Opportunity in Aurora, CO

Discuss Breed Specific Legislation and local county laws on pit bull ownership.
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heather
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Opportunity in Aurora, CO

Postby heather » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:46 am

Big opportunity for positive change in Aurora. Please take a moment to send your polite and intelligent letters to the city officials to encourage them to move forward with a breed-neutral ordinance that promotes a safe community for humans and animals alike.
Aurora Mayor and City Council, 15151 E. Alameda Parkway, Fifth Floor, Aurora, Colorado 80012
Phone: (303) 739-7015
citycouncil@auroragov.org
This issue will be discussed again on April 11, 2011.


Aurora City Council to take new look at pit bull ban
Posted: Thursday, March 17, 2011 11:00 pm



SARA CASTELLANOS, The Aurora Sentinel Aurora Sentinel



AURORA | The fate of the city’s pit bulls is still in limbo.



Aurora City Council members are slated to decide on April 11 whether the city’s current ban on pit bulls as pets should be repealed.



Members of council’s Neighborhood Services and Policy Committee talked about the ban Thursday but decided the pit bull issue should be discussed by all council members in April.



Council members are considering eliminating some or all of the city’s breed restrictions or repealing the entire ordinance and allowing restricted breeds as pets and service dogs.



Council members decided in early February to comply with federal laws that allow pit bulls as service dogs for people with disabilities.



But staff members from the city’s Neighborhood Services and Animal Control departments say the breed ban should be upheld.



The number of bites from restricted breeds has decreased since the ban took effect in 2006, some city staff members said.



“From staff’s perspective, we feel this has been effective,” said Nancy Sheffield, director of the city’s Neighborhood Services Department, at the meeting.



Pit bull advocates and owners have said the animals are docile and affectionate, and they don’t pose a threat to people or other animals.



Councilwoman Melissa Miller shares a similar view.



She said she’d support a new dangerous dog ordinance instead of a restricted breed ban with an amendment that forbids a person from owning a pit bull if they were convicted of a felon less than 10 years ago.



“A lot of concerns are that people are bringing these dogs in for fighting,” Miller said. “Really, those people are just propagating and abusing the animals and I’d like them to be held accountable.”



Bites from the city’s seven restricted breeds have gone down to six bites in 2010 from 22 bites in 2006, according to city documents. But bites from all other dogs have increased to 188 in 2010 from 129 in 2006.



The number of bites reflects bites to both people and animals.


http://www.aurorasentinel.com/email_pus ... 03286.html

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Re: Opportunity in Aurora, CO

Postby heather » Wed Dec 11, 2013 2:58 pm

Aurora, Colorado City Councilwoman Renie Peterson plans to bring back the issue of repealing the city's pit bull ban in the spring.

http://blessthebullys.wordpress.com/201 ... n-in-2014/

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Re: Opportunity in Aurora, CO

Postby heather » Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:50 am

http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_25030 ... t-bull-ban

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Re: Opportunity in Aurora, CO

Postby heather » Tue Feb 04, 2014 10:20 am

Aurora considers lifting ban on pit bulls

The city’s Animal Care division has come out against lifting the ban, arguing it has worked well and lifting it would mean a flood of pit bulls from other metro-area cities where the dogs are still banned

By BRANDON JOHANSSON, Staff Writer 02/03/14



AURORA | Pit bull advocates are set to howl at city hall like it’s 2005.


The city’s Public Safety Committee is slated to consider a proposal Tuesday that would rescind the city’s ban on pit bulls — a topic that has lead to some of the most-heated debates at city hall in recent memory.


Tuesday’s meeting, which is just the first step in what could be a lengthy process, is expected to draw such a large crowd that city officials have moved it to city council chambers, which can accommodate a much larger crowd than the meeting room it was initially scheduled in.


Councilwoman Renie Peterson is pushing the measure and said she expects a contentious debate. If the matter makes it before the full council, Peterson said she expects the vote to be very close.

“You just don’t really know until you get there,” she said.


The city’s Animal Care division has come out against lifting the ban, arguing it has worked well and lifting it would mean a flood of pit bulls from other metro-area cities where the dogs are still banned.


“The ban on pit bulls continues to effectively work as intended,” animal care staffers wrote in a memo urging council to keep the ban.


Under the city’s current rules, three breeds of dogs commonly recognized as pit bulls — American pit bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers and Staffordshire bull terriers — are banned within the city limits. When city council first enacted the ban in 2005, there were 10 breeds barred from the city, but council in 2011 softened the ban to just three breeds and gave owners a chance to have their dog DNA-tested to prove whether they were in fact a banned breed.


Dogs who were already in the city at the time of the ban were allowed to stay if their owners paid a registration fee and followed certain restrictions.


According to the city’s numbers, about 90 registered pit bulls remain in the city, down from about 500 when the ban took effect. The city has euthanized more than 1,100 restricted-breed dogs since the ban.


Peterson said her plan calls for lifting the ban, but requiring owners of the three banned breeds to carry homeowners or renters insurance. It also increases the cost of a fine for owners of dogs that bite someone.


