We learned back in November that Aurora City Councilwoman Renie Peterson planned to bring the issue of repealing the city’s pit bull ban back before the council this year. Peterson pushed for repeal in 2011, but the measure didn’t garner enough votes to pass council. However, she feels she may have enough support from the council to repeal the ban now.
With other animal control issues needing to be addressed, and because she continually hears from constituents who want the ban to be ended, Peterson’s proposal to repeal the city’s pit bull ban is on the Public Safety Committee’s agenda on February 4.
At the request of those who have been working extremely hard to repeal the ban in Aurora, we have been asked to relay to you that involvement of the public at this time may interfere with the delicate negotiations. The council is aware of the public’s position on on the pit bull ban, and you WILL have an opportunity to address the council when the proposal advances. We would ask that you honor the request to stand down until the time when the call to action is sent out.
Since the ban took effect in early 2006, 1,158 dogs from the “restricted breeds” have been destroyed in Aurora. 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.
Moreover, 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.
Councilwoman Barb Cleland, the chair of the Public Safety Committee, supports repeal and would like to beef up the city’s breed-neutral vicious dog ordinance by increasing fines for dog bites and attacks.
Finally, Councilwoman Peterson is taking on this issue again with the full understanding that this proposal IS going to draw fire. Residents of Aurora, if you’re looking for an official who is willing to stand behind what they believe in AND be the voice of her constituents (what every elected official is supposed to do), please let Ms. Peterson know she has your support.