even fathom? I can tell you this Mr. LAWMAKERS it AINT ANOTHER DOG!! It ain't a cat, or a mouse! HUMANS (I CHOOSE TO CALL THEM SOMETHING TOTALLY DIFFERENT) Have done this and you lawmakers are so "it's easier to kill the dog let the human's go" garbage the trash men would leave that on your step! UNTIL YOU WAKE UP BAN THE IDIOTS AND NOT THE DOGS THERE WILL BE NOT A DOG LEFT IN DENVER! For the "lawmakers" I'll explain ok? when your target dog is wiped out or close to it the IDIOTS WILL move on to other breeds...DID YOU HEAR ME? THEY WILL MOVE ON TO OTHER BREEDS!

Listen to PIT BULL MOM, natali, Pitluver and all the others who know!! MAJORITY RULES FOR WHO?

Pit bull Mom
Pit bull Mom

I have been bitten by a chow, two german shepherds, and a few ankle biters. I am the proud owner of a two year old pit, that I raised from a pup. I researched the breed, before buying Pete. Pete has been through all obedience training and has been properly socialized. I feel that alot of the tragedies that occur are due to irresponsible ownership and failing to teach our children how to approach strange dogs. Another fault of adults is leaving childred unattended with even the family pet. No do not ban the breed, ban stupid people please. This is the way of society today, to put the blame on somebody or something else, when in fact it is their own stupidity. I would fight to keep Pete in my family if somebody were to try to take my dog. He is a sweet and loving addition to my family.

Anonymous
Anonymous

ok "no pits" did you happen to read your own information?!? It clearly states that THREE BREEDS WERE INVOLVED NOT JUST THE ONE EH?! So rethink your answer! And there are still plenty of other breeds that bite that are not reported

WHO IS PAT DUNAWAY
WHO IS PAT DUNAWAY

Pat Dunaway is deaf, hear she's gay and a recluse with no family. She makes up stories to boost herself. She lives on checks from the government so she doesn't have to work. She's a frumpy old senior, about 70. You'd feel sorry for her except she admits to killing animals 'for their good' and imho is as vicious an enemy of animals as they come. Anyone that listens to anything she has to say hasn't met her. I guess that explains why she obsessively posts online (always under pseudo names).

Natali
Natali

My dog-pit bull terrier. It is the best breed. Can envy! All of you idiots if consider that the dog of the right or is not right. The person brings up a dog, rather the reverse!!!!I advise to remember! Would look at the ?????????? sheep-dogs is better... Have snatched on pit bull terriers and the people in general far from ????????? try to prove something! And you trust! Also it is possible you after such clever to consider?

Pitluver
Pitluver

Look of course pit bulls can be mean but so can very dog! as long as humans and dogs interact someone's going to get bit, out of stupidity or nothing. My point is that if you came over to my house, my pit bulls would gladly greet you with kisses, whereas my dachschund would gladly meet you with a mouth of teeth. Any and every dog will attack under given circumstances, you people need to learn to live with it or move someplace that has no dogs. If I hear one more person try to tell me that my dogs are dangerous, I'll show them the dangerous side of mankind

SMITTY52
SMITTY52

So has anyone forgotten dogs can sense fear?Everyone SHOULD know this. I have a neighbor with two dogs that are out of control. VERY aggressive, on is a mini pincer and the other like a feist. They both will attack my pitt bull terrier any chance they get, they have bitten me, and my dog.. My dog is a 55 pound pitt that does't want to fight, and I keep him put up or on a leash all the time. My neighbors just let theirs out! They see nothing wrong with this. So every time I walk my dog, I call to see if their little unruly mutts are loose or not. I had no problems with my dog until they moved in . And they called the pound on any other dog running loose around there but theirs, if most pet owners are like these idiots, no wonder fools are afraid for their pittifull lives. GROW UP AND LIVE LIFE, stop dwelling on what others say. Dogs bite, that's what dogs do. They don't shoot guns, they don't rape women, they don't sodomize children, and ask for a 2nd chance.They are stupid animals, they only know what they are taught. I wish more parents would teach their kids right from wrong, instead of telling me my dog is viscious.ukfe uye,Yet my pitt has more brains than most kids on the street do.

