The animal rights group Global Conservation Group (GCG) has written an open letter to the officials of Watertown, Wisconsin thanking them for introducing a proposal that would ban or regulate pit bulls in the Watertown city limits. In fact, CGC’s Vice President Jordan Turner states the organization places their full support with [the officials] and this proposed ordinance.
Oddly enough, in their letter, GCG admits that pit bulls are not involved in more attacks, nor do they cause greater injury, than any other breed of dog. However, GCG claims pit bulls should be banned because “they are by far, more abused and neglected than all other breeds of dogs.” Mr. Turner goes on to state that “’tough guys’ like to have them as ‘fashion statements’ to make them appear hardcore, but unfortunately the dogs often get neglected and abused or used in illegal dog fighting tournaments.”
So, let me get this straight.
Instead of focusing on these wannabe “tough guys” (otherwise known as the reckless, careless and negligent owners), GCG would rather punish the dogs who have no choice in the person who owns them, no ability to change their circumstances, and no voice to speak for themselves.
The basis for GCG’s support of breed specific legislation is, by far, the most ridiculous, ineffective and inadequate solution to a problem that is, indeed, very real. Yes, there is no denying that pit bulls are among the most misunderstood, abused and neglected dogs out there … but is that the dogs’ fault or is it the owners’ fault?
Pretty easy question to answer, isn’t it?
It is simply naïve to believe that banning, and potentially eliminating, any breed of dog because bad owners exploit and abuse those dogs will prevent those same bad owners from getting another breed and be just as abusive and negligent. The cycle will continue regardless of the breed of dog involved.
Breed specific legislation is never the answer. EDUCATION is, and will always be, the key to changing the vicious circle of irresponsible dog ownership. Attempting to fix the problem by targeting the byproduct of the problem is pointless. Breed specific laws do not promote community safety because they ignore the biggest threat to the community – the reckless, careless and negligent dog owners, and it is simply irresponsible for anyone to promote these types of laws because they do nothing more than give residents a false sense of security.
I spoke with the Watertown city clerk this morning, and the City Council Safety Committee is still drafting their proposal. As such, the ordinance will likely not be on next week’s agenda. Please take this opportunity to write to the Watertown city officials and encourage them to pursue a breed-neutral ordinance that focuses on irresponsible dog owners rather than passing a law that targets dogs on appearance and leaves the community more vulnerable to the truly dangerous dogs (and their dangerous owners) out there.
As always, please be polite and respectful as you are representing all dog owners as a whole.
Mayor Ron Krueger
Mike Hoppenrath, City Clerk
106 Jones Street
P.O. Box 477
Watertown, WI. 53094
Watertown Common Council
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