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Campaign to End BSL: Operation Denver

This postcard was submitted to end BSL. Personalize your own! Denver, Colorado has the most oppressive Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) in the country. Denver has engaged in an aggressive seizure program, which involves taking family pet pit bulls from their homes and killing them.

Between 2005 and 2006, the city euthanized 1,454 dogs. Since the ban began in 1989, the city has killed thousands. Last year, an animal control worker leaked photos of the situation. (PLEASE NOTE: these images are extremely graphic.) This situation is dire.


  • Visit Maggie’s Oh My Dog! A Dog Blog and create an electronic postcard (or ten, the more the better!) telling the Mayor you oppose his law. It’s ridiculously easy, even if you’re not a techie.

Maggie’s goal is to print 10,560 postcards, a mile-long message for the Mile High City, and flood Mayor Hickenlooper’s office with your words. She has more than a hundred already and would love a hundred more from us this week. We can surely beat that!

In 2004, Hickenlooper actively fought to keep the pit bull ban active when it was struck down by a state law. However, the state prohibits municipalities from passing BSL (Denver was grandfathered in when that law passed). Mayor Hickenlooper is currently campaigning for governorship of Colorado. If the would-be governor is able to redeem himself by taking a stance against the breed ban, he may gain votes from the animal welfare community. Now is the time to save thousands of pit-bull-type dogs’ lives!

For more information, contact Maggie at .

A Note from Maggie:

Maggie’s Emmett

Until I adopted Emmett, my bully mix, I had never heard of breed-specific legislation. My Emmett is the sweetest dog you will ever meet – he loves absolutely everyone, he snuggles with anyone who makes eye contact with him, and he’s a therapy dog who thrives in an environment filled with loud, noisy children who just need a little love. He waggles, cuddles, performs tricks, and gives high-fives until he can barely lift his arm. But I’m constantly questioned, “Is that a pit bull?” “Does he bite?” The worst one we ever got, “He’s a pit bull, right? So, are you going to put him down when you have children?”

But BSL goes far beyond people’s bias against certain breeds. It’s about dogs who have done nothing wrong loosing their lives. It’s about responsible pet owners having to sell their house and move just to protect their dogs. People are loosing the right to love any dog they choose, whether it’s a pit bull type dog, a German Shepherd, a Chow-Chow, a Rottweiler, or any of the other breeds that commonly face prejudice.

Fighting BSL is about all the dogs like Emmett who are wonderful, one-of-a-kind dogs who want nothing more than to make people happy. Responsible dog owners shouldn’t be punished for the dogs they love, and dogs definitely shouldn’t have to die just for being a particular breed. Instead of prejudicial breed-discriminatory legislation, we need laws that protect the dogs and penalize irresponsible owners.

Now that you know about Maggie’s cause, off with you – and don’t forget to tell your friends!

Come back next Monday when we’ll introduce our next cause. We’ll never ask you to open your pocketbook – just spend a few minutes to help make a difference in animals’ lives. Sign up for RSS or email updates and spread the word!

About Author

Kim CluneKim Clune co-founded Be the Change for Animals in May of 2010 to coalesce the online community of enthusiastic animal advocates. Acting locally, Kim co-founded Dog House Adoptions to serve stray dogs and often heal people of New York’s Capital Region through the bond of unconditional love. She also celebrates many special human/animal connections through her personal blog, This One Wild Life, writing, photographing and sharing videos since 2009.View all posts by Kim Clune →

  1. Kelly

    So excited to be a part of the first BTC cause! Off to make a postcard and tweet, right now!

  2. EmilyS

    Thanks for covering this great, creative campaign, which also has the goal of educating the people who come to Denver in Sept. for “BlogPaws” (what a shame they decided to put money into Denver’s coffers… money that supports the killing of pit bulls in the shelter.. by holding the event there).

    One slight addition to the info. about BSL in Colorado: while a recent state law prohibits it, the state constitution has a “home rule” provision that allows municipalities to make their own laws. This is one of the assertions Denver makes when it defends its ban in court (and it has never specifically been ruled on) Aurora also asserted this right when they passed their ban AFTER the state law went into effect. Sadly, the state law is virtually meaningless in actual practice.

