Saturday, August 30, 2008

Thank you, Watsonville City Council!

Earlier this week, I read that the Watsonville City Council was going to address cracking down on dangerous dogs in the city. The newspaper reported that among the options council members were to consider was restricting certain breeds, like pit bulls and rottweilers. My heart jumped into my throat. Would Watsonville really choose breed specific restrictions? Of course, I was anxious all day and at the end of the work day, I went to the city council meeting like a good citizen and waited for the dangerous dog agenda item, which of course, was scheduled for the very end of the meeting.

Finally, at 9:30 pm, Marc Pimentel, Administrative Services Director and Animal Services Board Member, addressed city council. He suggested that his staff investigate options to better address dangerous dogs and set forth several available options. He recommended strengthening already existing laws; partnering with local animal organizations to develop a public education outreach campaign; and changing who conducts the dangerous dog hearings.

After the presentation, city council members commented and asked questions. And by the time the last council member spoke, I was so proud and pleasantly surprised. ALL members of council, including the mayor, opposed any breed specific measure and believed the problem to stem from the owner, not the dog. ALL council members were in favor of the recommendations made, and ALL were especially in favor of working with others to provide community outreach. The city staff agreed to research the recommendations and come back at a later date with more specific proposals for council's approval.
News: Watsonville Rejects Targeting

WOW! Viva progressive thinking. If you have a minute, please send a quick email to the council to thank them for not only focusing on the right end of the leash, but also for realizing that education and public outreach is a more effective tool than a breed-specific band-aid:
Contact Info


Jon Low said...


Congratulations for doing such a great job. It's a comfort to know that the ideals of acceptance and open-mindedness here in Northern California extend to dogs as well.

I saw the article in the San Jose Mercury News website and put it up on Digg yesterday, but so far no one else has "Dugg" it yet. Digg users please go to

More people need to be aware of BSL. This was a great victory not just for BADRAP or Pit Bulls, but for the rights of animals everywhere. No dog should have to put through what poor Forest had to face in Denver.

Kirsten said...

10-4. Have sent them a thank you. Was a nice change from the usual urgent plea for common sense and better judgement BSL letter... :)

Jon Low said...

I just sent one, too! I BCC'd it to

Caveat said...

I thought California had a state prohibition against BSL. So, would they have to go a home rule route, like Denver did?

I'm glad that dog owners in Watsonville dodged a bullet.

It would be nice if this were a trend.

Lisa said...

Thanks for being so pro-active with the City Council. Email sent!

Rinalia said...

California allows breed specific mandatory castration, but not any other BSL.

Good job, Watsonville!

Anonymous said...

Way to go Watsonville. One more step for pit bulls.

Donna, we're hoping for a speedy and permanent recovery for Sally. Our Buddy has gone through something similar. Last spring he had a "growth" removed from an outside paw and fortunately it was benign. Then a couple of months later another one showed up in between two toes and had to be removed. Fortunately they didn't have to remove a toe.

Hugs and kisses to Sally from Misty and Buddy.


Anonymous said...

I just received a Thank You note from the Mayor!(no less) for writing to them re their decision.
That felt good.
It makes so much more sense to be a team rather than be at odds,especially when the goal is to reduce bites.

jacklyn said...

This was a very much needed article for me to read as we are in a fight with the Oshkosh, WI City Council over BSL. Unfortunately, I do not think they are being as logical and reasonable as your city council. But, this news gives me hope. If you are interested in any information on our fight, please visit:

Thank you again for posting this!
Jacklyn Brubaker