Ordinance Passed In Riverside for Pit Bull Sterilization
October 8th the Board of Supervisors of Riverside County approved an ordinance to sterilize pit bulls and pit bull mixes. The ordinance had a 5-0 vote. The vote followed a public hearing in which pit bull breeders and owners could come and defend the breed. It also allowed people that were affected by pit bull attacks and they urged the supervisors to protect the public.
Brenda Knight-Beaumont CouncilWoman statement about pit bull attacks:
This is a life and death issue. We have frustration and fear in the community. We need to have something done.
Since April, the County Officials had worked on the ordinance. Then the board gave them the go-ahead to pursue the ordinance. The ordinance will pertain to pit bulls and pit bull mixes that are older than four months old in the county unincorporated areas.
The ordinance states that spaying or neutering are required for the dogs to be licensed. Anyone who violates will face an administrative citation or misdemeanor. There will be several exemptions, which include licensed breeders, police dogs, dogs who seem too sick to be sterilized and for dogs that help the blind and disabled.
The supervisors did ask for the ordinance after a series of highly publicized pit bull attacks. One of those included a mauling of a 91 year old woman in Hemet. Another was when a two year old was attacks by five pit bulls and died. That little boy was from San Bernardino County.
The County animal control officers wanted the ordinance to help deal with an abundance of pit bulls in the county shelters. The breed does count for almost 20% of all shelter dogs and 30% of euthanized dogs. The county officials also say that pit bulls are hard to find homes for.
The pit bull supporters say that pit bulls are a victim of media sensationalism that deems them as vicious. They also say that with the proper training that pit bulls can make good pets. The ordinance takes effect Nov. 7.
Daniel A. Gibalevich