Form / Sample Letter to Govt?

Pits in the news and info on Breed Specific Legislation.

Postby aurora » January 21st, 2006, 7:46 pm

Does anyone have a form letter that we can use to send to officials when BSL comes up? Something we can tailor to each situation, but is already put together in basic form? Or does anyone have any really good samples that they've seen or sent?

My shelter is most likely going to make a public statement against the proposed BSL in Jersey, but I want to mobilize volunteers to write letters and recruite people to write letters against it, and I think it might be easier if they had something to work from.
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Postby Maryellen » January 21st, 2006, 8:01 pm

you can go to http://www.rott-n-chatter.com jan has sample bsl letters on her site that you can modify and use:)
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Postby Fear_the_Sheeple » January 21st, 2006, 11:44 pm

I have been using the AKC's points against BSL in my letters:

Points to Consider:

* Breed-specific laws are not the best way to protect communities. An owner intent on using his or her dogs for malicious purposes will simply be able to switch to another type of dog and continue to jeopardize public safety. The list of regulated breeds or types could grow every year without ever addressing responsible dog ownership. Deeds, not breeds, should be addressed.
* Breed-specific laws are hard to enforce. Breed identification requires expert knowledge of the individual breeds, placing great burden on local officials.
* Breed-specific laws are unfair to responsible owners.
* Breed-specific laws increase costs for the community. Shelter costs for the community could rise as citizens abandon targeted breeds, and adoptable dogs of the targeted breeds would be euthanized at the shelter.
* In some instances, breed-specific laws have been overturned on constitutional grounds. Because proper identification of what dogs would be included is difficult or impossible, the law may be deemed unconstitutionally vague. It may also be found to involve the taking of property without due process.
* Strongly enforced animal control laws (such as leash laws), generic guidelines on dealing with dangerous dogs and increased public education efforts to promote responsible dog ownership are all better ways to protect communities from dangerous animals.
* Since dogs must be unaltered to participate in conformation dog shows and other performance events, many responsible dog owners will be forced to give up a sport that both they and their canine companions enjoy.
* Breed-specific legislation is opposed by the AKC, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the National Animal Control Association, the ASPCA, and a host of national animal welfare organizations that have studied the issue and recognize that targeting breeds simply does not work.

http://www.akc.org/news/index.cfm?article_id=2764

I think most people think that if the AKC says it, it must be true. :wink:
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Postby ammitnme » January 21st, 2006, 11:57 pm

Sarah S of the AKC legislative Commitee mentioned the other day that they are in the proccess of revamping thier BSL education packets they send out on request. Looking forward to that.
They are in a really nice folder with lots of great stuff.....and if you call...they send em.
Like you say...politicos give a lot of credance to the AKC info...
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Postby cheekymunkee » January 25th, 2006, 6:29 pm

Please copy and RETYPE. Be sure to REMOVE all ( ) s and insert the needed information. ALWAYS give your name, address and phone number.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



(TO:..insert name here)
(address)
(city, state,zip)


(FROM:..Your name)
(Your address)
(your city, state, zip)
(your area code and phone number)


Dear (insert name here):


To be useful, legislation must be effective, enforceable, economical, and reasonably fair. Recently, a bill (CITE BILL NUMBER HERE) has been placed before (RELEVANT BODY i.e., city council, etc.,)that would fail all of these tests. This legislation is motivated by fear and lack of relevant knowledge. .


The media and the inexperienced would have you believe that these breeds are vicious and should be prohibited. However, these very breeds as a whole have proven their stability and good canine citizenry by becoming 'Search & Rescue dogs, Therapy dogs working inside hospitals, professional Herding dogs and family companions for years.


Our Country was not founded on the restriction and punishment of the masses based on the actions of a few... when has this changed?


A five year study published in the Cincinnati Law Review in 1982, vol. 53, pg 1077, which specifically considered both Rottweilers and "pit bulls", concluded in part that:


...statistics did not support the assertion that any one breed was dangerous, ..when legislation is focused on the type of dog it fails, because it is ... unenforceable, confusing, and costly. .. focusing legislation on dogs that are "vicious" distracts attention from the real problem, which is irresponsible owners.


