Category Archives: California

California legislator intends to try to repeal state protection from breed discrimination

Following a fatal attack on a jogger, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich has announced intentions to approach the state legislature and ask them to repeal the portion of California state law that prohibits breed discriminatory laws on the state level.

The current law allows mandatory spay/neuter to be passed but bars municipalities from enacting any other laws directed at the breed of the dog. In 2005, the law was amended to allow spay/neuter by SB861, which had initially been a proposal to allow any kind of breed discriminatory laws, but was amended down in committee.

“We’re going to go back to the state legislature and see if we can change that law, allow the local communities to make up their own minds with regards to breeds,” said Tony Bell, spokesman for Antonovich. “Pit bulls are a different breed of animal. They’re capable of incredible damage to humans, to other dogs, to horses.” (read more)

Interestingly, Antonovich himself points out that this has been the only fatal attack attributed to pit bulls ever in Los Angeles County. As it stands the ID of the breeds of dogs involved is spotty at best.  The attacking dogs were ID’ed by a motorist, and the dogs ran into the desert after the attack.  A group of dogs have been confiscate from a local man and will be DNA tested to determine if they were involved in the attack.  These results are expected Friday. The dogs in question have a history of aggressive behavior, the owner has a history of engaging in illegal activities and there is no doubt that the owner was not operating proper control of the dogs. If it comes out that these were, in fact, the attacking dogs, we have a long history of owner failure that the attack can be traced back to.

This does not just affect “pit bulls.”  Should the state law be changed to allow breed bans and restrictions there are many other breeds that are targeted, as well as dogs who are not those breeds but just happen to have some vague resemblance to them.  All dog owners are at risk when breed discrimination is allowed. This would also have sweeping consequences for people who utilize service dogs and members of our military.

California residents: It is extremely important that this never reach the legislature, so reach out now to oppose breed discrimination. Below are links to contact your legislators, as well as Supervisor Antonovich. Please reach out, respectfully, factually and unemotionally to oppose any form of breed discrimination because of its failure to make communities safer.

Los Angeles County residents: Constituents voices always hold more power. Please write Supervisor Antonovich to ask him to reconsider and offer your factual and professional opposition to breed discrimination.

If you are have trouble with what to say, please see our “What is BSL?” tab.

Supervisor Antonovich’s website has an e-mail contact form which can be found here.

You can find your legislators on the states website.

Pasadena, CA – Councilman Wants Ban on Pit Bulls

According to the Pasadena Sun, Steve Madison, City Councilman for Pasadena believes a ban on pit bulls should be considered within city limits because he says the ‘powerful and sometimes aggressive dogs pose an inherent threat to public safety.

Steve McNall, President of the Pasadena Humane Society and SPCA says that such a law would unfairly punish responsible pit bull owners.

“It’s a discrimination issue, to take somebody’s personal property, a family member, and kill it?  The last time I checked, this is the United States, not Russia.”  McNall said Council would not receive his or any other animal welfare leader’s support.  The Humane Society provides the city with animal control services by contract.

The push for stronger “bully-breed” regulations started five years ago when Councilwoman Margaret McAustin, representing a neighborhood where a ‘group’ of pit bulls roaming at-large bit several people, said she would support stronger laws for Pasadena.

Under the current law, animal control officers can impound dogs that attack people or display other aggressive tendencies.  Officer can also fine owners that do not license their dogs.

McAustin said, “We shouldn’t let up on our efforts to control dangerous breeds, but dogs are trained to be aggressive by people who want aggressive dogs.  We have to get at that behavior, the problem we really have is irresponsible owners and if we can’t regulate the dogs, we have to regulate the owners.”

Due to California state law prohibiting cities from banning any specific breed however, the likelihood of a ban is nil.  Instead, officials are considering that any Pasadena pit bulls be subject to mandatory spay and neutering, an ordinance structured on the current San Francisco law.  You can read more about San Francisco’s breed ID check-list in our previous “Difficulty of Breed Identification Article”.

