Pit bulls and pit bull mixes are among the top three breeds of dogs being admitted to inland shelters. Yet, fewer than 10 percent are actually being adopted.
Animal rescue groups have worked to save the dogs.
"Since January 1 this year, we have been able to get 400 dogs out of here (the shelter) and about 40 cats, but quite frankly it hasn't really made a dent. People by the droves keep dumping their animals here because they're not spayed or neutered," according to Kim Sill from Last Chance for Animals.
Starting Friday, Aug. 13, a new law takes effect requiring pit bull owners in unincorporated areas of San Bernardino County to sterilize their dogs, or face stiff fines.
A first offense fine is $100, the second offense $200, and a third offense within the same year costs $500.
"We feel that there is an overpopulation problem resulting from pit bulls, and state law does allow us to establish breed specific legislation or laws to control pet overpopulation of any given breed," according to Brian Cronin of Animal Care Control.
But the new law targets pit bulls because more than one person was fatally attacked by the breed in recent years here. It's fashioned after pit bull legislation first introduced in San Francisco, a city that experienced the same thing.
"The idea of spaying or neutering is to lower the population, because right now every shelter around is way too overcrowded. The minute we can get that under control then other possibilities can happen," according to Teri Seymour of the Humane Society of San Bernardino Valley.
The county is offering $50 and $100 vouchers to help pit bull owners defray the cost of surgery, and comply with the new law.