The city of Pasadena is considering a crackdown on pitbull breeds. While an all-out ban isn't permissible given California state law, Pasadena is also mulling a mandatory spay-and-neuter law for pitbulls, reports the Pasadena Sun.
The effort doesn't stem from a recent attack within Pasadena city limits. Instead, City Councilman Steve Madison seemed to propose the ban as a preemptive measure.
"Time after time, a pit bull chews a kid to death somewhere, and I’m not going to let that happen in Pasadena," said Madison at an Oct. 1 meeting of the city council's Public Safety Committee. "I would have no problem saying 'Pasadena’s a special place: If you want to live here, come, but don’t bring your pit bull.'"
Madison also said, "I doubt there’s a stack of cocker spaniel fatalities they’re hiding from the newspapers."
Pitbulls (an umbrella term for the breeds American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers and Bull Terriers) have historically been bred to fight other animals, and a small minority of owners today are still training their dogs to be aggressive or compete in dog fights.
As Madison's "cocker spaniel" comment indicated, there's no doubt that reports in the media about pitbull attacks contribute to the breed's bad rap, making them the most likely type of dog to end up in a shelter and be euthanized. A 2008 report of Los Angeles shelters found that pitbulls made up 43.6 percent of all the dogs killed that year.
But as more and more governing bodies target pitbulls with breed-specific legislation (without any proof that the laws are effective), we thought it was important to remind Pasadena residents about some heroic pitbulls in the news.
Check out these stories of pitbulls who have spent the past year saving lives, fighting terrorism and being loyal friends.