Positives of Bsl / Positives of breed specific laws – Arguments for breed specific laws BSL

Breed-specific legislation is a law passed by a legislative body pertaining to a specific breed or breeds of domesticated animals. In practice, it generally refers to laws pertaining to a specific dog breed or breeds.

Some jurisdictions have enacted breed-specific legislation in response to a number of well-publicized incidents involving pit bull-type dogs or other dog breeds commonly used in dog fighting, and some government organizations such as the United States Army and Marine Corps have taken administrative action as well. This legislation ranges from outright bans on the possession of these dogs, to restrictions and conditions on ownership, and often establishes a legal presumption that these dogs are prima facie legally “dangerous” or “vicious.” In response, some state-level governments in the United States have prohibited or restricted the ability of municipal governments within those states to enact breed-specific legislation.

Certain dog breeds including pit bulls are a public safety issue that merits actions such as banning ownership, mandatory spay/neuter for all dogs of these breeds, mandatory microchip implants and liability insurance, or prohibiting people convicted of a felony from owning them.

There is a large group that says, “ban pit bulls and their closely related breeds.” This group of advocates is diverse and respected, and it even includes Ingrid Newkirk, the president of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). They see the pit bull as overly dangerous and overly abused by mankind. The danger of pit bulls and Rottweilers is well established, in that they account for 75% of all reported canine-inflicted human deaths in the past two decades. It is undisputed that pit bulls in particular are the most abused dog in the USA; created for the specific purpose of violence, the dogs are treated cruelly to make them as dangerous as possible, and are routinely abandoned when they are not vicious enough for their evil masters.

There are two articles that present very well the argument in support of breed bans. The first is by an attorney who won the famous Denver breed ban case. The City of Denver passed a breed ban against pit bulls which the State of Colorado attempted to overturn. The State lost in court because the City produced the evidence that pit bulls are more dangerous than other dogs. The story of that case, and a review of that evidence, is contained in Nelson K. One City’s Experience – Why Pit Bulls Are More Dangerous and Breed-Specific Legislation is Justified. Muni Lawyer, July/August 2005, Vol. 46, No. 4.

The second is an article that considered the problem from a humane standpoint. The following rationale for banning pit bulls appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle on June 8, 2005. It was written by Ingrid Newkirk, the president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the author of “Making Kind Choices” (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2005).
Controlling an animal as deadly as a weapon
— Ingrid Newkirk
Most people have no idea that at many animal shelters across the country, any pit bull that comes through the front door doesn’t go out the back door alive. From California to New York, many shelters have enacted policies requiring the automatic destruction of the huge and ever-growing number of “pits” they encounter. This news shocks and outrages the compassionate dog-lover.
Here’s another shocker: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the very organization that is trying to get you to denounce the killing of chickens for the table, foxes for fur or frogs for dissection, supports the shelters’ pit-bull policy, albeit with reluctance. We further encourage a ban on breeding pit bulls.
The pit bull’s ancestor, the Staffordshire terrier, is a human concoction, bred in my native England, I’m ashamed to say, as a weapon. These dogs were designed specifically to fight other animals and kill them, for sport. Hence the barrel chest, the thick hammer-like head, the strong jaws, the perseverance and the stamina. Pits can take down a bull weighing in at over a thousand pounds, so a human being a tenth of that weight can easily be seriously hurt or killed.
Pit bulls are perhaps the most abused dogs on the planet. These days, they are kept for protection by almost every drug dealer and pimp in every major city and beyond. You can drive into any depressed area and see them being used as cheap burglar alarms, wearing heavy logging chains around their necks (they easily break regular collars and harnesses), attached to a stake or metal drum or rundown doghouse without a floor and with holes in the roof. Bored juveniles sic them on cats, neighbors’ small dogs and even children.
In the PETA office, we have a file drawer chock-full of accounts of attacks in which these ill-treated dogs with names like “Murder” and “Homicide” have torn the faces and fingers off infants and even police officers trying to serve warrants. Before I co-founded PETA, I served as the chief of animal-disease control and director of the animal shelter in the District of Columbia for many years. Over and over again, I waded into ugly situations and pulled pit bulls from people who beat and starved them, or chained them to metal drums as “guard” dogs, or trained them to attack people and other animals. It is this abuse, and the tragedy that comes from it, that motivates me.
Those who argue against a breeding ban and the shelter euthanasia policy for pit bulls are naive, as shown by the horrifying death of Nicholas Faibish, the San Francisco 12-year-old who was mauled by his family’s pit bulls.
Tales like this abound. I have scars on my leg and arm from my own encounter with a pit. Many are loving and will kiss on sight, but many are unpredictable. An unpredictable Chihuahua is one thing, an unpredictable pit another.
People who genuinely care about dogs won’t be affected by a ban on pit- bull breeding. They can go to the shelter and save one of the countless other breeds and lovable mutts sitting on death row. We can only stop killing pits if we stop creating new ones. Legislators, please take note.

