Pit bull may be sentenced to death today
Dog caught in Denver
Gene Davis, DDN Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
A pit bull-type dog that allegedly dug out of his kennel in Adams County and was picked up by Animal Control in Denver faces the possibility of being sentenced to death in a hearing today.
Forrest and his owner, Chris McGahey, live in Adams County, which allows pit bulls. Pit bull-type dogs have been illegal in Denver since 2005, when several high-profile pit bull attacks and maulings led to the reimplementation of the breed specific ban.
A California veterinarian who is also a pit bull activist said Forrest should be spared since the dog and owner live outside of the Denver city limits.
“Here’s a guy who lives in Adams County whose dog accidentally gets out of the yard,” said Paula Terifaj. “The dog has the misfortune to find its way out to Denver, and now they want to kill it.”
Doug Kelley, the Denver animal control director, said the judge will not take into consideration the fact that McGahey and Forrest live outside of Denver because the dog has been caught in Denver before. McGahey signed an affidavit after the first incident saying the dog wouldn’t ever be within the Denver limits again, said Kelley.
“We make it very clear to people that on second infraction, they probably won’t get their dog back,” he said.
“Unfortunately, that’s what the process is…. It boils down to the dog came down to Denver.”
Forrest has no history of violent behavior, and never attacked anyone, said Terifaj. The vet, who said she would happily take ownership of Forrest if it would spare his life, called the Denver pit bull ban a “mad witch hunt.”
“Any dog has the potential to be aggressive or a risk,” she said. “Breed specific legislation is the result of fear and ignorance.”
The dog’s behavioral history will have little influence on the judge’s decision. The law specifically bans pit bull-type dogs from Denver, regardless of their behavior.
Today’s hearing is to determine if Forrest is indeed a pit bull-type dog. The judge then has 10 days to make a decision on what to do with Forrest, with him being euthanized the most likely option, said Kelley.
Bless the Bullys