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The “Bull” In The Colorado Pit Ban

Colorado is nearly perfect. We have great weather year-round, friendly transplants from the Midwest and West Coast states, a vast array of local breweries, authentic cuisine and an exceptional backdrop with snow-capped mountains and foothills painted with vibrant hues of red from the sandstone formations that cover much of the western part of the state. It’s true, Colorado is nearly perfect, with only one downfall… A senseless ban on the breed of pit bulls in the Denver metro area. As I am writing this post, my perfect pup companion Jordy frolics playfully under the table, engaging in a tug-of-war game with my boyfriend, Zach.

Jordy, our most recent addition and his big sister, Summer.
Jordy, our most recent addition and his big sister, Summer.

We recently adopted Jordy from a rescue organization here in the Denver/Boulder area. Jordy is listed as a blue heeler on RezDawg’s website, but we have a sneaking suspicion this bundle of love has a bit of pit in him. Does that bother us? Not in the least. All we care is that he is a happy, healthy, well-fed canine. Does that mean we have “no respect for our neighbors” as one commenter on a recent article posted on the Aurora Sentinel’s website so poorly put it? Not a chance. What I don’t understand is how such deliberate discrimination can be so collectively supported in this liberal state we live in.

A recent vote to eliminate the city ban on pit bulls delivered disgusting results. Over 60,000 voters agreed the ban should remain in place, while 30,000 argued the uselessness of such a law. Currently, seven cities in the Denver area prohibit pit bulls – Aurora, Denver, Commerce City, Castle Rock, Fort Lupton, Lone Tree and Louisville are included in the ban. While I completely understand each and every American is entitled to their own opinion, I feel embarrassed to live in a state where so many people are misinformed about a topic that only gains attention when the animals are brought to light in a negative manner. What do we really know about pit bulls? What facts are we willing to stand behind? Let me lay down the basics:

  • Pit bulls are loyal and friendly around humans. A dog’s behavior is a direct result of how they are raised. We have three dogs in our home and each one is vastly different than the others. Size and breed DO NOT matter. Our Chihuahua is just as feisty as our terrier pup. Our golden/husky is just as playful as she is cuddly. The bottom line is that we give our pooches love, attention and discipline. A well-disciplined pit bull is no more dangerous than a teacup Yorkie.
  • Pit bulls are exceptionally patient with children. There are fewer breeds that are gentler around kids than pit bulls. A well-trained pit bull will rarely bite a human unless they are deeply provoked. They are loyal and loving of attention and are protective of their masters and their family. (For an adorable photo compilation of pit bulls and their kiddies, click here.)
  • Pit bulls are inherently smart. Pit bulls are incredibly intelligent and can easily learn commands or tricks with very little training. While pit bulls seek a great deal of attention, they are especially obedient and will follow the guidance of their owners if trained at a young age.

I love Colorado, I really do. But as a dog lover and a firm believer in giving chances, it pains me to see so many individuals turning a blind eye to an issue that stereotypes an entire breed of a dog as the result of a handful of idiot owners who shouldn’t have been allowed to own a pet in the first place (I’m looking at you, Michael Vick). Why should harmless animals be punished for the mistakes we have made as human beings? It’s an unfair generalization that every pit bull is a villain and I will push for this ban to be lifted so that pitties everywhere get the chance at life they deserve.

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