Rancheria dog ban could affect shelter
As a result, animal shelters like the Lassen County Animal Shelter could have an influx of vicious breeds of dogs coming in the near future. That’s a fact that Lassen County Animal Control Supervisor Judy Walesch said would only lead to a harsh reality.
“There’s just not that many people who would want a fully grown pit bull,” Walesch said. “We don’t discriminate against which dogs we take in, but if it comes down to a lack of space, then we would have to euthanize them.”
According to a copy of the letter obtained by the Times, all Mutual Help Participants are required to comply with housing policies that govern their lease, and failure to comply with the requirements regarding pets could result in the termination of a participant’s lease.
Walesch said she could understand the Rancheria’s viewpoint. She said there are landowners in the state that have implemented rules to keep people from having vicious breeds of dogs. Some landlords in the state will have it on their leases that dangerous breeds of dogs aren’t allowed on the premises.
Walesch said it’s an unfortunate circumstance for many of the dogs. She explained while it is generally an argument of nature versus nurture, the act of aggression toward people or other animals is something that is bred into a dog through people. She explained that the breed of the dog doesn’t even matter most of the time. A dog can be as friendly or loving as can be, but how a person raises the dog or if there were signs of aggression in the dog’s bloodline, it can have the potential to bite.
Walesch said if certain types of dogs are indeed banned from the Rancheria, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are better off going to a random family than the shelter. While she said abandoning dogs is never a good answer, unless you know the person who you would be giving the dog to, there’s no way of telling whether they would be a good owner or not.
At the Aug. 6 Susanville City Council meeting, the city renewed its Memorandum of Understanding with the rancheria for emergency services. At that meeting, Susanville Police Department Captain Tom Downing confirmed there was enough activity within the rancheria and city limits for a fulltime dog-catcher. He said activity on the lower rancheria has been lower than in past years, primarily because of the combined efforts of the SPD and the rancheria. He said the rancheria’s new animal control ordinance was also a key factor in the reduced numbers.
As a way of putting it into context, Downing said the SPD has one part-time animal control officer that also fills three other positions, all of which could be fulltime positions.
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