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REPEAL ORDINANCE 11.0213 Prohibited Dogs - Lift the Breed Ban on the DOBERMAN PINSCHER

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South Heart City Council: I am petitioning to Amend the South Heart ND City Ordinance 11.0210 and Repeal Ordinance 11.0213 Prohibited Dogs- (specifically the Doberman Pinscher) due to following facts:

Since this ordinance was instated, none of these three breed-specific bans have protected the citizens of South Heart from being bitten, frightened or annoyed by the towns resident canines. The last reported animal to bite a person in South Heart was a Bluetick Coonhound, which happened just before the 4th of July of 2016. This breed is not on the list of banned animals and should demonstrate that it isn’t the breed that dictates canine attacks, it is the owner of that dog.

The renowned organization called ASPCA says it well in their detailed statement on BSL and breed specific ordinances, “Dog attacks can be a real and serious problem in communities across the country, but addressing dangerous and potentially dangerous dogs can be a confusing and touchy issue. Breed-specific legislation (BSL) is the blanket term for laws that either regulate or ban certain dog breeds in an effort to decrease dog attacks on humans and other animals. However, the problem of dangerous dogs will not be remedied by the “quick fix” of breed-specific laws—or, as they should truly be called, “breed-discriminatory” laws. Regulated breeds typically comprise the “pit bull” class of dogs, including American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers and English Bull Terriers. In some areas, regulated breeds also include a variety of other dogs like American Bulldogs, Rottweilers, Mastiffs, Dalmatians, Chow Chows, German Shepherds, Doberman Pinschers or any mix of these breeds—and dogs who simply resemble these breeds.

Many states, including New York, Texas and Illinois, favor laws that identify, track and regulate dangerous dogs individually—regardless of breed—and prohibit BSL. However, more than 700 U.S. cities have enacted breed-specific laws. There is no evidence that breed-specific laws make communities safer for people or companion animals. Following a thorough study of human fatalities resulting from dog bites, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) decided to strongly oppose BSL. The CDC cited, among other problems, the inaccuracy of dog bite data and the difficulty in identifying dog breeds (especially true of mixed-breed dogs). Breed-specific laws are also costly and difficult to enforce. BSL carries a host of negative and wholly unintended consequences:

Dogs Suffer. Rather than give up beloved pets, owners of highly regulated or banned breeds often attempt to avoid detection by restricting their dogs’ outdoor exercise and socialization—forgoing licensing, microchipping and proper veterinary care, and avoiding spay/neuter surgery and essential vaccinations. Such actions can have a negative impact on both the mental and physical health of these dogs.

In addition, breed-specific laws can create a climate where it is nearly impossible for residents to adopt and live with such a breed—virtually ensuring destruction of otherwise adoptable dogs by shelters and humane societies. 
Owners Suffer. Responsible owners of entirely friendly, properly supervised and well-socialized dogs who happen to fall within the regulated breed are required to comply with local breed bans and regulations. This can lead to housing issues, legal fees or even relinquishment of the animal.
Public Safety Suffers. Breed-specific laws have a tendency to compromise rather than enhance public safety. When animal control resources are used to regulate or ban a certain breed, the focus is shifted away from effective enforcement of laws that have the best chances of making communities safer: dog license laws, leash laws, anti-animal fighting laws, anti-tethering laws, laws facilitating spaying and neutering and laws that require all owners to control their dogs, regardless of breed. Additionally, guardians of banned breeds may be deterred from seeking routine veterinary care, which can lead to outbreaks of rabies and other diseases that endanger communities.

Breed-specific laws may also have the unintended consequence of encouraging irresponsible dog ownership. As certain breeds are regulated, individuals who exploit aggression in dogs are likely to turn to other, unregulated breeds. Conversely “outlaws” may be attracted to the “outlaw” status of certain breeds. The rise of pit bull ownership among gang members in the late 1980s coincided with the first round of breed-specific legislation. 
There is no convincing data to indicate that breed-specific legislation has succeeded anywhere to date. 

The CDC has noted that many other factors beyond breed may affect a dog’s tendency toward aggression—things such as heredity, sex, early experience, reproductive status, socialization and training. Conversely, studies can be referenced that point to clear, positive effects of carefully crafted breed-neutral laws. A breed-neutral approach may include the following:

·         Enhanced enforcement of dog license laws

·         Increased availability to low-cost sterilization (spay/neuter) services

·         Dangerous dog laws that are breed-neutral and focus on the behavior of the individual guardian and dog

·         Graduated penalties and options for dogs deemed dangerous

·         Laws that hold dog guardians financially accountable for failure to adhere to animal control laws

·         Laws that hold dog guardians civilly and criminally liable for unjustified injuries or damage caused by their dogs

·         Laws that prohibit chaining, tethering and unreasonable confinement, coupled with enhanced enforcement of animal cruelty and animal fighting laws 

Community-based approaches to resolving reckless guardian/dangerous dog questions that encompass all stakeholders, available dog bite data and recommended realistic and enforceable policies”, According to the ASCPA at http://www.aspca.org/animal-cruelty/dog-fighting/breed-specific-legislation Web, 2016.

                Another renowned organization, the American Kennel Club also has a strong position against BSL, or “Dangerous Dog” Control Legislation. According to AKC, “The American Kennel Club supports reasonable, enforceable, non-discriminatory laws to govern the ownership of dogs. The AKC believes that dog owners should be responsible for their dogs. We support laws that: establish a fair process by which specific dogs are identified as “dangerous” based on stated, measurable actions; impose appropriate penalties on irresponsible owners; and establish a well-defined method for dealing with dogs proven to be dangerous. We believe that, if necessary, dogs proven to be “dangerous” may need to be humanely destroyed. The American Kennel Club strongly opposes any legislation that determines a dog to be “dangerous” based on specific breeds or phenotypic classes of dogs.” This source can be validated at the following Website: http://images.akc.org/pdf/canine_legislation/position_statements/Dangerous_Dog_Control_Legislation.pdf

The above quoted citations of the AKC and ASCPA; (whom are great experts), should be given great attention in deciding our local animal control laws. We must get rid of breed control bylaws before we can address the issue at the “real” source, which is dog-owner accountability. Only then can we move forward with a productive resolution to animal control.

If you support the decision to repeal Ordinance 11.0213 Prohibited Dogs, to exclude the Doberman Pinscher breed, please sign this petition. I only ask for your address and phone number to prove this medium as a legal document if any kind of audit arises on its validness in the future.

Thank you in taking the time to read and sign this material.

 

 



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