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Aurora City Council's showdown on pit bull ban fizzles

With hundreds of people poised to gather at Aurora City Hall on Monday night, a showdown over the city's pit bull ban turned into an apparent battle of strategy among council members.

The council tabled the issue 6-5, saving a vote on rescinding the ban for another time.

Juliet Piccone, an Aurora attorney specializing in animal rights issues, said after the vote that a "source" had told her earlier in the day that the issue would be tabled. Almost 600 people had by then indicated on a website that they would attend the meeting to support ending the ban. Piccone said she sent out an e-mail blast during the day Monday letting them know not to come.

The reason some council members gave for delaying the issue was that the city attorney's office said it needed more time to complete work on a companion vicious dog ordinance that would increase fines for violations. A spokesman blamed illnesses.

Some council members said that ordinance and the potential ending of the ban should be considered together.

Piccone and two other pit bull leaders speculated that supporters of rescinding the ban knew they didn't have enough votes to pass it Monday night, so argued to table the matter instead. She said council members on the other side wanted to vote Monday and end the matter.

It was the latest twist in the contentious history of the ban, which went into effect in 2006.The city has euthanized more than 1,100 restricted-breed dogs since the ban was instituted.

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