No more rattlesnake aversion training for dogs in San Diego county

Snake Charmer

Happiness is a warm gut pile
Oct 13, 2011
San Diego
As you may or may not know rattlesnake aversion training for dogs has come under fire from animal rights activists in San Diego county, earlier this year a complaint was registered with San Diego county animal services regarding the use of rattlesnakes to train dogs to avoid, the complaint was that it is is cruel and stressful to the snakes. Because of the complaint animal services has begun enforcing an ordinance in the county that prohibits the possession of venomous reptiles. Animal services has contacted the aversion trainers and told us we can no longer offer this service and said in no uncertain terms that we will be cited if we continue.

Anyone that has had their dog trained to avoid knows that it is a safe and effective method of teaching a dog to avoid. This is not just about hunting dogs its about every dog in the county. San Diego is a city and county of canyons and open spaces and rattlesnakes exist from the beaches to the deserts and are a very real threat to dogs that have not been trained. Recently there has been a spate of bites in the north county beach areas with one Encinitas vet proclaiming on News 8 that aversion training is essential to keeping dogs safe. Dogs that have not been trained typically will walk right up to a rattling snake and put their nose right on it to investigate (I have seen this thousands of times in the clinics we conduct) If your dog hasn't been trained you run a very high risk of a bad outcome to an encounter.

I'm not one to take this kind of stuff lying down and have been working with my county supervisor Bill Horn to change the ordinance to allow possession of rattlesnakes for aversion training. Mr Horn is willing to make this an agenda item but we will need the support of the other supervisors in order to get the ordinance changed. I have enlisted the help of the San Diego county wildlife federation, other kennel clubs and dog organizations in the county but there is more that needs to be done. WE NEED YOUR HELP! in working with Mr Horns office they have told me that we need to get the general public involved, The supervisors need to hear from you, tentatively we are scheduled to go in front of the board on June 19Th to present our concerns, it is important that the supervisors hear from you before the meeting. If we go in front of the board and fail to get a vote or are defeated there is little to no chance we will be able to present our case in the future. We need to build a concensus among the supervisors before the meeting and hopefully have the votes we need before the meeting takes place. We've already lost to the anti's recently with the passage of the ban on dogs for bear hunting don't let these misinformed zealots tell us what we can and cannot do to keep our dogs safe from this very real threat. Please call, email or write your county supervisor and let them know how you feel and that you want the ordinance amended to allow possession for dog training purposes. The board has a web site with contact info if you are uncertain of your district or want to communicate to them through it. This is are one chance to do the right thing and keep our pets safe. Please don't sit back and watch this happen get involved and use your voice to make a difference we can fix this if we work together.
Man I'm sorry to here I do hope this will be lifted for many reason's good luck.
I will also send my concerns and complaints across.
Hey Fred is there any kind of list for veterinarians in the county? If you can get the vets on board I think that would go along ways toward your goal.
LP, not sure, its on my list of things that will get done. for the past few weeks all my time beyond my basic chores and making a living have been spent with this issue. I have reached out to a vet in north county that was promoting aversion training on News 8 a couple weeks ago and hope to have them address the board as well. Come on all you folks out there speak up this is our county and we pay these supervisors to tend to our concerns.

This will help people identify who their supervisors are. I sent an e-mail to Diane Jacobs,hope it helps.
Here is the letter I sent this morning to my supervisor!

Below is what you submitted to [email protected] FROM xxxxxxxxxxxxxx On 5/26/2012 AT 8:36:45 AM

Name: John xxxxxxx

Address: xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Email Address: xxxxxxxxxxxx

Subject: My right to keep my dog safe


I am contacting you to ask for your support in amending a county ordinance that has caused a de facto ban on rattlesnake aversion training for dogs in San Diego County. Because of a prohibition on the possession of venomous reptiles in the county animal services has told the aversion trainers in SD County that they can no longer offer their services in the city or unincorporated parts of the county. Because of a few complaints animal services began enforcement of the ordinance denying the residents of the county a simple and effective way of preventing what can become a costly and deadly event.
Rattlesnakes are a real threat to humans and pets in San Diego County with many pets and humans being bitten every year. I am asking you to amend the ordinance to allow for possession of rattlesnakes by dog trainers for aversion training purposes so that the residents of San Diego county can continue to have the opportunity to protect their pets from this very real threat.

Thanks for hearing my very real challenge,

Thanks John, You will get a boilerplate response from Cox, it will say that the ban is for public safety that the aversion training is controversial and unproven and anyone wants their dog aversion trained needs to go outside of animal services jurisdiction. Everyone that has emailed him has gotten the same reply. I responded to his response with a reply stating that his boilerplate response is inadequate and telling members of his community to go somewhere else to get the training is not taking the concerns of his community seriously and that he really needs to put some effort into this and learn about the issue and what we are specifically asking for rather than push it off on the community by telling them to go somewhere else. I would also suggest to everyone that they contact all the supervisors so the every supervisor is hearing from each of us. Come on folks speak up don't let the tree huggers prevail on this one.

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