Man Bites Dog

Pits in the news and info on Breed Specific Legislation.

Postby Marinepits » June 4th, 2007, 7:02 pm

Man Bites Dog: Breed Specific Legislation by Christina Harvey

http://www.iheartpaws.com/articles/81/1 ... Page1.html

"An age is called Dark, not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it" - James Michener

Breed Specific Legislation- a law, policy or ordinance that applies to a specific dog breed or breeds, but does not affect any others.The main goal of BSL is to completely eliminate the breed which is restricted by various means.

Genocide- the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group. - dictionary.com

Holocaust- any mass slaughter or reckless destruction of life. - dictionary.com

Since mass communication and the media commenced, a number of dog breeds have suffered great popularity.An influential happening that causes the masses to seek a specific breed of dog.This could range from a motion picture (101 Dalmatians), a commercial (Bud Light's Bull Terrier, Spuds McKenzie), a television show ("Eddie" Moose from 'Frasier'), or even an unfortunate event (Diane Whipple being killed by two dogs of the Perro de Presa Canario breed).Suddenly the demand overpowers the supply causing commercial breeders (puppy mills), and backyard breeders to hastily mass produce puppies for profit. "Breeding for the worse of the breed"- this always results in a decrease of breed quality in regards to both health and temperament.

Unfortunately due to irresponsible owners and/or media hype, specific dog breeds have become victim to "stereotypical" beliefs.For example: certain breeds of dog are inherently dangerous.Throughout time various dogs have gotten reputations based on media coverage and irresponsible owners.Several various breeds have been labeled "dangerous" during its turn as a "fad breed" including Great Danes, Pit Bull's, German Shepherd Dogs, Doberman Pinschers, Rottweilers and many more.

Below is an excerpt taken from the book "Cesar's Way"- written by Cesar Millan, renowned canine behaviorist regarding interaction with dogs: (they must be viewed)

"First, as:

1.Animal
2.Species: dog (Canis familiaris)

Then, as

3. Breed (Chihuahua, Great Dane, collie, etc.)

And last and least important

4. Name (personality)"

As you can see, a dog regardless of breed is first an animal, secondly a dog and then a breed.If this chart were turned in comparison to humans we would first be animals, then (species) human, then race.Would it be fair to stereotype an entire race based on good or bad experiences with only a few?

"It is true that Pit Bulls grab and hold on. But what they most often grab and refuse to let go of is your heart, not your arm."- Vicki Hearne

"The picture I was offered, of the man jogging innocently by and the two dogs attacking and killing "out of nowhere" and "for no reason" simply did not make sense.I also found myself worried silly, because I have always suspected that it is expensive getting a Dog Bites Man item on the desk of a major newscaster, and I wondered who had paid for the crisis... I also assumed that in Ohio someone was mounting a statewide pit bull ban... And so I heard Dan Rather reporting on what sounded like something out of a horror flick, and assumed that some senator in Ohio was using pit bulls as a campaign issue, and this proved to be the case.A few months after that broadcast, Ohio passed what must be a singularly unconstitutional law, declaring that any animal of the breed commonly known as pit bulldog was prima facie vicious for purposes of that law...- Vicki Hearne pg. 12 "Bandit: Dossier of a Dangerous Dog"

Addressing common Pit Bull myths:

Pit Bulls attack more people than any other breed:

Bite statistics are extremely difficult to obtain accurately. Dogs that are referred to as "Pit Bulls" in statistical reports are factually a broad variety of breeds and mixes all lumped together under the term "Pit Bull". Additionally, many people have a complicated time properly identifying a true Pit Bull from countless other breeds and mixes.Within the statistics are high volumes of dogs that have been misidentified.

Taking these matters into account, the true numbers of attacks attributable to American Pit Bull Terriers are considerably lower than represented. It is also vital to understand that the extreme popularity of the Pit Bull and pit bull-type breeds plays a huge role. By many estimates, Pit Bull breeds and mixes represent the most popular of all dog breeds. It is only logical to understand that the breed with a higher volume in population would be represented with a higher volume of bites.

According to older statistical reports for the Center of Disease Control, one will see that trends in breed popularity reflect in the number of bites attributed to a specific breed during a specific period of time.

At the same time there is no statistical proof that more bites occur by Pit Bull breeds or mixes.Whereas there is proof that negative Pit Bull related incidents make the media headlines far more often than negative press of other breeds.

