http://www.ocregister.com/articles/pit- ... enver-dogs
2 'Denver death row' pit bulls come to O.C.
Fullerton man drives 2,800 miles to pick up dogs caught in mile-high city's ban.
By BARBARA GIASONE
The Orange County Register
Comments 93 | Recommend 9
FULLERTON – David Edelstein could have driven four miles from his Fullerton home to the county animal shelter last week to pick up one of three pit bulls available for adoption.
Instead, Edelstein traveled 2,800 miles round trip to rescue two pit bulls from what he calls "death row in Denver."
The animals were targets of the mile-high city's law that bans pit bulls from that city and its county.
One of the dogs, Forrest, grabbed national headlines last month when he was led away under police escort from the Denver Animal Care and Control Center for transport to a St. Louis, Mo., rescue group.
His owner, Chris McGahey, was facing a rule under which the city has the right to euthanize pit bulls if they are caught twice roaming Denver streets.
The pit bull revolt was linked to a 1989 law – and empowered again in 2005 – that prohibits people from keeping or selling a pit bull in the city and county of Denver. Pet owners were given 30 days to remove their pit bulls from the area.
"I'm totally against breed-specific legislation that outlaws certain dogs," said Edelstein, who introduced the dogs to Fullerton's Pooch Park on Tuesday.
The Fullerton resident read about McGahey's case and a protest in Denver. He put in an application to adopt Forrest, age 2, after the Best Friends Rescue Center in Utah stepped in to help – one of many rescue agencies in the country that takes dogs from the mile-high city.
While waiting for a reply, Edelstein learned that the Denver ruling was based on several deaths allegedly caused by the pit bull breed. He also learned 1,600 pit bulls have been euthanized by Denver Animal Control in the past three years, according to news reports.
Doug Kelley, the city's animal control director, agreed that if McGahey signed an affidavit, Forrest could escape death and be relocated to a rescue center, according to reports in the Rocky Mountain News. Kelley did not return calls to his office this week.
After Edelstein learned the Utah agency had too many relocated dogs, he tracked Forrest to St. Louis.
"I waited 10 days to hear if I could get the dog," said Edelstein, watching Forrest romp around the pooch park. "When a volunteer rescue group heard I was approved to get Forrest, they asked if I was willing to bring a rescued Rottweiler dog from Long Beach to Colorado, they would bring Forrest to Colorado."
Edelstein met up with Forrest at the Denkai Animal Sanctuary in Grover, Colo. – a 640-acre ranch where the owner has rescued and rejuvenated 300 animals.
The Fullerton activist learned about another pit bull in trouble in the Denver area, and made arrangements to adopt Kane, 18 months.
On Monday, Edelstein arrived back in Fullerton to introduce the rescued dogs to his own pit bull-mix, Daze, 2, which he rescued.
"I never owned a dog until last year," said Edelstein. "And now I want fair treatment for all breeds."
He hopes to find a foster owner for Kane, and promised to someday to reunite Forrest with McGahey.
Meanwhile, he's an active spokesman for Roverlution.org, an organization that protests breed-specific legislation.
The group will stage its fourth-annual Luv-A-Bully march at 10 a.m. on Oct. 25 in Brea to change the negative stereotype of pit bull breeds. The event will take place at Founders Vet Clinic, 330 N. Brea Blvd.
Passionate about the cause, Edelstein – who owns a catering and personal-chef business – said he is in a position to spend time fighting against the mistreatment of pit bulls.
"It's how the owners treat the dogs, not the breed, that determines their behavior," Edelstein said.