Pasadena City Council postpones vote on pit bull ordinance

A pit bull mix peers from its cage at the Pasadena Humane Society on Sept. 24, 2013.
A pit bull mix peers from its cage at the Pasadena Humane Society on Sept. 24, 2013.
Nuran Alteir/KPCC

After hours of discussion and comments from the public, the Pasadena City Council voted late Monday night to put off a proposed ordinance that would require pit bulls and pit bull mixes to be spayed or neutered.

The Pasadena Star-News reports:

More than 60 people submitted cards to speak at Monday’s meeting, waiting until 9 p.m. to hear the issue. The decision was made close to midnight...

Most attendees spoke against an ordinance proposed by Councilman Steve Madison for the mandatory spay/neuter of pit bulls and cross breeds. Many brought pictures of their pit bulls to show the council.

As KPCC's Erika Aguilar reported earlier, the proposed ordinance, first proposed last year, would require all pit bulls and pit bull mixes older than four months to undergo the procedure. It classifies a pit bull dog as any Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, American Stafford Terrier or any dog that includes one or more of these breeds, and it puts the breed determination in the hands of the humane society.

The Pasadena Humane Society has told the council it prefers an ordinance aimed at all dogs and cats, and not just pit bulls, in order to address overpopulation and safety.

“To just focus on one breed, you’re possibly leaving behind other breeds,” said Elizabeth Campo, senior vice president of the humane society. “This is a trend breed right now. You'll always be chasing a trend.”

A staff report found pit bulls comprise "a disproportionately high number of unwanted dogs in Pasadena.” Approximately 27 percent of dogs euthanized at the Pasadena Humane Society are pit bulls and pit bull mixes. They also make up 10 percent of dogs adopted out of the shelter, according to the report.

The council will consider the ordinance again in July, according to the The Star-News.