Riverside County California has been having some issues recently with dog attacks including a fatal attack that happened in February. As a response to these incidents officials have been given the go ahead to draft a mandatory spay/neuter law that would target pit bull type dogs.
The topic of mandatory spay/neuter is a tricky one. Spay/neuter itself is by no means a bad thing for several reasons.
The problem comes in when these laws are mandatory and targeted to one type of animal. A mandatory, discriminatory spay/neuter law by itself does nothing. What does affect pet over population is broad reaching community outreach initiatives, very much like the Pets for Life program. All the laws in the world will not get people to alter their pets but by providing inexpensive care and education on the topic more people are able to be reached.
It would be much better for Riverside County to implement a community outreach program to target under served neighborhoods than to pass a law that would target the owners of dogs who look a certain way. Breed discriminatory is breed discriminatory, no matter what the regulation, and always has a much larger impact on the community than expected. The only times these laws have been shown to work are when they are combined with the types of programs mentioned above. Which goes to show that it is not the law itself, but the outreach, that affects the community.
This topic has been covered extensively by Brent Toellner, KC Dog Blog, where he has taken a detailed look at mandatory spay/neuter laws in various locations. Here is a link to the category of postings on the topic of mandatory spay/neuter.
Riverside County residents: Officials are crafting a mandatory spay/neuter law targeting pit bull type dogs. Please reach out to urge the county to spend the resources on more effective education and community outreach instead. You can find you specific district here or contact all the supervisors whose information is provided below.
First District Supervisor Kevin Jeffries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Second District Supervisor John F. Tavaglione: District2@rcbos.org
Third District Supervisor (Vice Chairman) Jeff Stone: email@example.com
Fourth District Supervisor (Chairman) John Benoit: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fifth District Supervisor Marion Ashley: email@example.com