In recent news (which is how I’m currently referring to the 2020 Election), the Denver Pit Bull Ban has been repealed. The Ban is over 30 years old (they say that’s over 210 years old in dog years), and the ballot measure to repeal the ban was passed by a vote of 64.5%. Apparently, We The People are quite decisive when it comes to our doggos (and other people’s dogs as well!).

Along with the repeal comes a number of requirements set by Denver Animal Protection that owners must comply with in order to obtain a provisional permit for their furry pit bull pals. While Denver already requires all dogs within the city to be licensed, spayed or neutered (or permission allowing the dog to remain unaltered), and vaccinated against rabies, pit bull owners will be further required to apply for a Breed-Restricted Permit. According to Denver Animal Protection, the application process for a Breed Restricted Permit will require the following:

  • Name and address of the owner or keeper where the pit bull will be located
  • The names and addresses of two (2) people who may be contacted in the event of an emergency involving the pit bull
  • An accurate description of the pit bull and recent photograph
  • The payment of the $30 Breed-Restricted Permit fee (this is in addition to the $25 assessment fee)
  • Proof that the animal has been neutered or spayed, or proof of an intact license from DAP that allows the animal to remain unaltered
  • Proof that the animal has had a registered microchip implanted
  • Proof that the animal has a current rabies vaccination
  • Proof that the animal has a city license
  • Any other information that DAP reasonably requires

The Breed-Restricted Permit will cost $30 per year per animal (maximum of two pit bulls allowed), AND the Permit must be renewed each year for three years. If there are no violations within the three-year time period, the Permit holder may request to be removed from the requirements.  However, if there is a violation, the three-year period will be reset or other consequences (additionally, owners and keepers would need to show proof that the violation was corrected).

But wait, there’s more…

The pit bull isn’t a breed; rather, it is a group of breeds that include the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier. If a dog seems to display a majority of physical traits of any of these breeds, or exhibits physical characteristics confirming to the American Kennel Club or United Kennel Club standards, it will most often be termed a pit bull. If you own or believe you own, a pit bull, then you must contact Denver Animal Protection for a breed-restricted assessment. This assessment will cost you $25.00 per dog. If your dog is deemed to be of the pit bull persuasion, then you’ll want to proceed with applying for the Breed-Restricted Permit mentioned above.

Our Denver dog families and pit bull Paladins can look forward to the permitting process starting January 1, 2021.

What does this repeal mean for our community associations? Generally speaking, it means that in Denver our neighbors may now be able to own and keep pit bulls beginning in 2021, as long as they are properly licensed and permitted, and the association’s governing documents do not prohibit or restrict them (of course…the dog…not the neighbor…).   Those who have unlicensed and/or unpermitted pit bulls may still be reported to the City of Denver.  And of course, if there is a canine compatriot who appears to have the physical attributes of the pit bull persuasion but does not appear to have the required pit bull passport, that too may be referred to Denver Animal Protection in order to prompt that pretty pooch’s owner to promptly pony up for a pit bull perusal in the form of the breed-specific assessment.

Please contact an Altitude attorney, at 303.432.9999 or [email protected] with any questions about the repeal of the Pit Bull Ban and what this may mean for your community.

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