Pit Bulls brains swell/never stop growing:

"This rumor started with the Doberman, and has since been said about game-bred dogs in general. The concept of an animal's brain swelling or growing too large and somehow causing the animal to "go crazy" is not based in truth in any way.

Their brains grow at the same rate as any other dog, and the only time that a Pit Bull's brain is going to swell is if it receives a serious injury. If an animal's brain were to grow too big for its head, the animal would die." - PitBullLovers.com

Dogs react in the moment by triggering previous training and experiences.There are always reasons for a dog's behavior, and when aggression arises the reasons can be caused by improper handling or an unknowledgeable/irresponsible dog owner, lack of socialization or training, a misreading of dog behavior by the owner and physical or mental ailment in rare accounts. Point being, dogs don't "snap", and the dogs that will develop behavioral issues cannot be determined by breed.

Pit Bulls have "lock jaw":

Pit Bull breeds were bred from several other breeds of dog, how can they suddenly develop a major evolutionary change such as this?There is no scientific proof that there has ever been a "locking mechanism" found in the jaw of any Pit Bull breed, or any dog for that matter.This is purely another scare tactic used to wrongfully instill fear into the public regarding Pit Bull breeds.

Pit Bulls are the guardian's of drug dens:

One matter that I find disturbing is that Pit Bull breeds are believed by some to be the "guardian's of drug dens".Firstly, a true Pit Bull should not excel at being a guard dog.Pit Bull breeds are known for their welcoming personality towards all humans- even strangers, which in turn makes them terrible guard dogs.To standard, a Pit Bull would not only have to be poorly bred but intensely conditioned to show the aggression imagined in this stereotype.

Pit Bulls are bulletproof:

My response to this should simply be that Pit Bulls will be bulletproof when pigs fly.The only way a bullet will "bounce" off of any dog would be if they were wearing bulletproof attire. In short, Pit Bulls are NOT bulletproof. In fact a Pit Bulls skin is no tougher or less prone to injury than any other breed of dog.An American Pit Bull Terrier is a dog- they do not have super powers.

Pit Bulls are inherently vicious:

I hate to call anyone bluntly ignorant, yet in this case it applies. Anyone who states that "Pit Bull breeds are vicious" is purely ignorant on the matter at hand.Firstly, a breed of dog cannot be deemed vicious.This is what I like to call "breedism" and is comparable to racism against humans.Only specific dogs can be vicious, not breeds.Generally, dogs that become vicious are taught this behavior through nurture.

Nature vs. Nuture in a "Pit Bull"- History of the group.
Much attention has been given to the fact that the Pit Bull was originally created for baiting bulls and then fighting other dogs in a pit. The Pit Bull breeds are one of the most versatile of all canines, capable of excelling at just about any task his owner asks him to complete. This breed is routinely used for: obedience trialing, conformation showing, weight pull, agility, have been known to excel as therapy dogs, partake in herding trials, search and rescue work, and a variety of other tasks including police and armed services work. But fanciers will claim that the task this breed performs best of all is that of beloved companion.

Do not forget that many other breeds of dogs are bred to hunt and fight other animals. Unlike the Pit Bull breeds, some breeds have even been bred to be human aggressive or aloof with strangers causing them to be better guard dogs.

Pit Bull breeds, just like all bulldog breeds were bred to have gameness and tenacity. Originating from the English Bulldog which was originally bred to bait bulls- hence the name "Pit Bull". When bull baiting became outlawed in 1835 the English Bulldog was bred down to the short and stocky dog that we know today as well as being bred into the many of the Bulldog breeds we see today, including the American Pit Bull Terrier.Pit Bull's, bred from a variety of bulldogs and terriers were brought to the USA in the mid-eighteen hundreds. These dogs were held in the highest regard and owned by many famous, respectable people.

In 1936 the AKC conceded a petition for those who wanted to distance themselves from the cruel sport of fighting dogs. Pit Bull's would now be allowed to register their dogs with the American Kennel Club for show eligibility and other performance events under the condition that the dogs were called "Staffordshire Terriers" (Staffordshire, England being the place were the breeds are believed to have originated).

The American Pit Bull Terrier was used in WWI artwork as mascots for our country. This breed was the signature dog of the United States of America. The APBT "Stubby" was even recognized as a war hero.Pit Bull breeds were often used to face one another in battle. Pit Bulls were bred with zero tolerance for human aggression*. It is factual that the owner of the dog in battle should be able to step in at any moment to redirect or stop the dog from fighting.If a Pit Bull dog in battle (or in general) ever bit a human it was never to be bred, and usually put down immediately.

