Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich: Do NOT waste time trying to pass Breed Specific Legislation
BSL does not work. Enforcement of existing laws and laws that encompass all dangerous/vicious dogs, regardless of breed work better and are more cost and time effective.
- Fifth District - Los Angeles County
Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich
Do NOT waste time trying to pass Breed Specific Legislation.
Tony Bell, spokesman for Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich’s office stated on Friday, May 10, 2013 that Mr. Antonovich’s office intends to try to repeal the state level ban on Breed Specific Legislation in order to allow cities to decide on their own.
We strongly reject this proposal.
Breed Specific Legislation has been proven over and over to be cost intensive while being ineffective and doing nothing more than punishing responsible lawful owners and driving the irresponsible ones further underground.
Organizations including the AKC, ASPCA, UKC, SPCA, AVMA, and the HSUS have all written position statements AGAINST Breed Specific Legislation. These are professionals with much more information and knowledge of canine behavior than the media which so often sensationalizes Pit Bull attacks while ignoring dog incidents that are just as serious and devastating but do not include Pit Bulls.
Proof of the ease with which Pit Bulls can be misidentified have occurred numerous times. Most recently an incident in San Clemente when a man’s Golden Retriever was attacked by two loose dogs. The newspapers reported numerous times that the man’s dog was attacked by two Pit Bulls. It was later proven the offending dogs were a Mastiff and a Lab/Boxer mix. Neither of which would be covered under a pit bull ban.
This case, along with two others, a case of a 15 year old Corona girl, and of course the tragic death in Littlerock CA are ALL three cases of dogs that were NOT contained and controlled by their owners. The Littlerock case is exceptionally egregious as that owner had two previous RECENT incidents that were apparently never followed up on by law enforcement. Those dogs were not registered, had no vaccination records, were not spayed/neutered and were not contained. They had previously attacked a horse and rider. The owner was cited but it appears there was never follow through to ensure the owner got within the legal guidelines with his dogs. Had they done so, this incident never would have happened and that woman would be at home with her husband.
Responsible Pit Bull owners are as tired of the actions of these irresponsible owners as the so-called “pro-BSL groups”. We value human life and safety. We also value pet life and safety. We are tired of the dirty looks, name calling and harassment that we often suffer because of these owners who abuse and misuse these dogs. However, without the assistance of government and law enforcement it will not stop.
It is time to start putting attention to enforcing the laws that are already in place and punishing those humans who do not follow the rules rather than trying to repeal existing laws simply to pass more legislation that will take away family members from those who do.
If any laws should be passed (and enforced) it should be non-discriminatory, across the board laws that hold accountable ANY person with a vicious or dangerous dog that harms someone. Why should the victim of a lab/boxer mix attack have less recourse than the victim of a pit bull? Why should a pit bull owner who follows the rules and has a loving family member be punished because of an irresponsible owner?
We ask that you work to establish reasonable guidelines for responsible pet ownership, and encourage legislation that supports owner responsibility without reference to specific breeds. We ask that you investigate why, when a dog owner obviously is completely outside the boundaries of already existing laws, it was not followed up on and addressed before a terrible (and AVOIDABLE) tragedy occurred.
Study after study shows that ANY dog, regardless of breed, will be whatever its owner makes of it..nothing more, nothing less. Owners can and should take responsibility for their pets. We suggest that the appropriate policy is “blame the owner, not the dog”.
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