Aurora Follows Denver's Lead, Repeals 15-Year Ban On Owning Pitbulls

Aurora Follows Denver's Lead, Repeals 15-Year Ban On Owning Pitbulls

Residents of Aurora can now keep pit bull terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and Staffordshire Bull Terriers as pets.

Image Source: Getty Images/Tamara Kirsanova / EyeEm

People in Aurora were prohibited by law from owning pit bulls, but now, the city in Colorado will finally be able to have a pit bull as their pet, 15 years after the breed was banned. On Monday, the Aurora City Council voted 7-3 to repeal the law banning its city's residents from owning pit bull terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and Staffordshire Bull Terriers, according to The Denver Post. There was a slight possibility of the ban being lifted in 2014, but lawmakers back then, rejected the ballot measure, with 64% voting for the ban to be kept in place. 


Apparently, Mayor Mike Coffman suggested a new ballot measure on lifting the ban. It would have gone to a vote only in November 2021, but council members decided to vote on the law immediately. Aurora lifting the law comes after Denver changed their laws last year, according to The Denver Post. This means that from Jan 1, 2020, residents of Denver can legally keep pit bulls and other restricted breeds — such as American Staffordshire Terrier and Staffordshire Bull Terrier — as pets, as long as they obtain a permit and make sure their pet has the microchip inserted. 


The new ordinance limits two pit bulls per home, and these pet parents will also have to cough up a higher fee than what's set for other breeds, to maintain appropriate paperwork for their dogs, and to have no issues involving pit bulls for the past three years. In 1989, a citywide ban was put on the residents of Denver owning pit bulls as pets after 20 people were attacked by pit bulls in the preceding five years, local station KMGH previously reported. After the ban was lifted, Gumdrop became the first pit bull to be adopted out of a shelter in Denver on 5th January. 


Gumdrop, who has been renamed Odin by his new family, is the first pit bull to be adopted since 1989, confirmed Denver Department of Public Health & Environment spokesperson Kyle Wagner to PEOPLE. The pupper was found as a stray in December 2020 and was taken to a vet who said the microchip was missing. The dog was put up for legal adoption on Jan. 2 after a five-day hold at the Denver Animal Shelter but no one came forward to claim him. Eventually, the family that Odin is with now, saw the appeal and they drove an hour to pick the pooch up. 


"We are so excited to celebrate the first Pit Bull adoption since the new breed ordinance! 🎉🎉🎉❤️ ⁠," the Denver Animal Shelter announced on Facebook earlier this week. "Gumdrop was so happy to go home with his new family! Today is a day of celebration! 🙌😍❤️🐶 ." Pit bulls have been considered one of the most harmful dog breed and organizations such as the CDC has also conducted studies based on the same. "From 1979 through 1994, attacks by dogs resulted in 279 deaths of humans in the United States. Such attacks have prompted a widespread review of existing local and state dangerous-dog laws, including proposals for the adoption of breed-specific restrictions to prevent such episodes."


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