*Human aggression and animal aggression are two very different matters. In the wild wolves are not welcoming of wolves from unknown or competitive packs. It is simply unnatural for many dogs to meet on leash and get along every time. Due to the great length of separation from the wild this is possible for many dogs. However, two common behavioral issues are "leash aggression" or "dog/animal aggression". Generally speaking it may be a trait that most human pet owners do not like, though it is a perfectly natural behavior that can develop without proper prevention and training. It is the owner's responsibility to counteract this behavior or keep close watch along with following leash/confinement laws to prevent any unwanted happenings as well as spaying/neutering by approximately 6 months of age along with early socialization.

Dogs can and do differentiate humans from other dogs, and dogs from other animals. Bulldog breeds tend to have a higher chance of being intolerant or even aggressive to other animals (humans exempt) than other groups of dog. On the other hand, Bulldogs were bred to be welcoming, loving, tolerant and stable with humans. This is how the Staffordshire Terrier gained it's coin term "The nanny dog". Pit Bull breeds are known for their tolerance, affection and dedicated companionship to children. If ever you hear a bad story in the news about a Pit Bull attack on a child, you simply have to think about the breeder, parent and/or owner's role in the matter. Remember, ANY dog can bite when put in the circumstance by irresponsible owners.

What is a "Pit Bull"?

A Pit Bull is not a breed of dog. The term "Pit Bull" is used by many to refer to a group of dog breeds, such as the term "Hound" or "Terrier". The Pit Bull groups consist of three breeds. The American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. However, there has been speculation that the term Pit Bull should be used referring to solely The American Pit Bull Terrier, being the only breed to include the term "Pit Bull". A clear cut option has been made blurred in recent times as all three breeds are very similar and extremely often dogs defined as "Pit Bulls" by the average person are usually mixed breeds.

This is a perfect example of how it is extremely difficult to detect a "Pit Bull" from a "Pit Bull" type or other similar looking dog. Several breeds of dog resemble the American Pit Bull Terrier and with mixes of various breeds even more so. The majority people with average canine knowledge cannot differentiate a Pit Bull from a similar looking breed; this can be just as hard for the best of experts. With many backyard breeders (BYB's) mixing Mastiff's and other larger breeds to make "bigger Pit Bulls" it's very rare to even come across a pure bred American Pit Bull Terrier these days.

As stated on the Best Friends Network website: "In the case of City of Toledo v. Tellings, 2006 Ohio 975 (2006), app. granted Toledo v. Tellings, 110 Ohio St. 3d 1437 (OH 2006), there was evidence the dog warden would make a subjective determination if a dog was a pit bull. If a dog was 50% pit bull but didn't resemble a pit, then the dog was not considered a pit bull. If a dog looked like a pit, regardless of the % of breed, he considered it a pit bull. The warden agreed one cannot really tell whether or not the breeding of many dogs includes pit bull. There was evidence about 10 other breeds resemble pit bulls."

There was a recent situation in Ontario (where BSL was recently and unfortunately passed) where a dog named Lily, a Boxer/Lab mix was deemed a Pit Bull type dog simply by her appearance.Thankfully Lily's owners cared enough about her to fight to the end for Lily's life.As you see, there is no clear-cut line as to what a "Pit Bull" type dog is. Additionally, when leaving this into the hands of elected officials they can change their guidelines according to the situation. This leaves dog owners without rights, and is simply unconstitutional!

Can you find the "Pit Bull"? http://www.understand-a-bull.com/Findth ... ll_v3.html

In such a world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people, not to be on the side of the executioners. - Albert Camus

BSL Effects us all

Most people don't realize that BSL affects not only Pit Bull owners, not only Rottweiler owners, not only dogs stereotyped as "dangerous breeds" but all dog lovers. Even if you don't own a dog, but would eventually like to share your life with one- you should care about BSL. My reasoning behind this statement is that once officials ban a specific breed of dog it is the law-abiding citizens that get hurt. The criminals will continue to be criminals unless we fight this battle at the root of the problem. So the model-citizens, who follow the laws, treat their dogs like family members and are all around responsible dog owners will be forced to either confine or muzzle their beloved pet as though they own a monster, or give their beloved pet up to be part of the genocide! Yet the criminals who are already breaking poorly enforced laws will simply continue to do so.

