Pit Bull Sterilization Law Victorious
San Francisco, CA - On June 3rd, 2008 the San Francisco Office of the City Attorney released a statement regarding the CHAKO case -- a pit bull advocacy group that sued San Francisco over its mandatory pit bull sterilization law. CHAKO challenged the validity of the ordinance, alleging that it violated numerous federal and state constitutional provisions, including the right to happiness.
US District Judge Maxine M. Chesney granted the City's motion to dismiss all claims with the exception of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) claim. Both parties have since settled the remaining claim, which resulted in dismissal of the lawsuit. Under the terms of the settlement, the City agreed not to enforce the sterilization ordinance against any person with a mobility-related disability who:
(i) owned an unsterilized pit bull service dog at the time the ordinance was enacted; (ii) uses that unsterilized pit bull service dog to accommodate his/her mobility-related disability; and (iii) had registered his/her unsterilized pit bull service dog with the San Francisco Department of Animal Care and Control by the time the ordinance was enacted. Any person who does not fall within this specific category remains subject to the ordinance.
City Attorney Dennis Herrera stated that although he continues to believe the ordinance is fully valid, the settlement is in San Francisco's best interest. "There is nothing about this ordinance that interferes with the ability of any disabled person to obtain assistance from service animals, and therefore it is fully consistent with the ADA," Herrera said.
CHAKO fits the bill of an egregious pit bull lobbying group. They stop at nothing when it comes to challenging the regulation of their breed, including misusing the rights of people with disabilities to prop up their goals. One can hardly stoop much further than this.