Councilmember Madison Says City Can’t Wait, Pit Bulls Must Be Controlled Now

Published : Wednesday, January 29, 2014 | 11:51 AM

Councilmember Steve Madison points to a pit bull attack Wednesday morning as further evidence that the City Council needs to pass his ordinance mandating all pit bulls be spayed or neutered.

Madison spoke this morning after a cyclist was forced to the roof of a car along Fair Oaks Avenue to escape the attack of three pit bull or pit bull mix dogs earlier today. Police officers shot all three dogs with a shotgun, killing one and injuring the other two.

“[Councilmember] Terry Tornek said the evidence doesn’t support it. I don’t know how someone could make that statement, it’s just so clearly false,” Madison said. “To me it’s a case where we should exercise our police power as a city, as a government to impose at least some modest regulation so that we address this.”

This attack comes on the heels of a similar report on Jan. 11 in which a growling pit bull trapped a man inside his car in Northwest Pasadena until the police arrived with a tazer gun. That dog shook off the tazer’s effect and ran away at that time, only to be captured days later.

“This is not something I’m making up. I don’t have anything against pit bulls per se, it’s just [that] no social scientist who looks at this data could draw any conclusion other than these dogs are very dangerous,” Madison said.

Madison pointed out that this attack comes just 36 hours before his colleagues had rejected a “modest” ordinance that did not impose a ban of pit bulls, but required them to be spayed and neutered. He noted that most of the “passionate pit bull lovers” were probably responsible and loving dog owners who already had their dogs spay and neutered.

“When you have a room packed full of passionate pit bull lovers and they’re telling you please don’t do this my dog is great, it’s easy just to put your finger in the wind and not act,” Madison said.

However, he said the conversation should be about the data and not each pit bull owner’s experience. He noted that last year 31 deaths in the country were caused by pit bulls. He also said five of five dog related deaths were caused by pit bulls last year in California, with three of those five being the family pet attacking a family member.

Madison says the City can’t wait six months to discuss a mandatory spay and neuter of all dogs because the problem right now is pit bulls.

“I’ve been working on pit bulls for years, everybody says ‘lets just study the issue.’ We don’t need to study this anymore. This is a clear and present danger and we need to act now. I’ll be happy to discus spay and neutering parakeets and lizards and goldfish and all the rest, but right now those aren’t the threats. The threats are pit bulls,” Madison said.