Shelter destroys the Aurora-approved Staffordshire Pit Bull Terrier after biting a boy’s face

A pit bull in the Aurora Animal Shelter, renamed Cotto, previously Malone, before adoption. The dog bit a 5-year-old boy on the face on March 3, 2021. The dog was later destroyed.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the city animal shelter destroyed the pit bull. The dog was destroyed by the Denver Dumb Friends League shelter after being handed over there by its owner.

AURORA | Less than a month after Aurora officially released pit bulls and several other breeds into town after a 15-year ban, a local private home destroyed a recently adopted dog after injuring the face of a 5-year-old boy over the weekend.

City officials sent a memo to members of Aurora City Council on Wednesday informing them of a dog bite that occurred in the city center on Sunday.

The message describes how a 2-year-old American Staffordshire Terrier bit the boy’s face as he was playing video games at his stepfather’s house on South Dearborn Way on March 7th.

The boy was reportedly lying on a couch with the dog. The dog attacked the boy and his stepfather had to take the boy’s closed jaws from the boy’s face. Then he dragged the dog into a bathroom and locked the dog in it.


According to the memo, the boy suffered multiple cuts that were “deeper than half a tooth length” all over his face. A doctor has recommended another exam of his right eye.

The attack was “not provoked,” the witnesses told Aurora Animal Services personnel. The dog received high marks in a review conducted by staff when he was transferred to Aurora in early February.

“Think he’s a lap dog and will sit on your lap to hug and kiss you,” one reviewer wrote on Feb. 18.


After further investigation, the dog was destroyed by the Denver Dumb Friends League shortly after being taken there on the day of the bite.

“Our thoughts are with the victim and his family and we hope for a full recovery,” city spokesman Ryan Luby said in a statement. “The Aurora Animal Shelter uses the nationally recognized SAFER rating to assess the suitability of dogs for adoption and to measure an animal’s response to various encounters and stimuli such as food, toys, and interactions. While this behavioral assessment is a powerful tool, no assessment can be a predictor of animal behavior in all situations and circumstances. People who adopt animals from the shelter must sign the city’s standard adoption agreement that recognizes this risk. “

The dog, whose owners named him Cotto, was one of the first three previously banned animals to be adopted in the city after Aurora City Council members issued a permanent ban on American pit bull terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers, and American Staffordshire in January -Terrier had picked up.

The measure adopted in January to lift the ban came into force on February 14th. Cotto was passed on February 27th.

Aurora residents originally voted in 2005 to ban pit bulls in the city. Almost a decade later, voters reaffirmed the ban with another measure.

An Aurora resident has threatened to sue city council members over their recent unilateral decision to lift the ban, alleging local politicians have usurped the will of voters.

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