dog breed discrimination
As of 2019, 22 states (marked in orange on map below) have passed provisions against breed discriminatory legislation, and we’re working every day to increase that number. When making image choices in your anti-BDL efforts, however, it’s important to keep your audience in mind. As meeting dates approach or the vote nears, post updates online via social media, purchase small ads in local newspapers and distribute more flyers to encourage fellow citizens to show support and attend. A dog is only aggressive if you make it aggressive. No-Kill 2025 | The Sanctuary | Act for Animals | Stories | Adopt + FosterWays to Give | Pet Care Resources | Who We Are | Locations | Shop, Careers | Contact Us | For the Media | FAQs | Position Statements | Financial Information. Focus your language on persuasive arguments addressing property rights, public safety and fiscal impact, rather than heartfelt appeals to save the dogs. These dogs had the protection of the AKC. Start with sending letters describing the proposed legislation to the editors of local newspapers in order to spread the word about the issue, educate citizens and garner support. (See “Visual Identification of Dog Breeds” below.). For these reasons, it is important to use the term “breed-discriminatory legislation” rather than “breed-specific legislation.”. Re: Dog Breed Discrimination I watch a lot of the Animal Cops shows on Animal Planet, and it is amazing the number of pitt bulls and mixes of that breed that end up in the shelters. When interacting with the media, know what points you want to make and insert them into the discussion whenever you can. Dog breed discrimination One of Best Friends' main goals involves working to eliminate dog breed discrimination. I believe the research shows that not many people are aware of what breed discrimination is. Their expertise understandably carries great weight with decision-makers. BSL is sometimes known by another acronym: BDL, or breed discriminatory legislation. Study the information and print the reports to distribute to your government officials. Better still, the dog should be at rest. © 2020 Best Friends Animal Society. Children need to be taller than the dog. Also, be sure to emphasize to the media that ending breed discrimination is a national trend. Pit bull breeds are lumped together under this shared breed category which can be a death threat in a shelter setting. The picture heading for this petition is a dog named Missy at an animal shelter in Michigan. Evidence that these policies do not make communities safer abounds throughout the world. Shares Share Tweet Pin Arizona has just become the 20th state to completely do away with breed-specific legislation — laws that ban or otherwise regulate dogs by breed. Some of the recommended organizations: Calls, letters and emails from voters greatly influence public officials’ decision-making process, so encourage as many supporters as possible to contact the relevant government officials. Stop dog breed discrimination. Messages: 2,058 Likes Received: 1,894 Trophy Points: 113. As celebrity wannabes: Photograph local sports heroes or other celebrities with pit bull terriers. Here are a couple more resources to consult when creating your case against breed discrimination: For more on how to become politically active for animals, Best Friends recommends the following books: Animal advocates just like you have successfully defeated and repealed BDL measures throughout the country. Finally, if the media needs additional background information on the topic of breed discrimination, Best Friends is happy to help. Always keep your tone respectful and polite. On that Web page, you can generate several reports to support your argument. Get to the meeting early so that you can introduce yourself to the city council members before the meeting starts. This dog needs a loving home and family, but the fact that many places don't allow her breed hinders her chances at adoption. It’s extremely helpful if veterinarians speak out against breed discrimination at public meetings or by contacting local government officials. Contact information is usually available on your community’s website. American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Animal Care & Control Association. Everyone has very strong opinions concerning one of the most heavily discriminated breeds, the “pit bull”. Dr. Good testified at a hearing that if Dearborn adopted a breed-discriminatory provision targeting pit bull terriers, she’d lose one-third of her clients and would have to move her practice out of Dearborn. That means using arguments focused on violation of personal property rights, fiscal accountability and public safety. By Minette. – A bill that would bar cities, towns and other municipalities from passing dog breed-specific ordinances made it through the General Laws Committee unanimously last week. Dasha Levin started this petition to United States Government Breed Specific Legislation and 1 other. Emphasize the top three reasons that a community should reject BDL: Be ready to elaborate on each of these points, as well as explain how breed bans force responsible owners with good dogs to choose between surrendering their best friend to a shelter or moving out of the community. Organizations that oppose breed discrimination include the American Bar Association, the National Animal Care & Control Association, the United Kennel Club, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and even the White House. For more details, go to the National Canine Research Council website and read Dr. Voith’s study, called A Comparison of Visual and DNA Identifications of Breeds. Second, dogs of the same breed may look alike, but their personality traits vary widely. Keep in mind that community leaders can be quickly turned off by large numbers of angry calls, letters and emails from people, especially if they are coming from individuals who don’t reside in the community. It's time to make a difference. Therapy dogs come in all shapes and sizes. Pit bull terrier dogs and puppies are the most frequently and unjustly targeted by breed discriminatory legislation as inherently vicious, aggressive and dangerous, though this is not the case, as shown by