In Denver and other communities across the Front Range, legislature banning specific breeds of dogs is widespread. These so-called “breed bans” are intended to eliminate “dangerous breeds” and nearly all are focused on Pit Bull Terriers and similar “Bully Breeds.” These breed bans continue to be a source of debate, and our Denver dog bite lawyers keeps a close eye on the issue.
Bites by Breed: A Complex Issue
Like many areas of the law, there are many complex issues at play in these matters. In 2004, the Colorado State legislature outlawed breed bans. However, further complicating the issue, the City of Denver won the right to continue the ban they had in place since 1989 under home rule status.
In reality, many dog bites are from common household breeds that have faced no such bans–many of which are considered to be “kid-friendly.” Studies have shown that small and medium sized breeds like collies, spaniels and even Chihuahuas are far more likely to exhibit aggressive behavior. While Pit Bulls and their cousins are no more likely to bite than most breeds, they are powerful dogs that can cause serious harm when a bite does occur. Bites from small and medium breeds are likely under reported because their smaller size often leads to injuries that are less severe.
The legal and practical issues of dog bites are difficult to untangle. Ultimately breed or appearance is a poor indicator of how a dog will behave when there are so many other factors involved. Common sense legislation and active enforcement of ordinances is far more effective than banning particular breeds.
If you or your loved one have suffered serious bodily injury by any kind of dog in Colorado, the owner is strictly liable. Call the experienced dog bite lawyers of Shafner Law today at (303) 796-0555 for your free consultation. We serve clients throughout the Denver metro area and the entire state of Colorado.