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Death row dog not a pit bull

A STAFFORDSHIRE Bull Terrier cross named Buddy is languishing in the dog pound under sentence of death after he was apparently seized by dog wardens in Denver, Colorado, USA as an illegal Pit Bull Terrier.

To make matters worse, the law under which the wardens seized Buddy dates back to the late 1980s and soon to be repealed under a new ordinance going through Denver City hall, prompting accusations from anti-BSL campaigners that the wardens’ alleged act was one of spite against the new legislation.

City Dog Wardens seized buddy from the home of UK-born Benjamin Wilson on Thursday, April 8th. Mr Wilson immediately emailed the American Canine Foundation – an organisation that fights BSL for help. An ACF representative, the aptly named Debbie Stafford, took up buddy’s case.

ACF called their attorneys in Denver and placed a three way between them and Mr Wilson. The attorneys stated that if Buddy were destroyed, then they would sue the city of Denver because of pending litigation that would be changing the city’s BSL laws.

The litigation in question is the ACF's own constitutional challenge which was filed on March 1st against the city of Denver and forms an official Bill, HB1279 which is due to be heard next month.

Debbie Stafford offered to adopt Buddy, whilst the
ACF called the Denver Animal Control Shelter and the media.

ACF points out that Buddy was guilty of no crime, other than being a pit bull look-alike, thus making him easy prey to the over-zealous wardens.

The case brings back unpleasant echoes of the worst excesses of the UK’s own 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act when, throughout the 1990s, the authorities seized any dog which they believed was the so-called pit bull ‘type’. This led to the ridiculous scenario of many crossbreeds, Staffordshire Bull Terriers and even breeds such as Rhodesian Ridgebacks and even labradors being seized.

ACT Representative Debbie Stafford has been working hard to get votes for HB1279, and has been using ACF statistics and ACF through both local consultants in Colorado and from Seattle.

The media have picked up on Buddy’s story and the alleged false information surrounding the original breed ban. Senators in Denver Districts who were opposing HB1279 are now supporting it and Denver is losing its power to stop HB1279.

If you would like to register your protest against the seizure and planned execution of Buddy, please contact ACF at:

Benjamin Wilson spoke to OUR DOGS earlier this week. "It’s been a truly awful, heart-wrenching experience," he said. "Buddy is a cal,, friendly family pet who’s never been in any trouble. My wife and I were expecting the birth of our second child – she was in fact born last week – and Buddy has been taken from us, simply for existing and, to someone’s mind, being a Pit Bull Terrier.

"We can only pray that justice is done and that the Denver Senators listen to reason and repeal the law, and free Buddy, so that he can come back home to us. We’re so grateful to ACF for all their support and the tremendous support shown to us by dog owners around the world."