After four years of pounding Denver with every logical argument and reliable statistic explaining why breed bans are bad public policy and purely discriminatory, the ground is starting to shake. The biggest shock wave has emanated from the civil lawsuit brought against the city three years ago — a growing financial burden to the city budget scarier than any bully type dog!
|Eric Christensen/IsaakHook Images|
|Me and my bully mix, Brad Pit — Outlaws of Denver.|
The ban echoes pit bull paranoia etched in fear-based thinking — ignoring factual information that disputes any logical reason to legislate a breed of dog as dangerous. You can find statistics, data and the gruesome history of Denver’s brutal breed ban on DenverKillsDogs.com.
Just two days before my scheduled flight to the Dark City, I was informed that Denver only wanted to hear from its own constituents — no “outsiders.” Here is the notice I received: Denver city council is not taking seriously any e-mails from outside the area. If you are a Denver resident, make sure to put something about being a Denver resident in the subject line.
What about ex-Denver residents forced to chose between their beloved dog or their home? Or thousands of concerned citizens who signed the Boycott Denver Petition? And what about angry dog owners who have vowed not to move to Denver or open a business there because of the breed ban? I guess we should all go fly a kite…
If testimony from Sergeant Heidi J. Tufto, a previous Denver resident and one of many who fled the city, was not enough evidence to convince city council members of the breed bans’ ridiculous assault on dog owners, I don’t know what other “evidence” Denver is seeking to determine if dog owners have any rights at all. Here is the gripping letter Heidi wrote…
Dear Denver Legislators -
I want you to know that I moved from your "fine" city several years ago specifically due to the breed ban and merciless slaughter of family pets. I moved to Aurora and when they enacted their breed ban, I sold my two homes in that city and moved from there as well – even though I could have "grandfathered" my two beautiful dogs. This year alone, I have purchased more than 450,000 worth of property – all outside of your city and tax base – even with the current economic issues. You have lost a valuable patron, a community volunteer, an active duty combat Soldier and first responder, and a generally outstanding resident.
I ask that you focus all of your currently misused resources toward issues that will help to change the face of Denver in a positive fashion. Instead of hunting down harmless pets, perhaps you could better enforce your spay and neuter policies and reduce the general number of unwanted animals. I suggest sting operations where you contact any of the thousands of people selling puppies and kittens in the Denver Metro area to ensure that these animals are properly licensed for breeding. They shouldn’t be too hard to track down, as they are clearly advertised in the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News. Reduce the total number of animals in your shelter, and ensure that ALL dogs and cats who are not show animals are spayed or neutered if living in Denver city limits. Now that is a cause I can rally behind. As an added bonus, spaying and neutering typically helps to reduce aggression in all breeds. Nice bonus, eh?
It is proven that breed specific legislation does not work. Why persist in persecution and genocide of a particular breed of dogs? If this were a people and not a breed of dog, there would be worldwide pressure on you to stop the killing. Discrimination is discrimination — and it is never acceptable. Please educate yourselves on the other legislative options available, such as a strict dangerous dog law that encompasses all breeds and will better protect the public.
In the meantime, I will reside in a relatively safe area with my two beautiful dogs, Lumpy and Bo. They have a lot to offer your city, as Lumpy is a Canine Good Citizen and a Certified Therapy Dog who was a much-loved and welcome favorite at the Children’s Hospital in El Paso.
Lumpy is a former fighting dog who wants nothing more than to show her compassion and depth of character to sick children — not eat them. It is a shame for all parties concerned that she cannot do what she does best and shine as an ambassador for her breed.
I invite you to call me, write me, or contact me in any way. I will gladly give you the opportunity to meet my beautiful Lumpy dog whose only fault was being born a pit bull who was abused, fought, thrown out and left for dead — but who recovered, forgave us all, and lives to love everyone. The same beautiful dog who you have decreed must die simply because she exists.
I will and do not spend any of my money in the cities of Denver or Aurora. I find my entertainment and necessities elsewhere and will continue to do so until such time as the ban is repealed.
Heidi J. Tufto
Wake up Denver! You have already heard from Heidi, a sergeant of our military forces and other responsible citizens severely penalized by your ineptness to enact an effective dangerous dog ordinance. Furthermore, as a result of your deafness, the city is bleeding taxpayer dollars in a costly legal war waged by outraged citizens forced to move from their Denver homes and treated like criminals!
Other than expert testimony refuting the validity of breed bans given by the professional veterinary community, numerous respected animal welfare organizations, and research data complied by the National Canine Research Council, what more “evidence” are you looking for, Denver? I am afraid the adage: “You can’t fix stupid” applies.
Update I received from Councilwoman Carla Madison: “I can clarify to you and anyone else you talk to that we are not looking to repeal the ban but put a Responsible Pit Bull Ownership Act in place.”
What is the Responsible Pit Bull Ownership Act you ask?? Denver’s new and improved version of breed discrimination. You can own a pit bull only IF: you apply for a special permit and pay a fee, your dog can pass a temperament test, completes a training class, and you buy increased homeowner insurance. What a load of bully crap!
Notice to my fellow warriors: On August 25th, I stood proudly among the victims of Denver’s brutal breed ban with empty collars and leashes in hand refusing to be ignored. As one of the “outsiders”, I could only imagine the horror of living in a city that uses police force to search private homes, apprehending the friendly family dog for its last ride to nowhere.
|Rob Keith/IsaakHook Images|
|Joining my fellow protesters at Denver City Hall. August 25th, 2009.|
For me, Denver will always be remembered as a city cloaked in darkness — hiding under home rule status to impose its own laws. Its own sense of justice. Its own punishment. The Wild Wild West of Denver is looking for a new sheriff. Justice has yet to be served.
Dear Rovers: You have proudly answered the Call to Action and inspired change. And I have had the privilege of fighting with the best of the best. Thank you for the honor of being your General!
For readers of this blog, do not let breed discrimination come to your city. You must watch your city council. Don’t let Denver happen again!