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Tell Humane Society of Huron Valley: Breed Specific Legislation is Never Okay

This petition had 826 supporters

The Humane Society of Huron Valley is pushing for breed specific legislation in Ypsilanti Township, Michigan. They say they "love pit bulls," but at the same time, they're supporting a mandatory spay/neuter ordinance that would apply only to pit bull type dogs.

HSHV has stated that "'Breed-Specific' Is Sometimes Okay," claiming that because there are rescue groups, adoption programs and other services focused on helping pit bulls, it is no different to legislate against the dogs. They fail to see that breed specific legislation is discriminating against a group of dogs based solely on appearance.

Like other forms of breed specific legislation, mandatory spay/neuter fails to address the real problems in the community; instead responsible owners, particularly low-income populations, are targeted, while people who were already breaking the law and illegally breeding continue to do so. Other cities that have passed breed-specific mandatory spay/neuter have seen their pit bull intakes and euthanasia increase instead of decrease.

Every major animal welfare organization, including the Humane Society of the United States, ASPCA, Best Friends Animal Society, American Humane Association, and Animal Legal Defense Fund, in addition to other animal-focused organizations like the National Animal Control Association, the American Kennel Club and the American Veterinary Medical Association, opposes breed specific legislation. Not just bans, but any breed-specific ordinance, since these policies are all equally based on misinformation and prejudice, and they have proven to be ineffective and expensive to enforce.

The humane society says that mandatory spay/neuter is a "positive way of preventing a breed ban," ignoring the fact that legally distinguishing a group of dogs for any sort of restriction lays the groundwork for a future ban. 

Despite HSHV's claims that they are not stigmatizing pit bulls, by singling out these dogs, they are making a statement that pit bulls -- not irresponsible owners -- are a problem. In many cities, these types of laws have led to a "soft ban," where becomes harder for people to have pit bulls as landlords, insurance companies and others use the breed specific ordinance as an excuse to profile these dogs and their owners.

Tell the Humane Society of Huron Valley to stop supporting breed specific legislation that discriminates against dogs and targets responsible dog owners.

***I encourage you to personalize the letter below. Letting HSHV know, in your own words, why you don't agree with breed-specific mandatory spay/neuter legislation will have even more impact!***

Photo credit: Edwin Luciano

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