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Save dogs' lives by revising wording of county dangerous dog ordinance

Help prevent tragic and unnecessary animal euthanization!  Our precious, loving dogs, Duke and Daisy not yet three years old, will be euthanized in a Santa Barbara county animal shelter.  Animal services has determined that Duke and Daisy are dangerous because they acted on their natural pack/prey instincts and fatally injured several cats. While we grieve for the cats and their owners who had their special friends taken from them in such a manner, we want to emphasize that neither Duke nor Daisy has ever displayed dangerous or harmful behavior towards other dogs or humans.  Duke and Daisy were regular visitors to our local dog park where they were favorites with dogs, owners, and small, curious children! The current wording of the Santa Barbara county dangerous dog ordinance requires that all dogs which are determined dangerous SHALL be destroyed.  This is a blanket sentence which does not allow for any flexibility regardless of a dog's history of behavior and interaction with people and other animals. After the dangerous dog determination was made by county animal services, we were intent on appealing it in an effort to save our puppies!  At the appellate hearing, we had the support of both an animal trainer and a veterinarian who each agreed that Duke and Daisy had been simply acting on the default nature of dogs when they went after the cats and that both had every opportunity to be retrained and rehabilitated so that they would no longer resort to this default instinct.  The Dog Adoption and Welfare Group in Santa Barbara had arranged for both dogs to be retrained at a rehabilitation center in Montana and then readopted separately, allowing them to enjoy happy lives as they brought joy and companionship to their lucky new owners. Due to the wording of the ordinance, the judge's hands were all but tied with regard to allowing Duke and Daisy to take advantage of the opportunity to be rehabilitated. Prior to the hearing, the judge, after reviewing all the information in the case, graciously presented both sides with the precedent-setting chance to allow at least one of the dogs to be retrained in Montana.  Animal services representatives refused to permit such a decision, most likely based on the rigid wording of the ordinance. We petition the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors to revise the wording in the dangerous dog ordinance by replacing the words SHALL BE DESTROYED with MAY BE DESTROYED.  This will allow determinations to be made on a case-by-case basis providing for a consideration of a dog's history of behavior and interaction with people when life or death decisions have to be made. All signatures are welcome, but we earnestly ask that all Santa Barbara county residents who care about preventing the unnecessary and untimely deaths of loving animals sign this petition. At least one thousand signatures from those residing in northern Santa Barbara county is our goal. Please help us give animal services and the court system the flexibility to make better decisions with regard to dangerous dogs. The change we seek may allow many dogs the opportunity to be rehabilitated while maintaining the safety of our communities by keeping truly dangerous animals off the streets. Your support may help to save the lives of countless beloved pets and friends.  Thank you for taking the time to read and sign this petition! 

This petition was delivered to:
  • 5th District Supervisor Steve Lavagnino Chair
    Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors
  • 1st District Supervisor
    Salud Carbajal
  • 2nd District Supervisor Vice-Chair
    Janet Wolf
  • 3rd District Supervisor
    Doreen Farr
  • 4th District Supervisor
    Peter Adam


Kelley Henning started this petition with a single signature, and now has 2,048 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.