Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Dawn Watch Update on BSL


July 27 -- ABC NEWS
"Ban Has Denver Pit Bulls Marked for Death" -- Typical of the media, they got it wrong! CA is NOT considering a pit bull ban. They are working on laws to mandate spay/neuter, as well as have breeding licenses and fining irrresponsible owners (it's BSL, but not a death sentence; in fact, I think those laws should be in place for ALL dogs). And I doubt that the city council has only heard from 10 people in Colorado on this issue, and 1,990 from other states.

July 29 -- MSNBC
"Denver pit bull ban leads to 'dogs in hiding'"

Updates on BSL -- Thank goodness for sane Maine!

Aug 2 -- Los Angeles Times

[DawnWatch alert on LA Times story above -- ACTION NEEDED!!!!]
The front page of the Tuesday, August 2, Los Angeles Times has a heartbreaking story about people having to either adopt out family members or leave their homes thanks to Denver's overreaching pitbull ban. It is headed, "Denver's Dogged Outlaws; The city has banned pit bulls. Owners hide them, move away or turn to an 'underground railroad' to keep them from being put to death."

After some heartbreaking stories, including one about a man now living in a car so that he can keep his dogs, we learn that "Denver is not alone in banning the breed -- cities including Cincinnati, Miami and Lanett, Ala., have outlawed pit bulls." But then we get welcome news about California: "California cities cannot ban specific breeds of dogs, but a bill in the state Legislature would permit them to require certain breeds be spayed and neutered, making them less aggressive."

As California kills hundreds of thousand of dogs every year in shelters, most true animal advocates would be thrilled to see compulsory spay/neuter of all breeds as long as there are any dogs dying for lack of homes. Why not start with those breeds deemed dangerous, that tend to attract those who enjoy organizing dog fights for sport? I write that as the adoptive mother of a sweet little red-nose pitbull, who is, of course, spayed. But thousands of her relatives die every year in California shelters and countless others die in organized dog fights. A ban on breeding them would be wonderful. And it is no doubt the compromise needed that will prevent a misguided over-reaching law like that in Denver, which takes loving dogs out of loving homes.

The bill is SB 861, authored by Senator Jackie Speier, a democrat from the San Francisco/San Mateo area. It states, "Cities and counties may enact dog breed-specific ordinances pertaining only to mandatory spay or neuter programs and breeding requirements." You can read it on line at:

The California Legislative Action Alert recommends that we "Tell the legislators that local government needs to have the ability to regulate the breeding of pit bulls, the unnamed subjects of this legislation, for the welfare of both the public and the dogs themselves. Too many misused and mistreated pit bulls flood the animal shelters."

Californians, you can WRITE IN FAVOR to your assembly member and please also send a quick note of support to the bill's author, Senator Speier. You can email her at: is likely the office will print out emails in support. A written letter is preferable (but only if it actually gets printed out and sent) and should be sent to:

Senator Jackie Speier
State Capitol, Room 2032
Sacramento, CA 95814

You can read the full Los Angeles Times article on line at

OR,1,5499635.story OR try this Tiny URL

It presents a great opportunity for letters about California's companion animal overpopulation crisis and the need for extensive spay-neuter legislation. Legislators look to letters to the editor pages as barometers of public opinion, so your letters matter. The Los Angeles Times takes letters at:

Always include your full name, address, and daytime phone number when sending a letter to the editor. Shorter letters are more likely to be published.

Yours and the animals',
Karen Dawn

(DawnWatch is an animal advocacy media watch that looks at animal issues in the media and facilitates one-click responses to the relevant media outlets. You can learn more about it, and sign up for alerts at To unsubscribe, go to If you forward or reprint DawnWatch alerts, please do so unedited -- leave DawnWatch in the title and include this tag line.)


Blogger Kitty said...

Evidentially Colorado likes to change the dates of meetings and give people short notice. Hence maybe poor showings to the city council meetings. And I highly doubt just 10 letters from Colorado. While there are some who support the ban, there are way too many who don’t.

<3 Kitty

2:52 PM  

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