The Dog-Bite Epidemic
We are in the midst of a dog-bite epidemic, not a dog fatality epidemic. Fatalities should be judged on a case-by-case basis, as fatalities happen seldom enough to merit prudent consideration to each occurrence.

Canine homicides stay at approximately 15-20 people per year. This can range from being a burglar and coming face to face with an unlucky fate, or being (the most common) a child under 12 years of age. Pit Bull's and Rottweilers generally top the list by what is believed to be all four breeds and their mixes responsible for approximately 7 of all deaths per year. This is simply because a bite from a strong dog, not just a Pit Bull or Rottweiler, but from any large and strong dog is more likely to be fatal than that of a smaller dog, or a dog with a delicate build. As an analogy, if a mid-sized sedan got into an accident with another vehicle, a big truck would be more likely to cause a fatality than a small or regular sized vehicle. Keep in mind though that almost all breeds of dog have been responsible for deaths, from a Pomeranian to a Great Dane to your good old fashion "Heinz 57" mutt.

"While at times informative, statistics on fatal dog attacks can also be misleading. For example, a number of cases were a Pit Bull, Rottweiler or GSD (German Shepherd Dog) were counted as causing a human fatality were in reality the direct result of gross human negligence or criminal intent (i.e. discarding a newborn in the yard where the dogs were kept, or cases of extremely emaciated animals, or cases were the dog was ordered or encouraged to attack the victim)." - fataldogattacks.com

According to nopitbullbans.com the Center for Disease Control admits:

"... to the extent that attacks by 1 breed are more newsworthy than those by other breeds, our methods may have resulted in differential ascertainment of fatalities by breed." (JAVMA, Vol 217, No. 6, September 15, 2000, p. 838)."(Note: even the officials who are responsible for keeping these vital statistics do not know that the term "Pit Bull" is not one breed of dog!).For example, if a witness of a dog attack claims that the dog was a Pit Bull it is recorded as one, meanwhile it could be any breed and the witness could have no idea about dog breeds.

"Even with these record numbers of dogs these days the fatal attacks caused by Pit Bulls is nothing compared to the inhumanity we face on a daily basis. We are talking about 20 fatal attacks by dogs a year, most of which are not Pit Bulls, this is not a Pit Bull problem folks." - Jason Mann of Pitbulllovers.com

As of December 2005, the most recent evaluations posted on the American Temperament Test Society (ATTS) website, the American Pit Bull Terrier had an 83.5% pass rate, whereas a Golden Retriever had a very similar 83.7% pass rate. A comparable number of individual dogs were tested (over 500 dogs of both breeds).

About two percent of the United States of America's population is bitten by dogs each year- approximately 4.7 million people. Compare that to the approximate 15 people per year who die from fatal dog attacks. As opposed to dog fatalities being dominated by breeds of strong stature such as the Pit Bull breeds, Rottweiler, German Shepherd Dog, Wolf-Hybrids, Malamutes, etc. there are no such findings with non-fatal dog bites. Within dog bite statistics there is no correlation between dog breed and volume of bites. However, there has been correlation between popularity of breed and bites. This supports my theory of simple probability.

Some experts state that the dog-bite epidemic is growing. This is untrue. It is the number of dog owners, and dogs per household that are growing. Again, it is simple probability, the more dogs that are living in the United States, the more bites will occur. This will never end unless we force owners to be more responsible.

"I became more than just casually suspicious of the statistics that showed that all of a sudden pit bulls were doing so much killing when I noticed two things. One was that the total number of dog-attack-related-fatalities had not risen according to the HSUS statistics that were everywhere offered as evidence of the ferocity of pit bulls. That meant that all of a sudden all those other breeds had stopped biting people seriously enough to kill them, which meant that for all breeds except pit bulls a sudden increase in sensible breeding and handling had taken place, and there would have been other evidence if that were so. If pit bulls had been killing a lot more people, there would have been a rise in the total number of deaths, and there wasn't. If anything, there was a slight drop, according the HSUS, depending on which of their figures you choose... Data from the attack-related fatalities throughout the period of hysteria in question, the late 1980's. The CDC stats do not give breeds. The only way to find out for sure what breed ID is made by victims, excited witnesses, cops, and reporters, and breed ID is a tricky business" - Vicki Hearne pg. 138 "Dossier of a Dangerous Dog"

"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity" - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Why BSL Does Not Work

"If pit bull-types were so inherently bad, how could millions of people share their families, their homes and their beds with them without issue? Since Furry Friends Foundation in Chicago began ten years ago, they've carefully adopted out 400 pit bull-type dogs without incident. "Mandatory dog training, socialization, and altering the dogs makes all the difference in the world," says Catherine Hedges, the shelter's founder. "People (who adopt them) are encouraged to keep the dogs indoors as members of the family. And they're discouraged from keeping them outside all the time, and especially discouraged from tethering them when they're outdoors."

