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The Killing of the Misunderstood 3,500: Denver's Pit Bull Ba

Vegan Joe

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Denver's Westword published some really difficult-to-read material (and heartbreaking-to-see images) in the last month related to the city's pit bull ban. The reports were undoubtedly rough for any animal advocates who saw them, but I imagine that those involved in pit bull rescue and those who ourselves know and love a pit bull whom others have thought "unfixable" may have been hit even harder.


As many readers know, I live with a loving but traumatized rescued pit bull (an American Pit Bull Terrier to be exact), and her recovery from the abuse inflicted on her by humans has been slow. Two weeks ago, she hit a milestone in that recovery (more related to that coming in a post this weekend), but if we lived in Denver or any other city with breed-specific legislation, she never would have gotten that chance; Mabel would have been dead -- killed -- a long time ago. And knowing that perhaps intensifies my own personal anger, frustration, and heartbreak in response to these laws.


First, before we get to the heart of the issues, I'd like to give you the links to Westword's recent detailed coverage. Initially, this story appeared in the paper: "For two decades, pit bulls have been public enemy #1 in Denver. But maybe it's time for a recount." And these posts appeared concurrently and in the hours and days, respectively, to come: "Inside Denver's 'Pit Bull Row'" and "3,497 dead dogs and other numbers from Denver's pit bull ban," the former taking us inside the "row" and showing us the sweet, scared faces of the dogs awaiting death there. Then a couple weeks later came this jarring post, revealing to us the piles of dead dogs (before following this link, please note that the images are difficult to see): "Leaked: photos of pit bulls killed due to Denver ban."


Denver's pit bull ban has been in place for 20 years now, and for just as ...

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