research, studies and policies from the National Canine Research Council, the Center for Disease Control and the American Bar Association. Alert others about the need to contact officials, either via email, social media or the old-fashioned way, by distributing flyers. Another strategy to try is using the economic consequences to local businesses as an advocacy tool. (Read more here.). (DOGS/DOG BREED DISCRIMINATION) Pit bulls have been the target of breed-specific legislation for years despite evidence claiming such laws do not diminish the number of overall dog attacks. If a number of people are involved in your anti-BDL efforts, select one person as the media spokesperson and make sure that person is articulate and can speak accurately about the issue. BSL is a misnomer, though, because there is nothing specific about this legislation. “I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. A December 2013 study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the most comprehensive study to date regarding dog-related fatalities, found that a multifaceted approach to dog-bite prevention is the most effective. Some say, "do nothing at all." available through the National Canine Research Council, Why Breed-Specific Legislation Is Ineffective, States Discriminating Against Dogfighting Victims, Pet-Friendly Landlords Increase Profitability, Dog Breed-Neutral Laws for Safe Communities, Help you assess the situation and craft an appropriate response, Refer you to additional resources and help you connect with other potential advocates, Create and share action alerts with Best Friends subscribers in your community, Further highlight the issue and build advocacy momentum using Best Friends’ extensive social media network. Apartments and rental homes often have breed restrictions and cause countless citizens to get rid of their companions. The impetus is typically overblown media attention paid to an unfortunate dog-bite incident. Best Friends can provide information regarding effective policy measures and examples of enacted comprehensive breed-neutral laws that target reckless and problem pet owners. In Arlington, where 70% of homes are in multi-unit buildings and 60% are rent, the … The city could ban any breed but most were pit bulls, Rottweilers, and others that have a “bad reputation”. Double your efforts to get supporters to attend meetings with you. Agra , December 12: An Agra woman, who has been rescuing and rehabilitating stray dogs for nearly 40 years, has raised the issue of discrimination between the domestic and foreign breeds. View legislative alerts about ordinances and laws that may affect your city, county, or state and take action where applicable. It’s time for Michigan to become the 23 rd state in the nation to end breed discrimination. L.J. Dog owners are not given due process, as their dogs are deemed dangerous based solely on looks and can be killed without any scientific evidence. Pit bull terriers as career dogs: People look favorably on dogs who appear to have a job, such as search and rescue, bomb detection or law enforcement. BDL wastes valuable tax dollars because it’s ineffective and expensive to enforce. Municipal officials should know that DNA testing is expensive and will necessitate redirecting tax dollars away from other areas. You can undermine your own argument with the wrong language. The ADA does not restrict the type of dog breed that can qualify for a service dog. And be sure to share this information with fiscally conservative citizens or citizen groups, as well as your dog-loving neighbors, friends, family and social media contacts. Go to your community’s Wikipedia page and edit it to disclose that your community has or is considering BDL. If all else fails, run for public office yourself. Writer. Are certain breeds of dogs inherently aggressive and dangerous? Your dog’s resume should include standard details like the pup’s name, breed, age, weight, vaccination dates, and a current photo. Get involved. Garner support by getting active on your favorite social media platform, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ or another site. Beautiful animals, but need to be in the hands of responsible people. We are supposed to be the thinking, feeling, and intellectual species and yet we have so far to go to get anywhere close to our mammal counterparts in many ways. Show the dogs’ upper teeth, no matter how happy the dog actually looks. Unfortunately, negative media attention and the fact that particular breeds of dogs are used in illegal dogfighting has given these dogs a bad reputation. To order a copy, visit. Since she was the only vet in the community, this strategy worked like a charm and the city council passed a comprehensive breed-neutral dangerous-dog law instead. Though breed-discriminatory legislation (BDL) is often an attempt to improve public safety, studies show that it does not accomplish that objective. The next demonized dogs were the Northern breeds, the Malamutes and Huskies, who were assumed by many to be the equivalent of wolves. Send your own personal letter or email opposing breed discrimination to the appropriate government officials, including council members, the mayor, the police chief and the city attorney. Unlike BDL, breed-neutral laws are effective because they target the behavior of the individual dog. Dog breed discrimination is wrong, and breed ban laws do not keep the public safer. Your dog’s resume should include standard details like the pup’s name, breed, age, weight, vaccination dates, and a current photo. Please read on to learn more about breed discrimination and find out how you can take proven, effective steps to combat it. The media quickly learned that provocative coverage of these dogs, no matter how exaggerated or even untrue, increased sales. Although multiple factors are involved in dog-related fatalities, most factors (isolation from positive family interaction, mismanagement by owners, abuse or neglect, dogs left alone with a child, etc.) Eliminating breed labels, which people seem to be using as poor proxies for stereotyped traits, may be the key to banishing a significant amount of dog discrimination—and getting more dogs into homes, Feuerbacher and the other researchers argue. Instead of enhancing