Under the ban, Peterson said there are people in Aurora who have pit bulls, but don’t get the dogs vaccinated or take them to the veterinarian out of fear that the dog will be seized.


“At least we are giving the people who are underground now the opportunity to come out,” she said.


Debates regarding the ban have often been acrimonious over the years, and some pit bull advocates are hoping to avoid that this time around.


Jennifer Bryant, community outreach director for ColoRADogs, a nonprofit that has been working with Peterson to lift the ban, said she has asked other advocates to keep the discussion calm and friendly.


“We could have some really productive discussion on how to move forward in Aurora if we can keep the discussion focused,” she said. “There is no reason for vitriol.”


About 50 other cities around the country have lifted their ban in recent years, according to figures from Aurora Animal Control. Still, more than 500 cities around the country and several other nations still ban certain breeds.


Opponents of the ban hope if Aurora drops its ban it could lead to similar measures in other states.


Juliet Piccone, a lawyer who has represented several clients cited for having a banned breed, said Aurora is an important first step in Colorado.


“That is the hope, but Denver is the one we really need to work on,” she said.


Denver’s ban has been in place since 1989.


http://www.aurorasentinel.com/news/auro ... pit-bulls/

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Re: Opportunity in Aurora, CO

Postby heather » Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:46 pm

City lawmakers uphold Aurora’s ban on pit bulls

“If some kid gets mauled by a pit bull, $100,000 is not going to make that situation whole,” said Councilman Bob Broom.

By Rachel Sapin, Staff Writer 03/03/14



AURORA | City lawmakers turned back a proposal to repeal Aurora’s ban on pit bulls in lieu of forcing owners of the controversial dogs to carry big liability insurance policies.




City Council informally voted down measure at a study session Monday that would repeal the 9-year-old ban but would require owners of the three prohibited breeds— American pit bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers and Staffordshire bull terriers—to carry $100,000 for liability coverage in homeowners or renters insurance for the dog.

“Since the ban has been in place, bites are down 73 percent from pit bulls,” said Cheryl Conway, a spokeswoman for the city’s animal care division.


She described various problems the city encountered before enacting the ban in 2005 that included irresponsible owners letting the dogs run at large, and owners using pit bulls to taunt pedestrians.


She added that the dogs placed a tremendous burden on city staff. According to city documents, before the ordinance was enacted in 2005, up to 70 percent of kennels in the Aurora Animal Shelter were occupied by pit bulls with pending court disposition dates or with no known owner. That number is now only 10 to 20 percent of kennels.


“There hasn’t been a human mauling in many years. Complaints and requests related to pit bulls are down 50 percent. Euthanasia of pit bull dogs is down 93 percent. Of those few that are put down, they are primarily those that come in as strays and their owners don’t come to claim them,” she said.


She said six of the eight municipalities that ban pit bulls in Colorado abut Aurora, and a repeal would result in pit bulls being relocated to Aurora.


Bob LeGare asked why Rottweiler’s and German Shephards, dogs that have also been studied and considered dangerous, were not included as part of the ban.


“It was the severity of the (pit bull) bites that prompted staff research and council action,” said Nancy Freed, deputy city manager.
Proponents have long argued that all dog owners, not just breeds should be held to the same standards.


“I’m convinced repealing with the safeguards that are in here—the $100,000 of insurance, and making the owner responsible—is the way to go,” said City Councilwoman Sally Mounier. “It shouldn’t be breed-specific. It should make the dog owner responsible.”
But critics say that an insurance award isn’t the same as justice when someone is injured or killed by a dog.


“If some kid gets mauled by a pit bull, $100,000 is not going to make that situation whole,” said Councilman Bob Broom. “We’re listening to the people who are adamant about this subject, not to the people in the community. Put it on the ballot in November and let the city-at -large determine if they want to repeal this ordinance or not.”


Advocates for pit bulls who couldn’t fit into the study session space poured into the lobby and watched the meeting on TV. Around 40 of them later filtered into council chambers to express their concerns with the breed-specific legislation.


Juliet Piccone, a lawyer who has represented several clients cited for having a banned breed, said after the study session that it was a positive sign that 4 out of 10 council members supported the repeal.


“In the next couple of weeks while they revise the language of the ordinance, and they beef up the vicious dog ordinance, I think we can get the votes we need to repeal it,” she said.


Jennifer Bryant, an Aurora resident of Ward VI and community outreach director for ColoRADogs, said the ban does not protect Aurora residents.


“There’s a message being put out that the responsibility relies on the dog and the truth is we need to keep all owners accountable regardless of what breed their dogs are.”


About 50 other cities around the country have lifted their ban in recent years, according to figures from Aurora Animal Control. Still, more than 500 cities around the country and several other nations still ban certain breeds.


The ordinance will be revisited in an Aurora Public Safety committee meeting Tuesday, according to city staff.


Brandon Johansson contributed to this report.


http://www.aurorasentinel.com/news/city ... dn2nA.dpuf


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