END AURORA BSL

Breed-specific legislation (BSL) makes our community less safe by imposing restrictions that discourage responsible dog owners from getting training, socialization, veterinary care. The various breeds considered “pit bull” are held to a higher standard than most dogs, receiving far more scrutiny for often normal dog behaviors.

All professional animal and social organizations have come out against BSL as ineffective. This is because 2 out of every 3 aggressive incidents in the United States are a result of intact (non-neutered) males, regardless of breed. 

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breed bans are ineffective

We are excited to share the comprehensive voter guide for the upcoming ballot measure on repealing the restricted breed ban in Aurora. This guide provides essential information to help you make an informed decision on the November 2024 vote.

Key Points:

  • A YES Vote: Repeals the current breed-specific ban, allowing ownership of American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and Staffordshire Bull Terriers in Aurora. It also ensures that dangerous dog legislation applies to all breeds equally, promoting responsible ownership and public safety.
  • A NO Vote: Maintains the existing ban, continuing to make it illegal to own the specified breeds within the city limits.

Why It Matters:

  • Data shows no significant increase in community safety or reduction in aggressive dog incidents during the breed ban.
  • Breed-neutral legislation focuses on the behavior of individual dogs and the responsibility of their owners, rather than targeting specific breeds.

We encourage you to download, print, and distribute the voter guide. Share it with professional organizations, animal welfare groups, local businesses, and community bulletin boards to ensure our community is well-informed.

Download the printable PDF voter guide at the button below!

Join us in making informed decisions for a safer and more inclusive Aurora!

#AuroraVotes #EndBSL #ResponsiblePetOwnership #VoterGuide2024

BSL MAKES COMMUNITIES MORE DANGEROUS

Breed-specific legislation (BSL) can inadvertently make communities less safe by imposing restrictions that discourage responsible dog ownership. When certain breeds are labeled as dangerous, it creates a stigma that can prevent owners of these breeds from seeking essential services such as training and socialization. Owners may fear that enrolling their dogs in training classes or social events could expose them to scrutiny or even legal actions if their dogs are recognized as belonging to a banned breed. This lack of proper training and socialization is detrimental to the behavior of any dog, as it increases the likelihood of anxiety and aggression, thereby enhancing rather than reducing the risk of incidents involving these animals.

Moreover, BSL can also impede owners from securing necessary veterinary care and insurance for their pets. Concerns about legal repercussions or being reported to authorities can lead owners of targeted breeds to avoid regular veterinary checkups, which are vital for maintaining the health and temperament of a dog. Similarly, insurance companies often deny coverage or significantly increase premiums for owners of breeds deemed high-risk, which can make it financially challenging for these owners to afford care when it’s needed. This combination of reduced access to veterinary services and financial support not only undermines the welfare of the dogs but also places the broader community at risk by promoting the existence of unvaccinated and poorly managed pets within the population.

KEY FACTS ABOUT BSL

Don’t be fooled by cherry-picked stats and fear campaigns. There is a reason every professional animal organization opposes Breed Legislation, including the ASPCA, AKC, AVMA, Humane Society, CDC, Nation Animal Control Association, National Canine Research Council and many more.

 

BREED LEGISLATION DOES NOT MAKE A COMMUNITY SAFER.

The 2020 study conducted by researchers at Denver University, titled “A Quantitative Study of Denver’s Breed-Specific Legislation,” provides critical insights into the effectiveness of breed-specific laws in improving community safety. The study analyzed data on dog bites both before and after the implementation of BSL in Denver, aiming to determine whether such legislation led to a decrease in dog-related incidents. The findings revealed that there was no significant reduction in the number of dog bites reported in the community following the enactment of BSL. This suggests that targeting specific breeds does not necessarily result in safer environments. Instead, the study highlights the need for comprehensive strategies that address the behavior of individual dogs and promote responsible pet ownership, rather than policies that arbitrarily target specific breeds based on perceived aggressiveness.

STUDIES CONCLUDE BREED DOES NOT DETERMINE AGGRESSION

The study “Ancestry-inclusive dog genomics challenges popular breed stereotypes” undermines the idea that a dog’s breed determines its behavior. By examining the genetic makeup of various dogs, the research demonstrates that breed alone is a poor predictor of individual traits such as aggression, friendliness, or trainability. Significant genetic overlap between breeds and substantial behavioral variability within the same breeds show that commonly held stereotypes about certain “aggressive” or “gentle” breeds do not hold up under scientific scrutiny. This suggests that effective dog behavior assessment should focus on the individual animal rather than its breed. Policies or perceptions guided by breed stereotypes are unfounded and potentially harmful in how they influence the treatment and legislation of dogs, pointing towards a more inclusive and evidence-based approach to understanding and managing dog behavior.

