Their rationale? Read it here:
The board accepted the report by county staff and an independent advisory committee that decided the feasibility and challenges of enacting a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance for pit bull-like dogs would not "achieve the desired public safety outcome," according to the staff report.
Instead, the board agreed at Tuesday's meeting to change some of the language used in an ordinance that will expand the free and low-cost spay/neuter program and explore starting a pilot program at elementary schools to inform students on how to act around dogs to decrease dog bites.
The adjusted ordinance will expand authority of county staff to declare a dog as "potentially dangerous" following a single attack on another domestic animal, require those walking "potentially dangerous" dogs to be over 18 and physically capable of controlling the animal, and increases the amount of liability insurance a "potentially dangerous" dog owner must carry from $50,000 to $100,000.
Increased access to spay & neuter? Public education? Great! If not handled carefully, "attacks on another domestic animal" could be problematic (is a $100k policy fair for a dog who goes after the neighbor's cat whenever it wanders onto his owner's property?), but judging dogs by their behavior rather than appearance is still definitely a step in the right direction.
In a world full that sometimes seems as if it is populated almost entirely by humaniacs and reactionary pit-haters, this all sounds so strangely... sensible.
If it didn't sound so smug and self-congratulatory, I might even wonder aloud if they used our Guide to Constructing Pet-Friendly Ordinances as a resource. No, I couldn't...