Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Ban Bad Owners, Not Dogs

The city of College Park recently passed a new ordinance targeting "potentially dangerous dogs." All dogs who are predominantly one of six breeds (American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Rottweiler, Doberman and German Shephard) must register the dog, pay a registration fee, have the dog microchipped and prove they have insurance to cover any damages.

There is no doubt about the following statement: THERE IS NO SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE THAT BREED-SPECIFIC LEGISLATION IS EFFECTIVE AT MAKING COMMUNITIES SAFER. In many issues, I can often see the other side of the argument. Not this one.

Breed-specific legislation (BSL) is not based in real data, but instead, based in media sensationalism and fear.

  • All of the dogs on the "potentially dangerous dogs" list scored higher in the 2010-2011 American Temperament Test Society tests than Shih Tzus, Chihuahuas, Akitas, Bloodhounds, Miniature Poodles, Miniature Schnauzers, and the Presidential dog, Portuguese Water Dogs, Why aren't any of these dogs on the list?
  • The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) & American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) have released statements against BSL.
  • BSL is expensive. The state of Georgia will spend over $12 million to enforce breed-specific legislation. How much will your state or county spend? Learn how much here.

There is so much evidence proving that BSL doesn't work. Yet. our communities continue to focus on banning the dogs instead of the owners. We can create much safer, humane communities by enacting and enforcing tougher leash laws, anti-chaining laws, animal cruelty laws and spay/neuter laws.

Learn how to combat BSL in your neighborhood, city, county and state here.

On a personal note: Three times I have required medical attention for a dog bite. Not one of the three was a dog on the "potentially dangerous dogs" list.

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