Deciding on Denver

I'm going to BlogPaws 2010 badge

We’re excited to say we’ll be going to BlogPaws West! We absolutely loved the Columbus event, where Paris was a speaker back in April, from the excellent sessions to the networking with a great group of people. BlogPaws West will be held in Denver in September and promises an entire extra day of opportunities.

We have to admit we had a few second thoughts because of the choice of Denver as the convention site. Don’t get us wrong…Denver’s a beautiful city. In our 20 years as travel writers, we’ve written about the city for bridal magazines, for convention and meeting magazines, and for foodies.

But Denver has breed specific legislation (BSL) in place that outlaws the owning of a pit bull–or what officials believe looks like a pit bull. According to an excellent article in Oh My Dog!, since 2005 the city has killed 2,266 dogs due to the ban. The dogs (including many pets) were confiscated and killed not for what they did but because of how they looked. The “pit bulls” that remain are in danger. Some residents hide their dogs, going out for walks only in the dark. Some have chosen to move outside the city limits–but in these tough economic times that’s not an option for everyone.

We had thoughts about not going. As much as we wanted to take part in the conference, money talks…perhaps we shouldn’t add to the room tax, sales tax, and food purchases we knew our visit would generate.

But then we realized that perhaps we could do more good to go to Denver and examine this subject firsthand.

So we’ll be digging into this matter here on DogTipper. We’ll be doing what we’ve done for two decades: talking to tourism officials. This time, though, it won’t be with the purpose of finding out what’s great about the city. We already know that. We want to know what can be done to put an end to this prejudice. What has been the impact on hoteliers and the city’s tourism industry? We know that we cannot recommend travelers bring any dog that could be mistaken for a “pit bull” to the city. What if your dog should become lost and picked up by animal control?

So look for future coverage of this very important topic here in the coming weeks as we lead up to BlogPaws.

We came away from BlogPaws East inspired by the “Be the Change” message to do even more to encourage pet lovers to adopt their next pet. Now it’s time for pet bloggers to encourage another change to take place as well…

What You Can Do

We’ll also be joining in the “Campaign to End BSL: Operation Denver” over at Oh My Dog! and encourage fellow dog lovers to do the same. This innovative campaign strives to present to the mayor a mile-long string of postcards protesting the Mile High City’s BSL law. Take a moment and send a postcard to support the effort! You can email a postcard so it doesn’t cost you anything but a few moments of time.

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About Paris Permenter & John Bigley

Paris Permenter and John Bigley are the award-winning authors of over 30 pet and travel books as well as the founders and publishers of CatTipper and DogTipper.

  • We are so happy that you are coming! What we love about the BlogPaws community is that, instead of complaining or boycotting, we face the issue head on and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! We support Oh My Dog’s and others’ efforts to make a change in Denver and can’t wait to see you there!
    .-= Caroline´s last blog ..Me and My Cat =-.

    • We can’t wait!! You’re *exactly* right…it’s so great to DO something about this problem by drawing attention to it and helping to Be the Change!!

  • Thanks so much for supporting the campaign to end BSL in Denver! Like you, I struggled with whether or not to attend the conference – and the campaign was born out of that debate. I can’t wait to read your coverage and interviews with tourism officials!

    • Your campaign is such a great idea!! We are really looking forward to these weeks leading up to the conference. All the attention paid by everyone to this issue can make a huge difference!