SB861 passed the Assembly Committee vote on 6/29/05. It will now move to the floor for a vote, then back to the Senate.
We are disappointed that BSL (breed specific legislation) is still very much a part of this bill, even though the committee's final analysis of SB861 recognized that BSL
is ineffective in addressing dog bites.
We are pleased however that Senator Speier and her staff responded to public outcry and amended the language at the 11th hour to address responsible dog
owners' key concerns. While BSL is present, individual municipalities could only use it to create breed specific spay and neuter mandates and
breeding restrictions that they themselves design.
In theory, the bill will allow each city/county to work with their constituents to develop reasonable guidelines that support responsible
breeding and combat
irresponsible 'backyard' breeding within their communities. Fair use of this power would demand the active participation of interested parties: animal shelters, animal welfare
organizations, private citizens and - especially - reputable kennels that care enough to ensure the integrity of this breed.
Additionally, the newest amendments were recently moved to the Health Code, away from the Food and Agriculture Code that initially
addressed 'Vicious and Dangerous' dogs (non-breed-specifically). This move is attempting to resolve the
Insurance Concerns that would result from the negative labeling of any one breed. While we're cautiously optimistic, we certainly aren't out of the woods yet.
We will continue to monitor the progress of the bill's evolution and report as necessary.
We are indepted to everyone who worked so hard to make sure the voices of responsible dog owners were heard on this issue.
We're all tired from a long and trying time and recognize that we have more work ahead of us to ensure that this bill, if passed, does not adversely affect responsible dog owners and responsible kennels in CA.
Please write to Newsom and Speier and request that BSL be removed from the bill. While overbreeding of
pit bulls is a current reality, spay/neuter mandates that focus an ALL BREEDS is the fair and rational approach to our canine overpopulation problems.
Ph: (415) 554-6141 Fax: (415) 554-6160
Ph: 916-651-4008 Fax: (916) 327-2186