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« Why saving the Vick Dogs was worth it | Main | Weekly Roundup -- Final week of 2008 »

December 27, 2008



Great story.
That Billboard campaign is a fantastic idea.
Those are the images that need to replace what the Media has placed in the mind`s eye of the Public.

I saw a comment in another story that an individual who witnessed this lady being accosted compared the authorities in Denver to the Gestapo.

The witness was an elderly German Immigrant...

What else can you say?


Just one clarification, Brent.
The city contends that "home rule" (constitutionally, any home rule location.. just about every municipality in the state.. can pass its own laws) trumps state laws. The courts have upheld Denver on this point in the case of BSL and with guns as well (it has not, to my knowledge been confirmed by any state Supreme Court).

This is what evil Denver city attorney Kory Nelson is preaching to other states (apparently what is going on now with Texas, with individual cities trying to get an AG ruling that they can have BSL despite their state law).

The billboard campaign is great; I think that most Denver residents don't actually know about the ban, or its consequences.


Good point Emily on the home rule part -- and Colorado has VERY liberal Home Rule rules - -where a lot of cities, even very small ones, have home rule.

I think the fact that people don't know the consequences is a good point. Three years ago, Kansas City, KS did their "pit bull amnesty" program -- where people who owned pit bulls (which violated the city's ban) were able to turn them over to the city free of prosecution. I had three different people, who I considered to be smart people, were surprised when I told them that all of those dogs were killed. It was like they thought, oh, they're banned, but that's ok, because there was some type of doggie beach resort they all got sent to.

I think when people realize that a ban = dogs -- people's pets -- dying, it changes the game a little bit.


Each time you guys say the Current BSL is bad....and take the stance that No BSL not Now Not Ever....Not in any will lose more than you win.

If there is another city, which is going go to some form of BSL...which is similar to Denver (which I do not agree with)...why dont you try and slip in some of my proposals....with the concept being if you are going to lose any least win some of the war so that the next time you go to battle in another can ask for a little more and get closer to what you want.

You have said yourself that the Mike Vick thing was good for your cause...well if a bad thing like dog fighting can be good for your cause...then find a way to make BSL....good for your cause.....

As you in the media know...they love to build up....and the love to tear down....a great story with the Mike Vick dogs....but how many newsrooms are saying to themselves...lets make sure we keep tabs on all these dogs so we can be the first to report if one dog goes bad....and then what...SI is going to do a smaller follow up...or worse...a larger follow up.

It is easy to discount people signing pettitions, waving banners and screaming that Bee's kill more kids than pit bulls, especially when you compare this against an image of one large pit bull attacking a small the fact that regardless of what you the general population pit bulls have earned their Bad Rap for a reason....whether its due to just a mean dog...or poor owners...or a dog that looks like a pit bull...bottom line it still gets reported as a bad pit bull.

So....that I dont ramble....dont you think it would at least be a good come up with some BSL rules which you can live with, especially if a county is going to pass a BSL law like the one in Denver....

Having 2000 dogs no sane person's idea as a way to solve a problem.


I`m starting to think you don`t understand what B...S...L stands for.

It`s Legislation that ONLY applies to certain Breeds and dogs that look like them.

That`s why we will NEVER support it.

It makes no sense since there is NO evidence to support this notion that there are Dangerous Breeds.

We ALL support strong meaningful Legislation that is enforceable and puts the focus on the Owner and IF it applies to ALL Breeds across the board.

There is nothing complicated about understanding this.

There are NO "dangerous" Breeds and there are NO "safe" Breeds.
There are dogs and we want sensible laws that apply equally across the Board.

And it`s not only the Vick dogs that will be under scrutiny for the rest of their lives.
Owners of Bully Breeds live with that, day in and day out.

And ANY form of Breed Specific Legislation lends credence to the nonsense that these dogs are "dangerous".

I don`t know about you but when I see a muzzled dog I think danger.
I don`t think... oh the dog is just wearing that because it`s required by law.

These Breed Specific laws must come off the books so that fellow citizens can enjoy their lives just like everyone else.

Just take this one Blogger.
Can you even hazard a guess at how much of his life he has lost due to fighting these laws.
That is time he can NEVER get back.

So the answer is a resounding NO.
BSL is not acceptable.

And I like to give credit where credit is due.

[quote]Having 2000 dogs no sane person's idea as a way to solve a problem.[/quote]




Yes, your idea of BSL is far better than what Denver is doing. No question. And you're right, no sane person would think what they're doing is a "solution".

The part that you're missing is that most of us are not out there with the mission to "stop BSL" - -we're out there to solve the problem of animals getting killed in shelters, and people getting attacked by dogs.

There are proven methods of doing both -- and neither of them include BSL in your form or Denver's.