The primary predictor of dog aggression is neuter status.

The study “Aggression toward Familiar People, Strangers, and Conspecifics in Gonadectomized and Intact Dogs” provides compelling evidence that intact male dogs regardless of breed are more likely to display aggressive behaviors compared to their neutered counterparts. The research highlights that intact males show significantly higher levels of aggression towards familiar people, strangers, and other dogs no matter their breed. These findings suggest that hormonal influences, not breed, play a primary role in aggressive tendencies. The study supports the notion that neutering can reduce aggression, thereby promoting safer interactions within the community and enhancing public safety. This research underscores the fact that breed is not the primary predictor of canine aggression, and that neutering is part of responsible dog ownership and public policy to mitigate aggressive behaviors in male dogs.

FEAR TACTICS SUPPORTING BSL RELY ON AGGREGATING BREEDS.

The term “pit bull” or “bully breed” encompasses a diverse group of dog breeds, often characterized by their muscular build and distinctive head shape. Originally, the term “pit bull” specifically referred to breeds like the American Pit Bull Terrier, but it has broadened over time to include related breeds such as the American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and the American Bully. This classification is not just limited to established breeds; new varieties continue to be developed, contributing to the expansion of the “bully breed” category. These ongoing developments reflect a dynamic approach to breeding that responds to specific desires for physical and temperamental traits, although it also perpetuates confusion and controversy surrounding the identification and regulation of these dogs. Aurora banned only three of the various breeds that are often labeled as “pit bull”.

History of BSL in Aurora

 

 

In 2005, Aurora City Council established breed legislation banning three specific breeds of dogs without a vote of the people. Many US cities in the 90s began implementing breed legislation in response to a trend of violent media and pop-culture popularity of pit breeds as guard dogs, often in communities of color. The use of the breed in Rap, Heavy Metal, and Gaming gave rise to a reputation that pit breeds were prone to being aggressive, an idea that has applied to various breeds over the years.

After WWII in the 50s and 60s, German Shephards were considered the most aggressive dogs, and more often used for guarding or dog-fighting purposes. In the 70s, the Rottweiler took the top spot as most aggressive, followed by Doberman’s in the 80s. In the 90s, pit breeds, specifically Pit Bull Terriers and Staffordshire Terriers took their place as the most aggressive breed do to a trend in pop culture references that glorified pit breeds as guard dogs in movies, books, games and music videos, particularly Rap videos.

This disparity lead to early concerns that BSL enforcement often had roots in systemic racism. In fact, a recent study by DU analyzing Denver’s BSL concluded that “the disproportionate enforcement of BSL in underserved communities and communities of color perpetuates historic trends of discrimination and marginalization in the United States, and negatively impacts social cohesion of these communities”.

In 2014, the Aurora City Council put the question to ballot, asking the “Shall the people of Aurora adopt an ordinance allowing pit bulls back into their city?” The ballot question was worded poorly, and leading in it premise, leading to voters to vote without understanding the repercussions of the measure.

 

In 2018, Aurora Animal Service began studying a revamp of animal ordinance, including Aurora Code 14-75, which banned three of the various breeds of pit bull. For two years they asked for public comment, and developed survey’s to get feedback from the community. The response was overwhelmingly positive in support of dangerous dog ordinance applying to all dogs, regardless of breed, so in 2019, Aurora Animal Services made the recommendation to remove breed restrictions as part of an overhaul of animal code.

In 2024, City Council members are working on a new measure for voters, to be voted on at the next municipal election. This time, instead of reactive legislation, Council, lead by Danielle Jurinsky, is working with Aurora Animal Services to develop a common-sense dangerous dog ordinance that applies to all dogs, regardless of breed.

HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED TO HELP DOGS IN AURORA

DIGITAL VOLUNTEERS

We need help spreading the message in Aurora and Colorado  on social media and through content creation such as imagery, video, podcasts or public relations.

CAMPAIGN VOLUNTEERS

Canvassers and political strategists to help us in our voter outreach campaign, including voters and gathering endorsements from local business and animal organizations.

DONATIONS

100% of all donations and merchandise profits will go to efforts to inform the public about the dangers of breed legislation and will be shared on this website.