public safety, breed-discriminatory laws actually compromise public safety by requiring law enforcement officers to seize or restrict friendly pets instead of focusing on dogs whose behavior is truly dangerous. Click here to access.). Instead, dig in for the long haul and aim for a repeal. The Case Against Dog Breed Discrimination by Homeowners' Insurance Companies: Larry Cunningham : 11 Conn. Ins. Breed discrimination is not limited to outright breed bans. Your ambassador dog should be well-behaved and able to handle the potentially heightened stress and excitement of the situation. While we view our pets as family, the legal system classifies dogs as property. In America, responsible people should be allowed to love and care for any breed of dog they choose. Community Cats Program Handbook: Administration, Community Cats Program Handbook: Operations, Steps for fighting breed discrimination in your community, Why breed discrimination doesn’t work and what does, See Beyond the Stereotypes of Pit-Bull-Terrier-Like Dogs to Save Them All, A Comparison of Visual and DNA Identifications of Breeds, Breed Stereotype and Effects of Handler Appearance on Perceptions of Pit Bulls.”). They feel that the statistics compiled on dog attacks are inaccurate, and that the press has created the false impression that there is a dog bite problem in the USA. Best Friends is committed to changing public perception of these dogs with facts, statistics and stories that illustrate their true, loving natures. Also, it would be a good idea to include a short snippet about your dog’s personality, what they like to do in their spare time, as well as their favorite treats. Stop dog breed discrimination. With age-appropriate children: The children in the photos should appear to be comfortably in control of the dog. The power of social media is undeniable. For example, knowing a dog has a short snout and long hair doesn’t give us any information about whether he’s afraid of thunderstorms or gets along well with cats. Third, “breed-discriminatory” is a more accurate descriptor for these types of laws. Some breed-discriminatory laws are so restrictive that they make it virtually impossible to have a dog of the targeted breed. Everyone has very strong opinions concerning one of the most heavily discriminated breeds, the “pit bull”. Why should you fight breed discrimination in your community? Just don’t forget to update the page again after you’ve successfully defeated proposed BDL measures. Breed Discrimination is a very touchy subject among dog enthusiasts. Email, write or call folks directly to relay your gratitude. Show dogs at play with each other: Sometimes play looks like fighting to the general public. Divide different points among advocates so that testimony isn’t repetitive. They feel that the statistics compiled on dog attacks are inaccurate, and that the press has created the false impression that there is a dog bite problem in the USA. However, it is within your rights as a landlord to decide what breed of pet is allowed to live on your property. Why should landlords be concerned with the breed of dog a tenant owns? Because of the inaccuracy of visual breed identification, Dr. Voith questions current public and private policies based on dog breeds. All of your public calls-to-action should encourage polite, respectful, informed discourse. You can also ask media representatives to contact Best Friends’ senior legislative attorney, Ledy VanKavage, at firstname.lastname@example.org. One of Best Friends' main goals involves working to eliminate dog breed discrimination. Our team can also provide information regarding the need for public education about spay/neuter, responsible dog ownership and safe dog interactions. Thanks Sodahead for the Picture. Arlington, Texas 2020-12-17 14:45:36 – Next to Nicole is a biweekly opinion column. In fact. Note that both dates and agendas are prone to change at the last minute, so be vigilant in rechecking and confirming information. All Rights Reserved. For more information, email Best Friends at email@example.com. Breed discrimination in insurance is a recent phenomenon that was preceded by the enactment of "breed-specific legislation" ("BSL") by some state legislatures and municipalities. These laws — known as breed-discriminatory or breed-specific legislation — target certain dogs by breed or even just by appearance. Under previous laws, residents who owned prohibited dogs would be forced to get rid of their dog or move out of the city limits. The right language, on the other hand, can create a solid case that few reasonable people can argue against. Use the term “breed-discriminatory legislation” rather than “breed-specific legislation.” There is nothing specific about so-called breed-specific legislation (see the sidebar below), so don’t perpetuate that myth or undermine your argument. There is no such problem, they say. To be truly safe and humane, communities need ordinances that hold people responsible for their actions and for the behavior of their pets, regardless of breed or appearance. The latest is the "pit bull". Provide good alternatives to breed-discriminatory legislation, including model ordinances and sound policies. 4,014 likes. An effective and humane ordinance might include regulations that do the following: Best Friends can provide copies of ordinances that address problem pet owners, dangerous dogs, dogs running at large, anti-tethering laws, licensing and more. Of course, any of the resources listed throughout this publication are also recommended reading. In some areas, regulated breeds also include a variety of other dogs like American Bulldogs, Rottweilers, Mastiffs, Dalmatians, Chow Chows, German Shepherds, Doberman Pinschers or any mix of these breeds—and dogs who simply resemble these … Or how great your own dog is photographed with affects people ’ ineffective... ’ t be identified visually, even by professionals rechecking and confirming information be very interested in what have. I would like to address the banning of specific dog breeds lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the breed... With certainty is DNA testing specific legislation and 1 other terms of companions! 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