California state law PROHIBITS breed specific legislation (with the exception of mandatory spay/neuter for specific breeds).
The Exeter City Council is considering an ordinance that would regulate the ownership of:
This issue will be heard by the council on Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
Please send your POLITE, RESPECTFUL AND INFORMATIVE opposition to breed specific legislation, as well as viable alternatives and suggestions for the council’s consideration. The meeting is TUESDAY, so please get your letters out ASAP.
Bless the Bullys
City of Exeter
137 North “F” Street
PO Box 237
Exeter, CA 93221
Phone (559) 592-9244
Fax (559) 592-3556
Bailey Hagar Jr.
February 6, 2010
Exeter proposal would regulate certain dog breeds
BY HILLARY S. MEEKS
After a neighbor’s pit bulls killed her 5-pound malti-poo, Benji, Kathy McDaniel went to the Exeter City Council with a plea for the city to put more restrictions on dangerous dogs.
On Tuesday, the council will consider an ordinance that would do just that. Some critics say the restrictions would be akin to “racial profiling.”
“I really stand with the American Kennel Club — they say they strongly oppose any breed-specific legislation, ” said Geraldine Card, an Exeter resident who owns Denzel, a blind pit bull.
Card, who adopted Denzel this summer through Fresno Bully Rescue, said he is a gentle and sweet dog. He lets her 2-year-old twin daughters play with him and, because of his disability, he never attempts to get out of the yard.
But Denzel would be affected by the proposed ordinance, as would any other dog identifiable as an American pit bull terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier or any mix of those breeds. Other breeds included in the ordinance are: Chow
Any dog the City Council deems, on an individual basis, to be dangerous or vicious.
Kelly Austin, director of the Valley Oak SPCA, said that, to her knowledge, no other cities in Tulare County impose breed-specific restrictions. Housing in the shelter would be affected because any dogs in violation of the Exeter ordinance would be sent there.
The rules have been a long time coming, Exeter Police Chief Cliff Bush said.
“We’ve had, in the last couple of years, several attacks by dogs on other dogs and dog bites on people. Primarily, every time it’s the same breed of dog, which is pit bull,” he said.
Some of the rules that dog owners such as Card would have to follow are:
Owners would have to have the animals spayed and neutered.
The listed breeds would be limited to one per household.
The breeds would not be allowed outside, even in a fenced yard, unless in a “securely enclosed and locked pen or kennel, except when leashed and muzzled.” The pens would need a secure top, and any structures built to house dogs would have to comply with city zoning and building regulations.
A “Beware of Dog” sign would have to be put on the premises.
All owners or others with such dogs would have to within 10 days of ownership provide proof of public liability insurance for a single incident of $50,000 for bodily injury or death or for damage to property.
All pet owners currently are required to register their dogs with the city, but those who own these “dangerous or vicious breeds” would have to also provide two color photos of the dog and file a report if the dog leaves the city or dies, or if the owner moves within the city.
Violations of the ordinance include a fine of $200 to $500 for an infraction. The penalty would be the same for a misdemeanor, but the court could sentence the defendant up to 30 days in jail. In either case, the dog would be taken from the owner and removed from the city.
Felix Ortiz, interim city administrator, said removal from the city would mean placing the dog at the Valley Oak SPCA in Visalia.
Ortiz said that if any individual dog were deemed vicious or dangerous, the ordinance would also apply. These could include very small dogs that harm people or other dogs.
“It’s sad that we have to do this, but a lot of it has to do with the owners and not the dogs,” he said.
How to attend
What: Exeter City Council meeting
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday
Where: 137 N. F St., Exeter