Tuesday, April 21, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

It’s time to give animal ordinances some teeth

DebraDeAngeloW

By
From page A9 | June 23, 2013 |

A few weeks back, I wrote a column in the Winters Express about our city council’s inability or unwillingness to address the issue of loose, aggressive dogs, and I don’t mean just this particular city council.

In our “Years Ago” feature on Page 2, I discovered the following entry: “65 years ago, May 21, 1948 — Because of increased complaints about dogs in Winters, the county pound will conduct a campaign on unlicensed dogs Monday, the Winters City Council was told at the meeting Tuesday night.”

Many councils have come and gone since then, and although we have a leash law, it’s only randomly enforced. If the police can go fishing for drunk drivers by pulling drivers over for broken license plate lights, they could similarly go fishing for unneutered, unlicensed dogs by issuing citations for loose animals. Maybe if we establish a whopping penalty for loose, unneutered and unlicensed animals, it will get the police department’s attention.

You’d think a little girl’s cheek being torn off would’ve done it but, sadly, no. Drunk drivers are sexier. And yet, within Winters city limits, I’ll bet that injury from dog attacks — by pit bulls and pit bull mixes in particular — rivals the number of injuries caused by drunk drivers.

The column I wrote in May was prompted by a pit bull attack on a little Corgi while her owner was walking her by Putah Creek Nature Park. I also mentioned other local carnage caused by pit bulls, and prior feeble city council discussions about leash laws and pit bulls as recently as 2010. The Corgi’s owner addressed the council about the attack, and they listened politely, and Councilman Woody Fridae requested that the issue appear on an upcoming agenda for discussion.

Well, it hasn’t. So, at a recent council meeting, I stepped up to the microphone and reminded the council that this issue still hasn’t returned for discussion. And, to be clear, I mean serious discussion, not just wistful chin-stroking about how maybe, someday, we could have some sorta licensey kinda thingie … maybe … thanks for your input. OK, next agenda item.

Mayor Cecilia Aguiar-Curry assured me that the council wasn’t avoiding the issue, they’re just preoccupied with more pressing concerns at the moment. Loose, aggressive dogs just aren’t a priority.

Until a loose pit bull clamps down on a toddler’s head and cracks it like a walnut.

And then we get outraged and interested again, for a while, and then it slowly dissipates from our attention span.

Until it happens again.

And so on, and so on, and so on.

Enough’s enough. Sixty-five years have slid by, and no city council has tackled the issue of loose or aggressive dogs once and for all. I challenge this city council to be the one that does. If they’re truly too busy, then let’s form an Animal Services Commission to develop pet ownership ordinances that address the entire scope of animal related problems — leash laws, licensing, spay/neuter ordinances, abuse, neglect, and another of my pet (haha) peeves, excessive barking. (Yes, I wrote about that recently too.)

Technically, animal services fall under Yolo County’s jurisdiction. However, in my experience, the county’s ability to respond to an animal complaint is downright comical. Loose, aggressive dog chasing you down the street that evening? Yeah, sorry, no officers on duty tonight. Call back on Tuesday.

Maybe Animal Services is so busy euthanizing all those unwanted puppies and kittens dumped off by irresponsible pet owners who don’t get their animals spayed and neutered, they just can’t spare staff to go out on animal calls, particularly to the hinterlands that is Winters.

For whatever reason, Animal Services just can’t get its act together. It’s time for the city, and our police department, to stop pointing at Animal Services every time there’s an animal-related issue. Other cities are establishing their own city ordinances. Winters can too.

A reader sent me a list of city and county jurisdictions with “nuisance” laws that cover of animal-related issues, complete with citations and penalties. Los Angeles County’s Animal Laws & Ordinances were particularly impressive and offer a great template. (http://animalcare.lacounty.gov/lawsordinances.asp.)

Their ordinances address abandonment, excessive barking, dangerous dogs and inhumane treatment, including loose dogs riding in the back of trucks. It limits households to only one litter of puppies or kittens per year. Dogs must have a license attached to their collar, and are not allowed off leash outside the owner’s yard, and that goes for all dogs, from Pomeranians to pit bulls. Why? Because pit bull owners have successfully lobbied about discrimination against their lovely animals, who would never harm a fly. So delusional, they are. There are only two kinds of pit bulls: Those that bite, and those that haven’t yet. Were it up to me, pit bull owners would be required to carry extra insurance to pay for the medical bills, or funerals, for the people their beasts attack.

