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Denver - More than 1,000 dogs have been euthanized in Denver following its year-long Pit Bull ban. Some residents have reclaimed their mixed-breeds from dog death row and moved out of city limits to save their pets.
DENVER — More than 1,000 dogs have been euthanized in Denver following its year-long Pit Bull ban. Some residents have reclaimed their mixed-breeds from dog death row and moved out of city limits to save their pets.
As dog-bite stories ripple through municipalities and give rise to debate about banning specific dog breeds, a Colorado alliance has launched a public-awareness campaign to counter the aggressive legislative proposals.
The Coalition for Living Safely with Dogs was launched last fall to educate dog owners and the general public about canine behavior and to offer assistance to cities that are establishing or revising dangerous dog laws. The Colorado Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) and Denver Area Veterinary Medical Society are charter members.
"This is a public-safety issue, but we happen to believe that the knee-jerk reaction of breed-specific restrictions doesn't really solve the problem," says CVMA Executive Director Ralph Johnson. "You have to look more comprehensively at the human behaviors that are at the core of the problem."
Policy makers often issue mandates without additional resources for animal control agencies, making basic services difficult to render, Johnson says.
"What we see is that (breed bans) so absorb animal control officers in responding to what has become this priority item that basic animal control services start to be compromised," he says. "It puts a lot of pressure on them to respond, and it can even compromise cruelty investigations. They just can't do it all."
Colorado Association of Animal Control Officers and Colorado Federation of Animal Welfare agents are also part of the coalition, as well as Animal Assistance Foundation, Colorado Association of Certified Veterinary Technicians, Metro Denver Shelter Alliance and Summerlee Foundation.
For more information, visit http://www.colovma.org/ and click on Advocacy/Outreach.