Repeal of pit bull ban in Castle Rock clears first hurdle in Town Council vote

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CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — The Castle Rock Town Council voted Tuesday to move a pit bull ban repeal onto the next step. It's now one future vote away from approval.

The hearing comes after a March 6 recommendation to replace the current breed-specific ban in favor of a two-tiered, behavior-based system.

The council voted 5-2 to pass the repeal on its first reading. It still must pass a "second reading" vote to happen at a future meeting. 

Seven other communities in Colorado have pit bull bans, including Denver.

The bans have been challenged in court over the years but have remained in effect to this day.

If Castle Rock's repeal efforts are successful, it will mark the first time a Colorado city moves away from breed-specific legislation.

Jennifer Dudley took to Facebook, organizing an effort to end the breed-specific ban in Castle Rock that's been on the books for more than 20 years. 

Dudley claims there is no scientific link between a dog's aggressive behavior and its breed.

"The breed specific legislation does not increase public safety at all. Nothing points to pit bulls are the dog that's destroying people and the problem dog," she told Denver7. 

However, those who support breed-specific bans may argue well-established data showing pit bulls and Rottweilers account for the great majority of human deaths caused by canines. 

Colleen Lynn from dogsbite.org cited 11 out of 12 hospital research studies that showed a higher rate and severity of injuries coming from pit bulls than any other dog breed.

The one outlier study that did not show that to be the case came from Denver (which has a longstanding ban). 

Keep in mind that cities with bans, like Denver, do have to do more to enforce them. Denver Animal Protection says when they get a call about a pit bull they have to go out, find the dog, and determine if it is indeed a pit bull. An owner then has the option to move the dog out of the city. 

If there is no owner, the dog has to pass a behavioral evaluation, and has to be sent to another county without a ban to be adopted out. 

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