Following Tuesday’s approval of a stricter pit bull
ordinance in Riverside County by the board of supervisors, Lake Elsinore Mayor Bob Magee is calling on his
city, as well as Wildomar, Murrieta, Temecula, Menifee and Canyon Lake, to
consider doing the same.
Citing public safety concerns and the need to bring the breed's population down, Riverside County supervisors Tuesday unanimously approved an ordinance mandating that, with only a few exceptions, pit bull dogs older than four months in unincorporated communities be sterilized.
The six cities Magee referred to Tuesday night are all part of a joint powers agreement. Southwest Communities Animal Shelter/Animal Friends of the Valleys in Wildomar is a shared animal control facility among the cities. The facility opened in 2010 as a result of a $15 million bond measure and is overseen by the Southwest Communities Finance Authority, which in turn is led by officials from the cities.
Magee said he wants to see the cities and shelter officials sit down to discuss adopting the new county ordinance.
Under the county ordinance, the only way an owner can qualify his or her pit bull for an exemption to the spay/neuter policy is under one of the following:
-- the dog belongs to a registered breeder;
-- is trained for law enforcement duties;
-- is an "assistance dog" for a disabled person;
-- has been certified by a veterinarian as having a health defect that sterilization would aggravate; or
-- is in training and licensed in another county.
The Riverside County Department of Animal Services defines pits as Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers, American Stafford Terriers "or any mixed breed which contains ... any one of these breeds so as to be identifiable as partially of one or more of these breeds."
In a Feb. 2011 interview with Willa Bagwell, director of Southwest Communities Animal Shelter/Animal Friends of the Valleys, she said pit bulls are hard to adopt out and the shelter is forced to euthanize many animals that are deemed unplaceable. Click here to read the full report.