A new classification system for Commerce City pets classifies them as dangerous based on their behavior, not their breed.
Commerce City changed its animal code rules Jan. 18, according to a statement. New laws are in place that classify animals as dangerous or vicious based on their conduct instead of breed-specific rules. The city’s code previously included specific bans for pit bull and pit bull terrier breeds.
The statement outlined other changes in the code. It added a definition for so-called “dangerous animals,” those that have attacked people or animals causing injury or behaving in a fashion that could pose a threat of injury. These types of animals can stay in the city with conditions, according to the statement. Those include registration, insurance, identification and restraints.
There’s a new definition of “vicious animals.” Those are ones that attack people or other animals resulting in death or serious injury. It also includes animals trained and owned for fighting. These animals cannot remain in the city.
There are exceptions, such as an animal attacking a person or other animal or its owner, an at-large animal entering its property or a person committing a crime.
Owners of animals designated as “dangerous” can petition the court to remove the designation after one year. The statement outlined other changes to the city’s animal code. Owners have to notify the city within 24 hours of any animal attack. There are also new standards for animal disturbances, such as barking dogs.