Colorado bill would prevent landlords, HOAs from banning large dog breeds

DENVER — A Colorado lawmaker has introduced a bill that he says would make it illegal for landlords and homeowners associations from banning large dogs from apartments or homes.

State Rep. Paul Rosenthal (D-Denver) introduced HB-1126. If passed, the law would stop HOAs or landlords from banning large dogs — a practice that many property owners in the state have instituted.

"It doesn't matter the breed or the size. In a lot of ways, it’s just: 'is this a behaved dog?'” said Rosenthal. “I think this is a fairness issue and right now people with big dogs are being treated unequally.”

The law would make life easier for Christy Wooten of Englewood, Colorado. She has two German shepherds, Porter and Shadow, that she considers her "babies;" her family.

"Porter was more like a cat, just really lazy. [He would] lay around all the time. The sweetest thing," Wooten said. "Shadow was more spunky. [He had] lots of energy."

Things changed after a breakup, and Wooten had to find a new place to live.

"No one would accept them, and they’re not mean dogs. They’re the sweetest things. I rescued them. It broke my heart," she said.

Wooten says she searched for something in her budget for six months and applied to dozens of properties with no luck. She eventually gave her dogs to her ex, who now resides out of state.

"I'm surprised. With how dog-friendly Colorado seems to be, it's a disappointment,” said Wooten. “They think they’re aggressive and they’re not."

Wooten is not giving up. She hopes the bill will pass too so everyone can see Porter and Shadow for who they really are.

If the bill passes, it will not override cities like Denver, which bans certain breeds or an HOA that ban dogs altogether.

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