Please send your POLITE, RESPECTFUL and INFORMATIVE correspondence to:
Mayor Bill Bogaard - bbogaard@cityofpasadena.net
Councilwoman Jacque Robinson, 1st District via Field Representative, Tina Williams - district1@cityofpasadena.net
Ph:  (626) 744-4444
Fax: (626) 396-7300
Councilwoman/Vice Mayor Margaret McAustin, 2nd District - mmcaustin@cityofpasadena.net
Ph:  (626) 744-4742
Councilman Chris Holden, 3rd District via Field Representative Jacueline McIntyre - (626) 744-4742
Ph: (626) 744-4738
Fax:  (626) 744-4774
Councilman Gene Masauda, 4th District via Field Representative, Noreen Sullivan - nsullivan@cityofpasadena.net
Ph:  (626) 744-4740
Councilman Victor M. Gordo, Esq, 5th District via Field Representative, Vannia DeLaCuba - vdelacuba@cityofpasadena.net
Ph:  (626) 744-4741 or (626) 831-8609
Fax:  (626) 398-1836
Councilman Steve Madison, 6th District - smadison@cityofpasadena.net
Ph:  (626) 744-4739
Councilman Terry Tornek, 7th District - ttornek@cityofpasadena.net
Ph:  (626) 441-4802
Fax:  (626) 441-4806

You may also include correspondence to City Attorney Michele Beal Bagneris by visiting the Pasadena City Attorney’s page and City Manager Michael J. Beck at the City Managers page.

Sonoma, CA – Vicious Dogs Ordinance on Agenda

Council members will take up a proposed ordinance at the next meeting on Monday, October 15th, 2012.  The ordinance would define a vicious dog as one that without provocation severely injures or kills a person or other animal.  Owners of vicious dogs would be required to keep them locked up or muzzled when out.

While Sonoma does not have a history of vicious dogs or attacks, Mayor Joanne Sanders* sparked a negative response last year when she stated publicly that she would support an outright ban on pit bulls after the death of a pit bull owner in Pacifica.
*Sanders has chosen not to pursue a 3rd term as Mayor

Sanders asked city staff to review Sonoma’s current animal ordinance and draft a new ordinance that residents would support.

The new draft requires that owners of potentially dangerous or vicious dogs would have to obtain liability insurance and show proof they could pay damages up to $50,000.   Bob Edward, President of Sonoma Valley Dog Owners and Guardians said that his group supports the proposed changes, adding that the new ordinance provides due process for owners.  “The current ordinance doesn’t even provide for a hearing,” he said.  “Whoever decides the dog is vicious is the decider.”

 

 

City of Ventura, CA: BSL passed

Ventura city council members voted for mandatory spay/neuter for “pit bulls” during its council meeting this week.

StopBSL takes no position on mandatory spay/neuter as long as it is not breed-specific. Unfortunately, Ventura’s breed-specific MSN brings with it all of the problems that are associated with any BSL: unnecessary discrimination against citizens based on their dog’s physical appearance; subjective, nonscientific visual guesses about a dog’s possible breed, resulting in unequal application of the law and resource-consuming lawsuits and court challenges; enforcement difficulties; and so on. (Think animal shelter workers can reliably identify “pit bulls”? Check out this study done by Maddie’s Fund.)

Some city officials have already expressed concerns that the law will be difficult to enforce. And, of course, BS-MSN has not solved any problems anywhere else it has been implemented.

City of Ventura Mayor and City Council
mike.tracy@cityofventura.net, cheitmann@ci.ventura.ca.us, nandrews@ci.ventura.ca.us, bbrennan@ci.ventura.ca.us, jmonahan@ci.ventura.ca.us, cmorehouse@ci.ventura.ca.us, cweir@ci.ventura.ca.us

All alerts for Ventura (county and cities): http://stopbsl.com/?s=ventura

Ventura council approves pit bull ordinance

By Arlene Martinez
Posted May 23, 2012 at 5:12 p.m.

Despite concerns that enforcement might be difficult, the Ventura City Council voted 6-1 on Monday to require pit bulls to be spayed or neutered by the time they are 16 weeks.

[...] Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers and American Staffordshire Terriers fall under the “pit bull” category. Dogs used in law enforcement and purebreds registered with the American Kennel Club, United Kennel Club or “other national registry” are exempt from the ordinance. [...]

Full article retrieved 5/24/12 from http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/may/23/ventura-council-approves-pit-bull-ordinance/

City of Ventura, CA: Council will consider BS-MSN proposal, May 21

Ventura city council members will vote on mandatory spay/neuter for “pit bulls” during its council meeting on May 21, 6:00 PM, in Council Chambers, 501 Poli Street, Ventura, CA.

Agenda: http://www.cityofventura.net/meeting/city-council-meeting-118

Please ask the city of Ventura to drop the breed-specific language in their proposal. Breed-specific MSN—like any other breed-specific law—discriminates against people and their dogs based on whether the owner or dog have a “desirable” or “undesirable” physical appearance. Breed identification is a subjective, non-scientific process, which results in unfair and unequal application of the law. Disputes over breed identification are also inevitable, and appeals and court cases fighting breed designations are expensive and resource-consuming.

