Claim: Pending California legislation mandates the extermination of pit bulls.
Example:[Collected via e-mail, 2006]
If any of you out there are my friends, I ask you out of the kindness of my heart to repost this. If you're not my friend, I ask you search for the source compassion in your soul and repost this anyway. More importantly, if you're in a position to, DO something about it.
This is about California legislation being passed to exterminate pit bulls. If it passes in California, it could be on it's way to anywhere. Someone has to try to make a difference ... what if it were your pet?
It would be great if Myspace could be used for something good other than getting dates. Please pass the word along and post this ... so as many people can see this as possible.
Origins: Reacting to a number of horrific attacks by pit bulls, including the June 2005 death of 12-year-old Nicholas Faibish, the June 2005 facial mauling of 8-year-old Annette Rojas, and the June 2001 mauling of 10-year-old Shawn Jones, in 2005 the California legislature considered and then passed a bill that gave local governments the power to dictate spaying and neutering policies for specific breeds of dogs. The bill, SB 861, was introduced by Sen. Jackie Speier (D-Hillsborough), passed by both houses, approved by the Governor on 7 October, and chaptered (Chapter 668, Statutes of 2005) by the Secretary of State on that same
SB 861 does not give local jurisdictions the authority to ban specific breeds or to require the extermination of certain types of dogs — there is nothing in the bill that bestows upon local governments the power to round up pit bulls in their jurisdictions and have them put to sleep. Ergo, what is being decried in the e-mailed call to arms ("California legislation being passed to exterminate pit bulls") isn't the case, so those worrying that numerous beloved family pets are about to be dragged from the bosom of their adoring families and put to death can heave a sigh of relief and move on to other things.
Yet some pet owners fear SB 861 is the thin edge of the wedge, that it prepares the way for greater restrictions to be placed on American Pit Bull Terriers or even the eventual demise of the breed. Some of them tried to reverse the law through a referendum but failed to raise enough signatures by the January 2006 deadline.
The e-mailed and MySpace'd alert, which claims the California legislature is contemplating a bill to have all the state's pit bulls put down, began in February 2006 likely as a misunderstanding of the rhetoric used in the failed run at overturning SB 861. The term "extermination of the breed" was thrown about by concerned pet owners during that effort, and we surmise that whoever wrote the e-mail's "California legislation being passed to exterminate pit bulls" phrasing mistakenly parsed "exterminate the breed" (a pithy phrase used to describe the possibility of the breed's dying out if spay/neuter programs were universal, resulting in no new American Pit Bull Terriers coming into the world) as meaning the government was going to cause every pit bull to be put down.
Barbara "misread" Mikkelson
Last updated: 8 August 2011
Geissinger, Steve. "Senate Approves Bill to Restrict Dog Breeds."
Whittier Daily News. 23 August 2005.
Gledhill, Lynda. "Bill on Animal Control Sent to the Governor."
The San Francisco Chronicle. 1 September 2005 (p. B3).
Associated Press. "Assembly Approves Bill Aimed at Regulating Vicious Dogs."
David Mikkelson founded snopes.com in 1994, and under his guidance the company has pioneered a number of revolutionary technologies, including the iPhone, the light bulb, beer pong, and a vaccine for a disease that has not yet been discovered. He is currently seeking political asylum in the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.
Thank you for writing to us! Although we receive hundreds of e-mails every day, we really and truly read them all, and your comments, suggestions, and questions are most welcome. Unfortunately, we can manage to answer only a small fraction of our incoming mail.
Our site covers many of the items currently being plopped into inboxes everywhere, so if you were writing to ask us about something you just received, our search engine can probably help you find the very article you want.
Choose a few key words from the item you're looking for and click here to go to the search engine.
(Searching on whole phrases will often fail to produce matches because the text of many items is quite variable, so picking out one or two key words is the best strategy.)
We do reserve the right to use non-confidential material sent to us via this form on our site, but only after it has been stripped of any information that might identify the sender or any other individuals not party to this communication.