Interesting happenings in Sacramento: A new bill is asking lawmakers to grant authorities the right to seize & sell property used for dog fighting. SB 1775
The ACLU has come out against the bill in a big way. We aren't sure what to think of it ourselves. How will this affect property owners who unknowingly rent to dog fighters? Does this mean landlords will be even less likely to rent to dog owners?
Photo: Senator Ron Calderon (D-Montebello) announcing bill. Brian Baer, Sacbee.com
One upshot: The bill allows monies collected from seized properties to be used to reimburse law enforcement and humane investigators AND to care for the animals in the shelters and rescue groups. Hey, thanks guys.
(3) To local nonprofit organizations exempt under Section 501(c)
(3) of the Internal Revenue Code whose primary activities include
ongoing rescue, foster, or other care of animals that are the victims
We're not sure how realistic it would be to move those dollars, but we appreciate the language that identifies the dogs as victims. This signals a change in how legislators see exploited animals like pit bulls. As far as we know, this is only the second time this distinction has been spelled out in official documents. The first was when Judge Hudson ordered Vick to pay restitution for the "care and maintenance of the victim pit bull dogs." Yay, progress.
But Calderon loses ground when he slips some moldy myths into his bill:
(5) Dogfighting not only encourages and furthers antisocial values
and violence but it also results in the antisocialization of dogs
thereby making them a danger to the community at large. Police
officers, firefighters, utility, and other municipal workers are at
increasing risk in the course of their employment on both public and
private property because of the epidemic number of dogs that have
been bred and trained to fight each other as well as other animals,
small children, and adults.
THUD. Fighting dogs..."Trained to fight small children and adults?" Ohhhhh brother.
We're pleased that Sacramento is looking out for fight victims and their caretakers, but the language is painfully damaging to the mission of helping those victims. Two steps forward, three steps back.