Celebrations among Denver dog lovers have ceased.
On Feb. 10, the Denver City Council voted to repeal the Colorado city’s 30-year ban on owning pit bulls. The City Council voted 7-4 to create a new code that would allow Denver residents to own a pit bull if the owner registered their dog with the Denver Animal Protection (DAP) and got a breed-restricted license.
The decision was met with support from many national animal welfare organizations, including the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
A one-hour courtesy public hearing has started for an amendment to the Denver Revised Municipal Code requiring a provisional breed-restricted license for owners of pit bulls. Pit bulls are currently prohibited in #Denver. #PitBulls #NoPitBulls pic.twitter.com/ZqXwC2KaKB— Denver City Council (@DenCityCouncil) February 11, 2020
“Laws that ban particular breeds of dogs do not achieve these aims and instead create the illusion, but not the reality, of enhanced public safety,” the organization said in their position statement on pit bulls.
“Notably, there are no statewide laws that discriminate based on dog breed, and 18 states have taken the proactive step of expressly banning laws that single out particular breeds for disparate legal treatment,” they added. “All dogs, including pit bulls, are individuals. Treating them as such, providing them with the care, training, and supervision they require, and judging them by their actions and not by their DNA or their physical appearance is the best way to ensure that dogs and people can continue to share safe and happy lives together.”
But the suggested repeal wasn’t met with support by everyone. Shortly after the Denver City Council publically shared their proposed updates to the pit bull ban, Denver’s mayor, Michael Hancock, vetoed the City Council’s bill to repeal the ban, reports NBC News.
In an effort to keep the repeal alive, the City Council voted to override the mayor’s veto on Monday. Denver City Council needed nine votes to successfully override Hancock’s veto; the override failed to pass with an 8-5 vote.
“If this were to become a law in our city and harm comes to someone as a result, then we would have done a disservice to the people of Denver,” Hancock told KUSA about why he vetoed the repeal, a measure put forth by Councilman Chris Herndon.
Herdon told the Denver Post that he was disappointed that the mayor did not come to the council to have a conversation about the repeal before deciding to veto the measure.
“I’m getting to the point where I’m running out of sources — large and small — to say this is why we should be doing this,” the councilman told the outlet.
Herdon’s isn’t giving up on repealing the ban. According to the Denver Post, he is working on getting a similar measure on the November 2020 ballot.