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Pit bull roundup begins in Denver

On first day of effort, city’s animal control officers seize 12 dogs

By David Montero, Rocky Mountain News
May 10, 2005
Officer Lorraine Pacheco didn’t know what to expect Monday - the first day of Denver Animal Control’s enforcement of the city’s ban on owning pit bulls.
“At first, I was like, do I even want to come into work today,” Pacheco said from behind the wheel of her city-issued white van.

“People not wanting to give up their dogs, saying ‘I love my dog, why are you taking him?’ It’s not a witch-hunt.”

It is the law, though.

The Denver District Court ruled this year that an ordinance passed in April 2004 was legal, and about 200 owners of pit bulls were notified by mail that they would have to turn over their dogs beginning Monday. Doug Kelly, director of the Denver animal shelter, said that, as of early Monday evening, 12 pit bulls were in custody after owners either relinquished them or they were picked up by officers such as Pacheco."We really didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “We were prepared for a higher caller volume.”
Of those dozen dogs, he said six will likely be euthanized after 24 hours. The others, which the city picked up, will be traced back to their owners, he said.  If the owners had previous pit bull violations, the dogs won’t be returned and will be euthanized. If the dogs had no prior violations, the owners will have the opportunity to relocate them outside the county of Denver.
William Hollowell had received a notice and gave up his dog voluntarily when animal control officers arrived Monday afternoon. Three animal control vans parked outside his brick house while his dog, Bandit, jumped and barked inside a small fenced area of the backyard."I’ll get him,” Hollowell said quietly as animal control officials closed in with wrangling equipment. The 50-year-old with long dreadlocks opened the fence’s door a crack and slipped behind the chain-link door separating the officers from the snarling dog. He calmly put a chain leash on Bandit and started to walk him out. Bandit struggled at first, lunging in different directions before his owner picked him up and brought him to the back of the van.  In the background, two American bulldogs barked loudly.
“I’m definitely sad,” Hollowell said. “He’s like a member of my family. There’s going to be a lot of sad people.” Pacheco said because Hollowell voluntarily gave up the dog, he wouldn’t be ticketed. The fine for violating the city ordinance is up to $999 and/or a year in jail. As they were finishing loading up the dog, and Officer Frank Jimenez was explaining to Hollowell his options, Pacheco got another call about a pit bull running loose in a Montbello neighborhood. When she and Jimenez arrived about a half-hour later, the home in question had no evidence of a dog. The woman who answered the door when Pacheco knocked wasn’t too happy to see them, either. Between a flurry of obscenities, the woman said she gave up the pit bull days ago. A little girl inside the doorway to the house mentioned it might be in the basement. Officers asked her if they could look there. “I don’t have no dogs,” the woman yelled. “There ain’t no dogs in the basement. You want to search the house, get a warrant. And then I’ll sue you.”
Keri Lafave, a neighbor, said the black pit bull had been running loose in the neighborhood earlier in the day. However, she said the dog wasn’t mean. Both Jimenez and Pacheco called Denver police officers for backup and, while they waited for the squad cars to arrive, they stood watch by the backyard in case the woman tried to flee with a pit bull. When the officers arrived, the woman refused entrance to her house and Pacheco said a warrant would have to be issued. “I’ve been called everything in the book,” she said as she got in the van and drove away. “I just try and tell them I’m just doing my job.”

Please read and sign the following petition to repeal the breed specific legislation law in Denver. This law bans all American Pit Bull Terriers regardless of temperament and history. Pets are being taken from their families based solely on their breed. Who is next? Akitas? English Bulldogs? German Shepherds? Rottweilers? BREED DISCRIMINATION IS WRONG.

PLEASE, go to, read, and sign the petition´┐Ż

Posted by rosevine69 on 05/15 at 06:23 AM in Pet People

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