Riverside County, CA Mandating Spay Neuter on Pit Bulls Public Hearing Set For October 8, 2013

Riverside County supervisors set a public hearing for October 8, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. to further consider the proposed ordinance that would require pit bulls over four months old housed in unincorporated areas of Riverside County to be spayed or neutered. The proposal could then get a public hearing on October 22, 2013 after which the Board can decide to pass, change or take no action.

Supervisor John Travaglione was quoted as saying “We tend to see that many owners of pit bulls are not responsible.” Tavaglione had said in April that he wanted tough regulations targeting owners after learning that an 84-year-old Jurupa Valley man was torn apart by a family pit while sitting in his wheelchair.

The Supervisors voted 5-0 to move the proposed ordinance forward.

The genesis of the ordinance was the Department of Animal Services who told the board that 20% of impounded dogs and 30% of those euthanized at county shelters are pit bulls that “historically have very low redemption or adoption rates.” This was coupled with testimony of victims of pit bull attacks, including Beaumont City Councilwoman Brenda Knight, who stated that the pit bulls have a vicious streak and physical makeup that make them inherently dangerous.

The board was warned by veterinarian Melanie Verreault that mandatory sterilization would lead to less compliance with county dog licensing and registration regulations. “Anti-breed legislation is a bad idea. There are too many people flying under the radar already.”

What constitutes a pit bull under the ordinance? “Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers, American Stafford Terriers “or any mixed breed which contains … any one of these breeds so as to be identifiable as partially of one or more of these breeds.” If the owner disagrees with the identification, the ordinance provides for a “breed determination” which would require the county’s chief veterinarian to examine the dog. The owner then has the right to appeal the finding to a county administrative officer or take the case to court.

Interestingly, California law prohibits breed discriminatory ordinances except those pertaining to spay and neuter programs.

Anyone in the Riverside, CA area should plan on attending the October 8, 2013 meeting to oppose the ordinance and reach out to the Riverside County Board of Supervisors and show opposition to the ordinance.

Riverside County Board of Supervisors
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

Public Information Officer

Ray Smith
County Executive Office
4080 Lemon Street – 4th Floor
Riverside, California 92501
(951) 955-1110

One response to “Riverside County, CA Mandating Spay Neuter on Pit Bulls Public Hearing Set For October 8, 2013

  1. It shouldn’t just be pit bulls that have to be spayed/neutered. All the dogs should be spayed/neutered. That’s responsible dog owners do. If someone complains they can’t afford the surgery there are lots of low cost spay/neuter in cities all over the America. Or if you can’t afford the surgery than you probably can’t afford of having a dog and should not own one. Simple as that.