Even Beck of Purdue University, who is cynical about pit bulls says, "Of course, responsible ownership does matter, and a little common sense goes a long way."

"The public may have one perception of pit bulls, but that perception isn't accurate," says Dunbar. "It's distracting to blame a dog breed rather than the real source of these dog attacks."' - badrap.org

Let's say that ultimately we allowed genocide on all Pit Bull breeds, on all Rottweilers and so forth. Let's say that we rid the world of these wonderful creatures that so many loving families currently and happily share their lives with. Now what? Criminals will be criminals. Irresponsible owners will be irresponsible owners. If we aren't implementing laws to teach them differently how are we going to break the cycle? We won't, and the cycle will continue as long as we allow it.

Now these undesirable dog owners take on another breed, the Mastiff's, the German Shepherd Dogs, the Dobermans, the Great Danes, and so on, and so forth. They torture and abuse these dogs to make them vicious.Because the law to ban specific dog breeds is already in place all legislators have to do is get the newly desired breed for banning approved. Before you know it the majority of dog breeds are gone… extinct. Breed Specific Legislation is nothing less than genocide on the companions that are so loyal to us, the companions that I for one could not live without, and the companions that WE bring into this world.

As earlier stated, BSL does not stop at one, two or even three breeds of dog. In Fairfield, Iowa any dog over 100lbs. is illegal, not to mention several specific breeds named in their legislation. In Italy they commenced BSL with 13 breeds of dog, by 2003 they had 92 breeds of dog on their banned list. Some of these breeds include the Corgi, Border Collie, and Boston Terrier. Breed Specific Legislation spreads like wildfire and the list expands just as quickly. As I previously stated, the statistical odds are that the more popular the breed of dog, the higher number of bite incidents will occur from that breed. Is it appropriate that every time a dog breed peaks in popularity (making it the current preferred dog breed), and rises to a statistically equivalent rank on the reported bite incident list that they should be banned? It is apparent that BSL is simply a band-aid on the matter of dog bites and attacks.

"You judge the greatness of a country by the way it treats its animals"- Mahatma Gandhi

There is no argument that something must be done about the standards, laws, and acceptable behaviors towards animals in our society; if not for the half million bite victims per year, then for the thousands (if not millions) of animals being abused and killed annually. Honestly, I'm perplexed that significantly more is not being done already. How many of you are sick of seeing videos on the Internet, stories in the news etc regarding people that lit their pet on fire, threw it tied up out of a moving car window, discarded live puppies in the trash and worse?I know that I am.

The fact of the matter is that we need to make changes, however BSL should not be included in these changes. Approving BSL would be like taking a step back into the dark ages. Breed Specific Legislation is genocide and it is a holocaust on dogs. When in history did we ever look back on the mass destruction of a particular specie, race, religion or any aspect defining a group as a positive thing? At the times this has occurred perhaps society thought it was an acceptable thing to do, though this always proves wrong. There is no exception for this behavior and I can now understand how targeted groups felt when they said "We never thought they were actually going to do this" when discussing the holocaust… and they did. It's surreal, and it's incredible that humans can be swayed into such extreme wrongs without ambiguity.

The idea of killing off a particular type of dog based on its appearance or breed is absolutely absurd. I cannot express enough how insane the very thought that this goes on in the world is to me. New York City has always been known as the capital of the world, the city full of innovators, and one of the most pet-friendly places in the entire world.It was with great sadness when I learned of how Mr. Peter Vallone Jr. is trying to implement such a barbaric law into our city. Instead of following in the foot steps of various cities and countries who have attempted Breed Specific Legislation without any change in the number dog attacks that occur, and most with extreme failure or no success at all I would assume that the intelligent officials that lead our great city would try to create a new precedent for the world to follow... standards that actually work.

It is within human nature to want to rid yourself of what you fear. For the average person without much dog knowledge, the hype the media presents (often wrongfully) regarding Pit Bull breeds is enough to cause the public to believe that they are monsters living among us! I cannot count the number of times a Pit Bull was blamed for an attack that was in fact not a Pit Bull breed. While noting how most other dog attacks do not make the news, whereas almost all Pit Bull related attacks do! Perhaps Pit Bull owners should start suing the media for defamation of character? Now that's a thought!