SMITTY52
SMITTY52

I have a 5 year old pitt that is great with cats, dogs, rabbits, children, old people, and people who aren't "pit nutters". How as a human can anyone in this country, U.S.A., tell their neighbor they should have $1ook insurance on a dog. what about these criminal, rapist, theiving, animals on the streets behind the wheel of a car is that any "safer". PLEASE,I think their families should be required to have $100 K INSURANCE.What is the difference? I fear more for my family over someone, than someone's dog.I have been bitten more by shitzuh's than anything, dog's bite it is the only defense they have so why demonize it for the sake of publicity? If you mess with me I am just as capable as anyone of hurting you, it is having common sense that separates us from the animals. Animals can't control themselves.

LoveAllDogs
LoveAllDogs

Crazy Pat Dunaway or Patricia H. Dunaway is at it again, she's the nutball calling herself "Nopits". A humane society employee said she brought in healthy animals in to be killed that should have been rescued. She was accused of neglecting her own dogs by animal control. She makes up statistics and 'facts' and lies about animal lovers. Neighbors say she moved under a new rock: Seal Rock, Oregon. Too bad her big mouth is still all over the internet. Maybe someday she'll be arrested for her hate against animals and rescuers. Pat Dunaway put behind bars without a computer

nopits liked the movie, "Preci
nopits liked the movie, "Preci

I own 2 pit bull mixes myself and worked in a shelter for about a year. This sort of "cleansing" has more to do with WHO it affects. Who owns pit bulls? The same people whose civil liberties are stomped on everyday. Dogs ARE connected to their owners. Every person who has ever hesitated to let their dogs play with my dogs, looked at me first and THEN my dog and assessed that it wasn't "safe". Just as a large population of the US believes that homosexuals are not "safe". I've known dogs that bite or more importantly, I've known OWNERS with dogs that bite. Typically, they are scared, they've been abused, they've been conditioned to react aggressively, they have complacent owners that tote them around to feel bigger. I do not believe that a dog that has been nurtured and loved from birth will be aggressive. Cesar Milan and every other good dog trainer I've met attributes aggression with the owner. I am not saying that dogs with aggressive behavior should be allowed to harm humans BUT I am saying there should not be legislation punishing every pit bull owner for the few that could not be responsible for the breed they had chosen. Animals rely on us, if domesticated, to show them the way. I've had WONDERFUL experiences with pit bulls- they are my dog of choice. Working at a shelter, I saw again and again, that dogs that did bite (never a pit bull) seemed disconnected, jaded, and unwilling to give me a chance. Why would a dog approach a human defensively? For obvious reasons. But WE ARE NOT DOGS- we should know that one does not make up for all.

It's sad but not surprising that there are dogs just waiting to die because of careless and discriminant people. Being broad is not a good solution to anything. Killing any creature rampantly has been looked at historically with sadness. We always look back in anger- at genocide, ignorance, blind hatred & intolerance. How is this any different?

malvern arkansas
malvern arkansas

i have seen worse attacks from a black lab than a pit matter of a fact a pitt had wondered into our yard while our lab was chain up and the pit attacked but our lab tore half it face off so pitts arn't the worse thing out there they just have a bad name from the news

Fayclis
Fayclis

AH, as soon as I hear the words "pit nutters" I KNOW the comments are coming from the BSL lobby "group of fanatics" known as dogsbite.

While some dogs may bite they don't hate, discriminate and profile based on looks.

This small group of Kamikazes type individuals are a bunch of Kooky Kibilzer's who would love to see ALL short haired medium sized mutts, without papers, killed. Good ownership, great temperaments and darling dispostions mean nothing to them.

The "KKK", as I commonly refer to them, are a small "rabid" out of control group of fear mongers that cannot be reasoned with. MANY have tried and ALL have failed.

Sadly, there has always been small "groups" of this "sort" in the world. The very best "normal" people can hope for is them to just fade away.

Sara
Sara

I'm absolutely appalled at the fact that so many people are so quick to make such broad generalizations about the pitbull breeds - good or bad. It is obvious that there is very, very little accurate information being circulated about pitbulls. I am the proud owner of a pitbull mix - a shelter dog who I rescued after he was found wandering the streets and I thank my lucky stars every day that I found him b/c he's the sweetest, most loyal mush of a dog I've ever owned. HOWEVER, as a responsible pitbull owner I've done my homework and I'm not blind to the realities and challenges of the breed, as some of you "pitbull nutters" (or whatever you're called) are. Pitbulls ARE very strong dogs with a natural inclination to protect what is theirs, and they need the proper exercise, socialization, and training to make them suitable family companions. They ARE very often irresponsibly breed and owned for the wrong reasons and that can absolutely lead to an aggressive and dangerous animal who poses a threat to people and other animals.

