Riverside County, CA: Pit bull proposal set for hearing

The Riverside County Board of Supervisors is considering an ordinance that would regulate the ownership of “pit bulls,” requiring the dogs to be spayed or neutered.  County officials say the action is being taken because the “breed threatens public safety and fills animal shelters.”  The Department of Animal Services and county lawyers have been working on the ordinance since April, and you can read our original posting on the proposal in Riverside County for background on the matter.

The ordinance requires the spaying or neutering of pit bulls in the county’s unincorporated areas, and would apply to dogs four months old and older.  According to a staff report, the ordinance would be enforced through the “routine activities” of animal control officers.  In addition, the proposal contains exemptions for pit bulls whose owners are registered breeders, used by law enforcement, assistance dogs (as defined by the Food and Agricultural Code), dogs deemed too sick to be sterilized, and dogs training at a kennel in the county but licensed elsewhere.

The proposal is to be introduced at the September 24, 2013 Board meeting.  In addition, the meeting agenda  notes a hearing will be set for October 8, 2013 at 9:30 a.m.   The proposal could then get a public hearing on October 22, 2013, after which the Board can decide to pass, change or deny it.

Here’s the deal folks…

Breed specific legislation comes in varying forms, and we can’t pick and choose to fight it when it happens to promote something we would otherwise support (such as spaying and neutering).  BSL is what it is, and you’re either for it or against it.  BSL is discriminatory, and it unfairly targets and stigmatizes a specific breed of dog based on misrepresented “statistics” and cherry-picked information.  With respect to the breed specific proposal in Riverside County, city officials have explicitly stated this ordinance is being considered because the “breed threatens public safety.”

While I personally support spaying/neutering of pets, responsible owners, regardless of their breed of choice, should have the ability to make that choice on their own.  More importantly, mandatory spay/neuter laws are unenforceable and succeed only in branding a specific breed as “bad,” “dangerous,” or, as noted above, a “threat to public safety.”

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

To that end, please send your polite, respectful and informative opposition to breed specific legislation to the Riverside County Board of Supervisors listed below.  Talking points related to breed specific MSN can be found here.

Finally, please remember that regardless of your position on spaying and neutering of pets, it is important to understand 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 MSN is fraught with the many problems associated with BSL, and opens the door for future additional breed restrictions.

Riverside County Board of Supervisors
(Block copy & paste e-mail)
district1@rcbos.org,District2@rcbos.org,district4@rcbos.org,
district3@rcbos.org, district5@rcbos.org

Jay Orr
County Executive Officer
County Administrative Center
4080 Lemon Street – 4th Floor
Riverside, California 92501
(951) 955-1110
ceo@rceo.org

Public Information Officer
Ray Smith
County Executive Office
4080 Lemon Street – 4th Floor
Riverside, California 92501
(951) 955-1110
raysmith@rceo.org

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One response to “Riverside County, CA: Pit bull proposal set for hearing

  1. Reblogged this on Sherlockian's Blog and commented:
    Please help stop BSL from forcibly taking away beloved family members.

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