BREED BAN CASE AURORA CO, FEDERAL COURT 2008
June 25, 2008 · No Comments
The breed ban case of Aurora, CO was filed in 2006 by Florence Vianzon and the American Canine Foundation. The Plaintiffs have alleged that the ordinance banning certain dogs has no rational basis and violates certain constitutional rights. Upon the city of Aurora filing a summary judgment, Judge Daniel issued the order that the issues of substantive due process, equal protection, and the takings claim are issues for the case, and trial was already set for August 2008. Barring unforseen circumstances, the Plaintiffs intend to proceed to trial in August.
Aurora was to have reviewed their ‘ordinance’ after a two year period. Apparently such a review was subsequently done, but no conclusion was reached as to the efficacy of the breed ban. As many people know, the city of Denver has had a dog breed ban against APBTs and dogs that may look like an APBT since 1989. When the Colorado Legislature outlawed breed specific legislation as a matter for controlling dangerous dogs, Denver and Kory Nelson obtained a court ruling that their breed ban was of a local concern and that via Home Rule Authority, their ban could persist despite the statewide prohibition against such a law.
Aurora also used Home rule Authority to implement their dog breed ban, as did other cities in Colorado. Many cities claim they “need” such a ban on dogs, even if there are not any dogs of a specific breed registered in the city. On the other hand, where cities do not have an Animal Control which does their job competently, it is often found that lax animal control results in more lax and negligent dog owners who allow their dogs to be either untrained, unsocialized, or perhaps to run at large. If such dogs are aggressive to humans, of course this only compounds the matter. All of these issues involving dangerous dogs is not actually about dog breeds, but the manner in which dogs are allowed to behave.
It is this author’s opinion that dangerous dogs–those dogs that actually ACT and behave in unacceptable ways—not dogs that are of certain breeds–have no place in society. Many people say that a dog cannot be dangerous until it has attacked a person. This is incorrect. Any dog that attempts to bite an owner, or any person—-is not acceptable. It does not matter if it is a 5lb dog. Biting dogs should not be tolerated. Usually the exception for biting dogs is whether the dog was or was not “provoked.” Provocation is usually a defense. However, for dogs that are not socialized heavily, if a small child (where dog has never seen a child before)–should scream, shout or attempt to grab a dog over its head, many dogs may find that action to be something they are unaccustomed to, and may snap at the child. An action like this, while perhaps not meeting the “provocation” term, indicates that the dog is usually fearful and is thus striking out. This has clearly been shown on Animal Planet where the master dog trainer assesses small/larger dogs which growl and attempt to bite people just walking by–
If a pitbull puppy were to lunge at a person as noted above, most people would say it is because it IS a pitbull and dangerous. If a small chinese crested dog (10lb) were to do the same, as was shown on Animal Planet, the master trainer clearly stated it was “because the dog was afraid.” If we think about this, regardless of the dog’s size, such behavior by dogs is not acceptable regardless and therefore, dog owners should ensure that their dogs do not act like this. What has been seen with many dogs in public, is that members of the public do not know how to correctly interact with dogs. I have seen countless people, both adults and children—immediately go right up to a dog, and reach their hand out directly OVER the dog’s head.
THIS IS A HUGE MISTAKE AND SHOULD NEVER, EVER BE DONE WITH ANY DOG REGARDLESS OF BREED OR SIZE.
Bless the Bullys