By: Rachel Womek
Humans are inherently biased. We are racist, sexist, heterosexist, ableist, classist and many other forms of prejudiced. Humans are also biased towards other species of animal; we can get really specific. Today I am talking about Breed Specific Legislation, prejudice towards certain breeds of dog, which, in many places, is supported by law. This bais may include, but is not limited to:
American Pit Bull Terrier
American Staffordshire Terrier
Or any dog bearing even a slight resemblance to the aforementioned breeds. One town, Fairfield , IA, has banned all these dogs and more, any dog over 100 lbs, German Shepherds and Belgian Malanois (The top breeds used for police work).
Basically BSL is the doggy version of Eugenics. Dog attacks happen, they happen from so called “bully” breeds and they happen from breeds considered to be “family dogs”: Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Collies, Border Collies, American Cocker Spaniels, Daschunds and Chihuahuas; to name a few. Dogs can bite. Dogs are domesticated carnivorous predators. If you look at the occurances of dog bites 99.9% of them occur due to negligence or blatant cruelty on the part of the owner. Dogs don’t get socialized and taught how to behave towards people, dogs don’t get supervised when around strangers or children, dogs don’t get secured on leashes when outside, they don’t get confined within property properly. Thus dog bites happen. A severe dog bite can come from a Pit Bull or it can come from a Miniature Poodle: and yes small dogs can inflict big damage.
The legislation we need is for more responsible dog owners, not restrictions on certain breeds.
When a dog gets euthanized for defending his caretaker against her wife-beating asshole husband there’s a problem.
When a little girl’s therapy dog is imprisoned for two years under constant threat of euthanasia simply for being a “Pit bull Type dog” there’s a problem.
The American Humane Association has this to say about BSL:
“American Humane opposes legislation that seeks to ban a particular breed of dog. Such laws provide a false sense
of security as all dogs, when improperly treated or trained, can present a risk to public health. Breed-specific legislation that outlaws specific breeds of dogs
can increase the danger to the community by spawning black market interest, indiscriminate and irresponsible breeding practices,
and subsequent overpopulation issues.”