Thursday, August 21, 2008

Saving Forrest

Imagine if this was your pup:
"He acts just like Forrest Gump.
He's slow when
you walk up to him, but then he wiggles so hard he urinates all over himself. He's the biggest baby in the world." - Chris McGahey, Forrest's owner
And imagine that your city is trying to kill him because he looks like a pit bull. This dog's owner is fighting Denver to save his boy. No one has been successful yet. Denver's ban is unforgiving and anything that looks like a pit bull dies; no questions asked. Story

Let's all send some support to this brave dog owner and help keep the world's eyes focused on this case. Favorite addresses? Please share. Thx.


Anonymous said...

I only saw these on the city's website...

2beemo said...

Mayor's email:

Other city officials' emails:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

I sent a nice email last week and not a single response. :|

2beemo said...

Good luck, buddy.

Unknown said...

I am signing the petition and sending the Mayor an email as well right this very minute! Sad, story how do we ever stop this?

My next question is for personal inquiry. Is there or how do I find out about the CGC test in the Denver area? I live in Fort Collins with a "pit" of my own and we are very intersted in seeing him in action with these sorts of test...any ideas? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

This dogowner needs a good strong criminal lawyer and needs to fight the city on this. He is not a resident of Denver, I am sure he has proof - utility bills and such. His dog (his property - yes I know dogs are more than property) is being held improperly.

Sending a nice polite letter to the city politcos is probably not going to do anything - after all how many years has Denver had this ban?

It's almost time for more radical action. Suggestions anyone?

Anonymous said...

The politicians and ACOs of Denver LIKE TO KILL PIT BULLS. They do it by the hundreds of victims (many of whom are not any kind of pit bull) each and every year. One of the Denver city attorneys preaches to other states how to accomplish such slaughter.

Public outrage over victims like Forrest doesn't effect Dever officials in the slightest; I believe they actually revel in it. Even if Forrest gets out, they will continue to slaughter their hundreds.

Several court cases have been brought against the city, and failed. Shockingly, the Colorado Supreme Court (like the Ohio SC more recently) ruled that however stupid, illogical, draconian and ineffective BSL is, it's still within the local jurisdiction's right to have that law. We can hope that the suit against Aurora (which AKC recently joined) may have some positive impact, if only in that particular Denver suburb.

The only thing that will help the innocent dogs of Denver is if the citizens of Denver vote out the moral cretins in their City Council and then get the law changed.


Unknown said...

What a sad story.

We have someone who isn't being responsible with his dog but clearly adores and loves him.

We have a government willing to fork out thousands upon thousands of dollars to enforce an essentially kill-on-sight policy of discrimination...and all the legal fallout that ensues when people try to stop their pets from being killed.

And then, caught in the middle of this human argument, is a dog guilty of being in the wrong place with the "wrong look" of a "pit bull".

I'll retain hope that Forrest will not be murdered. I'll even ignore the heinous track record of Denver. Denver officials are more interested in what their own constituents have to say, but I'll still voice my opinion to them.


Donna said...

These atrocities need LOUD, credible witnesses. Outside of a few random news stories, not many are feeding the world with regular updates on this slaughter.

To be honest, I know very little about what's going on in Denver with regard to pit bulls outside of what I pick up from the occasional website or message board. And if we don't know much, you can bet the country knows nothing.

Outrage is incredibly important to creating change, but we'd love to see the insiders get busy with publishing as many stories, PHOTOS, details of as many victims as possible. I'd love to see a splashy website or blog dedicated to just this.

Screw the city, make some friggin' noise, people. The world will hear you. If America can care about the Vick dogs, they can definitely care about Forrest and dogs just like him.

Anonymous said...

You are so right, Donna. The Vick dogs had the stigma of dogfighting attached to them and America embraced them with open arms and open hearts. Forrest and those like him only have the stigma of being born a pit bull, a pit bull mix, or with characteristics of a pit bull. America will not stand for this. How do we attract national attention to this?

Donna said...

Dog advocates in Denver need to do it for themselves, anon. They need to put the faces and stories out there so others can pick them up.

There is no one central online location, for example (that I know of) for people who want to learn the latest on the Denver slaughters. Why not? Silence kills.

Anonymous said...

If the contreversy was about an illegal immigrant being treated unfairly, people would be up in arms. If the contreversy were about racial profiling, you better believe that some heads would be rolling. What the hell is the difference between BSL and racial profiling? NOTHING! I am so sick of defending my dog every single day just because she is a pit, but you better believe I will do it till death do us part! Dogs get out, it's what they do. Trust me, as the owner of not only a pit but a Lab, there is nothing that a Lab likes to do better than try to escape. Does that make him vicious? Of course not, he doesn't fit the profile. But guess what? If he gets out, someone will lose a cat or bird if he catches it. My pit will chase them if they run, but she doesn't have the prey drive-yet she is vicious? Please tell that to our 1 year old son that gets a tongue bath daily from her, head to toe, all the time giggling. If there is a petition, please tell me where to sign!

