“‘A year ago, this city was overrun with individuals — namely, gang members — who routinely used pit bulls and other potentially vicious dogs as tools of intimidation and violence,’ Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris said in a statement.
“‘These individuals delighted in the danger these animals posed to our residents, often walking them without leashes and allowing them to run rampant through our neighborhoods and parks. Today, more than 1,100 of these animals have been removed from our city, along with the fear they create. Lancaster is now a great deal safer because of it.’
“Parris believes there is a correlation between the results of the dog ordinance and a drop in the city’s gang crime rate. Lancaster’s violent gang crime, which includes homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault, fell by 45% last year, and there was a drop in overall gang crime by 41%, Parris said, citing statistics from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
“Under the dog ordinance, a hearing officer can deem a dog to be potentially dangerous, for example, if the animal becomes aggressive when unprovoked. The dog can be impounded, and the owner must have it properly licensed, implanted with a microchip and vaccinated at his own cost before the animal’s release.
“Dogs deemed to be vicious can be destroyed if they are determined to be a significant threat to public safety, according to the ordinance.”
Lancaster’s dog ordinance is cited in helping to drive down gang crime, by Carlos Lozano, LA Times, January 21, 2010-01-23
I feel sorry for the dogs, but if those percentage drops are for real, this is something Los Angeles should give some thought to.
Full disclosure: Although I like dogs and had a Weimaraner as a kid (he was my best friend), the big ones kind of scare me.
And here’s a bonus scary dog story for y’all:
“Prosecutors said the verdicts amounted to justice for Whipple a lacrosse coach at St. Mary’s College who was mauled to death Jan. 26 2001 in the hall outside her apartment in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights.
“The prosecution argued and the jury agreed that Knoller and Noel had ample warning that the two 120-pound Presa Canario dogs they were keeping in their apartment down the hallway from Whipple were vicious ‘time bombs.’
“‘This could have happened any time’ jury foreman Don Newton said. ‘This is a dangerous situation set up by her and her husband’s actions that led to the death of Diane Whipple.'”
Why jury called it murder / Negligence deception cited in mauling trial, by Jaxon Van Derbeken, SF Chronicle, March 22, 2010
I still feel sorry for the dog, but I feel sorrier for the woman, and her friends and family, who was mauled to death.