Officials in Lake Elsinore, California, passed a breed discriminatory mandatory spay/neuter law at their meeting last night.
Citing high shelter populations of the targeted population of dogs, officials claimed the need for such a measure.
It is no coincidence that Lake Elsinore is located in Riverside County, which recently passed a breed discriminatory spay/neuter law. When a county passes a law like this it usually applies only to the unincorporated areas of the county. It is up to the incorporated areas to determine if they are going to pass a similar ordinance. This is what we are seeing in Riverside County now. First with the passage of the law in Riverside City and now with Lake Elsinore.
The law is the mirror of the county law the requires all targeted dogs the age of four months or older be altered. Officials are passing these laws with little if any understanding of the effects of them. There is mounting evidence that pediatric spay/neuter is detrimental to the health of dogs. There is also substantial evidence that these laws increase shelter populations of targeted dogs, doing the exact opposite of what they are claiming is the goal of the law.
The ordinance is said to have exemptions for assistance dogs as well as “certified” breeders. The fines for non-compliance $100 for a first offense, up to $200 for the second offense, and up to $500 for the third and each subsequent offense. There was a bare minimum of media coverage for this issue and only one dissenting vote.
As with other places that have passed these laws, the spoken intention of the law is quite different from what the rhetoric implies. For example, in Lake Elsinore a staff report stated that, “The Department of Animal Services for Riverside County has found that Pit Bull and Pit Bull mixes significantly impact the health and safety of residents and their pets.”
Once again we are seeing an attempt to work around the California state law that prohibits all other forms of breed discriminatory laws. There is no doubt that if officials had the opportunity to enact some other form of restrictions, they would have tried to do so.
Officials have enacted a proven failed policy under the pretense of shelter populations which will take valuable financial resources away from the real issues that need to be addressed in the community.