– Dog control problems are people problems, and are not limited to a breed or mix. However some breeds are more prone to do certain things – pit bulls are more prone to attack and not let go while hunting dogs are more prone to hunt.

– Banning a breed or declaring it inherently vicious punishes those responsible dog owners but also stops a violent animal being in a public place example alligators cannot be kept as pets in many areas – to protect the public .

– Breeds and mixes are easy to identify with simple dna testing .

– The “pit bull” is a TYPE of dog bred for fighting

– Laws on “types” of dogs will cause owners of those “types” to move away or respect bsl laws – meaning they will have to muzzle their dog in public – giving the public greater safety and stops kids getting mauled


Bsl on the rise , Pit bull bans increasing – Etowah passes pit bull ban despite opposition campaign

The City Commission in Etowah, Tenn., approved an ordinance banning pit bulls by a 3-2 vote at its meeting Monday night, despite a campaign by pit bull owners against the measure.

The ordinance, which the City Commission already approved once in a first reading, singles out pit bulls as a particularly dangerous breed with a strong fighting and chase instinct. Some of the characteristics that make them dangerous, according to the ordinance, include a diminished tendency to warn they’re going to attack, a tendency to “fight to the death” and to tear flesh “which has resulted in grotesque injuries to human victims.”

Commissioners who voted for the pit bull ban were Mayor Jim Bull, Vice Mayor Matt Goodin and Commissioner Jim Swayne. Opposing the ban were Commissioners Dennis Morgan and Burke Garwood.

Under the ordinance, City Code Enforcement Officer Dave Mason said, “Any new dogs coming in are banned.”

The ordinance grandfathers-in existing pit bulls. But owners would have to take a variety of steps, including registering animals with identifying photos, posting “beware of dog” signs, obtaining $100,000 in liability insurance, keeping the dogs muzzled on short leashes when outside of the home and keeping them confined indoors or in a locked pen or kennel at home.

Under the ban, any puppies born to registered dogs would have to be removed from city limits within six weeks.

Etowah resident Sherri Cooper led the campaign against the ordinance, including creating a Facebook page, “Stop Etowah TN from Banning Pit Bulls” that had 1,066 “likes” as of Monday afternoon.

“It’s singling out one breed, and it’s not a breed problem. It’s how you raise your dog,” Cooper said. “What this is, this is taking the good dogs and the good owners and it’s punishing them.”

She and her husband, Scott, own two pit bulls, Rocky and Sugar.

“They’re just big babies,” Cooper said.

Her pit bulls were playing with children and other dogs at a pro-pit bull walk in downtown Etowah on Friday night that Cooper helped organize.

“We had 30 dogs at the walk, most of them from town,” she said.

Cooper hoped that, instead of banning pit bulls, the City Commission would approve an alternative ordinance that isn’t breed-specific to pit bulls and applies restrictions only to dogs that are deemed vicious through a process spelled out in the ordinance.

While the proposed pit bull ban generated a lot of interest, the City Commission planned only to hear comments from four people — two from each side of the issue — to prevent Monday night’s meeting from lasting for hours.

Violent pit bulls running on the streets – City cops chase 2 pit bulls, kill one, capture other

Police shot and killed one pit bull and used a stun gun on another after the animals ran loose in northeast Reading for an hour Sunday, investigators said.

Both dogs were shot with tranquilizer darts during the chase but were so vicious that police had to take more drastic measures, Sgt. Jeff Stone said.

“They started getting groggy, but as soon as we got close, they popped right up again,” Stone said.

Stone said he made the decision to have the dog killed because it posed a hazard in a heavily populated area.

About 6:15 p.m., police blocked off the 1100 block of Amity Street, where they cornered one of the dogs and shot it four times, Stone said. Police alerted people in the area, including those at the nearby 11th and Pike Playground, during the chase.