The fact is that your legislators will rant and rave about a grandfather clause and how their implementation of BSL is nothing but humane, right? Wrong. Not only will any dogs targeted by BSL be forced to wear a muzzle at all times in public (horrible for socializing and for apartment living) but any dog or puppy that enters a shelter or rescue that resembles or is somehow deemed one of these targeted breeds will be euthanized immediately without exception. Neither temperament nor age is taken into account.(Do not forget the shaky ground beneath deeming a dog or puppy a "Pit Bull" or "Pit Bull type" dog.)

Grandfather clauses are a provision exempting persons or other entities already engaged in an activity from rules or legislation affecting that activity. Meaning that any existing dogs deemed a breed targeted by BSL would be allowed to live out their lives under extreme scrutiny, but will not be killed unless deemed a threat or nuisance. However, due to that fact that dog breeds targeted by BSL are officially deemed "dangerous dogs" the laws that apply to them and their owners are equivalent of dogs that have actually attacked someone in the past- even if the individual dog has never posed a threat to anyone or anything in their life. The ultimate goal of BSL is to eliminate the existence, to make extinct all breeds it targets.


Never make someone a priority in your life when that someone treats you like an option.
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Marinepits
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Postby Marinepits » June 4th, 2007, 7:04 pm

"The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look and do nothing" - AlbertEinstein
Insurance companies, Home Owners Associations, major airlines, camping sites, PetSmart, and even entire cities and townships have jumped on the "Breed Banning Bandwagon". Your dog simply needs to resemble a poorly stereotyped breed in order to be included in a public or private ordinance. Regardless of behavior, temperament and training- your dog can be a trained service or therapy dog, yet still be banned from certain areas. Is this fair?

The honorable and correct route is usually never as simple as the band-aid "quick fix" or immoral route. Of course once implemented the changes I've noted can and will make such a huge difference in pet ownership. Granted, it will be harder for a person to obtain and own a pet, but this in turn will make it harder for a person to mistreat, misuse, and discard a pet. The bottom line is that anyone who considers himself or herself an animal lover, a dog lover, or even loves just one dog should be able to understand these changes need to be made. We have to protect our animals from getting into the wrong hands, for their own sake and for the safety of the general public, especially children.

There is a staggering amount of animal abuse, ranging from neglect to downright horror. It is also a proven fact that children and adults that abuse and kill animals are in a high percentile for killing a human at some point in life.

We need to crack down on various issues that cause dog attacks. "The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association reported that 17% of dogs involved in fatal attacks on humans between 1979 and 1998 were restrained on their owners' property at the time of the attack, and the book Fatal Dog Attacks states that 25% of fatal attacks were inflicted by chained dogs of many different breeds"- unchainyourdog.org. Tethering a dog not only promotes aggressiveness, defensiveness and enhances territorial qualities but it also enables the owner to neglect the dog. Dogs are naturally social animals and they need interaction with their humans for hours a day. All too often an irresponsible owner will get a dog to keep outside, tether it, drop food down (if the dog is lucky) and completely neglect the dog emotionally and physically. This is enough to cause a dog to develop severe behavioral problems, simply imagine this happening to you and how you would feel. Now imagine a child walking into this highly stressed and territorial dog's path.Scary, huh? It happens all of the time.Since the owner is often neglecting the dog they obviously aren't checking the chain or rope either. Now the tether breaks, the dog is loose and the aggression doesn't break away with the chain. This allows the dog to remain in the aggressive frame of mind without constriction and attack unsuspecting passerby's.

As I earlier stated, dogs are social animals. They are friendly, loving and caring by nature. Sometimes there are situations where a dog can become aggressive due to a health issue or lax training. However, most dogs that act dangerously aggressive are abused, neglected, starved, and conditioned into this behavior. Who's doing the abusing, the neglecting, the starving and the training? I bet you guessed it! Humans!

BSL significantly takes rights away from dogs. We need to take rights away from humans and give rights to the animals. How can we properly punish a person who has horribly abused their dog to be vicious when we're initially saying that the dog is "inherently vicious" in the first place?

Unfortunately some humans use dogs for profit, exploiting, abusing and neglecting them in puppy mills. Far too many humans use dogs for underground dog fighting, to be "guard dogs" of illegal substances and black market items where they are abusing, starving, and neglecting them, while putting others in danger by turning a potentially loveable and social dog into a weapon. These people are also doing damage by backyard-breeding dogs with undesirable qualities, and therefore worsening many canine problems we're having in society today.

