A potential repeal of Aurora Colorado’s breed ban has been moved onto the next step by the council.
The repeal, which is backed by Renie Peterson, passed the first step in the process, when it was sent to study by the cities Public Safety committee. The committee meets in order to hear proposals and hear feed back from areas of government that the proposal concerns.
“The agenda was changed so that BSL was first in line. Because of protocol, Animal Care and Control were the only people allowed to present. We were disappointed in both their support of continuing the law, and using Dogsbite, a hysteria based website, as “proof” of the dangers of dogs who have a certain appearance. We’re going to hope they are able to develop partnerships that nurture the “care” part of their mission. A second source was Kory Nelson. A Denver City Attorney, who fought like tooth and nail to keep BSL in Denver, and continues to champion it as a great law…”
In arguing for keeping the breed ban, the local animal care and control department claimed that HSUS held them up as a model community for their dangerous dogs laws. HSUS has responded to this claim, in a letter to the city council (full letter available here).
“We also understand there has been some confusion about The HSUS’ endorsement of Aurora’s dog policies. The HSUS supports strong, comprehensive laws regarding the management of vicious or dangerous dogs, contingent upon there being no breed-specific components of said law. In a recent council meeting, a speaker claimed that HSUS cited Aurora as “model” legislation, and in 2004 we did—prior to the introduction of breed-specific policy in Aurora. The HSUS does not support or commend Aurora for their current dog laws. Instead we encourage your community to forge a new path to promote public safety and support dog owning families.”
At least one member of the committee who had initially shown some support for a repeal had begun to back track a little bit in her support, stating that she would support a repeal of the ban for restrictions instead.
One other council member, who has not made a commitment either way, specifically called out the credibility of ACC’s source of information and stated he wanted information from unbiased sources. This information is being gathered and provided to the full council.
“In arguing for keeping BSL, Cheryl Conway of Aurora ACC argued that people who complain about the law are not from Aurora, nor even from Colorado. We’re going to ask you to help prove them wrong on that by a letter writing campaign.”
AURORA COLORADO RESIDENTS AND RESIDENTS ONLY:
The time has come to make your voices heard!
Begin reaching out and expressing support for a repeal. One of the comments made by an official is that they don’t think residents support a repeal. Considering that pro-BDL groups from not only out of the city, but also out of the state and out of the country, have been contacting the council, this is an ironic point.
“…what we do see, what we know, are that groups like dogsbite are lobbying hard in our community to control local issues and laws. They are hitting it hard, and will remain relentless until the end. So it’s our job, your job, Coloradans jobs, to shut them down. These are our cities and communities, our neighbors and our representatives. It is our voice, local voices that deserve to be heard, and determine the outcome of local issues.”
Residents should reach out with a simple expression of support. The shorter the better, as we know that at least one council member has stopped reading the e-mails and is looking only at the subject lines.
The council can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The subject line should read in support of the repeal. This should be straight to the point. Something along the lines of “Repeal breed ban” or “Please support breed ban repeal” so that it is easily seen what the topic is.
A lot of studies and data have been presented to the council already, so at this time all that is needed is expressions of support for the repeal.
Again, a simple message will do.
“To whom it may concern,
As a resident of Aurora in Ward # X (ward number can be found on the cities website) I support the repeal of the “pit bull” ban and urge the council to support a repeal of the ban as well.
“My name is…
I am a resident of Aurora. I support repeal of BSL and replacing it with breed neutral laws that hold owners accountable.
Make sure to include your ward number or address, any information that will identify you as a resident of Aurora. This is incredibly important and cannot be stressed enough.
These correspondence are being counted, and members are claiming they are receiving a flood of e-mails urging them to keep the ban.
Another thing residents can do is to attend their wards meetings. There is a schedule available here, of which wards are having meetings, the date and times. This will give residents a chance to speak directly about the issue, show an in person presence and be heard, as well as giving you, the resident, a more active role in what is happening in your community.
The study session is set for March 3rd at 5pm. Every single person who supports a repeal is being urged to attend this meeting. There will be no public comment at this meeting but a large presence will make an impact. The meeting will take place at the Aurora City Hall-Council Chambers, 15151 E. Alameda Parkway, Aurora, Colorado, 80012.
Information in italics has been reprinted with permission from ColoRADogs.