CHAKO: The Cavalry is Here!

 / Home / Coalition of Human Advocates for K9s & Owners The Chako Rescue Assoc. for the American Pit Bull Terrier  

California Volunteers: We Need You Now!

SB 861 will affect German Shepherds, Dobermans, and many other breeds

UPDATE: CHAKO has filed a federal lawsuit against both the State of California and the City and County of San Francisco as a result of their implementation of breed specific legislation. We need donations to cover our legal expenses.

Our Referendum effort to overturn SB 861 did not get quite enough signatures to qualify for the ballot (thanks, in part, to the Holiday season and the horrible storms). We are now moving forward with litigation and/or a proposition to fix SB 861. We need YOUR HELP now. We need YOU to sign up as a volunteer to help collect signatures for our PROPOSITION, when and if we introduce it. We also need help from anyone with legal experience in moving forward with litigation against cities implementing Breed Specific Legislation.

In order to move forward with our proposition, we need a minimum of 2100 Volunteers in California to get out there and collect signatures! Click Here to Volunteer! Even if you absolutely can't help out by collecting signatures, there's still ways you can help. Download our CHAKO brochure for California and distribute at shows, vet offices, dog events, and other places (MS Word).

SB 861 is the bill in CA that will allow breed discrimination. The Governor signed this bill on October 7, 2005, and we have filed a request for a referendum title and summary with the State Attorney General. A referendum is a voter-sponsored REJECTION, pursuant to the California State Constitution, of a law enacted by the legislature.

Think SB 861 only targets Pit Bulls? Wrong. Pay Attention to Illinois, which has an almost identical bill: Bill SB1790, sponsored by Sen. Martin Sandoval, would label these breeds as dangerous: "pit bull", Doberman Pinscher, Rottweiler, German Shepherd dog, Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute, Chow Chow, Great Dane, St. Bernard and Akita. All dogs of these breeds will have to be spayed or neutered. There is no exemption for conformation dogs. Owners are required to license their dogs with the state and hold "canine liability insurance". The bill passed the first reading, has now been re-referred to the "Rules Committee" (3-1.)

SB 861 does not mention any single breed but allows counties to target any breed they choose for mandatory spay and neuter with NO exceptions for show dogs, service dogs, or dogs with health problems that would have their lives jeopardized by surgery. Show dogs cannot be spayed or neutered, so SB 861 could result in both the elimination of show dogs of certain breeds within various counties or the total extinction, over time, of targeted breeds.

SB 861 also refers to dogs as "dangerous or vicious" and could lead to a de facto ban on breeds by causing homeowners' insurance companies to cancel coverage for any customer that owns a purebred or mixed dog that looks like it might be one of the targeted breeds. These dogs include Jack Russell Terriers, Lab mixes, Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, American Bulldogs, Bull Terriers, Doberman Pinschers, and many other breeds.

  • Did you know Italy started on the path to breed discrimination and now has over 90 breeds restricted, including Border Collies and Corgis?
  • Did you know your homeowner's insurance (or your landlord's) can be cancelled if you own the wrong breed of dog -- even if it's a SERVICE dog and you have a note from your physician?

    Just ask Ed of Sacramento, who owns a German Shepherd service dog and got an unpleasant, early Christmas surprise from his insurance company today, November. 22, 2005. SB 861 is making insurance companies even more wary of covering dogs of certain breeds!

We need an army of volunteer to help us collect signatures to introduce a proposition "fixing" SB 861.! If we get the number of signatures required, we can submit this to the voters of California and let the PEOPLE decide whether they think blatant discrimination is right. All volunteers in CA should join

Subscribe to no861
Powered by

Press Info Sheet | Calling all Lawyers!

Those of you who believe this bill is good because "those Pit Bulls need to be eradicated," take note: SB 861 does not mention any one breed but allows counties to target any breed they choose to eradicate or restrict via no exception spay/neuter. Breed Discrimination has expanded to include breeds like Border Collies. There is language in SB 861 that could cause insurance companies to blacklist breeds of dogs that LOOK like they might be part Pit Bull or part Doberman or part Rottweiler or part whatever breed a county happens to target. This means that people with mixed dogs who cannot prove the parentage of their dog may be forced to give up their dog.

Oh, and disabled persons with service dogs that look to be of the wrong breed could find their ability to keep their service dog jeopardized.

Breed discrimination punishes good dogs and good owners while doing little to nothing to solve the problem of dangerous dogs. See the photo to the right. That's Helen Keller with her Pit Bull. The first dog on the photo column to the right is Stubby, America's first and most decorated war dog. There is no bad breed. There are bad owners who are attracted to the large dogs, and any law that targets breeds will simply cause those bad people to ignore the law (like they already do) or turn their attention to another breed.

So any law must, to be effective, apply equally to all breeds of dogs and hold all owners equally accountable for their actions. Dont' believe it? Well, cities like Cincinnati, Ohio have banned Pit Bulls, so they MUST HAVE solved their dangerous dog problem, right? Wrong, as six year-old D.J. Preston tragically discovered.

We've heard it all. Common pro SB 861 comments.

PHOTOS from the Field | We're Not Gonna Take BSL Video
Sen. McClintock's comments against SB 861

Is the press biased when it comes to dog attacks?

Join Us


 Helen Keller

Click Here to Email Us!