"You become responsible forever, for what you have tamed." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

The way our society views pets as disposable is disheartening. 6 to 8 million dogs and cats enter shelters each year, at least 3 to 4 million do not make it out. These numbers are simply unacceptable. Did you know that only one out of every ten dogs gets a good forever home? Pet overpopulation is caused by a mixture of problems including lack of education, training, failure to spay and neuter, backyard breeders and puppy mill's alike.

It should be a requirement to alter all pet dogs (and cats) in the country. This would prevent backyard breeders and puppy mills from mass producing poor quality pups to sell to anyone with the money in hand or credit on plastic. A good breeder thoroughly screens a potential buyer along with various contracts and agreements being mandatory. Reputable breeders also require follow-ups, whereas a puppy mill wants nothing to do with a pet after it leaves their cruel doors. Requiring all pet dog owners to alter their pets would also prevent "oopsie" litters. An unwanted pregnancy is purely caused by lack of consideration for not only the dog, but for the 3 to 4 million pets that are killed each year. For every puppy born to an unplanned litter, backyard breeder, or puppy mill three perfectly healthy and adoptable shelter dogs will be euthanized.

Altering our pets also protects them from several life-threatening ailments including, but not limited to mammary, uterine, ovary, prostate and testicular cancer. These cancers generally appear in 50-60% of all unaltered dogs over the age of 5. Neutering is proven to reduce aggression in male dogs, decreases the need to roam by 90%, decreases territoriality, marking and much more. Generally, altered dogs are more docile and content.

"Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands." - Anne Frank

"Lemon laws are United States state laws that remedies to consumers for automobiles that repeatedly fail to meet certain standards of quality and performance. These vehicles are called lemons. The federal lemon law (the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act) protects citizens of all states."- wikipedia.com.We have laws and regulations on cars, but not on the production on living, intelligent, and loving companions. The government protects our public when buying a car, but not when buying a puppy. Mass-breeders (puppy mills) more often then not, produce puppies of substandard quality in both health and temperament.

It is the responsibility of our leaders to regulate the puppy mill industry. Unfortunately there are many people out there who do not know where pet store puppies come from, and the days of "buyer beware" should be long gone. The average person with average education on pet related issues wouldn't be able to spot a puppy-mill puppy, a back yard (irresponsible) breeder or a reputable breeder without proper guidance and education. Why do we leave it to the individual who all-too-often makes the wrong choice?

The fact of the matter is that humans created the pet overpopulation problem, yet the only ones who pay for it are the pets. There are uncountable organizations that spend every dime they have and even go into debt to save animals due to the irresponsibility of others. It's time that humans finally take the responsibility for their actions. It is completely acceptable for us to have non-profit organizations helping sick people and animals. The need for organizations whose sole purpose is to help reduce pet overpopulation is a disgrace to our society. This is a preventable problem, and the steps to prevent it need to be put into play.

2,000,000,000 dollars are spent each year to impound, shelter, euthanize, and dispose of homeless animals. Imagine the causes this money can be used for if pet overpopulation was no longer an issue.

Below is a list of what I believe would be some good ideas to implement in order to prevent BSL, irresponsible breeding, animal abuse/neglect and much more:
Alternatives to BSL

1-Enforce License Laws (and other laws already in place)

2-Mandatory Class and Test to own dog*

3-Spay/Neuter- Mandatory (Reputable Breeders Exempt)

4-Hefty fee per breeding license (license per breed- not more than 5 breeds or 2 in major cities)

5-Yearly License Fee enforced w/ proof of existence/life (vital for keeping accurate records of breeders and litters)

6-Government regulated dog laws

7-Felony for vet to mislead

8-Felony to fight, abuse, or neglect pets

9-With City, State or Government regulated animal care and controls income will be higher with license, class, test and fine fees than current income from adoption fees.No longer a need to hire by contract.

10-Unsupervised tethering to be banned

* 2- By forcing dog owners to take training courses BEFORE dog ownership we prevent many of the unknown factors and teach them how to prevent common behavioral problems before it becomes a problem and they ultimately surrender their pet to a 50% death gamble.

Breeder Requirements:

- Breed to AKC/UKC etc. standard for bettering of the breed.

- May not breed bitch prior to second heat (or 2 years of age) and no more than once per year.

