Pasadena, CA still discussing pit bull ordinance

The Pasadena Public Safety Committee continues to discuss an ordinance that would regulate “pit bulls” within the city limits. We learned in September 2012 that the committee was reviewing San Francisco’s ordinance, which requires mandatory spay/neutering of pit bulls, as a model for crafting their own.

At their meeting in November, the committee requested statistical information on the number of deaths and dog bite injuries that have occurred over the past several years, the types of breeds involved, the number of dogs shot by police, the number of dog bites reported in the city and other relevant information on “dangerous dog breeds.”

At the Public Safety Committee meeting on March 11, 2013, the director of public health provided a presentation on breed specific legislation locally and nationally, as well as data on dog bites and fatalities, use of force against dogs in Pasadena, studies conducted and their limitations, legislative precedence in the United States, and responded to questions.

Steve Mermell, the Assistant City Manager, once again advised of the challenges of adopting breed specific legislation, and several individuals spoke in opposition to breed discriminatory ordinances, as well.

A representative from the Pasadena Humane Society (PHS), discussed the anticipated completion date of the animal license canvassing effort and census to determine the number and types of breeds of dogs in Pasadena.

In closing, the members of the Public Safety Committee requested that staff report back after the PHS’s licensing enforcement and canvassing program is completed. In addition, staff was asked to return to the committee with a recommendation on a mandatory spay and neutering program.

California state law prohibits the passage of breed specific ordinances with the exception of ordinances pertaining only to spay and neuter laws targeting specific breeds.

Regardless of your position on spaying and neutering of pets, it is important to remember that any law that applies to one breed or grouping of dogs involves the practice of breed profiling and is breed specific legislation. Breed specific mandatory spay/neuter laws are fraught with the many problems associated with BSL, and open the door for future additional breed restrictions.

The Pasadena Public Safety Committee meets on the first and third Monday of the month. However, the majority of the committee’s meetings are canceled.  In addition, it appears this issue will not be discussed until the PHS canvassing program is complete, giving us additional time to oppose any breed specific proposals.

Please continue to send your polite, respectful and informative opposition to breed specific legislation to the Pasadena Public Safety Committee members.

Talking points related to breed specific MSN can be found here.


Steve Mermell
Assistant City Manager

Jacque Robinson

Margaret McAustin

Gene Masuda

Steve Madison (Committee Chair)


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