Demand that Colorado Stop Killing Family Pets

Target: Colorado Governor, John Hickenlooper

Goal: Ban Colorado legislation that allows for the killing of household pets and service dogs

Just within Denver city limits, more than 3,400 dogs with “pit bull” characteristics have been confiscated and euthanized by the police since the beginning of the city’s Breed Specific Legislation (BSL). Other neighboring cities have also enacted BSL, including Aurora and Commerce City, which means that the death toll is even higher. Not only are Colorado police able to seize and kill family pets for no other reason than their physical appearance, but correctly identifying the breed of dog has been an ongoing problem. Denver Animal Control uses subjective measures, such as the width of the head and the length of the nose, to determine whether a dog is a pit bull or pit bull mix. Animal Control is not trained to correctly identify breeds and all it takes for a dog to be confiscated and killed by Denver police is for an officer to determine that a dog has “pit bull characteristics.”

In 2009, Lawyers for the Animal Law Center proved that Denver Animal Control has been misidentifying dogs. A family pet named Dexter was confiscated by the police because officers determined he was a pit bull. Experts and four veterinarians proved that the dog was actually a boxer mix, which questioned the legitimacy of the standards used to identify dog breeds. Even after this, BSL has continued in the state, and every citizen with a dog that resembles a pit bull is at risk of getting their dog seized and killed.

Not only are families losing their pets, but a disabled veteran has recently filed a lawsuit against Denver because the city refused to recognize his service dog, which was a pit bull. Other veterans have even lost their pit bull service dogs because of the city’s ban, which is a blatant violation of the American with Disabilities Act. Colorado’s BSL is so far-reaching that all dog owners in the state are at risk of losing their pets based on arbitrary guidelines.

Please demand that Colorado Governor, John Hickenlooper, ban Breed Specific Legislation and stop allowing police to murder thousands of family pets and service dogs.


Dear Governor John Hickenlooper,

Breed Specific Legislation in Colorado has gone too far. Not only have statistics proven that BSL is ineffective and that pit bull bites are overrepresented in the media, but family pets are being confiscated and euthanized for no other reason than their physical appearance meets subjective standards implemented by Animal Control. In 2009, Lawyers for the Animal Law Center proved that Animal Control officers were incorrectly identifying dogs as “pit bulls” when a boxer mix was confiscated. 75% of dogs are mixed breed, and using arbitrary standards to determine whether a dog is a pit bull allows Colorado police to exercise the power to confiscate and kill family pets, regardless of what breed the dog actually is.

Veterans and other disabled persons are also being discriminated against because of BSL in Colorado. Disabled persons with pit bull service dogs (or service dogs with pit bull characteristics) have lost their dogs because of Denver’s overarching legislation. This is a blatant violation against the American with Disabilities Act, and as you know, lawsuits are pending against the city of Denver for these atrocious abuses of power. More than 3,400 dogs with pit bull characteristics have been confiscated and killed because of the BSL in Denver alone. Families are losing their pets for no other reason than stereotypes about pit bulls, which are perpetuated by the media and BSL around the country.

BSL is not only immoral, but it is ineffective as well. More dog bites per capita have been reported in Denver since the enactment of BSL than ever before. Instead of squandering tax money on ineffective and cruel legislation, Colorado could be using this money to encourage responsible dog ownership, end dog fighting, arrest those who neglect and abuse animals, or to heighten regulations on dangerous dogs, regardless of the dog’s breed. Please end Breed Specific Legislation in Colorado and stop confiscating and killing family pets.


[Your Name Here}

Photo Credit: denver-pitbulls via


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  1. J Davidson says:

    The dog reflects the owner, and no breed has inherently bad or inferior traits and/or characteristics. This is abject discrimination and murder of beautiful, defenseless, innocent animals.

  2. That is blatant discrimination with NO BASIS. Because of the way a dog LOOKS? ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? Id like to see someone try and take my dog, who is considered a viscous breed. They would HAVE to kill me first. With their ignorant thinking, all people who come from unstable or violent households should be killed right? I suggest they create laws that make it mandatory that people fix their pets and make sure they are tagged and vaccinated. TOO many people dont and are breeding when they have no business doing it. IF a dog attacks THEN you take steps but to right out confiscate and murder? What the hell is wrong with these people?