- All buyers required to sign contract to return dog(s) to breeder in the event of surrendering the pet.Breeders must take responsibility for the lives they bring into this world.

- Mandatory genetic testing prior to breeding a bitch/stud

- Health Guarantee- monetary refund or replacement (if breeder agrees to replacement) in the event the dog becomes seriously ill or dies (if no foul play in question)

- Must show dogs for confirmation of meeting breed standard and/or compete in canine sports or work events.

- By law must accept or monetarily support any offspring of their dogs in the event of a surrender until a suitable home can be found.

- Pass test covering all aspects of responsible breeding

- Sign contract to follow reputable breeding practices (breach of this contract punishable by fine and/or revocation of license)

- Pay fee for each breeding license, and keep updated records with the department (yet to be named).Records will need to be confirmed by a vet with yearly "proof of life" to ensure that breeders are not obtaining licenses in deceased dogs names (a common practice with puppy mills)

You may not think that spay/neuter, dog tethering, poor breeding practices, puppy mills, enforcing laws or many of the topics I've covered are related to the threat and practice of Breed Specific Legislation. If you are one of these people, sit and review the main points in this article and link them together. I assure you that irresponsible dog ownership comes in many forms and we need to educate in every sense to correctly eliminate the problem. All of these matters meet down the line.

For the dog loving community's sake we must try to filter out irresponsible owners. We are able to apply guidelines and restrictions when obtaining a gun, but not dogs? Why should we not regulate pet owners to be sure our animals are well cared for? Should we not make it harder for ill-intentioned individuals to obtain and keep pets by provide proof that this animal is being used as a companion or humane work? While doing this we would also be protecting and regulating the exploitation of strong breeds such as Rottweilers, Dobermans, German Shepherd Dogs, Pit Bull breeds, Mastiff's, etc. not to forget all dogs in the process.

By giving animals more rights, taking away the rights for humans to mistreat animals by making them put effort into to owning a dog the owners who comply would be more likely to put effort into caring for their dog. Additionally, by giving law enforcement the ability to enforce these laws we are not only significantly fighting animal abuse, dog fighters, criminals, puppy mills, backyard breeders and pet over population and more, but we are adding ethics and standards into a society that seriously lacks respect for companion animals.

Enough people in our country own and love dogs for these issues to be addressed. It's unfortunate that not enough people are aware of the threats posed to our beloved companions. I for one will not sit back idly and allow this holocaust to worsen.

Please note that I'm not asking you to love or go out and adopt a Pit Bull breed, a Rottweiler, or any breed of dog. My only desire is for people to understand that dogs, like humans cannot choose what they are classified as- nor does the "classification" given to them by humans define who they are. Whether it is race, religion, breed, appearance or any differentiating factor- all dogs and people just want to live and be loved. Though my greatest hope, as well as the motivation behind this article is that you decide to join the millions of people against Breed Specific Legislation and animal cruelty.

For more information on how to stop BSL check out this great resource page http://www.understand-a-bull.com/BSL/BSLindex.htm

Did you know about PETA's corruption and Ingrid Newkirk's personal vendetta against Pit Bulls?If you love Pit Bulls breeds or any companion animal please check out this article: http://www.iheartpaws.com/articles/40/1 ... arvey.html

Sources:
Millan, Cesar. Cesar's Way. New York: Harmony Books, 2006.
Hearne, Vicki. Bandit: Dossier of a Dangerous Dog. The Akadine Press, 2002.
http://www.cdc.gov
http://www.bulldogbreeds.com/americanpi ... rrier.html
http://www.fataldogattacks.com
http://bad-rap.org
http://pitbulllovers.com
http://nopitbullbans.com
http://bestfriends.com
http://www.understand-a-bull.com
http://www.aspca.com

Thank you for taking the time to read this article.Feel free to contact the author, Christina Harvey, at Angeleyes@iheartpaws.com

~Written for http://www.IHeartPaws.com homepage and forums- feel free to cross post with link and credit~
Never make someone a priority in your life when that someone treats you like an option.
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Marinepits
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Postby GloriasMom » July 11th, 2009, 9:17 am

Wow, good reading and so true. I could get a job in Ohio that I would love but would have to leave two of my dogs behind. No job is worth that. Humans are crazy. Let's get the humans out of politics and let dogs run the country. Treats for everyone!
Come and see our Gang. 9 of them still live here....whew!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/holeinthewallrescue/
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GloriasMom
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