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Aurora residents will vote on pit bull ban repeal

Pit bull owners in Aurora left in limbo as the issue is taken to voters
Pit bull owners in Aurora left in limbo as the issue is taken to voters 01:32

A judge reinstated Aurora's pit bull ban earlier this year, leaving breed owners in limbo. Monday, Aurora City Council voted to put the ban repeal on the November ballot. 

In 2005, Aurora City Council banned the dog breed. In 2014, voters affirmed their support of the ban in a referendum. 

Then in 2021, the council voted to remove that ban.

After a three-year legal battle, a district court judge reinstated the city's ban on pit bulls in March. 

After the council voted to repeal the ban in 2021, Aurora resident Matthew Snider filed a lawsuit challenging the council's vote.

According to the lawsuit: "In this case, the Aurora City Council ignored its city charter and override the express will of its voters. Specifically, in 2014 city voters overwhelmingly rejected an ordinance that would have repealed the city's ban on pit bulls."

Judge Elizabeth Beebe Volz ruled in favor of Snider, saying the council defied the will of voters. The council may not adopt an ordinance previously rejected by voters. 

In April, Snider told CBS News Colorado he has no issue with pit bulls. 

"I love dogs. All kinds of dogs. My action was not about dogs. It was solely and exclusively aimed at protecting the decision of Aurora voters in 2014, who voted by almost a two-thirds majority to retain the large breed ban," said Snider. 

Councilmembers overruled a 2014 election where 64% of Aurora voters opposed allowing pit bulls in the city. 

Bryon Taylor, director of End Aurora BSL, hopes voters understand the importance of responsible dog ownership, and won't penalize one breed. 

"I think a ban will actually make the community more dangerous in the short term by making breed abandonment increase," said Taylor. "In the long term, it prevents people from getting their dogs socialization, veterinary care, and training. Things that responsible dog owners would want to be able to get."

He says the work of pit bull advocates and others who want the ban gone starts now and they'll try to educate the public about the dangers of breed bans leading up to the election.

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