Hey Denver, Vote YES on 2J!
With the election looming, its Pit Bull Awareness month and Denver Colorado has 2J on the ballot a proposal to peel back BSL legislation and soften it, not repeal it, and give the human-animal bond of dog owners some relief.
We talked about it in our No Kill in Motion segment this weekend:
2J is not an ideal law, but it is forward movement, and we should support it.
It proposes creating a permit system for pit bull breeds that lets owners register these types of dogs in Denver. Owners would register their dogs with the city, pay a fee higher than a normal license, provide the city with their contact information, and include a description of the dog as well as proof of vaccinations. There is a limit of two dogs per household. The dog is essentially on probation for 36 months (3 Years) and if without any incident, can be registered like any other dog.
Its not ideal, but it is the first step to complete repeal of this inhumane legislation. A group called Repeal Denver BSL has done the heavy lifting to bring this to fruition. Recently Castle Rock repealed their BSL law thanks to local advocates there.
The Denver BSL ban was first passed in 1989. In those 30 years there has been know measurable increase in safety, but there has been a lot of cost. According to a Denver University study just released, BSL Cost Denver $100,000,000 in direct costs and indirect revenue.
Other studies have supported the ineffective use of BSL. Nathan Winograd of the No Kill Advocacy Center, an animal advocacy group focused shelter pets, states, “One study, for example, found that 50% of dogs labeled as pit bulls lacked DNA signatures of breeds commonly classified as pit bulls. Another found that dogs targeted for breed discriminatory laws are not more likely to bite, do not bite harder, and such bans do not result in fewer dog bites or bite-related hospitalization rates.”
Breed discrimination has gone hand and hand with racism as well. The DU study went on to cite, “…the most “stunning” finding depicts unequal enforcement of the pit bull ban in the city’s most vulnerable areas, particularly in places where, the study explains, “racially diverse communities intersect with predominantly white neighborhoods.”
“The enforcement of BSL has taken place primarily in our communities of color in Denver,” says Kevin Morris, research associate professor at DU that has been looking into this with his team for 3 years. “And this criminalization of certain pet owners has exacerbated the barriers they already experience to accessing pet support services.”
The association of demographics and pit bulls has been the primary driver for marginalizing these dogs while marginalizing the people they live with. The exact same generalizations are used against both, and both do not stand up to empirical data.
With recent racial and social equity issues rising to the forefront and the positive gains in making people aware of how what we thought was common knowledge was often common misinformation, hopefully the BSL can be exposed for what it is: A false narrative endangering the lives of ordinary dogs.
We hope you support 2J if you are in Denver Colorado and vote yes!
The study referenced in our conversation is here. https://www.du.edu/.../new-du-research-measures-impact...
An article by Nathan Winograd about the study is here. https://www.nathanwinograd.com/study-denver-bsl-cost.../
The books referenced are at these links.
Pit Bull: The Battle Over and American Icon https://www.amazon.com/Pit-Bull-Battle-over.../dp/0345803116
The Pit Bull Placebo: The Media, Myths and Politics of Canine Aggression https://www.amazon.com/Pit-Bull-Placebo.../dp/0972191410/
Not Rocket Science: A Story of No Kill Shelter Advocacy in Huntsville Alabama https://www.amazon.com/dp/1792840365...