StopBSL takes no position on mandatory spay/neuter as long as it is not breed-specific. Whether you support or oppose MSN, it doesn’t need to be breed-specific. If MSN is good for dogs that look like “pit bulls,” it is good for any dog. By removing the breed-specific focus, the city of Ventura can avoid the expense and inequality that goes with BSL.

City of Ventura Mayor and City Council
mike.tracy@cityofventura.net, cheitmann@ci.ventura.ca.us, nandrews@ci.ventura.ca.us, bbrennan@ci.ventura.ca.us, jmonahan@ci.ventura.ca.us, cmorehouse@ci.ventura.ca.us, cweir@ci.ventura.ca.us

All alerts for Ventura (county and cities): http://stopbsl.com/?s=ventura

Upland, CA: BS-MSN proposal sent to committee

The Upland, CA, Advisory Committee has recommended mandatory spay/neuter for all “pit bulls.” After they presented this recommendation to council on Monday, the council sent the proposal to the Public Safety Committee for further consideration.

I’m going to say it again: this proposal is NOT about reducing a shelter overpopulation of medium-sized, short-coated dogs. The Upland Advisory Committee believes “pit bulls” are dangerous (despite their own city statistics that indicate otherwise). State law is the only thing preventing them from going further. The committee communicated the danger of “pit bulls” to council on Monday, and the council acknowledged that concern.

Please ask city officials to drop the breed-specific language in their proposal. Breed-specific MSN—like any other breed-specific law—discriminates against people and their dogs based on whether the owner or dog have a “desirable” or “undesirable” physical appearance.

Whether you support or oppose MSN, it doesn’t need to be breed-specific. If you think MSN is good for dogs that look like “pit bulls,” then it is good for any dog. By removing the breed-specific focus, Upland can avoid the expense and inequality that goes with BSL.

Upland City Hall, 460 N. Euclid Ave., Upland, Ca 91786
(909) 931-4100
City Clerk, smendenhall@ci.upland.ca.us
Mayor and City Council, citycouncil@ci.upland.ca.us
City Manager, citymanager@ci.upland.ca.us

All alerts for Upland, CA: http://stopbsl.org/?s=upland

Upland Public Safety Committee to review pit bull ordinance

Sandra Emerson, Staff Writer
Posted: 05/14/2012 10:32:27 AM PDT

UPLAND – The city’s Police and Fire Committee will review a proposal to implement a mandatory spay and neuter ordinance for pit bulls and pit bull mixes.

[...] “You’ve raised some very interesting issues that many citizens of Upland have raised whether it be at the dog park or be at the AYSO fields or whether it be at the Lemon Festival with people walking around with some of these breeds with children around,” Councilman Brendan Brandt said. [...]

Full article retrieved 5/16/12 from http://www.contracostatimes.com/california/ci_20618731/upland-council-hear-pit-bull-report

Upland, CA: Committee will recommend BS-MSN to council, May 14

The Upland, CA, Advisory Committee has recommended mandatory spay/neuter for all “pit bulls.” They will present their recommendation to city council during the council meeting on May 14 at 7:00 PM in council chambers, City Hall, 460 N. Euclid Avenue, Upland.

Make no mistake, this proposal is not about reducing a shelter overpopulation of medium-sized, short-coated dogs. The Upland committee is recommending BS-MSN because they believe “pit bulls” are dangerous (despite their own city statistics that indicate otherwise). State law is the only thing preventing them from going further.

Please encourage city officials to drop the breed-specific language in their proposal. Breed-specific MSN—like any other breed-specific law—discriminates against people and their dogs based on whether the owner or dog have a “desirable” or “undesirable” physical appearance.

Whether you support or oppose MSN, it doesn’t need to be breed-specific. If you think MSN is good for dogs that look like “pit bulls,” then it is good for any dog. By removing the breed-specific focus, Upland can avoid the expense and inequality that goes with BSL.

Upland City Hall, 460 N. Euclid Ave., Upland, Ca 91786
(909) 931-4100
City Clerk, smendenhall@ci.upland.ca.us
Mayor and City Council, citycouncil@ci.upland.ca.us
City Manager, citymanager@ci.upland.ca.us

All alerts for Upland, CA: http://stopbsl.org/?s=upland