Westword, an alternative weekly out of Colorado, has been doing a stellar (in my biased opinion) job on covering Denver's 20-yr pit bull ban. I blogged a little about it here and here.
They just released another article called "Leaked: photos of pit bulls killed due to Denver ban"
I am reposting the small photos right now, because I think they lend themselves to a discussion on dogs, in general. You can see the larger versions at the above link.
A fair question to be asked: Are these photos of stray or confiscated pit bulls who were killed in Denver? The photographer is anonymous and the pictures were supposedly taken in 2006 (which begs the further question of why they were not shown earlier).
Unless someone steps forward and verifies the source of these photos, I can only observe that they depict the corpses of dozens of dogs, all pit bulls.
What I do know is that these pictures not only highlight what does happen when breed bans are enacted, especially those with such strict tenets as Denver, they showcase what happens in shelters across the country. I could have taken this photo in the kill room of a shelter where I volunteered for nearly four years. Pit bull and pit bull mixes comprised the overwhelming majority of dead dogs, their still warm bodies draped without care over one another. Pit bull and pit bull mixes still make up a large percentage of unwanted dogs in shelters.
Breed bans are awful, horrible things for the dogs. There is no arguing against that - if you are the uncool type of dog in areas with breed bans, your options are slim, at best. At worst, you are a dead dog walking. Their efficacy at improving overall public safety is certainly questionable; no city has consistent results after implementing breed bans. Some may see a decline in pit bull type bites. Some see an increase in dog bites. The sign of a truly effective, valid study is that it can be repeated with similar results. Breed bans do not "breed true" - using the same wording, the same enforcement, similar variables, and you still do not see reliable results. Dogs are far more dynamic than that, and the dog bite issue is far more complex than reducing it to breed.
Killing healthy dogs is an awful, horrible thing for the dogs. These pictures may not portray Denver dogs. They may have been taken after a fight bust or a cruelty case or a day at a hi-kill municipal shelter. That does not detract from the wrongness of it. There is no reason that any dog, let alone dozens of the same type of dog, should be in a picture like this. We should not be killing them. We should not be reducing them to breeds and further reducing them to corpses.
We owe these dogs so much more than that.