Thursday, March 5, 2009

Do dog breed bans work? *WAKE UP DENVER*

Despite killing at least 1,667 pit bulls since 2005, Denver city officials cannot say with certainty whether a ban on the breed has made the city safer.

Several other Denver metro towns and cities — including Englewood and Lakewood — examined dog bite data and decided breed-specific legislation is not as effective as stricter aggressive and dangerous dog laws, which hold owners responsible for their pets.

What they do know, however, is that pit bulls do not lead the pack when it comes to bites in the Denver metro area. Labrador retrievers are the most likely dog to bite, at 13.3 percent, according to data provided by the Colorado Association of Animal Control Officers and released last week by the Coalition for Living Safely with Dogs.

Englewood Mayor Jim Woodward said his city decided against breed-specific legislation because the research he conducted indicated that banning pit bulls would not cut back on dog bites. Because Englewood wanted a component that involved educating and holding owners responsible for their actions, it decided last summer to beef-up its dangerous dog laws rather than impose a ban.

Full article here