Of course that's not to say they are the only breed with the capability of violence. Before owning my mushy pit, I owned a Golden Retriever (the stereotypical gentle All-American family dog) which I had to finally get rid of b/c he would attack my family without warning and caused enough damage that it required emergent medical attention.

Any animal, no matter the species or breed(humans included) has the potential to be a danger. Responsible pet owners know this and do what needs to be done to prevent this. If the city of Denver really wanted to protect it's people from dog attacks, they would monitor and punish the dog owners who are being irresponsible - not the dogs, and especially not the dogs who haven't even so much as exhibited aggressive behavior! It is inhumane to punish innocent animals, PERIOD. The fact that so many people are not willing to see this - particularly people in positions of power - makes me think that there is definitely vicious behavior going on...except it's not coming from the dogs...

jen
jen

This makes me saddened and disguested. I don't understand how you can blame a dog for it's behavior. It's his owners job and responsiblity to raise the animal correctly. The blame should go to them for a mishap or an accident, that can occurr with ANY BREED OF DOG. When your child is raised incorrectly or not corrected or treated well when he or she is being brought up, and does some horrible thing. Who is the FIRST PERSON to be blamed? THE PARENT. That is what these supposed "owners" are to these dogs.

The AMERICAN PIT BULL TERRIER was bred to origionally fight bears and boars. it was then that the tenacity for pleasing their owners were they taught to be fighters. Unfortuately, it is breed in them to be ANIMAL agressive. NOT people agressive. That comes from bad training, abuse and neglect. If you have one of these dogs as a family member you CANNOT be ignorant to the fact was BRED into them for hundreds of years. Your dog at some point, can attack another dog or animal. It is that simple, just like you cannot train a greyhound not to run or small terriers not to dig. IT'S IN THEIR NATURE. I don't care what anyone says about their dog WOULD NEVER do something. It is always a possiblity. Training and socilizing from a young age is so important with big and powerful breeds like the APT.

YOU need to aware and knowledgeable about the dog you intend to bring into your life. Know it's lineage, learn all you can about a breed before making a decision about bring one into your home. They are handfuls, but they are well worth the fight. I have grown up around The AMPT and similiar breesd. I have seen them lunge and attack another dog. It's the upbrining that makes the dog who it is. They are the most gently, amazing and loving dogs you can find. They think they are lap dogs, they are used for therapy dogs. Some places use them as drug sniffing dogs. They make the WORST gaurd dogs immaginable. They are TOO LOVING to attack a humane if they have been taught right and wrong and shown the love and compassion they deserve.

This is HITLER back in motion, this is racsim against a breed of animal and these "educated" people are disgusting and I don't understand how they sleep at night. Why do you think some wolves and sharks were hunted because of ONE bite or ONE animal was attacked by them, to the point of extinction? BECAUSE PEOPLE FEAR WHAT THEY DON'T UNDERSTAND.

Sergeant Stubby, is the most decorated dog in military history. He was a Pit Bull Mix who fought in the trenches of France during WWI. http://pitbullextreme.com/pit-...

Petey, the lovable dog from the little rascals was a pitbull. He was constantly around young children. Were they ever attacked? No.

Michael Vick had dog fighting ring, he ruined and destroyed so many innocent animals. Why? because THEY WOULDNT FIGHT BACK. THE WEREN'T TOUGH ENOUGH FOR HIM TO SEE THEM AS ANY MORE OF A USE TO WHAT HE WAS TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH. He saw them as money and when they didnt bring him any, they threw them away like trash. That is no way to live or be treated. The majority of the dogs they took from him, were rehabiliated and are not living out happy and healthy new lives with new families like the deserve. EXPLAIN THAT.

You can't take your fear and aggression out on innocent animals who would do anything for their owners to the point of death. Just to please them. Annilate the people that treat them horribly, starve them, prode them, drown them, electricute them, punch them, kick them, hit them, tie chains around them, leave them to die when they are no longer of use to them, pull out teeth, cut ears with scissors, and make them fear the ones who took an oath, the ones who are supposed to love them and protect them.