Great now we are getting somewhere...we are ALL I said if there was going to be a BSL put in place which was going to be just like Denver's for a City like.....oh lets say......Oshkosh.
And you had no choice either to accept it or add a few changes...but you could not change the fact that you could not change the BSL part to certain breeds of dogs....

As an engineer....I kind of live by three rules.....If its the best idea in the world but you can not implement it and if implemented you can not sustain success, your best to go down a different path....If its everyones responsiblity then its no ones responsibility....and the last one...I am always right until proven wrong...

Yes I have been to the pounds...and want to take home every dirty dog in there....because it is depressing, I am not in favor of putting dogs down just because they do not have a home, but also do not want public funds going to support them for the rest of their lives....however..I would be in favor of license fees or an added tax when purchasing a pet going to support the unwanted animals.

Also I think you will find in my BSL, there was never any random putting down of dogs, Muzzels, chain requirements, fence requirements, or all the other feel good BS which gets drafted by city counsels....

It was really aimed at really really bad pet owners....with a slight slant to those who own certain breeds with pit bulls being one of them...


I just watched the video with the lady with the pit bull in denver...I was not aware that the law there was 20 years old....and as such it should have been widly known at least for the people living in Denver...and since no one is above the it not a good thing that she was treated the same way as everyone else....regardless if she is a war hero or not....this is one of the things that makes living in the US so great...we are are equal under the law...regardless of how silly the law is...



Your logic is still more than a bit off...

If one of your rules is that if it cannot be implemented, it shouldn't be done, you've just killed your own idea. Since BSL is by its very nature impossible to implement (since it is impossible to tell what type of dog many mixed breeds are) then you've killed your own idea.

You've never stated that your idea would actually work, it is only a 'replacement' in the case where a city really insists on passing some type of BSL...which is a bad, impossible to implement, idea not based on success anywhere, science, or sound logic. But if you're going to throw those things out the window, your idea is great.

You should really read closer. The law is 20 years old, but was basically suspended for over a decade during the legal battles the city had with the state. So the law has really only been in effect since 2005 -- would have been pretty easy for a military person serving overseas to miss.

Do you really think holding someone, anyone, to the ground at gunpoint for walking their dogs is suitable behavior for any citizen?


Your right I did forget about the all the court cases appeals and overturns...

When I dig in pretty deep I usually know that my idea is worth doing....I have been trying to convience you guys for over a year now...

I usually go with the walks, quacks and looks like a duck theory...

I even have a fix for identifying dogs. With the extra fees imposed you can have an expert determine the the type of dog, or have three vets determine that there is no linkage to a BSL breed...or something to that effect....

Again the nice thing with my law is that there are no dogs being banned, killed, muzzeled etc.....not even more isurance on the dog.....just extra fees for initial registration...which you get back with long as there are no infractions....I even dont count it agaist on BSL dog if they attack another dog if they are on a long as they dont kill it.....thats a pretty good deal.....

But the best thing about my BSL (okay its not really BSL it was "Dangerous Dog Dangerous Owner Law"

Is that it gets all the other bad owners of other types of dogs no matter the size...

A pretty fair deal considering the alternative to the traditional BSL....


Not sure what the court ruling has to do with anything -- we can argue the constitutionality at some other point...

It's funny that you push for Veterinarians to do the breed ID - -most of whom admit they cannot do it - -and who's national organization does not support it.

And yes, again, if you're content with passing an ordinance that is unenforceable, not based on science or logic, has no track record of being affective and against what every expert organization recommends as being effective legislation, then by all means, your idea is the best of that group of laws.


Doug, your reasoning (a little BSL is better than a lot of BSL) is exactly what led some dog groups to "work with" the legislators behind SB861 in California. They were SURE the sponsor would propose a breed ban, so they worked to "modify it".. so now it's "only" mandatory s/n for pit bulls.

The result? As the group itself recently posted on its blog and as Brent has documented occurs in many locations: MORE dogs being given up, MORE dogs being killed.

There is NO quarter in this fight. Yes, it would have been better for an outright ban in California to have been proposed and for people to have fought it on that ground rather than the appeasement that doesn't work.

Not only is BSL inherently unfair, it doesn't work, solves no problems and has multiple unintended unforseen consequences.

I'm not impressed with your crocodile tears over the thousands of "pit bulls" Denver has killed during its ban or your assurance that vets could accurately identify "pit bulls". Just ask any pit bull expert who visits Denver's pit bull death row: they'll tell you it's FULL of dogs that are not pit bulls, or any mix thereof. Until DNA tests enable accurate breed identification (right now, the tests are ludicrous), the notion that vets or ACO or anyone in the general public can identify a purebred APBT, AST or SBT is just a sick joke.

