The amount of pit bull terriers and pit bull mixes abandoned and euthanized in San Francisco, California has significantly decreased ever since the city implemented a law that requires pit bulls to be sterilized, animal officials said.
Animal Care and Control Director Cal Friedman said San Francisco has taken in 21 percent less pit bulls since the law was implemented 18 months ago compared to the previous year and a half. The number of pit bulls euthanized has decreased 24 percent. Before, about 75% of the dogs in San Francisco’s Animal Care and Control were pit bulls. Now, they occupy only 25% of the space.
The pit bull sterilization law was passed after a 12-year-old boy was mauled by two pit bulls that had not been sterilized.
Friedman said fewer pit bulls are abandoned now because less pit bulls are being born.
“Something is working,” he said. “I wouldn’t bet the house it’s all because of the ordinance, but nothing else has really changed.”
38 pit bulls have been confiscated by animal control officers because owners refused to comply with the law. Friedman said around 500 pit bulls have been spayed or neutered since the implementation.
Since the law was targeted only at pit bulls, the spay and neuter ordinance required a change in state law to allow cities and counties to impose “breed specific” requirements.
San Francisco’s SPCA does not believe in breed specific legislation, but they acknowledged that they have seen more pit bulls being brought in to be spayed or neutered.
“This law has been a success in reducing the euthanization of animals, and we do support that,” said SPCA president Jan McHugh-Smith.