Monday, May 2, 2011

Step to permit service dogs in Denver not nearly large enough.

Denver took the step to permit "pitbulls" as service dogs but I hope they don't think they are stopping there.. 

If the so called "pitbull" is stable enough to allow as a service dog, they are certainly stable enough to be a family pet! In one's logical mind the decision to allow "pitbulls" as service dogs could be seen to those of us on the outside as a strong step that the Denver city council is working actively to repeal the ban overall, and replace it with fair and equal treatment under the law. A bylaw that targets and punishes irresponsible dog owners of all breeds but rewards dog owners that are responsible. A law that targets behavior instead of LOOKS!

From the Denver Daily News today, it doesn't sound as though that is what they had in mind?

Is the city twisting the truth?

Pit bull advocates say city is only protecting itself with new policy for disabled people

Peter Marcus, DDN Staff Writer

Monday, May 2, 2011

City officials have adopted a written policy permitting pit bulls as service dogs, though no notice was given to the public, and advocates believe the city is twisting the truth to protect itself legally.
Pit bull advocates say the city quietly adopted the written policy because it did not want to raise flags to its noncompliance with federal disabilities law.
The Animal Law Center is already suing the city over its ban on pit bulls, arguing that not providing an exemption for service dogs violates the Americans with Disabilities Act. 
City officials confirmed on Friday that there is now a written policy. Animal Control adopted the policy on April 5th, according to a court document filed on April 15th in U.S. District Court. 
Animal Control Director Doug Kelley says the city has always allowed disabled people to possess pit bulls as service dogs. He said there simply wasn’t a written policy established.
“We have always allowed pit bulls as service dogs,” he said. “I think what they’re talking about is it was memorialized in writing.”
But pit bull advocates believe the city is attempting to talk itself out of being in violation of federal law. They point out that the question was originally sent to the City Council to take action, but that the City Council rejected the exemption in December by a vote of 9-4.
City attorneys immediately made it clear that because of the lack of an exemption the city was in violation of federal law and at the mercy of any lawsuit filed.
The Animal Law Center filed its lawsuit on behalf of disabled Denver residents and commuters who had been rejected by the city for having a pit bull as a service dog. The law firm had to go as far as to obtain a signed joint stipulation stating that the city wouldn’t go after any pit bulls that are considered service dogs.
Read on...

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