Commerce City Moves Closer To Restricting Pit Bull Owners

City Will Not Enact Breed Ban

Commerce City pit bull owners will have to obey new rules to keep their pets. On Monday night, City Council members voted in favor of the proposed pit bull ordinance.

The City Council voted eight to one to approve the ordinances on their first reading, but the council will still review testimony before the second reading.

Before the meeting Monday night, protesters showed up to voice their displeasure with the new measures.

"What I'm hoping for is that they'd see enacting another ordinance would be foolish. They need to start aggressively enforcing the aggressive and vicious dog ordinance that they have on the books," said pit bull owner Christine Garcia. "Any dog can be trained to be aggressive ... It's the owner who should be accountable."

If the ordinance is passed, the city would enact stricter rules regarding the registration and fencing of pit bulls as well as setting a higher amount of homeowner's insurance pit bull owners must carry. The city is not proposing a complete ban on the breed.

Before the vote, council members listened to residents voice their opinions on the issue for hours.

"When these pit bulls are taken out all the people on the block take children in -- it's like, 'Batten down hatches.' They are afraid," said Commerce City resident Cathy McIntyre. "The (dog's) history shows us that they will not back down, they will not take commands from their primary owners."

The second reading is set for Sept. 19. Between now and then, council members will review testimony on the current vicious dog ordinance and a provision exempting show dogs.

Commerce City isn't the only local community looking at pit bull laws. Denver reinstituted its ban against the breed in May and Aurora is also debating a pit bull ban.

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