Kirsten said...

Poor Forest. :(
There are some shocking, barbaric stories that come out of Denver re. pit bulls. I agree that citizens there need to stand up. I also agree that the rest of us need to be counted, too.
Thanks to all who posted contact details-- I'm sending my 2 cents, too.

Caveat said...

What's going on in Denver is the mass killing of dogs. One outraged woman's Bull terrier (not banned in Denver) was shot in his backyard pen by ACOs who climbed the fence to kill him (hearsay from a reliable person, the owner).

People cover their dogs with blankets on the floor of the car to take them to the vet's. A lot of people have moved out of Denver.

And so on.

As Emily pointed out, Kory Nelson, the unelected, 'pit bull' hating assistant city attorney, offers BSL-out-of-the-Box to out of the way towns - and brags about it. He runs a private Yahoo group to teach people how to circumvent laws, including State prohibitions on BSL, in order to kill more dogs.

One small point: I don't know about the upcoming case in Aurora, CO but the AKC has stepped up to the plate to support Sonya Dias's case against Denver. Fingers crossed for a win, I think they expect it to be heard in the fall but I await an actual date from Sonya.

In Ontario, it's also illegal to have a 'pit bull' (and you should see what they call 'pit bulls' around here, Lab crosses, anyone?) that was born after November 27, 2005 or that can't be proven to have lived in Ontario prior to Aug 29, 2005. They dognap 'em and kill 'em or send them for research unless the owners fight. When they do, their dogs sit at AC for months on end while the wheels of justice grind slowly. They use extortion - tell people that if they hand over their dogs so they can kill them, they won't be charged. People cave because they may not know their rights or how to get a lawyer or because they're scared. Over 4,000 dogs dead in Ontario since the ban came in - only one was a purebred, an SBT.

We've been referring people to lawyers and have had some charges dropped, some cases are still on the docket, some have been won.

Our big case to overturn the provincial (that's like statewide) ban goes to the Court of Appeal Sept 15 and 16. We had some of the law struck as unconstitutional last year, hope to have the whole thing thrown out at Appeal.

Denver - dog Hell. Ontario - running a close second.

Keep the faith and support the case of your choice if you can.

Caveat said...

Here's one of Denver's victims, this is from last November, but

Anonymous said...

Oh I'm completely in favor of making as much noise as possible; I just doubt that the city of Denver cares. Call me cynical; call me "been there done that". I applaud Sonya and the others who run a kind of underground railroad to save Denver pit bulls and I wish they were able to get the kind of publicity that might help. Some of that Vick dog PR magic might influence some opinion.

The AKC chairman has an interesting message about their involvement in the Denver case.

"When did breed standards become the benchmark for law enforcement pertaining to a criminal act? This is what has happened in Denver and why we have joined in this legal action. There have been several legal challenges to this ordinance on different grounds in the past, but since 2005, when the city re-instituted enforcement of the ordinance, several hundred dogs within the city limits have been euthanized simply because of their phenotypic characteristics based on certain breed standards."

We might ask AKC though, why they sanction AKC events in Denver where 2 AKC breeds (or 3 if you count bull terriers or even more considering the boxers and Labs Denver kills as "pit bulls") are banned. and in danger for their lives if they should get lost.

Anonymous said...

I can't help but think he should DNA test his dog. i have no idea how the breed ban is written, but any "purebred" can be broken down into its individual components.

of course, the ban just plain shouldn't exist because we all know how incredible pit bulls are, but in the mean time, but people can use this new technology to show exactly how fluid "breeds" and especially "pit bull type" dogs really can be.

Phena Phenomenon said...

Hey Donna!!

Thanks for putting the news on Forrest on your blog- I do Colorado Pit Bull Rescue's blog and we have email addresses for EVERYONE to send emails to!!

We're on

The addresses are on the post- hopefully with Bad Rap's bigger audience we can get the word out on Forrest and Chris....

Bulldogs of the Rockies is going to take the city of Aurora to court on Monday about the breed ban.... Just in time for the Democratic National Convention... Hopefully this is PERFECT timing to help Pit Bulls and their owners so everyone can see THE REAL DENVER!!

Caveat said...

I didn't know there was another case against Aurora. The ACF case against Aurora has been continued to probably some time in November and I've heard they're going in strong.

