is due, laws are in order, and the situation is out of
hand. Let's be sure of our focus. Laws are for humans,
not for animals who have no say about the captive environment
they must endure." -Rod
Pit Bulls would be like banning cars because people get
killed in car accidents! Who's responsible, the car or
the driver/manufacturer? Any car can be deadly in the
wrong hands or if built with defective parts. Same thing
with dogs... Any dog. Pit Bulls are no more responsible
for the way they are bred, raised and trained, than cars
are responsible for the way they are designed, built
put, the best argument against breed bans is that they
are costly and ineffective. Breed bans are often a knee-jerk
reaction from politicians who want to say they are "doing
something", after a highly publicized dog attack (of
any breed). This is a useless exercise.
Criminals habitually break laws, so having
an "illegal breed" may indeed be attractive to them and
might make them want to breed and sell more "illegal
dogs". If their dog is confiscated and killed, they really
don't care. They will just get another one because breed
bans punish the dog, not the owner.
On the other hand, law abiding responsible owners, whose
dogs love people and have never done anything wrong,
can see their homes invaded, often without a search warrant,
and their beloved family members dragged away (in front
of their children) to be killed. Not because the dogs
are unstable or mean, but simply because of their breed.
Meanwhile, the owners of truly dangerous dogs (of any
breed) escape punishment because their breed is not targeted
by legislation and therefor is believed "safe".
A 10 Lbs Pomeranian killed a baby a few years ago...
Obviously a problem with that particular dog, not the
breed. "The baby's uncle left the infant and the
dog on a bed while the uncle prepared her bottle in the
kitchen. Upon his return, the dog was mauling the baby,
who died shortly afterwards. ("Baby Girl Killed by Family
Dog," Los Angeles Times, Monday, October 9, 2000, Home
Edition, Metro Section, Page B-5.)"
Because of a serious lack of regulation
in dog breeding, too many dogs inherit defective genes
and are sold to irresponsible owners. A breed ban will
not resolve the problem. This nonsense will continue
with the next macho breed and will become an endless
race between breed specific legislators and unscrupulous
A Pit Bull breeder was shut down last year
because Pit Bulls were banned in Topeka, Kansas. All
his dogs were seized and destroyed, just for being the
wrong breed at the wrong place. The man now breeds and
sells African Boerboels, a rare breed from the Mastiff
family, completely unknown to legislators. Unlike American
Pit Bull Terriers, however, who are known for their love
of people, Boerboels are serious guard dogs bred specifically
as protectors. An irresponsibly bred and owned Boerboel
might actually be more dangerous than an irresponsibly
bred and owned Pit Bull. This is what a breed ban has
accomplished in Topeka...
So in light of this, what kind of message
are we telling abusive and irresponsible individuals
when we make the dogs pay the price for their actions?
are some things to consider:
"Pit bull" is not a breed, but a "type" that encompasses
several registered breeds and crossbreeds. Therefore, statistics
that claim "Pit bulls" are responsible for some percentage
of attacks are lumping many separate breeds together, then
comparing that to other dogs that are counted as individual
Breed identification is left up to victim and witness testimony,
and is often wrong. Due to negative press, biting dogs
of almost ANY breed have been called "Pit bulls". Try this
little quiz for fun: Find
the Pit Bull See how many people you know
can pick out a pit bull from pictures, let alone in the
middle of an attack.
Search the Center
for Disease Control site. Even the CDC
supports the position that irresponsible owners, not
breed, are the chief cause of dog bites. They have
done studies that indicate that the most "dangerous
breed" of dog changes with popularity and reputation.
Search the American
Temperament Test Society. Pit bulls have
an average score that beats even the "ultimate family
dog", the Golden Retriever.
pit bull press - This site shows not only
what the breed is about, but the difference responsible
ownership makes. Many of these pages are "Pit bull rescue
makes good" stories. This site features, among other
great stuff, rescue pits that are saving human lives
in Search and Rescue and US Customs Service.
The Diane Whipple case. One of the first times the owner
has been held responsible for the actions of their dog. Note
that the breed involved was the Perro de Presa Canario (Canary
Dog) from Spain, yet the brunt of the negative press again
targeted the pit bull, an all but unrelated breed. Clearly
the message is lets stop targeting the dogs! Pit Bulls are
no more dangerous than any other strong and large dog. They
just happen to attract more irresponsible and abusive owners
than any other breed... Ironically, by portraying them in
a negative way, the media and breed legislators only make
them irresistibly attractive to individuals with bad intentions.
Do Pit Bull haters really think that after banning the breed
all the criminals who use these dogs as weapons will own
Basset Hounds? And if they did, how long do you think it
would take before Basset Hounds start making the news?
A breed ban will only remove Pit Bulls
from the good people's homes and leave them in the hands
of animal abusers who couldn't care less about the law...
Better think twice before supporting such measure...
