Aurora, CO: Councilwoman to propose repeal of pit bull ban in 2014

In an interview with the Aurora Sentinel today, Aurora Councilwoman Renie Peterson says she plans to bring the issue of repealing the city’s pit bull ban back before the city council this spring.  In 2011 she pushed for repeal, but the measure didn’t get enough votes to pass council. 

With other animal control issues to be addressed, Peterson thinks now is the time to bring the issue back.  She went on to say, “It’s all about how you treat an animal, it’s not the breed of animal, it’s the owner.”

Since the ban took effect in early 2006, over 1,000 dogs from the “restricted breeds” have been destroyed in Aurora. The ban allowed for dogs already living in Aurora when the ban took effect to be “grandfathered” in if owners met certain requirements.

In the first year of the ban, the city killed 636 pit bulls, but the number dropped to 173 the next year. So far this year, 43 dogs have been killed. In all, the city has destroyed 1,158 dogs as a result of the ban, and animal control officials say the majority of those are dogs that were stray, unclaimed injured or ill animals.

The city is required to track data regarding the ban, including the number of pit bulls killed and the number impounded.  When the ban became law, there were about 500 registered pit bulls in the city, but the number dropped to just 90 last year. The number of restricted breed citations has also dropped, from 222 in 2006 to just 34 so far this year.  However, city records show that the number of reported dog bites in Aurora has remained the same for about 10 years, about 200 per year.

A 2010 study by the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora reported that mixed breeds and Labrador retrievers are the cause of most human bites, which correlate to their popularity among dog owners.

You can read the entire article in the Sentinel here, and I encourage you to leave positive, educated comments supporting repeal of the ban.

Councilwoman Peterson acknowledges it will be an uphill battle as some council members fully support the ban, but she appears to be taking that in stride.  Residents of Aurora, if you’re looking for an official who is willing to stand behind what they believe in, even when they know its going to draw fire, please let Ms. Peterson know she has your support.

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