Aurora to decide laws addressing vicious dogs, police raids and campaign donations

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AURORA | City lawmakers are slated to cast first votes on dueling campaign finance reforms and a dangerous-animal ordinance during a city council meeting Monday night.

In a study session last week, a majority of city council members signed off on a campaign finance law pushed by members Nicole Johnston and Juan Marcano, while Mayor Mike Coffman’s competing proposal failed to win majority approval. 

Regardless, Coffman introduced the plan for a formal vote Monday night alongside the reforms pushed by Marcano and Johnston. 

City lawmakers will also cast their first votes on a new ordinance regulating dangerous animals, including dogs. 

The plan would not change the city’s contentious breed-restricted ordinance outlawing American pit bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers and Staffordshire bull terriers.  Alongside those rules, however, the city would set up a process for a municipal judge to decide whether an animal is “potentially dangerous,” “dangerous” or “aggressive.” 

An owner of a dog deemed to be dangerous would have to secure a permit. The dog would have to be muzzled and leashed when outdoors or otherwise safely confined, along with a slew of other requirements, for at least two years. Owners of “potentially dangerous” and “aggressive” animals would also have to live under rules. 

The ordinance would also set up a hearing process for neighbors complaining about barking dogs and address an array of animal-related issues, including dog-fighting, community “cat colonies” and sexual abuse.

On Monday night, city council members will also cast final their votes on an ordinance banning no-knock warrants. 

Earlier this month, lawmakers initially voted 7-3 to prevent Aurora Police Department officers from executing no-knock warrants. As a would-be ordinance, the plan requires two votes to become law. 

Aurora police brass have said officers rarely execute search warrants without first announcing their presence and only charge into homes during dangerous situations involving weapons and drugs.