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.