Lift the Ban on Pitbulls in Paola, KS
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According to the website cityofpaola.com, “Any breed or mixed breed of pit bull is prohibited within the city limits of Paola.” This is an outdated and unfair targeting of a population of mostly sweet and gentle dogs. The breed-specific ban does not prevent all attacks by dogs, as any dog has the capability to attack and hurt someone. Dogs who are raised to be aggressive are aggressive, and dogs who are raised to be gentle are gentle, regardless of their breed.
A study conducted by The American Tempermant Testing Society (ATTS) shows that bully breeds (including Pit Bulls, American Staffordshire Terriers, American Bulldogs, Bull Terriers and Staffordshire Bull Terriers) ranked 3rd in temperament; 87.4% of dogs tested and passed the TT test, in which the dog is walked in the park and greeted with a range of stimuli to observe their reactions. They placed only 6.4% below Labrador Retrievers, which are globally known as gentle dogs.
Why the targeting? Pit Bulls, as a bully breed, have a naturally strong and muscular build. According to the ASPCA, “Today’s pit bull is a descendant of the original English bull-baiting dog—a dog that was bred to bite and hold bulls, bears and other large animals around the face and head. When baiting large animals was outlawed in the 1800s, people turned instead to fighting their dogs against each other. These larger, slower bull-baiting dogs were crossed with smaller, quicker terriers to produce a more agile and athletic dog for fighting other dogs.” Because these dogs were bred specifically for their fighting abilities, they were generally aggressive and often turned this trait on their handlers and those around them. Today’s Pit Bulls are likely a genetic mix of thise bred to fight and those bred to perform as a companion or working-type dog, without any regard to their differing behavioral traits. However, “genetics don’t exist in a vacuum,” (ASPCA) and the way an individual dog interacts with the world around it depends largely on many factors that provide influence, even from temperature inside the womb to how it has been treated by humans as an adult. “Because of the impact of experience, the pit bull specifically bred for generations to be aggressive may not fight with dogs and the Labrador retriever bred to be a service dog may be aggressive toward people.” (ASPCA)
In all truthfullness, any dog of any breed can be bred and reared to show aggression. According to a statement issued in 2013, President Obama said “[w]e don’t support breed-specific legislation—research shows that bans on certain types of dogs are largely ineffective and often a waste of public resources. And the simple fact is that dogs of any breed can become dangerous when they’re intentionally or unintentionally raised to be aggressive.” (ASPCA) The ban on Pit Bulls in Paola is unnecessary and does not need to continue to prevent good dogs from being accepted into loving homes.
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