_______________ (Name of Person Letter is Going To)
_______________ (Title and Organization of Person Letter is Going To)
________________ (Address of Person Letter is Going To)
Dear Mr./Ms./Dr./(job title) __________,
Hello, my name is ____________ (your name here), and I am the proud owner of ____________(name your animal/s here). As a responsible pet owner, I feel very strongly about the many anti-pet laws being passed at an alarming rate -- in the name of public safety -- in cities and states across the nation. As a registered voter of the United States, it appears to me that little thought or regard for the constituents of this country are taken into consideration before these anti-pet laws are passed.
Rather than eliminating pet overpopulation, needless euthanasia, and dangerous dogs, these laws actually exacerbate the problems the laws are professing to eliminate. It is my opinion that these anti-pet laws passed in the name of public safety are more definitively directed at breeders and others who have animals for racing, show, and sporting events rather than protecting the public or encouraging people to be responsible owners. More importantly, I feel they are directed at eliminating the right of Americans to own their animals by placing owners in the position of guardianship only.
Lawmakers are not only mistakenly oversimplifying the problems with this type of legislation but they are removing American constituents' freedoms under the guise of good and responsible animal care. Breed Specific Legislation (BSL), Mandatory spay/neuter (MSN) and micro chipping are not going to make irresponsible people responsible, stop dangerous dogs, protect the public, or end useless euthanasia and pet overpopulation. Rather, quite the contrary will ensue -- enabling a grossly huge black market as has not ever been experienced in this country to date. On top of this, our American freedoms and civil liberties are being removed as a result, which is in direct violation of our Constitution.
In the hopes that lawmakers will study reliable and factual information on the subject of BSL and other anti-pet laws, an excellent five year study was published in the Cincinnati Law Review in 1982, vol. 53, which specifically considered both Rottweilers and "Pit Bulls" and concluded in part that:
... the 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 dog/animal ownership.
In light of this and other studies I have read, I urge you to actively pursue legislation that would render owners liable for the actions of their pets. The appropriate policy should be "hold the owner, not the dog, not the animal, accountable." It is not the automobile that kills innocent people; it is the driver of that vehicle. People commit crimes and laws are written to punish criminal acts. Therefore, we need stronger laws to punish irresponsible, neglectful dog owners who fail to properly train and socialize their dogs. We more importantly need to be able to enforce the laws that were put in place a long time ago, such as leash laws and proper animal care laws, rather than introducing more and more stringent laws that strip away our American rights and freedoms.
Government needs the guidance of responsible, law abiding citizens. Otherwise, it will be the most reactive elements of society that end up writing the laws. I caution you not to repeat the sadly misguided decision made by the City Council of Denver. On May 5th, 2005, they voted to enact a breed ban which resulted in the seizure and killing of innocent family dogs. Their attempt to "protect" the community has caused immeasurable grief and sacrifices to many Denver residents. Coming into homes to remove dogs, based on breed alone, is mirroring government tactics taken in Communist and dictatorial countries rather than a government for the people, by the people of the people common to a democracy.
To be useful, legislation must be effective, enforceable, economical, and reasonably fair. Any form of legislative discrimination would fail in all of these areas, punish responsible animal owning citizens and worst of all will not protect the public from dangerous, irresponsible humans and their animals who are the product of their environment. Please remember that any dog can bite and seriously injure people, regardless of its breed. Only with the proper training and socialization can we ensure that all dogs will be welcomed neighbors in society. This is the responsibility and duty of every dog and animal owner. Citizens who fail this task are the ones who put the public at risk â€“ not the animals! Animals don't know, or care, what laws are. To be responsible legislators, you must make laws that apply to people, not animals.
_______________ (Your Name, Title and Organization)
_______________ (Your City, State plus Street Address if appropriate)
_______________ (Your Phone/ Email Address if appropriate)
There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.