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A. Purpose And Intent: Pit bull breeds and pit bull mixes constitute a majority of unadopted dogs held in animal shelters. It is the purpose and intent of this section that no person shall own or keep a "pit bull" (as defined below) over the age of four (4) months which has not been spayed or neutered, except as identified in subsection E of this section.
B. Definitions: For purposes of this section, "pit bull" is defined as any Staffordshire bull terrier, American pit bull terrier or American Staffordshire terrier breed of dog, or any mixed breed of dog which contains, as an element of its breeding, any of these breeds so as to be identifiable as partially of the breed of Staffordshire bull terrier or American pit bull terrier or American Staffordshire terrier, any dog displaying the physical traits of any one or more of the above breeds, or any dog exhibiting those distinguishing characteristics that conform to the standards established by the American Kennel Club ("AKC") or United Kennel Club ("UKC") for any of the above breeds.
C. Determination Of The Breed:
1. If an owner, guardian or keeper is unsure as to whether or not his/her unspayed and/or unneutered dog is a pit bull, she/he may make an appointment with their veterinarian to determine as to whether or not the dog is a "pit bull", as defined in this section. Proof of determined breed(s) shall be provided to town of Yucca Valley animal care and control services and will be kept on file with the licensing record.
2. If an owner, guardian or keeper is unsure as to whether or not his/her unspayed and/or unneutered dog is a pit bull and does not wish to use a veterinarian to determine as to whether or not the dog is a pit bull then he/she may make an appointment with animal care and control services at which a staff member shall make a determination as to whether or not the dog is a pit bull. If the dog owner, guardian or keeper wishes to appeal the determination the dog is a pit bull, within five (5) business days of the staff member's determination he/she may request a hearing before the animal care and control manager or his/her designee. The hearing shall be no more than thirty (30) days after the manager receives the request. The hearing may be informal and the rules of evidence are not strictly observed. The decision of the manager or his/her designee is final.
D. Mandatory Spaying And Neutering Of Pit Bulls And Pit Bull Types: Pursuant to California Health And Safety Code 122331, no person shall own or keep a "pit bull" or pit bull type dog, as defined in this section, over the age of four (4) months which has not been spayed or neutered. This spay/neuter requirement does not apply to that class of pit bulls identified in subsection E of this section.
E. Exceptions: The following pit bulls are exempt from the spay/neuter requirement set forth in subsection D of this section: 1) a purebred Staffordshire bull terrier, purebred American pit bull terrier or purebred American Staffordshire terrier, recognized by, and registered with, the American Kennel Club (AKC), United Kennel Club (UKC) for which proof of registration shall be provided to town of Yucca Valley animal care and control services; 2) a dog used by a law enforcement agency for law enforcement purposes; 3) a qualified service or assistance dog as defined in Food And Agricultural Code section 30850; or 4) a dog which is unable to be spayed or neutered without a high likelihood of suffering serious bodily harm or death due to age or infirmity in which the owner or keeper of such dog provides to the animal control officer written confirmation of the condition from a licensed veterinarian.
F. Enforcement And Penalties: In accordance with section 836.5 of the California Penal Code, the civil and criminal provisions of this section may be enforced by those persons or agencies designated by municipal authority. Violations of this section may also be punishable in accordance with title 1, chapter 1.02, sections 1.02.010 through 1.01.090 of this code. It shall be a violation of this section to interfere with the animal control officer in the performance of his/her duties.
G. Reporting Requirements: As required by California Health And Safety Code section 122331(b), the animal control officer shall measure the effect of this section by compiling statistical information on dog bites. The information shall, at a minimum, identify dog bites by severity, the breed of the dog involved, whether the dog was altered, and whether the breed of dog was subject to the spay/neuter program established hereby. These statistics shall be submitted quarterly to the state public health veterinarian. (Ord. 244, 10-15-2013)