Well, gotta say this is an original reason to enact a law that will discriminate against specific dog breeds.  In this case, Lancaster, CA has enacted legislation against pitbulls and Rottweilers in what they say is an anti-gang law.

There’s no denying that gangs and thugs and wannabes tend to gravitate toward what they perceive as tough dogs and dogs like pitbulls and Rots have gotten a seriously maligned reputation because of this.  Is enacting legislation against these breeds really going to get the gangs out of Lancaster like Mayor R. Rex Parris wants? Of course not!

“I want gangs out of Lancaster,” Mayor R. Rex Parris said. “I want to make it uncomfortable for them to be here. Anything they like, I want to take it away from them. I want to deliberately harass them….

“It’s really like [gangs] having a weapon that they are allowed to display and intimidate people,” Parris said. “If they have a pit bull, they may as well put a sign on their head saying, ‘Come get me.’ “

So in targeting gangs, innocent animals are also being targeted. Rottweilers, pit bulls and mixed-breeds with the physical characteristics of either breed be spayed or neutered.

Now, I have no problem with dangerous dog laws, as long as the law does not target any specific breed.  Dangerous dogs are just that, dangerous and I do believe that, as much as I love dogs, people do need to be protected from dogs that have been deemed dangerous or vicious, based on past behavior, not breed!

Lancaster also has enacted a dangerous dog law:

Under the new law, dogs who act aggressively “unprovoked” may be considered “potentially dangerous.”

“Owners of [‘potentially dangerous’] dogs would need to have the dog properly licensed, micro-chipped, and vaccinated at their cost prior to their release. Additional conditions could include: the owner being required to secure their property; proper muzzling and leash restraints of the dog; completion of approved dog obedience course training; spay or neutering; a fine of up to $500 for each offense; and costs of the hearing,” according to a statement on the city of Lancaster’s website.

Additionally, a dog may be deemed “vicious” if it has been trained for fighting or inflicts injury or death. “If so, the vicious dog could be destroyed if deemed a significant threat to the public health, safety and welfare,” says the city of Lancaster’s statement. “If the dog is not destroyed, the owner of the vicious dog would adhere to the same conditions of a potentially dangerous dog with more stringent requirements to secure the owner’s property and confine the vicious dog. Fines are up to $1,000 per offense. An owner of a vicious dog may also be prohibited from possessing any dog for up to three years.”

These conditions, although they are mandated against the dog, are also mandated against the owner, ie. training, fines, microchipping, etc. It’s about safety, not profiling. If these measures were enacted across the board, I wouldn’t have such a problem with them.

Gangs, the very problem that Parris wants to address, they don’t care about laws and they’re not going to care about this new legislation.  When any type of BSL is enacted the people who pay are most often those dog owners who are responsible and who law abiding citizens.

So yet again dogs are going to suffer because of stupid people and irresponsible owners.  Are people every going to wake up and aim their laws and legislation at the real target, those who shouldn’t have pets or animals at all. There’s so much I could say but it would just turn into yet another anti-BSL rant and I’ve done that plenty.  It’s wrong, it’s bad and this may just be the beginning the BSL in Lancaster.  Once you get one law passed, it’s easier to come behind and make a few changes and add another.

To quote StopBSL.com;

The whole argument that this law is due to gang activity is ludicrous. If gang members are so easily recognizable (per the mayor), and gang members are the people they want to “crush” (again per the mayor), why has the city council has decided to go after people based on the appearance of their dog? Why don’t they just pass a law that makes it illegal to be in a gang… then start arresting gang members? What does a dog’s intact reproductive organs have to do with any of it? There’s simply no logic here.

You can download a copy of the Lancaster Ordinance No. 914 – HERE – right-click and save to your computer.  The document is a PDF.

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