In light of this and other studies, we urge you to take the following actions:


1. Reject the current legislation, which is contrary to fact and distracts from the real issue, that of responsible ownership.


2. Actively pursue legislation that would render owners liable for the actions of their pets, such as a good non-breed specific dangerous dog law.


We suggest that the appropriate policy should be "blame the owner, not the dog." Owners can and should take responsibility for their pets.


Bottom line: the legislation proposed will not only be unfair for responsible citizens but it addresses the wrong problem. Voting for this proposal as it stands only harms the law abiding responsible dog owner.


Sincerely,


YOUR NAME
There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.

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Postby cheekymunkee » January 25th, 2006, 6:29 pm

Please copy and RETYPE. Be sure to REMOVE all ( ) s and insert the needed information. ALWAYS give your name, address and phone number.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



(TO:..insert name here)
(address)
(city, state,zip)


(FROM:..Your name)
(Your address)
(your city, state, zip)
(your area code and phone number)


Dear (insert name here):


I understand your concern and desire to protect your constituents from the awful tragedy a dangerous dog can cause. You, I am sure, intend to do so with the law you are (INSERT drafting/proposing/enforcing). However, all you will do with such a law is turn thousands of pet loving voters against you personally and you will be viewed as those terrible people who will cruelly deprive animal lovers of their well behaved pets.


I am sure this is not your intention. To avoid making such a terrible mistake in your proposed legislation I suggest you contact the American Kennel Club in New York and ask for their draft version of a dangerous dog law. This law has been enacted in several states and provides the general populace ample protection from dangerous dogs while still permitting the people who properly train and socialize their pets to retain them.


The loss of a child is a terrible thing but many people will claim the loss of a beloved pet is very close emotionally to it. Banning or restricting a specific breed will not keep children or adults from being injured by dogs that have not been properly trained it will merely change the type of dog that is kept by those who desire the protection of a guardian breed. As it is the owners who control the training and socialization of the puppies they purchase or adopt they are the ones responsible for those dogs that learn to bite people.


Neither (INSERT breed/s here) are dangerous dogs per se rather they are breeds that are popular not only with those devoted to them and their proper care but those who wish a macho image. Prior to this decade other dog breeds were in similar situations for example Dobermans, German Shepherds and ChowChows, all breeds that were victims of great popularity and subsequent poor handling by less than competent owners bringing them an undeserved reputation as a 'dangerous' breed. Banning (INSERT breed/s here) will merely hasten the upswing in popularity of some other breed.


Controlling the people who will abuse the owner dog relationship through ignorance or otherwise is a far better and wiser solution to the problem these owners present to their neighbors no matter what breed of dog they own.


Respectfully,


(Your signature)
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Postby cheekymunkee » January 25th, 2006, 6:30 pm

Please copy and RETYPE. Be sure to REMOVE all ( ) s and insert the needed information. ALWAYS give your name, address and phone number.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



(TO:..insert name here)
(address)
(city, state,zip)


(FROM:..Your name)
(Your address)
(your city, state, zip)
(your area code and phone number)


Dear (insert name here):


This is in response to the pending legislation in your jurisdiction as to regulating vicious/potentially dangerous dogs via breed specific legislation.


All dogs are dangerous under certain circumstances. Only when the owner or custodian of the animal does not properly train and confine his/her animal, does that animal pose a potential risk to human safety. A common ingredient to the dog personality is to guard and protect it's owner and property. ANY dog with that personality can become a problem for the public, if that dog is allowed to run loose and is not responsibly supervised. The key word here is responsibility (per Webster, definition of responsibility: Being legally or ethically accountable for the welfare or care of another.) To say certain breeds of dogs are dangerous is not a complete statement. All dogs can be dangerous if in the hands of an irresponsible owner.


Please retract your breed specific bill/ordinance. Don't punish all of us responsible owners that maintain our dogs as companions and members of our families. We can and do maintain our dogs so they do not pose a threat to anyone, why should we be denied our companions simply because irresponsible owners of the same breed of dog have not "ethically and legally" protected others from injury?