An APT or similar breed was not born into the world, ready to be the agressive, viscious killer they are being portrayed to be. They are born just like every other dog, blind, defensless and waiting for someone to love them and teach them right and wrong. They DO understand the difference.

Anyone who agrees with this, maybe you should be the ones being put down for being just as ignorant as the people in Denver. The ones who agree with this should go through the torment and pain and fear that these dogs go through everyday being trained and forced to be a fighting dog. You should have to feel the pain and watch every moment and then make your judgement.

Fayclis
Fayclis

I can see the dogsbite people are on this article FULL STEAM again. When will YOU people learn that discrimination and profiling based on LOOKS does not work?

You have been "at it" for years now but have only about 40 committed members. Does THAT not TELL you something? However I give it to you for being on top of every article that comes out on so called pit bull type dogs.

While projecting yourselves as a "victims group" your real goal is to promote breed bans throughout the US and ANYONE against KILLING, based on LOOKS are "pit nutters".

YAWN.

cp
cp

First as a survivor of a awful pitbull attack by 2 of this breed,I HAVE NO EMPATHY FOR THE PITBULL. TT IS NOT JUST THE OWNER, BUT THE BREED ITSELF...........THEIR IS A PROBLEM WITH THEIR BRAIN CHEMISTRY. A breed such as the Pitbull is very dangerous, and unpredictable.Iam so sick of people defending this dog. you can do all the graphs you want , it will not undo the damage this dog has done to many people they have either malled , and or killed. My opinion does count. I was almost killed in 2003. Stop putting these dogs as victims, they are not. This breed needs to be rid of.,and my opinion does COUNT...........I AM A SURVIVOR......

dylan
dylan

i agree with stuart fisk!!!

Amanda
Amanda

As the owner of a pitbull I have to admit that I used to be afraid of them, that was because I did not know enough about dogs. I live in a town that just passed a pitbull ban, not sure what this means for me, but pretty sure I will be the citizen to sue the city. Anyways, part of the ordinance requires me to post that a pitbull lives on my premesis. I don't have a problem with this, but shouldn't the wife and child beater across the street have to post on his door that he is a violent man ?? and shouldn't the three convicted felons on my block have to post that ??

When does the community start taking responsibility for learning how to deal with dogs?? I once had my pitbull go to "meet and greet" a person on the street and this man FREAKED out... started yelling at me "I am going to kick him !!! " repeating this over and over. When he started yelling at me my dog became defensive and I have never seen her react that way. But, I feed and shelter this animal and now someone is yelling at me and of course her demeanor will change... who is that ignorant. If that man would have said "Hi there, who are u and what is your name?" she would have wagged her tail and waited for him to pet her. Such ignorance is hard to blame a dog on, is it really a dogs fault if a person starts threatening the owner and then they get bit?? what are they expecting ?? She did not bite him, but not sure why ... oh maybe because it is not in her nature !!!! idiot

Lew
Lew

Why is it maul and for Pit-bulls and bit or attack for other breeds.I think we should also outlaw all the cars that are most prone to hitting people

Stuart Fisk
Stuart Fisk

Couldn't agree with Caleb more. Vick is a sick individual -- an uneducated POS that deserves no compassion as it is clear he can show none and is a horrible example for kids. According to the ASPCA, dog fighting has become epidemic in Philadelphia since Vick was busted - all the hoodlums think its cool since Vick was into it.

SIMPLE FACT -- Denver official are charged with the betterment of their community. Vick is an uneducated low life. What is the excuse for Denver officials? Who should we fear the most? Gang bangers and hoodlums? City officials? Pit bulls were Americas dog not so many years ago. Those who are ignorant to this fact and choose to bury your heads in the sand and play to foolish unfounded fears are beyond help. For the rest of us, you all need to realize that Denver officials make Vick look like a saint. Check out the following link: http://media.phoenixnewtimes.c... then tell me these bastards are not sick in the head!! Tell me how Denver official are better than dog fighters. Tell me how Denver officials are better than gang bangers. These people are mentally deprived and should not be in control of peoples lives on any level!!!

Calgaryrules
Calgaryrules

You will also find that most cities keep very poor dog bite records, breed, type of bit, incidenses leading to it ect. Calgary keeps meticulous records and in 2008 or 2007 the most dangerous breed if dog I'm the city was the bichon freise(sp?)