  3. Sarah Wilhoit Sarah Wilhoit says:

    Thank you for the support. As a pit bull owner who lives in Colorado, I am enraged by the state’s Breed Specific Legislation. I hope we can get enough signatures to end the massacre!

    • Too late commerce city co police strangled my beautiful gentle giant Zeus with 3 choke poles 3 officers he was terrified they killed him isn’t that murder???/

      • Sue, I am so sorry for the loss of your Zeus. As long as there are ignorant laws passed by ignorant people, the carnage will continue. If they spent as much time passing laws that protect animals and punish vicious dog fighters and breeders, there would be fewer people mourning the loss of their beloved family members…

    • as a animal lover & defender, I say that people need to start paying attention to legislation being drafted in Co, and those who have no common sense of dealing with issues about dogs { I have a pure bread BOXER ~ she looks like a pittie with a nub for a tail } it is high time that people everywhere in all towns/states start voting for those who believe what they do.

  4. Ruth Rogers says:

    Signed! Please will you sign this petition too.

  5. looks like Colorado sucks big time.

  6. looks like Colorado sucks big time, end the discrimination NOW.

  7. As a Pit Mom I start each day by saying a little prayer that I dont live in Denver! I love this state and never thought that I would be prohibited from owning a dog! I love the freedom and personality of Colorado, but now every day is met with fear and concern that if my Pit meets the wrong person who believes in BSL she could face death!! Can you imagine starting everyday in fear that you loyal loving fur-baby could be ripped from it’s family and be put to death for NO reason???
    With all the amazing people and opportunities that Colorado has to offer we should be the state that welcomes all breeds if dogs just as we welcome all types of people! It’s the acceptance of ALL people and ALL breeds that could give Colorado a unique opportunity to be the state all eyes are on as a welcoming and accepting state for Bully Breeds, as it is I am embarrassed and ashamed to call Colorado my home!
    Mayor Hickenlooper, PLEASE allow each dog to be judged on it’s individual qualities and not by fear and misunderstanding! Every dog in this state deserves to live a life free of some misguided law that serves no purpose than to otherwise wipe out an entire breed! Please give us a state we can all be proud of in the diversity of it’s people and it’s four legged family members!!
    Colorado needs to be a state that is known for it’s tolerance and fairness not it’s inhumane sadistic murder of our family members!

  8. Barbara Perry says:

    I can not believe the ignorance of people…just plan hateful. A dog any kind of dog is what the people make of it. I guess its easier to kill the dog then find the humane that abused the animal to make it mean. You are a poor excuse for humanity

  9. Darla Biederman says:

    This is so wrong on so many levels! Killing dogs based on the way they look is a miscarriage of justice!
    Create and enforce laws that restrict owners teaching dogs to be vicious if you want to make positive changes. I have owned 3 Pit Bull Terriers and they were loving wonderful dogs.

  10. BSL is nothing but a typical knee-jerk response from a bunch of uninformed bureaucrats trying to look like they’re improving something. Newsflash…they aren’t.

  11. Scott Brown says:

    I believe the ONLY thing civilized people can do about the Genocide in Denver, Aurora and other shitholes of the world is a COMPLETE boycott of anything made in Colorado and especially DO NOT travel or vacation there. It’s unfortunate the people out state would also feel it , but somebody elected the assholes who passed this BSL legislation and they also could have fought this like real Americans are expected to do. The truth is, these are just a bunch of terrified, weak ass COWARDS behind this crap. Come for MY dog and all you’ll get is a BULLET! COLORADO – the worst state in the nation! Scott Brown from Minnesota – where we are NOT a bunch of frightened sheep!

  12. Tiffany Story says:

    The human race has gone insane! I just don’t know what to say or think or feel anymore.

  13. I live in CT and I think what is going on here is horrible. You can have a “freedom to bare arms” and the craziest people can obtain one and kill children in schools but you get your family pet “pit” and get it taken away and killed just because of the breed. Something has to give here !!!!


  15. I would say that we euthanize all people who look “mean” or who have bad personalities, but I’d be the first to go on the chopping block. The laws in Colorado are just plain ignorant and bigoted..and there are probably other states or cities that are just as bad. I’m sure there’s a way to watch what our representatives are proposing or voting on so that we could publicly voice our disapproval before it’s too late – I just don’t know how to do it…The elected officials are supposed to speak for us, and there are enough animal lovers who vote that we are entitled to be heard.

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