What’s Wrong with Breed-Specific Laws?
BSL carries a host of negative and wholly unintended consequences:
■ Dogs go into hiding
Rather than give up their beloved pets, owners of highly regulated or banned breeds often attempt to avoid detection of their “outlaw” dogs by restricting outdoor exercise and socialization and forgoing licensing, microchipping and proper veterinary care, including spay/neuter surgery and essential vaccinations. Such actions have implications both for public safety and the health of these dogs.
■ Good owners and dogs are punished
BSL also causes hardship to responsible owners of entirely friendly, properly supervised and well-socialized dogs who happen to fall within the regulated breed. Although these dog owners have done nothing to endanger the public, they are required to comply with local breed bans and regulations unless they are able to mount successful (and often costly) legal challenges.
■ They impart a false sense of security
Breed-specific laws have a tendency to compromise rather than enhance public safety. When limited animal control resources are used to regulate or ban a certain breed of dog, without regard to behavior, the focus is shifted away from routine, effective enforcement of laws that have the best chance of making our communities safer: dog license laws, leash laws, animal fighting laws, anti-tethering laws, laws facilitating spaying and neutering and laws that require all owners to control their dogs, regardless of breed.
The American Temperament Testing Society does temperament testing throughout the year at breed clubs and compiles the statistics. The 2011 statistics show APBTs and AMSTAFFs are in the 83-86 percentile. (These test results are available at http://www.atts.org/stats1.html) How can we hold such high restrictions on a breed that out numbers their competitors? Clearly the breed is NOT the problem.
I ask you, please do not allow discriminatory bans to take my family from me. My pit bull type dogs complete my home, please do not allow unfair laws to destroy my family.
Please ban cruel deeds, not innocent and victimized dogs.