There are several samples of existing non-breed specific legislation (i.e., the State of California) that is competent to regulate the irresponsible owners and not punish those that maintain their dogs safely and humanely. I, as a responsible dog owner, ask that you seriously consider the impact of breed specific legislation. The irresponsible owners don't care what breed of dog they lose the right to own... they'll find another dog breed to fit their needs. I deeply care, because it threatens me with the loss of a family member.


Sincerely,


(Your signature)
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Debby
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Postby cheekymunkee » January 25th, 2006, 6:30 pm

Please copy and RETYPE. Be sure to REMOVE all ( ) s and insert the needed information. ALWAYS give your name, address and phone number.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



(TO:..insert name here)
(address)
(city, state,zip)


(FROM:..Your name)
(Your address)
(your city, state, zip)
(your area code and phone number)


Dear (insert name here):


To be useful, legislation must be effective, enforceable, economical, and reasonably fair. Recently, a bill (CITE BILL NUMBER HERE) has been placed before (RELEVANT BODY i.e., city council, etc.,) that fails all of these tests. This legislation is motivated by fear and lack of relevant knowledge. It is discriminatory, impractical, and unenforceable. Worst of all, it will not solve the problem. I urge you to vote against it.


The proposed bill would restrict the ownership of certain types of dogs, specifically (INSERT breed/s here). These breeds have been the subject of irresponsponsible and sensationalist reporting across the country. The media and the inexperienced would have you believe that these breeds are vicious and should be prohibited.


The plain fact is that there is no relationship between the type of the dog and the number of incidents. If your town has 100 German Shepherds and 1 Poodle, you'll soon learn that the German Shepherds are responsible for 100 times as many incidents as the Poodles. Does this mean that German Shepherds are intrinsically vicious? Of course not.


Taken as a whole, the (INSERT breed/s here) breeds have proven their stability and good canine citizenry by becoming 'Search & Rescue dogs, Therapy dogs working inside hospitals, professional Herding dogs and family companions for years.


A five year study published in the Cincinnati Law Review in 1982, vol. 53, pg 1077, which specifically considered both Rottweilers and "pit bulls," concluded in part that:


... statistics do not support the assertion that any one breed was dangerous, - when legislation is focused on the type of dog it fails, because it is ... unenforceable, confusing, and costly... focusing legislation on dogs that are "vicious" distracts attention from the real problem, which is irresponsible owners.


In light of the studies, the facts, and the discriminatory nature of the proposed legislation, we urge you to take the following actions:


1. Reject the current legislation, which is contrary to fact and distracts from the real issue: responsible ownership.


2. Work to establish reasonable guidelines for responsible pet ownership, and encourage legislation that supports owner responsibility without reference to specific breeds.


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." If a dog attacks a person, the law should treat it as though the owner attacked that person.


Voting for this proposal as it stands will harm both the law abiding, responsible dog owners and the victims, but it won't solve anything.


Sincerely,


(Your signature)
There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.

Debby
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Postby chance's mom » February 14th, 2006, 10:26 pm

these are great! thanks a lot guys! these will come in very handy.
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Postby Marinepits » February 15th, 2006, 9:21 am

Great sample letters -- thanks!
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » May 21st, 2008, 3:21 pm

How effective is it for out of state people to write letters to state reps? Will they just be wasting their time?
"Remember - every time your dog gets somewhere on a tight leash *a fairy dies and it's all your fault.* Think of the fairies." http://www.positivepetzine.com"

http://www.pitbullzen.com
http://inaradog.wordpress.com
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Postby madremissy » May 21st, 2008, 4:34 pm

that was going to be my question. I have been looking thru the letters but I don't know which one is best. Me living in Georgia, would that do any good. :? I will gladly help, I might need some help but if someone tells me the exact way to do it I will. I think this is absolutely ridiculous. I still have a hard time understanding that "someone" can come to you and look at your dog, say for sure that it is a "pit bull type" dog and make you give it up. :nono: :nono: :nono:
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