No dog breed should be banned. Breed bans are costly and ineffective and punish responsible dog owners and innocent dogs based on how a dog looks. Pit Bulls are not even a dog breed, it is actually a class of dogs that have similar features and actually include over 25 different registered breeds and crossbreeds (which makes statistics based on breed highly inaccurate). Dogs should be banned based on behavior, not their breed. Labeling dogs based on breed is like classifying people based on their race: it is just wrong!
And while Pit Bulls (which include over 25 dog breeds including all bully breeds) are the most well-known dogs affected by the Breed Specific Legislation, in most places they are only one of many dog breeds being banned, such as Rottweilers, Akitas, Dobermans, German Shepherds, Chows, etc.
There is no good reason for breed restrictions.
“A CDC study on fatal dog bites lists the breeds involved in fatal attacks over 20 years [but it] does not identify specific breeds that are most likely to bite or kill, and thus is not appropriate for policy-making decisions related to the topic. Each year, 4.7 million Americans are bitten by dogs. These bites result in approximately 16 fatalities; about 0.0002 percent of the total number of people bitten. These relatively few fatalities offer the only available information about breeds involved in dog bites. There is currently no accurate way to identify the number of dogs of a particular breed, and consequently no measure to determine which breeds are more likely to bite or kill” (Center for Disease Control and Prevention Dog Bite Fact Sheet 2008).
The American Temperament Test Society’s Website shows that Pit bulls have a higher average temperament score than even the Golden Retriever (which is considered a great family dog).
Pit bulls make great family pets and great service dogs, as rescue pits that are saving human lives in Search and Rescue and US Customs Service.
Ohio recently considered passing breed discriminatory laws, but after researching all the facts, realized that these laws don't work and chose to implement breed-neutral laws that target reckless owners instead of innocent dogs.
In fact, studies from throughout the United States and Canada show that breed bans have not decreased fatal dog attacks; and that the number of attacks have remained the same or increased.
Any dog can be dangerous.
“A 10 Lbs Pomeranian killed a baby a few years ago... Obviously a problem with that particular dog, not the breed. "The baby's uncle left the infant and the dog on a bed while the uncle prepared her bottle in the kitchen. Upon his return, the dog was mauling the baby, who died shortly afterwards. ("Baby Girl Killed by Family Dog," Los Angeles Times, Monday, October 9, 2000, Home Edition, Metro Section, Page B-5.)"
Breed Restrictions are Ineffective and Costly:
Breed Restrictions only hurt responsible owners, because criminals will continue to break the law, so they will continue to have illegal breeds. And they don’t care if the dogs are confiscated and killed because they do not care about the dog’s welfare.
“A Pit Bull breeder was shut down last year because Pit Bulls were banned in Topeka, Kansas. All his dogs were seized and destroyed, just for being the wrong breed at the wrong place. The man now breeds and sells African Boerboels, a rare breed from the Mastiff family, completely unknown to legislators. Unlike American Pit Bull Terriers, however, who are known for their love of people, Boerboels are serious guard dogs bred specifically as protectors. An irresponsibly bred and owned Boerboel might actually be more dangerous than an irresponsibly bred and owned Pit Bull. This is what a breed ban has accomplished in Topeka” (Pit Bulls on the Web, 2006).
Let’s talk facts and statistics. The American Humane Association documented dog bite statistics for 2011 as follows:
Approximately 92% of fatal dog attacks involved male dogs, 94% of which were not neutered.
Approximately 25% of fatal dog attacks involved chained dogs.
Approximately 71% of bites occur to the extremities (arms, legs, hands, feet).
Approximately two-thirds of bites occurred on or near the victim’s property, and most victims knew the dog.
The insurance industry pays more than $1 billion in dog-bite claims each year.
At least 25 different breeds of dogs have been involved in the 238 dog-bite-related fatalities in the U.S.
Approximately 24% of human deaths involved unrestrained dogs off of their owners’ property.
Approximately 58% of human deaths involved unrestrained dogs on their owners’ property.
We need Dangerous Dog Acts that hold owners accountable for their dogs if their dogs bite anyone,regardless of the breed.