Monday, December 5, 2011

Alternatives to Breed Specific Bans


Many of the shelter dogs Perkinson advocates adopting would be considered pitbulls or pitbull mixes “Pitbull” is a generic term and does not refer to any recognized breed. Purebred American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers, and Bull Terriers all fall into the category of pit bull dogs. Well-behaved show dogs, pets, therapy dogs, service dogs, and working dogs of these breeds would be punished by a ban. 

Banning particular breeds rips well behaved dogs out of their loving family’s arms to be murdered just because they are a certain breed, not because they have done anything wrong. Do you really want to take someone’s (especially a child’s) dog away just because it is a certain breed? 

Because breeds and mixes are hard to identify many dogs are mislabeled and destroyed based on paranoia and prejudice. The American Veterinary Medical Association opposes breed-specific legislation for just this reason

  1. Develop animal control programs that encourage dog owners to properly socialize, train, and care for their dogs so that they can become good canine citizens.
  2. Enforcement of leash laws -- fine owners who let their dogs run loose or fail to keep them in secure enclosures. Use the money collected from these fines to fund community dog safety and responsible ownership programs.
  3. Significant penalties for those involved in any inhumane or irresponsible activity with animals.
  4. Teach the children of the community about responsible dog ownership and care. The American Kennel Club has a free education program on dog care for elementary schools. Children need to be taught to respect animals, no child should attempt to chase or corner a dog of any breed as the dog perceives it as a threat and will attempt to either flee or defend itself. 

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