SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (KABC) -- An ordinance was passed Tuesday for all pit bulls in San Bernardino County to be spayed or neutered.
City officials worked with the county's Animal Care and Control Division to create the ordinance. Authorities say the objective of the ordinance is to reduce the overpopulation of pit bulls in San Bernardino County, to encourage responsible pet ownership and to reduce the number of violent pit bull attacks.
"In the past five years, four people in San Bernardino County have been killed by this breed, and just this year there have been seven attacks by pit bulls. No other breed has viciously attacked or killed anyone in that time," said First District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt.
The new rule requires all pit bulls and pit bull-type dogs older than 4 months to be spayed or neutered. Also, all such dogs used for breeding will be required to be licensed.
State law prohibits any breed of dog from being deemed potentially dangerous or vicious, but the law allows local agencies to enact breed-specific programs for spaying and neutering to control over-population.
Owners or pit bulls will be required to spay or neuter their dogs within 30 days of the new rule's implementation.
Animal Care and Control will help pet owners comply with the ordinance by offering education and vouchers to those who are eligible.
Pit bulls or pit bull-type dogs represent about 20 percent of all dogs that are admitted to animal shelters. They are also one of the top three breeds impounded at county shelters and the most frequent to be euthanized.
For more information or to access San Bernardino County Animal Care and Control services call 1-800-472-5609.