More lawsuits = good. If taxpayers knew how much public money is wasted in enacting & enforcing 'pit bull' bans and fighting legal battles, they'd freak. Let's just say it could pay a lot of animal services personnel, subsidize clinics and training courses, or what have you.

The average single case against a hapless owner in Ontario is costing about $125K+ of public money. Owners are spending around $15K+ although we have some good lawyers who are doing the cases el cheapo because they're onside.

Our case is up there, we're closing in on a million going in to round two in a couple of weeks - so the govt, who doesn't do things on a shoestring has likely spent at least 5 x that amount.

That's a lot of t-shirts and buttons, folks, a lot of begging on the streets, so if you see a booth raising money for legal bills, chip in!

As for the breed standards, these dimwits think standards are used to identify dogs. That shows you how little they know.

Standards are the property of the breed clubs in the breed's country of origin. The UKC, ADBA and ASTCA sent 'cease and desist' letters to the Ontario government since the standards are copyrighted and are being used for a purpose other than that intended.

I'd like to see the breed clubs sue over copyright violations. A copyright case would be relatively cheap, compared with a constitutional case like the ones in Ontario, Aurora and Denver.

Donna said...


thanks for your blog. so much of the news coming out of Denver is hard to's not on Google, for example. have you considered working with a marketing pro or PR person to help you get your message out?

seriously ... the Vick dogs? ... they benefited from the 'squeaky wheel' theory. it can work for Denver (and Ontario) too. all best, Donna

Anonymous said...

I live in the Denver area and the laws are ridiculous! Many city officials do not support tax payers money being wasted on a witch hunt but there are those in power that want to appeal to the ignorant public that they are making a difference for public safety. Every day there are pit bulls/pit mixes that show up in Denver shelters. If anything I would say the ban has caused the demand for them to go up. It angers me how ignorant these officials are and how uneducated they are. They don't listen to the public when they say they want tougher laws for irresponsible owners, not outright breed bans. They don't listen to vets or animal behavioral experts that say it is unethical to ban a whole breed of dog. I am getting out of Colorado within 6 months and I have to say I can't wait. I don't want to be a part of such a dog-racist state any longer!

Anonymous said...

Okay guys... check it out- I just put up new email addresses for everyone to send emails to about Forrest and Chris- its on the CPBR blog website-

Send this on to Donna and to everyone!!

Anonymous said...

Hey all- I need everyone to go to Colorado Pit Bull Rescue's blog- and check this out:

We need all the media attention to this we can- I already sent an email to Donna- but the more pressure we can put on Denver "Animal Control" officials the better for all Pit Bulls in Denver's "shelter" system- if they find a loop hole to euthanize Forrest all of the Pit Bulls and Mixes in Denver area shelters are doomed just as well.

Anonymous said...

Don't know if it'll do a damn bit of good, but I sent an email to Obama's campaign website asking that the candidate speak out against the insanity of BSL in Denver during the DNC. I described the lynch-mob mentality of BSL in general and how little Forrest is caught in the middle of the insanity.
Since my pittie isn't welcome in the city of Denver, I will never ever venture back to that ignorant, backwoods hole myself. Nor will I support their football team, nor purchase anything manufactured in Denver. Same goes for every other city, state and province that embraces BSL.
May not make a bit of difference when one person does it....but maybe if others feel and act in a similar manner...who knows?
BTW...somebody sneaks over my back fence looking for my dog...there's gonna be one less sneaker in the world!

Anonymous said...

Great news.
Forrest has been released to a Rescue Group.

Anonymous said...

that is fabulous news.
What's important about Sonya's alert is the glimmer of hope that Denver might change its process, which is total suckage.

Anonymous said...

I'm happy to report Denver finally decided to do the right thing and release Forrest to a rescue. Currently in the Aurora court (city over from Denver with the same BSL) they are challenging the BSL. I only hope this sends an example to all the cities that the public is not for these type of laws! Yay for Forrest!

Anonymous said...

Forrest going to Best Friends

"... In the future, the city likely will continue to ship non-violent pit bulls out of state rather than euthanize them as it has in the past, Kelley said."


Unknown said...

Its a great victory, but our work is not over. Let's keep up the pressure in all the cities where bullies are banned. We must stop this killing spree of heartless officials so no more bullies are put down and discriminated!
Ena, moma bully of Horatio(RIP) and Lucy, rescued; also grandma to Jamon and Loli.
Please HELP ME SAVE DUDDLEY(has ONLY 1 week left!), blue nose, 1 year old! A big baby boy, playfull, very sweet!To foster or adopt, Contact me please, Thank you

it never ceases to amaze me how complete strangers will band together and fight for something... and we did, and we WON!!!

