Remove Libby, Montana's Breed Discriminatory Ordinance
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Mayor & City Council: http://cityoflibby.com/city-council/
To those concerned with the safety, reputation, and future of Libby, Montana,
Here is some information on breed specific laws relevant to Libby. I hope you have a few moments to peruse this pertinent information on misappropriated funds, wasted on harassment and persecution of citicens based on an antiquated, ineffective, and unenforceable law that is also inhumane, as well as unconstitutional in nature.
The amount of city funds spent on making police officers and animal control guess at dog breed identification without any prior training is astounding. This policy only serves to divide the community, and puts law enforcers into an enemy position to otherwise law abiding citizens & pets, all because of the way their dog looks.
There are millions of dogs falling under a physical description that is called "pit bull" (which is slang for multiple breeds and mixes that look similar) living peaceful lives across the country. Some dogs are more likely to bite than others but breed is not a concurrent factor in dog bites when you consult real experts, instead of media biased reporting. Wether a dog is neutered or not, socialized or not, and a "resident dog" vs a "family dog" are far more important determining factors.
The requirements of a Libby resident pit bull to be muzzled and kenneled in such a manner stated within the municipal code, (although the dogs may not have any history or inclination towards violence) is no less than animal cruelty, and may actually increase likelihood of bites due to lack of socialization that happens when you make a dog illegal and require inhumane treatment. Is this a liability Libby wants to have?
Additionally, banning a dog only serves to make that dog more desirable to the criminal type of person who wants the dog to look "tough" as a status symbol. Many will use and abuse the banned dog breeds, potentially increasing chance of dog bites. Furthermore, as one breed becomes illegal, criminals will surely seek out other large, powerful breeds to use and abuse that do not fall under the ban but can still cause harm in the community due to irresponsible, negligent and sometimes criminal owners. Libby should concentrate its efforts and funds on the animal abusers and the pedophiles that seem to both keep getting away with their crimes, and not worry about what dog breeds people might have. All this is coming from someone who has fought to save my own dog from a Presa Canario with known bite history to people as well as other pets. It is the same problem, for the same reason-The people are the problem, regardless of breed chosen to misuse, or handle irresponsibly.
The health benefits of owning a dog are well known. Think for a moment how the stress of having a loved family member taken away from you suddenly, and the health effects of that extended stress and loss. Now imagine you are a pregnant woman under this stress. We know the effects of this! I know personally of two Libby local pregnant moms that encountered severe stress from the asinine enforcement of this law, potentially endangering no less than 4 human lives. Is that enough harm to Libby citizens? One woman spent time in the hospital with pre term labor as a result of such harassment. This is not an acceptable way to spend funds, especially when alternative, breed neutral models exist, that actually work to improve community safety. Libby needs to really investigate how it is spending all this money to harass, intimidate, and tear its citizens families apart, while the budgets are never sufficient and the economy and population stagnates, and the citizens suffer.
Imagine instead of removing pets from family homes if Libby had these funds to enforce real community safety issues regarding reducing dog bites within the community, such as spay neuter education, a dog bite prevention class for targeted groups at risk for bites (children under 12, police officers, and mail carriers) or perhaps implementation and enforcement of a law that requires equal care, containment and responsibility of dogs actions by their owners.
Removing the law in favor of a breed neutral ordinance would result in increased safety from dogs of all breeds, not just a select few designated for selective precautionary measures.
Increased revenue for the city and its businesses would also directly result from the deconstructing of this discrimination, plus increased registration fees from formerly hidden dogs, which could really serve to revive the community and address real dog safety if we choose to hold humans responsible for their dogs, regardless of perceived breed type. Across the US and Canada repeal of BSL is occurring as people look for more effective, humane, and enforceable solutions regarding dog bites and dangerous dog issues. Removing the discriminatory ban makes fiscal, legal, and moral sense in order to move Libby forward.
Until then, the city of Libby and its business lose even more money when those of us with ambiguous looking dogs move to or shop in nearby Troy instead, because they don't discriminate based on looks, and we don't risk persecution and harassment. Who knows how many tourists & dog lovers recreate and stay in nearby towns instead of Libby, to avoid discriminatory legislation. Montanans Against Breed Discrimination will continue to collaborate with other organizations, sharing this information as much as possible so folks can know what to expect from Libby, Montana. I also implore you to share this information, for under this law in Libby, neither people or animals are safe from real dangerous dogs, and discrimination is written into city legislation. Discard discrimination. Invest in education.
Montanans Against Breed Discrimination
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