Officers subdued the second dog with a Taser after they cornered it on a porch in the 1500 block of North 15th Street, Stone said. That dog was placed in the care of the Animal Rescue League, he said.

Neither of the dogs wore collars, and Stone said it would be difficult to identify the owner.

Stone said the owner may have removed the collars before setting the dogs free, a practice he described as common after owners grow tired of their pets or feel they can no longer care for them.

“It’s very common with pit bulls, too,” he said. “We find a lot of pit bulls like that.”

Pit bull fighting a concern in the Lubbock area

Dogfighting in the Lubbock area is an issue, depending on who you talk to.

Police say they haven’t had any recent calls on dogfighting activities, but local Humane Society representatives say they get frequent calls and see signs of possible dogfighting right in the heart of Lubbock.

Sgt. Jonathan Stewart of the Lubbock Police Department says there haven’t been any recent calls on dogfighting and there has been no indication of “organized fights.”

There have been times when police find a stray dogs having marks or scars on their bodies, but there is no proof the dogs were involved in organized fighting activities, Stewart said.

However, the president of the Lubbock Humane Society, Mary Hatfield, says she’s seen areas in the heart of Lubbock where a pit bull is tied to a light pole on one side of the street and another one tied on the opposite side.

“It looks like a sign that there is a dogfight somewhere near but you can’t really tell,” said Hatfield.

Lauren Cline, one of the founders of Saving Grace Pit Bull Rescue, says she’s only had one incident where dogs were rescued from a fighting situation, and that was eight years ago.

After doing a little research, she found the majority of pit bull-type dogs come from ZIP codes 79403, 79404, 79415 and 79416.

“I know it goes on, but I do not feel it is extremely prevalent,” Cline said. “I wish it did not happen at all. I wish the abuse that goes along with it didn’t exist, but unfortunately, it is underground and hard to know when and where it happens.”

Abuse included in the training for dogfights can be clipping of the ears or starving and beating dogs to encourage aggressive behavior.

Generally during training, owners will find “bait animals” for pits to practice their “attack and kill” strategy. Smaller pits, dogs and cats are typically used as bait, but any type of animal can be used. Owners try to find animals that will not fight back with the pit.

According to aspca.org, most law enforcement experts divide dogfighting activities into three categories: street fighting, hobbyist fighting and professional fighting.

■ Street fighters engage in dogfights that are informal street corner, back alley and playground activities. Stripped of the rules and formality of the traditional pit fight, these are spontaneous events triggered by insults, turf invasions or the simple taunt, “My dog can kill yours.” Many people who participate in these fights lack a semblance of respect for the animals, often starving and beating them to encourage aggressive behavior. Many of the dogs are bred to be a threat not only to other dogs, but to people as well. There is often no attempt to care for animals injured in the fight and police or animal control officers frequently encounter dead or dying animals as an aftermath. This activity is very difficult to respond to unless it is reported immediately.

■ “Hobbyist” fighters are more organized, with one or more dogs participating in several organized fights a year as a sideline for both entertainment and to attempt to supplement income. They pay more attention to care and breeding of their dogs and are more likely to travel across state lines for events.
■ Professional dogfighters often have a large number of animals (generally 50+) and earn money from breeding, selling and fighting dogs at a central location and on the road. They regularly dispose of animals that are not successful fighters or breeders using a variety of methods, including shooting and blunt force trauma. Professional and hobbyists fighters may dispose of dogs that are too human-aggressive by selling them to street fighters or anyone else looking for an aggressive dog.

Over the years, a fourth category of dogfighters has emerged with some wealthier individuals from the sports and entertainment worlds allegedly using their financial resources to promote professional dogfighting enterprises.

Cline, Stewart and Hatfield all agree that street fighters seem more of what the Lubbock area is seeing in terms of “non-organized fights.” It’s difficult to tell who is fighting dogs when the fights are unplanned and a spur-of-the-moment thing.

Though there is no concrete evidence of dogfighting going on in the area, there are signs showing some type of suspicious activity. A lot of dogfighting may go unreported because of fear.

Hatfield says the Humane Society will keep callers anonymous if they call in reference to a fight in their neighborhood. She stated there have been callers in the past who’ve thought their neighbors were fighting dogs, but when she asked for locations, they refused to respond.

