UPDATE April 8 at 1:14 p.m.: Claiming that Pit Bull and Pit Bull mixes significantly impact the health and safety of residents and their pets, the Riverside County Department of Animal Services is recommending the board of supervisors mandate spay and neuter of the dogs in all unincorporated areas.
In addition to health and safety concerns, the Department of Animal Services states that Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixes represent 20 percent of the dogs it impounds. Once the animals are impounded, they have “ according to the recommendation from the department’s director Robert Miller.
“Reducing the fertility of this segment of the dog population is the only effective way to mitigate these negative impacts on the county and its residents,” Miller’s recommendation reads.
John Welsh, spokesman for the department, said Monday that Miller had been asked by the board to make the recommendation.
The spay/neuter issue will be put to the supervisors April 9 during the regularly scheduled board meeting. If the supervisors vote in favor of the recommendation, owners in unincorporated areas will be required to have their animals sterilized.
In October 2005, then-California Governor Arnold Schwarzegger signed into law SB 861, which allows cities and counties to adopt breed-specific spay and neuter ordinances. According to the bill’s text, the aim of the law is to eliminate uncontrolled and irresponsible pet breeding as long as local jurisdictions don't declare any dog breed or mixed breed as being “potentially dangerous or vicious.”
In Southwest Riverside County, a search through municipal codes for the cities of Lake Elsinore, Murrieta, Temecula and Wildomar finds no ordinances pertaining to Pit Bulls. Currently, all four cities contract for animal control services through Southwest Communities Animal Shelter in Wildomar.