One thing BSL does for sure: enables shelters to get their population down by killing lots more dogs, which many of them don't even include in their statistics. Because of course "pit bulls" aren't adoptable and don't have to be considered.


Most cities already have dangerous dog ordinances. If these ordinances are intelligently written and actually enforced, there is no need for any kind of breed discrimination or legislation. Especially if animal welfare laws are also enforced.

That I would be prohibited from adopting and caring for a certain breed of dog tells me that only non-law abiding people can own this breed of dog. There is not one speck of sense in that.

BSL is completely irrational and unconstitutional. It's as simple as that.


Veterinarian–noun- a person who practices veterinary medicine or surgery.
A Vet is NOT a breed specialist. Having a vet determine the breed of any canine, let alone a "pit bull type" would be no use. Vets are here to check temps, blood pressure, joints, just over all health! NOT to determine breeds of dogs. I work directly with two Vets, whom havebeen working at Vets for 30+ years each. If given a mix breed dog, and told to determine the breed, they would both have different answers, because Breed judgement by a veterinarian is nothing but a guess from what other mix breed dogs they have seen in the past. Furthermore, a veterinarians exam will will not ever give you a deffinite breed of any dog.
Of course, medical testing would, but why should we spend all this money testing possible "pit bull type" dogs? SO what do you do when you test a dog, and it's a boxer mix. ANd then it bites, or kills? Then is your "testing" really proving anything?

i dont think so

BSL, ANY TYPE, just wont do anything.


DNA testing does not seem that expensive

We can have vets admininster the testing.

I also have an issue with most dangerous dog ordinances...they really do not address dangerous owners....and they are reactive instead of proactive....

With my way, I want to limit what people of lesser intelligence can own.

Again with my law there is no banning of dogs and you can adopt any dog.

There is also the same set of consequencses (i think - i cant find my post any more) for any type of dog killing someone.

I say BSL...but what it really is Dangerous Owner Law...with some special sections which apply to certain breeds of dogs....So I can see that you are sensitive to the term BSL...and I can understand lets call it DOL.


Two things on DNA testing:

1) At $80-$100 a pop, it adds up very quickly for a city to administer (and given that people are innocent until proven guilty in this country, it would be the city's responsibility to pay for it Constitutionally) -- so it could get expensive quickly.

2) Most people who aren't trying to sell the test have HIGHLY questioned the accuracy of the test -- in fact, it seems mostly inaccurate as far as most can tell.

There are many types of breed neutral dangerous dog ordinances that are actually proactive -- and most people who are knowledgeable support these types of ordinances (there are reasons some don't, and I understand them, but I think most people think they are a good step).

The problem with your DOL is that it includes breed information at all. So now, you've hired 3 veterinarians and are paying $80 a shot for DNA testing on any look-alike dog to administer the breed specific nature of your DOL. Instead of that, you could hire an additional 5-7 animal control officers to go out and enforce the laws and crack down on the irresponsible owners -- and it's this enforcement (or lack thereof) that is what most cities struggle with that led to the discussion in the first place.


Let`s say the tests were accurate and inexpensive,let`s say $1 a pop,what would be the point in identifying a dog that hasn`t been a problem?

So unless some Scientific evidence becomes available indicating that certain Breeds are dangerous,there really is no point in identifying dogs that may belong to certain Breeds.


If I heard the story of Forrest correctly - multiple at-large violations - then yes, that is exactly the kind of owner that needs to have their dogs seized (though not necessarily euthanized). I am 100% against BSL, but I find the "Forrest" example not to be the best one out there for showing responsible owners being affected by a crummy law.



I agree that Forrest's owner was not the most responsible owner. It is my understanding that he had two dog at large violations. Certainly that's not responsible. However, in any other city, the guy gets a reasonable fine ($100-$200). Having your dog killed, or in Forrest's case, having him sent out of state and you can never see him again, is not the punishmnet fitting the crime.


DNA tests? a joke
here's just one example:

This dog is as purebred as it's possible for an AmStaff to be.


We do not need any implementation of BSL in any form, Doug's or otherwise. What is the simplest thing that could be done, that is fair and equitable? Enforcing the leash laws for one. BSL is totally a response to fears, and perceptions of what if. SO.....
First....adequate fund animal control so that it can do it's job. Unfortunately that is not always the case, and funding cuts to the programs is probably first on the hit list. We need personnel that are adequately trained and effective in doing their job.
Second....enforce that leash law,and seriously go after animal abuse, dog fighting etc. No one should have to worry about walking their dog or be worried their child would be attacked by dogs running at large. Of course the bull breeds make the headlines. The public does not hear about the GSD that has severely attacked a neighbor's dog on several occasions. The Lab that causes injuries to a child....on and on. programs for outreach to educate people about dog training and behavior. A number of studies have indicated that most people are totally clueless about what to expect from their dog. In addition, programs for low cost spay/neuter and veterinary care that can service the low income areas where such care is difficult to find. This is also true of rural communities.

