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We, the undersigned, are writing today to express our grave concern regarding your breed ban proposal by enacting a 72-hour-kill plan in Cumberland County Animal Control in Fayetteville, NC, to affect all Dobermans, Rottweilers, Chow Chows, German Shepherds, Great Danes, Pitbulls, Mastiffs (all bully breeds), Akitas, and Huskies. This “vicious dog” or “BSL” ordinance illegalizes the ownership of the particular dog breeds named, the reason for which is to prevent any liability for injuries before or after a state in the shelter even though a simple waiver would prove sufficient regarding that concern.
Although the premise of this proposal is inherently biased and potentially unconstitutional, it is important to recognize it is based on what we would define as erroneous information, inaccurate witness accounts, and according to inequitable circumstances. To target particular canine breeds according to hysterical outbursts, impetuous reactions to news accounts, and false testimony is pure conjecture and serves no purpose other than creating conflict and dividing the community. This is neither productive nor beneficial. The inclination to protect the community from any potential canine attacks is both understandable and admirable; however, while our objective is equal our strategies differ.
Concentrating on the species rather than the problem of negligent owners, dog attacks, or dog bites in general is illogical and unfairly targets particular breeds, compliant dogs, and their responsible caretakers. Any breed can be potentially dangerous depending on the circumstances. Any breed of dog can be trained to act in dangerous manners. Any breed of dog can be provoked to fight in defensive situations.
Liability should be assigned to irresponsible people who fail to leash or train their dogs in appropriate manners. People who illegally support dog-fighting or other similar pursuits will commit crimes regardless of existing breed-specific legislation. BSL is therefore not an accurate or reliable deterrent, victimizing innocent dogs and their caretakers while neglecting to address those culpable: people who intentionally neglect their dogs or those who deliberately train them in aggressive behaviors. Enacting BSL only propagates breed-specific fear and irrational approaches to valid concerns.
Dangerous dog laws are useful and necessary in every community as they address problems on a case by case basis, holding irresponsible owners accountable for the behavior of their dogs. Breed specific legislation, including breed bans and euthanasia policies, punish the innocent as well as the guilty and do little to protect the public. In OUR view this is equivalent to racial or age discrimination among humans. We don’t put all teenage boys in jail just because the statistics show that teenage boys are most likely to commit crimes or cause traffic accidents. Why should any “group” be punished for the “crimes” of a few individuals?
It is OUR hope that prior to initiating any legislation or actions that unfairly targets trained, obedient, and docile canine breeds and their responsible caretakers, you will consider the implications of such acts as well as any potential unfavorable ramifications. Please remember that everyone, with the exception of the truly apathetic and unlawful segment who participate in dangerous canine training and irresponsible ownership, desires safety for their families and communities. This type of proposal requires input and discussion from all participants and interested groups with legal representation as well.
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