Aurora's Proposed Pit Bull Ban Loses Some Of Its Bark

City Considers Allowing Only Residents To Have Dogs, But With Restrictions

The City of Aurora has decided to move forward with a proposed pit bull ban after months of discussion.

For the first time, the entire Aurora City Council met Monday night in a study session to talk about the proposed ban on pit bulls. The council members decided they want to move ahead with a ban that would grandfather in current pit bulls living in the city if the owners decide to meet certain requirements.

As of now, Aurora said all pit bull owners must be at least 21 years old, must pay a $600 annual license fee, must muzzle their dog when they're away from the home and purchase liability insurance of at least $100,000. If owners don't purchase a license within 60 days after the ban is enacted, the dog could be put to death. Owners must also spay and neuter their dogs, keep them securely on their property and post a warning sign about pit bulls near the front door.

Although most pit bull owners feel this ban is unfair and unnecessary, the city said something must be done because more dogs are showing up in Aurora these days because of Denver's ban on the dogs.

"We are also having problems with this particular breed. They are the No. 1 bite breed represented in the city at the current time. They also are the No. 1 animal that is impounded at the animal shelter," said Cheryl Conway with Aurora Animal Care.

Several owners complained that the new ban groups good and bad owners in the same category -- essentially punishing responsible pet owners.

Before the ordinance becomes law, the city council must still hold public hearings and then take a final vote.

So far, two metro area cities have passed some form of a pit bull ban. On May 9 Denver banned all the dogs from city limits. Starting Nov. 1, Commerce City will ban new pit bulls from coming into the city. Current Commerce City residents will be allowed to keep them, as long as they meet registration and insurance requirements.

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