Riverside County, CA, is moving forward with a proposed ordinance that would make the sterilization of all pit bulls and pit bull mixes over the age of four months mandatory. Hundreds of them languish in county animal shelters, where they make up about 20% of the total canine population and about 30% of the dogs euthanized.
Breed-specific legislation, as it is called, is a polarizing issue. Some of the proponents say the dogs are loose cannons and it is only a matter of WHEN they will ‘go off’, not IF. Opponents of this kind of legislation say the breed is being unfairly targeted, the dogs are unjustly maligned, and pit bull attacks are always sensationalized in the media, whereas attacks by other breeds pass unnoticed.
I have had four pit bulls over a period of 25 years. They slept and played with my cats and my children. They were without a single exception ever, loyal, gentle and dependable. It is obviously not the dogs — but to my HUGE regret, a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance for the people of Riverside County isn’t likely to pass.