Breed Ban IQ
1. If you were the
sheriff in your town and you learned that Toyotas were
disproportionally involved in more auto accidents than any other model, would
(a) ban Toyotas and confiscate the Toyota of anyone caught driving one
(b) arrest the drivers responsible for those accidents?
2. Which course of action in Question 1 do you think
(a) inconvenience the fewest number of people?
(b) be the more efficient use of taxpayer dollars?
(c) be more effective in preventing future accidents involving Toyotas?
3. If your answer to Question 1 was (a) -- ban Toyotas -- and the sheriff's
department learned that, by a statistical quirk, drivers of confiscated Toyotas
were now perpetrating further accidents by driving, say, Hondas, would you
then ban Hondas? If not, why not?
4. If your answer to Question 3 was, "Ban
Hondas, too, dammit, something HAS to be done," then would you propose a
ban on ALL car models with names ending in "a," such as Kias and Mazdas,
reasoning that all these brands are pretty much made for the same purpose?
If not, why not? If so, how would you deal with car brands that end in the
SOUND of "a," such as Chevrolet?
5. Are you beginning to understand that:
(a) because most of the tens of millions of pet dogs are NOT registered, "breed" cannot
be defined in a meaningful way?
(b) that miscreants employ pit bulls, German shepherds, Rottweilers, Dobermans,
Akitas, Great Danes -- that is, whichever dog is handy -- as personal tools
(c) that law enforcement authorities could waste inordinate amounts of time
(and, therefore, taxpayer dollars) policing a breed ban, adding to their jobs
a task perhaps even more meaningless than enforcing jaywalking laws?
(d) that the people most likely affected by a breed ban -- that is, those inconvenienced,
harrassed and likely to suffer damage -- are the 99.9% majority of utterly
innocent dogs and people?
(e) most important, that breed bans do ESSENTIALLY NOTHING to address the real
problem: Human scumbags who abuse animals?
Key: If your answer to any part of Question 5 is "no," I'm afraid you have
flunked. Please go back and reconsider your responses.
Hint: The answer to the question, "What shall we do about the bank robber who
got away on a bicycle?" is not: Ban bicycles. Real answer: If your dog hurts
someone, you -- not the dog -- should be responsible. Anti-cruelty and anti-dog-fighting
laws already exist. Tell your mayor, and city or county or provincial council
to up the current penalties, and insist that judges enforce those penalties
-Test created by Paul Glassner, SF/SPCA
BSL: A group of laws that bans particular
breeds, usually pit bulls (a type of dog, not a breed)
and sometimes Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Akitas,
Dobermans, Chow Chows, and a few others. These laws are
usually passed after several attacks by a particular
breed so that city councils can assure citizens they
are “doing something” about a voter concern.
But breed bans don't work. They target
all dogs of a breed -- the innocent as well as the guilty;
are difficult to enforce; and do not end the use of guardian
dogs by criminals. If pit bulls in their various incarnations
are banned, drug dealers and other felons switch to another
breed or mix. In the meantime, the ill-tempered terrier
mix that bites the hand that feeds it and the poorly-bred
purebred that attacks the neighborhood children pose
a far greater danger to people than the obedience-trained
American Staffordshire Terrier that is a registered therapy
dog but cannot step foot inside the city.
Far better than breed-specific bans are
strict laws to control aggressive dogs of any breed or
mix. Known as generic vicious dog laws, they put restrictions
on the ownership of dogs that pose a danger to people,
restrictions such as confinement in locked, escape-proof
kennels while outdoors on the owner's property; muzzles
when the dog is off the property; and purchase of a liability
Facts & Statistics
Fact: The ADBA registered 220,000 APBTs in
1999, making them the #1 dog in America. According
to the latest statistics, Pit Bulls do NOT top the
chart when it comes to deadly dog attacks.
Dog Bite Statistics
The statistics on dog bite related fatalities
vary considerably between studies. Nevertheless, there
are numerous problems with most dog bite statistics.
First and foremost, the vast majority of these statistics
provide raw numbers, and are not normalized to reflect
the prevalence of any given breed in the overall population
of dogs. Without this information, it is impossible
to determine the comparative risk of one breed over
another from dog bite
Dog Bite Reports
Dog bite reports unchanged although fatal
attacks by animals always seem to grab headlines. Authorities
say the numbers of such incidents are not rising, according
to a new study soon to be published in the The Journal
of American Veterinary Medical Association in conjunction
with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The new study of dog bites through 1997 shows that while
overall numbers have remained nearly constant, the number
of pit bull attacks have declined but the amount of Rottweiler
attacks have climbed.
There is an 8 out of 10 chance that a biting dog is
male. (Humane Society of the United States.) There is
a 6 out of 10 chance that a biting dog has not been neutered.
(Humane Society of the United States.) No
fatal dog attack involving an altered dog was ever reported.
Although some beleive Pit bull mixes and Rottweillers
are most likely to kill and seriously maim, fatal attacks
since 1975 have been attributed to dogs from at least