Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Lancaster, CA - On October 14th, the Lancaster City Council and Mayor R. Rex Parris heard a status report from the head of Los Angeles County's Animal Control Department regarding the Pit Bull Sweep Operation. In the last 30 days, the agency responded to 257 pit bull-related calls and impounded 61 pit bulls that were roaming freely throughout the community.
Back in September, it was revealed that animal control officers reported seeing 24 pit bulls roaming city streets "but not one of them was picked up," Parris said. When asked why, county officials produced several false statements including: state law prohibits enforcing laws against one type of dog, such laws are "very problematic to enforce" and that laws must apply to all animals.
The mayor said, "Instead of picking (the dogs) up, people get warnings and citations, and when you hand out citations, people fix the problem (by paying a fine) and we still have the pit bull. The reality is, these dogs are different. They hurt people, and it's usually children." He added, "Gangbangers have taken these dogs and used them to intimidate each other and regular citizens."
California municipalities have the authority to enact breed-specific spay and neuter laws. Authorities cannot, however, deem a specific breed of dog to be "vicious," nor can they ban a specific breed.Lancaster officials created a new ordinance that allows Animal Control officers to detain pit bulls if they are unaltered. But Parris noted, "What good does it do me to have an ordinance if Los Angeles County (employees) won't enforce it?" In response, District Supervisor directed county staff to implement a 60-day Pit Bull Sweep Operation to maximize dog control efforts in Lancaster.
Since their initial complaints to the county, Lancaster officials have had discussions with representatives of Palmdale about halting their payments to the county for animal control services and establishing their own care and control agency. Parris said he wants all vicious animals off the streets, "but this particular breed is more dangerous and is more vicious."
Several California cities have successfully passed pit bull sterilization laws.
09/14/08: Flashback: S.F. Pit Bull Sterilization Law Has Successful Results
08/19/08: Snip the Pit Ordinance in Manteca Being Considered
| 10/15/2008 10:20 PM |
"Officials noted that targeting pit bulls could...contribute to overcrowding at animal shelters, meeting minutes show."
So the excuse for not picking up stray animals is that they will then take up room in shelters. Why is that even an issue? It's the purpose of the shelter to house stray animals! Are Animal Control workers that concerned about using tax payer dollars, or is it they want to appear no-kill (by not taking any dogs in the first place) to appease the Animal Rights fanatics? If the ACOs won't do their jobs, fire them and replace them with people who will.
| 10/16/2008 5:12 AM |
There are several different possibilities when it comes to problems with Animal Control officers.
One is, simple laziness and incompetence. Animal Control has always tended to have a highish number of people who don't want to work, they just want to pick up a paycheck.
It is a lot easier to just issue a citation than it is to actually work and pick up the dog (some Animal Control people don't even know how to handle a dog or are afraid, and are untrained)bring it to the shelter, do the paperwork.
Animal Control routinely has been the low department on the government totem pole, just filled with inadequacy and no supervision. Also union protections that allow incompetent people to keep working, in some cases.
But there also has been an increase in Animal Control employees who are connected to either the breeder industry, or the fanatical No Kill movement.
I have seen an Animal Control officer, for example, posting on a fanatical breeder forum (one that fights AGAINST animal control laws, and FOR puppy mills and dogfighting) asking these breeders to help her oppose and evade animal control laws in her district.
This Animal Control officer bred and sold Wolf Hybrids.
Other Animal Control people are directly involved in breeding and selling pit bulls (but then police officers and firefighters have been doing that in some areas, even arrested for dogfighting!)
Some Animal Control people have gotten roped in by the No Kill fanatics that say to do anything other than euthanize, even let animals wander the streets.
There needs to be close scrutiny of the people hired by Animal Control, and people need to file formal complaints when they don't do their job.
They also need to be reminded that in some instances the court is allowing Animal Control people to be sued directly when someone gets hurt or killed, and they have been negligent in their duties. The time may have come to increase such lawsuits or more will die.
When people keep a close eye on how Animal Control functions in their community, and take up issues and complaints with community leaders, things can change.