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Pit Bull Breed Ban Repeal In Denver Passes On First Vote

DENVER (CBS4) - The ban on pit bulls and other terrier dogs took one step closer to being repealed on Monday night. Several Denver City Council members expressed concerns about taking away the 30-year-old breed specific legislation.

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"Breed specific legislation has a track record of not only not working in other cities, but actually making it more dangerous. You tend to have more dog bites in cities with BSL because there's this false sense of security that's built up by owners of other breeds," said Shira Hereld, the co-founder of Replace Denver BSL.

Hereld says she and other members from her group have been working for months with Councilman Chris Herndon who has brought forward the legislation that would repeal the ban.

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There would still be several requirements pit bull owners would need to meet with Denver Animal Protection.

"It's clearly not working for the city," said Hereld who had to move out of Denver when she adopted her dog Mary. "I don't trust that she would pass a visual assessment. We wanted her to be safe, and we didn't want to be violating any laws."

Councilwoman Debbie Ortega said her office is hearing from the public that they want the ban to stay in place by a ratio of two-to-one.

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"Our hope is that folks who have pit bulls or want pit bulls have a much higher licensing rates than the rest of Denver, because they know they're being held under such stricter scrutiny. We want people to go out and license their dog because it's a huge issue, the under licensing," said Hereld. "It's going to tell us a lot about how Denver can safely move forward on this issue.  We are aiming at public safety, and we truly believe that science and lived experience of other cities, shows that this is the best possible way to do this."

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