Potential pet threat met by supervisors

March 7, 2012

San Luis Obispo County’s animal kingdom better watch its collective manners, because supervisors Tuesday took aim at creatures displaying  “menacing and threatening” behavior.

Offenders soon may be taken into custody.

Animals Services Director Eric Anderson told supervisors that current ordinance makes it difficult for officials to deal with animals posing “a potential risk,” but which have not yet actually attacked a person or other animals.

Fines will be increased for owners who fail after being warned to corral aggressive animals, and a second offense by an animal will result in its confinement. Property owners, not just pet owners, will now share liability.

Supervisors will hear revisions of the proposed ordinance April 10.


Hodin pretty well said it. But for those of you who still cling to ‘small government’ issues I find your attitude idiotic. One of the most vociferous complainers on the particular article admits to calling the police because of a nasty dog next door!

I don’t know, how can I cope with those who will not see? It is clear that irresponsible (and worse than that, the idiots who claim ignorance after their pit bull kills) owners create all sorts of havoc. Often whole neighborhoods are held hostage to the barking, snarling, and attacks (real or threatened). Its about time the laws were tightened up, and on the lax landlords too. They will get a warning and then have the option of dumping the idiot tenant or taking on liability for the animal (and human) with no manners.

People, know why we have so many laws, and taxes to support enforcement of them? Duh!!! Because many people don’t have any manners; they act poorly and abuse others. So laws are passed to fix that. You whiners about laws ought to encourage your lazy and incompetent neighbors, friends and family to learn and exhibit some manners.

Randy Sheila

Like the nice pit bull that accidentally got loose in my hood last year and ripped the throats out of 3 adult goats and than sat down for a nice meal. That animal is still alive today, just relocated to another, unsuspecting neighborhood. If you have kids and you are scared, take care of it yourself and don’t rely on laws and their enforcement. I’ve never seen a dog accuse anyone of anything, or press charges, and as pirates say….

The Gimlet Eye

“a potential risk”?

Whatever happened to the word “danger”? Why is everything always a “risk” now?


It’s because of a paradigm shift in our approach to homeland security. lol


And still the scum of the earth (some of our local politicians) roam free menacing and threatening the public without any ordinances to curb their asses.


I can’t wait until the Supervisors can pass a County Code, which states ” If he/she LOOKS like a Child molseter, thief, drug addict, then they need to be fined/arrested and/or their parents need to be fined for producing this criminal, because of an act that they may/may not do in the future. That would make it alot easier for the police to arrest people before an actual STATE or FEDERAL law was broken. Sounds a little like “MINORITY REPORT “


Agree completely

Jack L

Not sure what it means but it could be code for…….”if you own a pit bull and are a gangbanger or lowlife, we may consider you to untrustworthy to maintain your animal properly when children and the elderly are present”. OR….maybe kinda like if some person was behind a fence always screaming and yelling at passersby and people were waiting and cringing until he/she got out into public space and went postal? Not sure, but this popped into my withered Wednesday mind.


This proposed new law is aimed at animals that are already confined or leashed. The animals are already under control that are being complained about. People complained because they are scared of what may happen “if” that “mean dog” jumps the fence, or breaks the leash. What defines “menacing?” is it a personal fear? My child is afraid of most strange animals. Does that mean that when we walk by a fenced yard along the sidewalk and a dog lets out a bark and the child gets scared, it should be reported, dog be quarantined, and the owner and landlord get fined?

Stupid proposal for a law. I am no lawyer, but I doubt it would stand up constitutionally if challenged. Enforcement would probably bring costly lawsuits to the county also. I am sure more dog catchers and expansion of Animal Control department are on the horizon too. We need to reduce Government, not continue to create more and bigger Government.


You should listen to the recording of the hearing if you’re interested in the reasoning behind the proposed ordinance. Menacing (according to animal services) means behavior which implies that if the animal were to escape it’s confinement, it would most likely pursue & attack its prey. It’s predatory behavior, not defensive behavior. Your example is of defensive behavior. The ordinance is meant to fill a gap in the current mix of local & state law governing aggressive animals, by trying to prevent attacks, rather than waiting for an attack to occur. There is nothing in current law to help prevent a disfiguring attack on your child by a truly aggressive animal which is not kept securely. There is nothing in the new law to limit the ability to keep an aggressive animal. One of the justifications for the new ordinance was the recent example of a pair of escaped pythons (one of which was over 20 ft in length). If they were adequately confined, they wouldn’t have been able to escape. A 20 ft. python would make short work of a small child.


Leash that snake. There are already leash laws in place. What is aggressive and menacing about a snake? What about rattlesnakes and black widows? Some people are just afraid. You can not legislate shit from happening. I once had a lap dog attack me while on some jerks lap at a concert. The dog was on a retractible leash, but still got ahold of my pant leg. It was after my leashed heeled dog. that dog got kicked right back into the jerk’s lap. I know there are irresponsible owners out there, but the last thing we need are more laws and agencies to regulate our lives.


So you took your dog to a concert? Really? And then you’re offended because some other like minded jerk’s dog takes a bite out of you?

The problem is not the dog, it’s self centered people that have a of compulsive need to be seen with a dog as some sort of life style accessory.

I know this comment is wasted on you, I’m just venting.


I have to agree about the problem with lack of adequate confinement of aggressive dogs.