Don’t get me started.

So, how about it, Winters City Council? Are you ready to end 65 years of foot-dragging? Are you ready to appoint an Animal Services Commission to outline a plan? Moreover, are you ready to insist that the police department actually enforce the ordinances? How about putting citations for loose and unlicensed dogs in the police report?

And cat owners — you don’t get a free pass either.

I also wrote recently about kittens left to die in a box by the road in rural Winters. The very next week, a woman reported that someone did it again — more kittens were boxed up and abandoned at the high school ag site. This is double-dipping into the animal cruelty pot — failing to spay/neuter cats and then essentially torturing their unwanted offspring.

It needs to stop. Right here, right now, in Winters.

And if anyone at the county level is paying attention (I believe there are a few Davis residents running for county supervisor), I will throw my support, and vote, to the candidate who finally puts some teeth in our countywide animal ordinances.

— Email Debra DeAngelo at [email protected]; read more of her work at www.wintersexpress.com and www.edebra.com

Comments

comments

Debra DeAngelo

.

News

 
Woodland murder suspect claims history of abuse

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

Public forum will explore community choice energy options

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1

 
Log cabin home is a true labor of love

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Annual tribute promotes engaging, empowering crime victims

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Weekend shipwreck deadliest ever in Mediterranean

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

Police investigate weekend robberies

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Bob Dunning: The best of UC Davis was on display

By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

For the record

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A2

 
Pack up the kids and the car and make a day of it

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
The camp around the corner: Day camp benefits kids and families

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Ready to give a resident camp a try? Tips to ease the homesick blues

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
Immigrant teens share their dreams at YIIN dinner

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A7 | Gallery

AAUW hosts Yamada speech on Tuesday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
Buddhist groups host SanghaFest on Saturday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

Vote with your dollars at Davis Food Co-op

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
UCD study: Colorblind bilingual programs can perpetuate bias

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
Davis Kids Klub offers a true summer camp

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Round up at the registers for Davis schools

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8Comments are off for this post

 
Free Family Bike Clinic set Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

Online courses a cure-all? UCD study says think again

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
Alternatives to violence explored

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

Show tunes take center stage at sing-along

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

 
Paws for Thought: Hero dogs go above and beyond

By Evelyn Dale | From Page: A8 | Gallery

Tour de Cluck tickets on sale now

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Patwin is ‘Where The Wild Things Walk’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Rotary Club hosts whisky tasting

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Spend a morning with the mayor

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Celebrate Mexican culture at I-House

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Achievement gap to be addressed at symposium

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

 
Suicide awareness walk set April 25 at UC Davis

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Pets of the week

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
Bike Campaign needs volunteers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

Court ruling could limit drought-fighting tools

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
.

Forum

Gratitude all around for the Breakfast for Heroes

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
Broad new vaccination law is a must

By Tom Elias | From Page: B4

Seniors, you CAN get there from here

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
Spread the good word, people

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5Comments are off for this post

Hey, do you want that glaucoma fixed?

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5Comments are off for this post

 
.

Sports

DHS girls basketball pioneer Iten dies

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Devils edge closer to Delta League soccer title

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

DHS thunders past the Herd

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Wong leads UCD charge in Big West women’s golf tourney

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

UCD Boxing Club making a name on the national scene

By Dylan Lee | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
 
Pro baseball roundup: River Cats fall to Salt Lake

By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B12

 
.

Features

.

Arts

Stories told at Third Space

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

 
UCD assistant professor to give lecture at de Young Museum

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

Rockabilly music will fill the park Wednesday

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
One-man show ‘Buyer and Cellar’ brings non-stop laughter

By Bev Sykes | From Page: A11 | Gallery

Hear Wealth of Nations at winery

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
‘Frozen’ Mini-Musicals to be presented

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

Baldini to conduct Camellia Symphony

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
DMTC sets auditions for ‘Evita’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

.

Business

.

Obituaries

Robert Leigh Cordrey

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

 
Ruth Rodenbeck Stumpf

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

Alice Catherine Micheltorena

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
.

Comics

Comics: Tuesday, April 21, 2015 (set 1)

By Creator | From Page: B10

 
Comics: Tuesday, April 21, 2015 (set 2)

By Creator | From Page: B11