No one should have to live in fear of dogs, especially a child. And no parent should ever know the pain of having their child attacked by a dog, or worse yet, losing their child in such an incident. All the victims of dog attacks, as well as their loved ones, deserved better protection from this aggression and violence. And for the future potential victims, something must be done as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, a common response made by the government, and often requested by the public, is the creation of breed-specific legislation (BSL). BSL, as the name implies, singles out a certain breed or breeds of dog as "aggressive" or "dangerous," rather than addressing all dogs in the same manner. This type of legislation is both unfounded and unfair.
Please read this petition letter to learn why BSL shouldn't be created and what lawmakers could do instead to protect both people and dogs, then show your support by signing this petition.
We the undersigned would like to express our opposition to breed-specific legislation (BSL), based on the following information:
Virtually everyone is aware of the negative stereotype associated with any dog called "pit bull." However, most people who buy into it don't know any pit bulls personally. When they meet one for the first time, they're often surprised at how friendly and trusting these dogs are, even with complete strangers. In fact, pit bulls were specifically bred not to be aggressive toward humans. Consider these statements from the Pit Bull Rescue Central website (www.pbrc.net): "From their inception, these dogs have been bred for general human companionship... the [Staffordshire Bull Terrier] is affectionately known as 'The Nanny Dog' or 'The Children's Nursemaid' because of its placid and nurturing demeanor toward children... Perhaps the most important characteristic of pit bulls is their amazing love of people."
The website continues, "To date, every shred of empirical evidence we have suggests that pit bulls are the same as, if not better than, other breeds when it comes to human interaction. Each year, the American Temperament Testing Society holds evaluations across the country for dog breeds and gives a passing score for the entire breed based on the percentage of passed over failed within total number of the particular breed tested. As of 2008, pit bull breeds achieved a combined passing score of 85.5 percent. To put these figures into context, the combined passing rate of all breeds was 81.6 percent. The Collie, an icon of obedience, passed at a rate of 79.4 percent, and the beloved Golden Retriever scored at 84.2 percent. As you can see, by these measures, the pit bull breeds make fabulous family pets!"
The bottom line is that pit bulls themselves are the greatest victims of their bad reputation. It's lack of socialization, neglect, and even outright abuse that turns some of these gentle-natured dogs into frustrated safety hazards. So what laws should we be creating if BSL is so misguided and unfair? Mandatory spaying/neutering of all dogs would help curb the tens of thousands of euthanizations that are performed every day in the U.S., as well as decreasing the hormone levels that often play a factor in dog attacks from any breed. Also, restrictions on chaining dogs outdoors would prevent dogs from becoming aggressive due to lack of socialization and neglect. Mandatory micro-chipping would protect dogs who become lost from falling into the wrong hands, as well as forcing owners of all types of dogs to take personal responsibility for them. Micro-chipping would also create the possibility of a "bad dog owner" registry that law enforcement could use to prevent anyone with a proven history of dog neglect or abuse, or anyone whose dog/dogs have been involved in violence toward people more than once, from owning any dogs in the future.
I hope this information will prove useful and be cause for consideration of these proposed alternatives to BSL. Thank you for your time and consideration.