The following link (video), though a day late and after Forrest's release is still very valid.
Cross promoting and posting is encouraged and considered 'righteous'.
It serves as a thumb print in time, a reminder of all the dogs still in custody, and a tool to educate the unkowning.

Grab it, use it, abuse it, share it, put it under your pillow at night and hope for the pit fairy to deliver all good dogs to the nearest bed or dog park or water bowl or couch.

I thank you, Daze (my pit mix) thanks you, and a world of advocates for this brilliant
breed(s) thank you.


Chef David

Anonymous said...

I have to comment on Emily's statement that ACO's like to kill dogs. I worked for an animal control agency for a short time and I can tell you it was one of the hardest jobs I ever had. The pay was low, the shelter was in terrible condition, and all you ever got was hate spewed at you all the time. Denver and other cities have PB bans, but making the assumption that ACOs and animal care staff like to kill animals is just unfair.
Where do you work? Take a look at what you do a for living and I would bet you could find hypocracy in almost any job. Work in health care? Chances are your hospital tests on animals. Perhaps you work in a corporate office on a site they killed Prairie dogs on so they could build the building.

There are some really great animal care staff that care about what they do. Unfortunately, they have to do it knowing that the dog they fall in love with one day may be euthanized the next because there's just no room because no one takes responsibilities for their animals and buys them at breeders. I couldn't do every day because for every one you adopt out, two more are put down. Who can survive in that kind of environment--especially when you have people like you making general statements about things you know nothing about.

Anonymous said...

I stand by my comment. Doug Kelley likes to kill pit bulls, though perhaps not as much as Tom Skeldon does. I doubt he actually administers the needle, but leaves that to the poorly paid, poorly trained staff of the Denver municipal shelter. So it's "easy" for him to promote death sentences to "pit bulls" (many of which probably have not one ounce of APBT blood in them, according to real experts who have visited Denver's death row)

As for his "poorly paid" status: you could probably easily find how much Doug makes in salary. He is not poor.

And as for the staff that DOES administer the needle: anyone who doesn't like his/her job is free to go find another one, as you did. I don't absolve shelter workers anymore than irresponsible owners for the slaughter of pets in our "pounds" (they are surely not shelters).

Killing healthy animals should be HARD, not easy. If Doug ... or the Denver City council members.. had to kill the animals himself, there might be fewer dead animals

Donna said...

No one 'likes' euthanizing pets, slaughtering pigs, shooting cattle, debeaking chickens. It's just a job that you deaden yourself too. Maybe you get good at it and you can take a certain amount of pride in doing it quickly and being efficient - but you don't celebrate it.

Railing against the low-paid people who are hired to kill animals for a living is like yelling at a brick wall for blocking your path.

The bad guys are the policy makers and the policy makers generally avoid getting their hands dirty.

Jon Low said...

Hey, great news! Forest's been given a stay of execution! This is from the site of a Denver TV station.

DENVER - The life of Forrest, a pit bull mix, will be spared Friday thanks to Denver Animal Control and Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.

Denver has enforced a pit bull ban since 2005. Under the ordinance, pit bulls impounded twice are euthanized.

Forrest was picked up in April and July by animal control officers. His owner, Chris McGahey was cited for dog at large violations.

Doug Kelly, director of Denver Animal Control, Forrest's owner Chris McGahey and Best Friends worked out an agreement to find Forrest a new home in another state.

A Best Friend's volunteer drove to Denver from Kanabe, Utah on Friday to evaluate the dog. He is taking Forrest to St. Louis to nd place him with Stray Rescue who will find a new home for the dog.

"I can never own him again, nor can my family, but he's not dead. One day, when I get this put bull ban dropped, I can have him back," said McGahey.

In the past three years, 1,600 pit bulls have been euthanized by Denver Animal Control.

A spokesperson for Denver Animal Control told 9NEWS that this compromise is a significant accomplishment because it means that from here on out, owners who have pit bulls on second impoundment will have the opportunity to surrender them to an out-of-state rescue organization instead of having them euthanized.

However, many shelters across the country are already full and it is difficult to place pit bulls.

Jon Low said...

Hey guys,
I was wondering if you heard about the Orange County man that drove all the way to Denver to get Forrest and give him a permanent home. It's on my blog

BTW, I sent you guys an email about a month ago to let you know I'm available if you need someone to help out with any PC/internet-related needs. I had suggested that perhaps someone could be used to keep up your sites on MySpace and Facebook. My offer's still open. Thanks.

Unknown said...

I am so happy for Forrest and Kane. Bless you and thank you David Edelstein. Read whole article here
Enjoy their pics. Pure Bully Joy!