As the result of a recent dog-on-dog attack, the city of Lodi, California is considering changes to its animal control ordinance.
The city’s animal control supervisor proposed a new ordinance, but those changes aren’t being publicly released until a review is completed by the city attorney. However, a May 31, 2013 article in the Lodi News Sentinel puts an extremely strong emphasis on “pit bulls,” and supplements the story with misinformation and cherry-picked “statistics” found on a pro-BSL website. In addition, California state law prohibits breed specific legislation, but the article outlines ways in which cities can get around state law, including breed specific mandatory spay/neuter laws.
The article also states that there is a growing trend in which more cities are passing breed specific ordinances. If you follow this blog, you know that to be an absolutely false statement. Over the past several years, the trend has been LESS cities proposing and passing discriminatory laws and MORE cities repealing their breed specific laws because they are difficult and costly to enforce and do not promote a safer community.
Lodi currently has an “at large” law which prohibits animals from running loose and out of the control of their owners, as well as a vicious dog law and hearing process by which dogs are deemed dangerous. Strict enforcement and public education on all aspects of the current law will prevent animal related incidents within the city. After all, any law is only a good as its enforcement.
As noted above, the details of the proposed changes to the city’s ordinance have not yet been revealed, but residents should reach out to their city officials to ask questions about the proposal, as well as let them know you appreciate their efforts to create a safer community, and that strengthening the current ordinance and stronger enforcement of those laws are the only way to achieve the safety and well being of ALL who live in the city, people and animals alike.
We’ll keep an eye on this issue and update as more information becomes available.