I am writing in regards to Aurora ordinance 14-75.  We are now 15 years after the original ban was put in place through ordinance in 2005. Now, 15 years later, it should be removed through ordinance the same way it was established.

If the duty of the council is to protect the safety of its citizens in this respect, then failing to remove the ordinance will be failing to protect the citizens of this city. In 15 years, the council-passed ordinance has not prevented the breeds referred to as “pit bull” from being in the city. We all see them everywhere. The law is selectively enforced, and because of this ordinance, citizens can not insure their dogs for liability, get training for “pit bulls” within the city limits, get veterinary assistance for them in city limits, or get socialization. If a veterinarian, trainer, or dog walker provides service to these dogs in exchange for money, they too are then may be breaking the law. 

Training, socialization, and veterinary care are how to prevent attacks. The number one predictor for aggressive behavior in canines is whether they are unspayed/unneutered males, which account for three out of every four attacks in this country. 15 years is enough time to see that there are more challenges with the implementation of the ordinance and questions that are still unresolved today. The ordinance costs the City of Aurora money.  Licensing and registration  Could generate revenue while encouraging responsible ownership and allowing for personal liability insurance on these breeds so the city wouldn’t incur additional costs through litigation.

For those three on the council who say this may be better served through ballot, I would respectfully remind that it was not implemented through ballot, it was established through ordinance. When it came up on ballot a few years back over whether to keep it, the question was structured as such that it was doomed to fail. Structure a question with: Shall the people of Aurora adopt an ordinance allowing x back into their city?  Then you can switch that variable out with nearly any issues that pose a complex challenge and it will be rejected. If the electorate knew the reasons for this to happen (insurance, socialization, veterinary care, licensing), it would pass in a landslide, but not before special interest groups engaged in a scorched earth fear campaign where they cherry-pick frightening pictures to distract from the reality of this irresponsible legislation and further damage the already frail reputation of the breeds considered “pit bull”.

The reality is that Breed Specific Legislation has never worked. We have the data from hundreds of cities. None of them show data to support a breed ban working, and 700+ cities and municipalities don’t show negative results from repealing or removing it. It does not prevent attacks, it does not prevent people from having pit bulls. This ban was pit into place by ordinance, not the will of the people. It should be removed in the exact same way now that it has proven to have been ineffective after 15 years.

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