Auburn, California Considers Breed-Specific Restrictions for 5 Breeds Considered to be “Pit Bulls”

By Editor
In Breed-Specific Legislation
May 19th, 2010
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6/15/10 update: According to the Auburn Journal,

There will be no breed-specific legislation in Auburn. In a three-to-two vote Monday night, Auburn City Council members decided to delete regulations about the mandatory spay and neuter of pitbulls from the city’s updated animal ordinance and directed city staff to work to support Safety First, the new educational and assistance program for dog owners and community members in Auburn.

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Auburn, California is considering a breed-specific mandatory spay/neuter law for the following breeds considered to be “pit bulls”:

-Bull Terrier
-Miniature Bull Terrier
-American Pit Bull Terrier
-Staffordshire Bull Terrier
-American Staffordshire Terrier
-Any dog that a ‘reasonable person’ would believe to be one of these breeds
-Any dog exhibiting the AKC or UKC breed standards for these breeds

Do you see just how random and arbitrary breed-specific legislation (BSL) is?  Who comes up with these lists of banned or restricted breeds, who decides which breeds should be on them, and why are they always different?  And does it not follow that if you have 10, 20, or 30 or more breeds defined as “pit bulls” that statistics on “pit bulls” might be vastly skewed and therefore meaningless? 

Do you also understand why we immediately dismiss any incident of a dog attack where the dog in question is described as a “pit bull”?  As you can see from the above list, “pit bull” can describe as many breeds of dogs and their mixes as those pushing BSL so choose.  Also, it’s wildly unconstitutional to have language in an ordinance that defines a “pit bull” as “any dog that a ‘reasonable person’ would believe to be one of these breeds.”  How in the world do you comply with such a vague provision???  Your compliance or non-compliance is based solely on someone else’s opinion about your dog, and that opinion doesn’t even have to be an educated one!  And if you have to put the words “reasonable person” in your legislation, chances are quite good that you’ll get anything but reason. (Often the word “reasonable” is added to legislation that its author knows is quite unreasonable.)  Indeed, you’re likely to get more of the same hysteria which brought about the BSL in the first place.  Not to mention that the AKC and UKC have said time and again that their breed standards are not to be used to enforce BSL, and that doing so is a copyright violation.

The Auburn City Council will next convene on May 24, 2010, at 6 p.m. at Auburn City Hall, 1225 Lincoln Way in Auburn.  You can contact the Auburn Mayor and City Council using the following information:

Auburn City Council, City of Auburn, 1225 Lincoln Way, Auburn, CA  95603

Mayor Bridget Powers- bridgetpowers@sbcglobal.net

Dr. Bill Kirby, Mayor Pro Tempore- flyingsurgeon210@yahoo.com

Keith Nesbitt- mr.auburn@sbcglobal.net

Kevin Hanley- hanleykh@jps.net

Mike Holmes- njrhs@inreach.com

 

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