Here is a perfect case point: Last year my neighbors dog jumped his 4 foot fence and killed my other neighbors dog. The neighbor who had the aggressive dog lives at the bottom of our street where everyone’s mail boxes are located and that dog used to jump up and down trying to get over that fence every time any of us went down to get our mail. We were all concerned that the dog would one day make it over the fence and were even concerned about the small children that lived in a home two houses away. Many neighbors tried but nothing could be done about the threat of the dog as he had never got over the fence and attacked anyone.

Then one day last year he did get over the fence and after he killed the little dog across the street who was out in his own front yard relieving himself, he took chase of a child that was running home but another neighbor grabbed the child up and the dog owner got there simultaneously. After that, my neighbor got rid of the vicious dog immediately but it never should have come to what it did and this new ordinance is exactly what we all needed back then. It isn’t right that an entire neighborhood should be afraid to pick up their mail or allow their child or pet out in the front yard.


P.S. What bothers me is, why drag the landlords into it? Since when is it the landlords fault when a tenant acts irresponsibly? Like I said earlier, it now will cause a landlord to refuse to rent to pet owners because of the added liability and most dogs are not aggressive. I can not condone this kind of pet discrimination, its just plain wrong. Renters already have it hard enough to find a place that will allow them to keep their dog. I would never do that to a renter with a pet as long as the dog was well trained and didn’t eat the carpets or relieve himself in the house. As for gardens and lawns, its easy enough to charge a special deposit in case the pet owners don’t see to it that the dog doesn’t dig everything up as some dogs are diggers but to add liability to a landlord in case the dog bites somebody or gets out is just ridiculous in fact its BULLS**T, in my opinion.


“Since when is it the landlords fault when a tenant acts irresponsibly?” Vicarious liability. Litigation. Deep pocket and the litigious nature of our state. When I was a tenant, I had a dog and a cat and my landlord was quite understanding. But my pet liability became their vicarious liability the moment they knew about my pets and allowed me to keep them on their owned property. That’s a rough definition of a vicarious liability. It isn’t right, I don’t agree with it, but it is the reality of life in California. ” Let’s sue and make what we can from whomever we can” attitude.


Slowtime, I understand what you’re saying and I too am concerned that just like what often happens with other laws, this new law will be taken too far. However, please read my post below about what happened last year right here in my own little neighborhood. Some dogs need a 6 ft fence rather than 4 feet and some dogs even need a stockade fence rather than a chain link fence.

When everyone knows that a certain dog is a BIG MENACE and its not about if he will attack but WHEN will he do it and to whom, what else can be done if there is no protection until it actually happens ??


I too once had a neighbor that was irresponsible with his dog. I could not sit in my back yard without this dog trying to chew through the fence and insistently bark and growl at me and my dogs. Calls to the PD didn’t work (there was a barking dog ordinance), the owner didn’t care (he would keep the dog in for a few days after I complained), but what did work was a spray bottle filled with tabassco sauce. The dog figured it out after several days of that.

Another law won’t do much. It has to be enforced, and enforceable. exsiting doggie laws are ineffective as it is now. Because of these jerk owners, dogs are already banned from most areas they were allowed only a few years ago.


Do we need an ordinance to deal with the “menacing and threatening” behavior of our supervisors? I guess maybe we do, it’s called an election and hopefully in the next one they get the message.

Though I wouldn’t mind seeing our supervisors taken into custody.

Spirit Filled

Where does thiis leave the Paso chief?


“Property owners, not just pet owners, will now share liability.”

What the heck does that mean? The only thing I can deduce from that is that if a person is a renter the landlord can be held liable. I sure hope I’m wrong because that will give landlords further cause/excuses not to allow renters to have pets.There is already too much discrimination against pets as it is.Pets are people too.

Oh Man, that dog sure looks mean !!!!!!!! There is no excuse not to keep a pet on his own property and there is no excuse for a pet to be menacing unless he is defending his own property. If a pet owner can’t control his nasty dog, he deserves to be fined and have the dog taken away until he builds a 6 foot fence. I don’t have a problem with that.


That dog is catching a ball, not necessarily mean. Is it menacing and aggressive? Probably not, but it is a “labeled” breed showing it’s teeth in a natural pose caught in a split second with fast photography. Scary, huh? If the ordinance goes through, that dog is scary enough to be seized by the County and the owner and landlord fined. Dumb law.

Here are some more “mean” dogs. http://lmgtfy.com/?q=underwater+dog+images



Yes, I saw the toy and know that the dog is playing in that photo. However, there are vicious dogs that approach people and especially other peoples dogs in a menacing fashion and I have seen a dog take on that sort of posture when he wasn’t playing……. it’s quite unnerving to experience and unfortunately, some owners of vicious dogs don’t seem to have a problem with it since they aren’t the ones that their dogs scare the living crap out of.

I should add that my experience of Pitt Bulls is that they are loving, gentle family dogs to their owners and children if they are raised around them. In fact, I’ve never run across a Pit Bull that didn’t love people, BUT what I find all too common is that they can be highly aggressive towards other animals.I don’t know why that is but I had a friend who stayed here for a while and she had a 1/2 Pit Bull 1/2 German Bull dog mix. That dog was the cutest, funniest, most loving “big oof” (105 lbs) but I was afraid to walk him because he hated all other “male dogs” (loved all females even Chihuahuas could rule him if they were female). He was too powerful for me to control and if he saw a male dog I was always terrified as to what might happen. Consequently, when I was babysitting, the dog only went out in the back yard on a leash to relieve himself and stayed in the house 24/7. I can understand why people wouldn’t want me walking that dog and I can understand why I should be fined for doing so, if I did it…..