Of course....humans do not operate on commonsense or practicality....that is part of the problem.


Again the whole point of my DOL is to get rid of the people owning these dogs who are giving the breed and fine owners like yourselves a bad name....

Look up Pit Bull Kennels on the internet and see what comes up....the images are that of bad ass dogs....just take a look at some of the you tube ads for their kennels...they look like they should be raided by the cops on a daily basis....that is the image that they want and that is the image which gets portrayed in the news...this is the image which gives the breed a BAD RAP....

These are the people who need to be the focus of BSL/DOL....not so much the dog....

If they can use DNA to track cattle, I am sure they can do the same to find the breed for dogs.....someone with 20 years of dog expierence posted in the past that the only way to tell what a dog is,is by DNA.... now the complaint is DNA is no good?

walk like a duck theory always is a good my DOL....and the only person being effected would be an owner under 25, or a felon.



At this point, you have grown so in love with your idea that you have quit listening (assuming you ever started listening).

We all agree that the owners are the've said it yourself.

The second you put Breed-specific language in the ordinance, you are no longer focusing on the owner -- you're focusing on the dog. The absolute wrong focus.

Keep in mind, you're dealing wit hthe law now. The second you make a breed of dog into the law, it is a legal case. The "walks like a duck" theory doesn't work in court (thank God). Otherwise if he "walks like a criminal and talks like a criminal, he's a criminal, right?

Thankfully we have an innocent until proven guilty thing in our you actually have to PROVE that the dog is something. Which gets into the breed ID.

So assuming that your team of experts and DNA testing can prove something, #1 -- you're wasting a lot of resources, which are scarce, focusing on the dog, not the owner and #2 -- wasting a lot of time on non-aggressive dogs that belong to non-problem owners.

Any time you waste resources focusing on non-violent dogs/owners and on crap like Breed ID, then you are focusing less attention on the problem owners and truly aggressive dogs.

This is why BSL has always beens a failure.

I've always said, I've seen a lot of dogs that I'm not sure whether or not they're pit bulls, but I've never a dog before that I question whether or not it was aggressive.

Focusing on the problem owners and dogs and only on those owners and dogs is always the best solution....which is why your idea, that you love, is still destined for failure.

doug almost got it....if you really look at it, what I DOL lumps in all bad owners of all types....just pays a little more attention to owners of certain breeds of dogs.

Over the last 30 years morons have hijacked your dog...and turned it into something which does not resemble the "Little Rascals" type dog....those dogs in the those images (which you deleted) were not the type of dog which you would want living next door in Oshkosh...spiked collars, heavy chains and watching a dog hang from an old car tire is not the type of image one wants when they think of the neighborhood dog....

It is because of this that BSL exists....even though they screw it up when they take it too far (banning/killing/muzzling dogs).....

Again dogs are property...and as such can be regulated by local or state government. And issues of guilt or innocence get thrown out the window in the interest of the public good or safety....

Now don't get me wrong....anyone messing with my car is going to piss me off...anyone messing with my dog is going to be in for nightmare...

But if the county I was living in determined that a recent rash of car accident deaths was caused by street car racing with high horse powered cars over 500HP. And they found that corvettes were the easiest car to modify to get over 500HP and that these Corvettes were the ones which were mostly used in street car racing. Also all ten of the people killed in a three month span were killed by drivers under 25, driving a Corvette who all had felony convictions. And as a result of these four common traits found in car racing deaths the following law was enacted:

No cars over 500HP to be driven in the county.

All Corvettes needed to be verified for Horse Power requirements before they could be released to drive in the County.

No one under 25 can drive a Corvette.

No one with a felony conviction can drive a Corvette.

Ok this law would suck for law abiding citizens, but would help stem the problem for the public good and help raise awarness. I also think it would hold up in court, but I am not a lawyer. I just play one on the blogs.


The problem is, making your ordinance breed-specific makes cracking down on the problem owners more difficult -- because NOW you're tying up a ton of resources on the breed specific part and dealing with people who aren't a part of the problem.

In your car example, does it make more sense to have police officers out patrolling for street-racing to cut down on the high-speed traffic to prevent accidents? Or, does it make more sense for them to spend the time pulling over 40 year old mid-life-crisis guys to be sure they are above the preferred age, and do the vehicle inspections to be sure the car hasn't been modified?

It would be a lot easier to just target the illegal street racing in the first place -- because it's easy to spot when they're doing it if you dedicate your force to stopping it. Diluting the resoures only makes it harder to catch people....

Which is the same problem you run into when you make the law about the dog vs the owner...

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