A Message to the Aurora City Council ahead of tonight’s vote

 

Dear Councilmember,

As you prepare for tonight’s city council meeting, there are some questions you should consider before the vote on 14-75. This vote isn’t about people liking the 17+ breeds considered “pit bull”, of which you have three currently prohibited. This is about the city using the wrong solution for a challenge. Here as some quick points as to why that is: 

-The reason most people end up with these breeds is due to rescue misidentification, where people adopt as puppies, and find out later they exceed the city threshold. This makes owners go “underground” and avoid things that address dog aggression issues, like training, socialization, veterinary care, and insurance. 

  -80% of dog aggression incidents involve un-neutered male dogs. If you wanted to legislate responsible dog ownership and community safety, this is where you would start. 

 -The University of Denver study (and many others) on Denver’s Breed Legislation found there to be no increase to public safety as a result of breed legislation. So why is it being used to solve an issue, if it is ineffective?

 -Denver spent an estimated $6 million over 10 years enforcing BSL, again, for no increase in public safety. This is according to the same University of Denver Study. 

 -Denver lost an estimated $106 million in taxable income as a result of BSL. 

 -250+ cities in Colorado without breed legislation are not looking at implementing breed-restrictions any time soon, and only 5 cities in Colorado are left with it. It is obviously not a big problem in these places. 

 -Most all BSL in the nation was implemented in the 90s and 2000s, as pop-culture started positioning these breeds as prevalent among people of color and ethnicity.

 -Breed-specific legislation in Denver was enforced disproportionately in communities of color in Denver over the last 10 years according to the same University of Denver Study.

 -In the 50s and 60s, the most violent characterized dogs were German Shepherds, and as a result, accounted for the most notable issues of aggression. Then why it turned to the Doberman in the 70s, the Rottweiler in the 80s, and now the 17+ breeds considered “pit bull” (just in time for the rise of digital media).

 

We need to talk about what the solutions are, since breed restrictions in Aurora are obviously not reducing the dog population or addressing the issue. If you think the citizens of Aurora are more expert on these issues than Aurora Animal Services and every dog rescue and shelter in the city, then it can be sent to the 2021 ballot. We helped run the digital campaign for Denver 2J and are confident it will pass.

 But if you think responsible fiscal, social, and animal policy is about more than a question on a 2014 ballot that was designed to fail, and that your jobs as council members are to interpret the advice from experts to responsible city code, then please repeal this expensive and ineffective legislation – which will be the foundation message of our campaign and coalition of the hundreds of Aurora organizations and businesses we will recruit should this go to ballot.

 This is a city animal code issue, not a ballot issue. Presenting it to the people as a solution is irresponsible, as BSL does absolutely nothing to address the problem.

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