A pit bull peers from its cage at the Pasadena Humane Society on Sept. 24, 2013.
The Riverside County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday moved one step closer to passing an ordinance that would regulate the breeding of pit bulls.
The board introduced Ordinance 921 which would, with rare exceptions, require pet owners to spay or neuter their pit bulls and pit bull mixes.
Citing the frequency of media reports about human injury and death from pit bull attacks, the county's Department of Animal Services (DHS) argued in its recommendation to the board that reducing the population of that breed "is the only effective way to mitigate these negative impacts on the county and its residents."
DHS director Rob Miller said the ordinance would help control the population and reduce the number of pit bulls that are euthanized each year. It would also cut down on the number of attacks by reducing the hormones responsible for aggressive behavior, he said.
"It would be my intention to bring this ordinance to every city within this county," Miller said.
In a grim coincidence, another horrific attack was reported in San Bernardino County just the day before the meeting. In that case, a two-year-old child was killed by a pack of at least five pit bulls.
The ordinance, if approved, would require pit bull owners to spay or neuter their dogs, with the following exemptions:
- registered breeders as of start of this ordinance
- trained pit bulls used by law enforcement
- assistance dogs
- a pit bull with a health reason for not being spayed or neutered, as certified by a veterinarian
- a pit bull in training at a licensed kennel and currently licensed by the owner in another jurisdiction
- the owner has requested a breed determination under this ordinance
A public hearing was set for Oct. 8.