As we bring 2008 to a close, we look forward to making positive strides in the fight against breed specific legislation (BSL). We saw far too many breed bans and regulations passed this year, and we are looking at some potentially big fights in 2009 – especially where Texas is concerned.
BSL can and should be a concern to each and every dog owner, regardless of the breed of dog they own.
Not only do the statistics reveal that ALL dogs, regardless of breed, can and do bite, but common sense dictates that you cannot determine whether a dog is or is not “dangerous” simply based on the way it looks. It is a ludicrous theory – yet innocent dogs die based on this assumption every day.
As a dog owner, how do you justify NOT doing something to ensure that innocent dogs aren’t persecuted simply because they meet a certain physical description?
What happens when the physical criteria of a “dangerous” dog changes? What happens when the criteria includes your dog?
Property rights (which, by the way, come along with being a dog OWNER – not a dog GUARDIAN) are being set aside because elected officials have decided that breed bans are a “reasonable means” by which to ensure community safety. Believe it or not, “reasonableness” in the eyes of the law is very, very easy to assert and prevail. It is up to us – the responsible dog owners – to prove that there is nothing reasonable about breed bans. The way to do that is through statistics. How many cities have passed breed bans yet their statistics continue to go up every year?
BSL can strike fear and panic in your heart like nothing else.
It can strike at any time – out of the blue – and it can completely turn your entire life upside down. Your dog can be taken away – no explanation – just because someone made a decision that your dog is “dangerous” due to his or her appearance – not due to his or her actions or behavior.
Or maybe you’re “lucky.” Maybe you can keep your dog – but in order to do so, you must adhere to ridiculous and costly restrictions – restrictions that are not applied to the owners of true vicious dogs simply because their dog doesn’t look a certain way.
Breed specific laws are passed not due to the actions of responsible dog owners (or their dogs) – but are typically knee-jerk reactions to an incident sparked by an irresponsible owner. Hard to believe, but an entire city can pay the price for the actions of just one irresponsible dog owner. It happens more often than you think. Just as unfortunate are the laws passed based purely on fear and hype, with city officials stating they were being “proactive.”
You might be thinking this could never happen in your town or you don’t own one of “those” dogs.
Its easy to push BSL aside thinking it doesn’t affect you – that its someone else’s fight.
It is not.
BSL is real. Innocent dogs are dying. We need ALL DOG OWNERS to fight discriminatory laws.
Maybe you think you shouldn’t be concerned because you don’t own a “pit bull”? Well, let this be a wake up call to you… There is no such thing as a simple “pit bull ban” anymore. Ordinances are worded such that they include any dog that simply LOOKS LIKE a pit bull. Owners of labs, boxers, Apit bull bans.” If you have a minute, please check out my website to review excerpts taken from “pit bull bans” passed in various cities across the country., and the 20 or so other breeds (and lets not forget those mixes), can and are affected by so-called “
Still not convinced? In 2008 we saw several laws passed against rottweilers, dobermans, German shepherds, mastiffs, American bulldogs, , and several other breeds. One town in Ohio went so far as to ban presa canarios simply because a resident stated they were going to get one! No presas resided in the town, nor had one ever resided there. If that’s not a law based on fear and hype, I don’t know what is.
Just a thought… what happens when the above mentioned dogs are successfully banned and dog attacks continue to happen? Cities ban more breeds in an attempt to ensure “community safety.” Why…that’s only “reasonable”, isn’t it??
The time to fight breed specific legislation is RIGHT NOW, before it knocks at your front door. Responsible dog owners must fight for the right to own the dog of their choice before we lose that opportunity.
What can you do?
Join your local responsible dog owners club. If you don’t have one, start one. Touch base with local kennel clubs. The united voice of many has an incredible impact.
If you are the owner of a currently targeted breed, be an outspoken breed advocate. Show off your breed ambassador every opportunity you get.
Better yet, be an outspoken breed specific legislation opponent.
Educate your community on responsible dog ownership.
When you hear of a proposed breed ban, ALWAYS write letters, make phone calls, help the officials to make informed decision.
It could be YOUR town tomorrow… it could be YOUR dog.
Fight for laws that hold irresponsible owners accountable rather than those that condemn an entire breed based on appearances and manipulated “statistics.”
Join a BSL group to network with other owners just as passionate as you are about maintaining the right to own the dog of their choice and ending BSL once and for all. There are many groups out there…find the one that is right for you!
WE NEED YOU – OUR DOGS NEED YOU – TO BE A VOICE.
Owners of dogs of ALL breeds need to stand united in the fight against breed specific legislation. We must be a force to reckon with when our ability to own the dog of our choice is threatened, or worse – simply taken away from us.
Please don’t simply read this and move on to the next blog.
BSL is a very real heartbreak for many people, and its a heartbreak that is felt somewhere across this country every single day.
Please get involved in the fight against BSL so the heartbreak can stop once and for all.
In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr…. Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
Please don’t be silent where BSL is concerned.
Bless the Bullys
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