Bonnie
Bonnie

The one thing I don't see anyone commenting on is the fact that, more than any other breed, Pit Bulls are abused, neglected, and mistreated in ways that defy comprehension.

The dogs are often "owned" by people who scarce care for themselves, let alone children or animals.

Every Pit I've known has had the good fortune to receive a steady diet of love, care, exercise, nutrition, and the chance to be part of a family, including socialization with other dogs.

Take any other dog, mixed breed or pure, and put it through the same miserable conditions under which most Pits have to live. You'll have yourself a crazy, jumpy, angry animal that is not fit to be part of society. Treat a child that way and you'll most likely have a criminal mind on your hands as well.

Dogs look to us for leadership and will reflect the psychological state of their owners. If the dog is running crazy, chances are the people are too.

Stop letting idiots and psychopaths destroy the minds of animals. You will no longer need a breed ban.

B. Anderson

Calgaryrules
Calgaryrules

Everyone should have a look at calgarys animal by laws by Bill Bruce. He has revolutionized animal bylaws by being proactive, hiring and training intelligent bylaw officers, has a 95% registration sucess, no breedbans, in school dog bite education program, bite and dog education for mailcarriers, NO BREED BaN!!!, and the lowest dog bite rates the province had ever seen. They take every dog on an individual basis and have enourmous success. They use dog registration as a service to the people instead of a punishment and will kindly return you picked up loose dog directly to your door without it ever seeing the inside of a shelter. Repeat offenders are all taken on a case by cAse basis. There is much much more!!!

bosco
bosco

Pat Dunaway lives in Riverside, California in the Inland Empire area for years, looks like a backwoods type. Never heard she moved to Oregon, that would be nice. She's in her mid 70's, odd looking and homely, poor thing. She has a speech impediment. She's a loud mouth with a temper and can be scarey. Had low-paying jobs, probably collecting social security now. Her 15 minutes of fame is the computer and her letter writing almost always doing everything under phoney names. I think she'd rather kill animals than see them saved and have the no kill movement succeed. She doesn't speak for anyone, she doesn't represent anyone and there's no organizaion that wants anything to do with her.

4thepitts
4thepitts

Just a fun fact for all you pitt bull haters out there. Maybe you should do a little reading up on the breed before you make your ignorant comments. Pitt bulls are not NORMALLY agressive toward people. If they are agressive, it would NORMALLY be toward another dog or animal...but even then, many pit bulls get along great with other dogs and animals. Pit bulls were originally used as bull baiters because people believed that if the dogs fought the bulls before they were killed, the meat would be more tender. Unfortunately, as time went by, people decided to TEACH these dogs to fight each other. When these pit bulls were brought into the fighting ring, it was customary to have the owners swap dogs and bathe them to be sure the owners did not rub something on the fur that would make their dog not want to bite them. If ANY of these dogs were to attack other people or their owners, they were put down. IT IS NOT IN THEIR BLOOD TO BE AGRESSIVE TOWARD HUMANS. I am not saying that is never happens, but it is not a natural thing. Pit bulls and bully breeds are some of THE MOST abused and poorly treated dogs in the world. And why? All because they "look vicious and scary"? Please America, we cannot be THIS ignorant. What the Denver shelter is doing is right up there with what Hitler did...committing mass genocide on this poor breed. Do your research people...and media...you might want to start reporting the facts, instead of reporting what sells. I mostly blame you for all the ignorant pitty haters out there.

Silver Fang
Silver Fang

Anyone who comes to confiscate any dog of mine for any reason will find themselves staring down the barrel of a rifle.

suggestive elipsis
suggestive elipsis

this is one of those things you say out of gut reaction and look like an asshat for.

ladystormdust
ladystormdust

And just how would you know their is something "WRONG" with their brain chemistry are you a scientist.  Their are people that are young and stupid that have murdered others on accident should we start Killing them to because something must be wrong with their Brain Chemistry because they did not think before they acted.  You may be a survivor of a PITBULL attack but that doesn't mean "ALL" Pits are bad it just means the one that attacked you was bad.  Don't lower yourself to that kind of stupidity it just makes you sound uneducated.  Have you every researched this breed do you know anything about its true history.  You need to do your homework before you go saying they are dangerous and unpredictable.  You are a dangerous and unpredictable human but they still let you walk the streets.

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