BARSTOW • The City Council is scheduled to vote on two separate ordinances that will regulate noisy animals and require owners to spay or neuter pit bulls and pit bull mixes at its meeting on Monday.
The subcommittee that works with the Humane Society in the development of animal ordinances decided to restrict the ordinance to pit bulls because most service calls involve the breed and most dogs held at the shelter are pit bulls, said Oliver Chi, assistant city manager. Pit bulls are also hard to adopt out and are often euthanized at the Barstow Humane Society, said Chi.
In the city of San Francisco — which put a similar ordinance into place in 2006 — the animal shelter has seen a 25 percent decline in seized pit bulls and a 33 percent drop in the number of pit bulls euthanized, according to the City of Barstow.
First-time violations of the ordinance will cost about $100 — with steeper fines after repeated violations — but Barstow Humane Society Executive Director Jeanette Hayhurst said the humane society is looking for people to comply with the order and does not want to issue tickets. People with unaltered pit bulls will first be given a verbal warning by animal control officers.
Although most pit bulls will have to be altered through the new ordinance if it passes, there are exceptions for nationally registered purebred pit bulls, pit bulls used for law enforcement, qualified service or assistance dogs, pit bulls that cannot be altered due to medical reasons, and pit bulls used for breeding at licensed breeding kennels.
In addition to requiring the spaying and neutering of pit bulls, the City Council will also be voting on an ordinance that will control noisy animals within the city. Under the ordinance, a resident who owns a noisy animal and receives at least two complaints from neighbors within 200 yards is required to resolve the matter within two weeks of being notified by the city. If they do not comply, they may be subject to citations.
There currently are no means for the city to deal with noisy animals, said Hayhurst. The ordinance is meant for people with dogs that bark incessantly — not those who are merely barking at passersby. It also addresses any type of animal noise that would disturb neighbors.
Hayhurst suggested different methods to stop dogs from constantly barking — which she said normally happens because they want more attention or need more exercise — including taking dogs for walks every day, taking the animal inside at night, obedience training the dog, or even squirting the dog with a water bottle if it is barking all the time.
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