Denver City Council sends pit bull ban repeal to Nov. ballot

The once-scorned Denver City Councilman Chris Herndon proposed a second time to repeal the city’s ban on pit bulls, though this attempt requires voter approval.

The council voted to send a repeal measure to the city’s Nov. 3 ballot. A second vote is needed before the measure’s spot on the ballot is cemented.

Only Councilwoman Debbie Ortega voted against placing the measure on the ballot.

“This is one that’s been through the courts and has been around for a long time and I’m just not supportive of putting it on the ballot,” Ortega said.

City Council voted to repeal the ban earlier this year on a razor-thin margin, but the group didn’t have enough votes to overcome Mayor Michael Hancock’s veto.

Herndon has argued, vehemently, that dog bite data shows no one breed is more prone to attacking humans than any other. Breed-specific legislation only drives pit bull owners into the shadows, he has said.

The same as with Herndon’s earlier proposal, ballot measure which would repeal Denver’s pit bull ban would require owners to register the dog, provide two emergency contacts, a description of the animal and proof that it has been microchipped and properly vaccinated.

In essence, each pit bull would be allowed on a restricted license. If there are no attacks, instances of animal cruelty, fighting or other problems for three years, the restricted license would be removed and the pit bulls would be licensed in the same way as any other breed, the measure says.

Owners would also be limited to two pit bulls per home and pay an annual fee.

While Herndon has defended his proposed repeal, others weren’t so sure it would be safe. Among them was Hancock, who said he remained fearful of irresponsible pet owners rather than those who would follow the proposed rules.

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