    • Amy

      Thanks for the local insight Emily. It seems ridiculous to me that the state passes laws and then doesn’t enforce them.

  3. mariodacat

    I had no idea this was going on. Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention. It’s deplorable. Off to do a post card now.

    • Kim Clune
      Kim Clune07-06-2010

      To be honest, I had never heard of such a thing either until I watched Maggie transform literally overnight from wanting to abstain from attending BogPaws West, September’s pet blogging conference in Denver, to using the conference as an opportunity to rise up against Denver’s BSL.

      Look at Maggie now!! She’s collected 400 postcards so far and I’m about to make another… and maybe 10 more after that!

  4. Dixie

    Please stop killing dogs based on breed. My husband & I always pet dogs on our evenings walks (after asking permission from the dog’s owner) We have petted sweet Pit Bulls, Rottweilers & feisty Chihuahuas. My husband was bitten twice, not by Pit Bulls, but by Cocker Spaniels. Cockers are supposedly one of the best family breeds. So a bite can come from any frightened dog. Not just Pit Bulls BSL is WRONG

    • Kim Clune
      Kim Clune07-06-2010


      That’s the perfect message to mail the mayor! Have you made your postcard yet? The more you make, the bigger the impact. Why not make a bunch?!

  5. Sharon & Cleo
    Sharon & Cleo07-06-2010

    We couldn’t agree more. Cleo is a mix, a very large mix rescue but also is a gentle alpha girl.

    Maggie – we’d love to have you join in our weekly Influence Positively Questionnaire. Please email us! Here is the most recent:

  6. Jim@DoggyBytes

    Retweeted, Stumbled & shared on Facebook. You guys are awesome!

    • admin

      Thanks so much Jim!

  7. Nick Hunseder
    Nick Hunseder07-08-2010

    From my Facebook page, where I shared your link:

    This nonsense has to be stopped. Support the cause to end BSL (Breed Specific Legislation). They can seize and destroy your pet just based on it’s “perceived” breed. Can anyone readily identify an actual pitbull? Most animal control officers struggle. Although I have 6 Greyhounds, I also have a pit and have had several… of them over the years. People are boycotting Arizona for protecting their borders, yet BSL goes un-noted.

    Once they succeed with banning dogs by breed, can banning people by race or religion be far behind? Hitler tried it in the 40s. We know how that worked out.

    Do something to stop this insanity.

    • Amy Burkert
      Amy Burkert07-09-2010

      Thanks so much for helping to spread the word! So many people don’t have any idea this is even happening. We’re hoping that by spreading the word and letting Denver know that we oppose what they’re doing we can make a change. I couldn’t agree with you more – it is insanity – on so many levels. It has to stop and we can make a difference if we work together. Again, thanks for your support.

  8. Peggy

    I made my postcard! Great cause.

  9. Hilary

    I made my postcard and sent it in. I do hope the Mayor reconsiders. He is a reasonable man in so many ways. There’s no reason to believe pit bulls are the main biters. Statistics show it’s Labs–and smaller breeds as well.

    Hilary Lane
    Fang Shui Canines

  10. screw u
    screw u07-17-2010

    screw u for killing dogs, so freaking cruel my pitt is the sweetest and caring dog ever.

  11. Chef David Edelstein
    Chef David Edelstein01-02-2011

    This camapign…its a nice thought, but the postcard campaign has been tried more than a dozen times in the past with zero results. Petitions, postcards, email campaings, and newspaper articles can and do get thrown away by the Mayor’s assistant. 1000 people (with the media watching) outside the city/county building in protest (televised, so thousands more see it) and showing up en mass to city council meetings and speaking truths in the middle of their lies… THAT is what will start to bring about change.

  12. Chef David Edelstein
    Chef David Edelstein01-02-2011

    We have assembled a group on facebook… “The Denver Dog Killing Machine”. Our sole purpose is to turn off the computer and GET OUT THERE: protesting, pit bull meet and greets at high traffic locations, we are looking at starting a local program taking serice dogs into meet school kids, we are canvassing the 16th street mall in Denver, a concert promoter has launched “PIT FEST” (a concert series benefiting Anti Denver BSL Efforts and Pit Bull Rescue) and we have a few more surprises slated for 2011.
    Check us out!!!