There are severe penalties for people involved with dogfighting as well as those who watch. Being an activist in dogfighting is a state jail felony and can result in up to two years in jail with an additional fine of $10,000. Being a spectator or having equipment for dogfighting is a Class A misdemeanor and can result in up to a year in prison with an additional fine of up to $4,000.

How do we prevent dogfighting in the Lubbock area? Stewart says show concern for our animals.

“A lot is showing concern for the dogs,” he said. “There should be concern for the dog’s welfare rather than looking at them like a piece of property or some type of prize.”

To comment on this story:

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TYPICAL PIT BULL OWNER – Boyfriend Allegedly Orders Pit Bull To Attack Girlfriend, Bitten Over 20 Times


EWPORT (WWJ) – A Monroe County woman told police she was bitten over 20 times by a pit bull that her boyfriend allegedly ordered to attack her during a violent domestic dispute.

Sheriff’s Deputies say the alleged incident happened at the Elizabeth Woods Mobile Home Park on Telegraph, near Newport Road, in Newport on Wednesday night when the couple began to argue over ownership of a vehicle.

The 42-year-old woman reportedly told police the argument turned physical when her 48-year-old boyfriend choked her so severely that she almost passed out, The Monroe Evening News reported.

After the choking incident, the man allegedly ordered the dog to attack the woman. The dog reportedly bit the woman numerous times on her feet, legs and hands.

The woman told deputies the assault lasted more than 30 minutes. She was taken to Mercy Memorial Hospital for treatment of her injuries that were visible to police.

Deputies tried to speak to the woman’s boyfriend, but he fled the area. An officer responding to the man’s home said when he knocked on the door, he could hear the dog barking and scratching.

Names of the man and woman were not immediately released.

Felony assault charges are being sought. An investigation is ongoing.

The attack is one of several in recent months by pit bulls.

Most recently, a three-week-old girl was mauled to death by a pit bull on Detroit’s west side. Police say the dog attacked the baby after she was left strapped into a car seat on the floor of a home. Her mother had left the room and returned to see the dog attacking her newborn. The woman told police she didn’t know there was a dog in the house. The dog was euthanized following the attack.

Earlier this month, a six-year-old boy was bitten by a pit bull while riding his bike in Stockbridge Township, which is located between Ann Arbor and Lansing. Ingham County Sheriff’s Deputies said they were forced to fatally shoot the dog after it was observed running freely in the yard and acting aggressively. Deputies then left a note explaining what had happened for the homeowner, who was not present at the time.

Near the end of August, a Henry Ford Hospital employee was attacked by two pit bulls as she was walking through the hospital’s staff parking lot. Witnesses at the scene told police either security guards or police officers shot and killed the dogs to get them off of the woman, who survived the attack with multiple bites.

City committee recommends muzzling pit-bull restrictions – BSL

EDMONTON – Life could soon be easier for Edmonton pit bulls after a city council committee recommended Tuesday putting a leash on licence restrictions against specific breeds.

Staffordshire bull terriers and American Staffordshire terriers, often called pit bulls, must be leashed and muzzled off their owners’ properties, and kept chained and muzzled or in pens outdoors on their properties.

Their owners also need $1 million in liability insurance and face higher licensing fees and fines.

The rules were introduced in 1987 to deal with concerns about attacks by the strong-jawed animals, but a city report indicates the provisions haven’t been effective.

There’s no evidence such legislation reduces biting, it’s difficult for veterinarians to determine breeds without expensive DNA testing, and most owners of such dogs don’t licence them, the report says.

Bilinda Wagner, who runs specialized courses for American Staffordshire terriers at the Edmonton Humane Society, said better training for dogs and owners is the best way to stop aggression.

“We think we can help more people if they don’t feel they’re singled out because of the look of their canine friend,” she told council’s community services committee.

“I think the reason people attend our bully-breed classes is they don’t feel judged.”

Most of the serious bites inflicted by dogs she has dealt with come from small breeds, said Wagner, who moved from Edmonton to Busby to avoid restrictions on her two American Staffordshire crosses.

“As a trainer, I know that putting muzzles on them and avoiding dog play is just wrong.”

David Aitken, manager of the community standards branch, said there are about 105,000 licensed animals in Edmonton, and his staff receives 400 to 500 complaints about dog bites annually.

He suggested keeping the definition of restricted dogs for animals that chase or attack people or animals, as well as creating a new category of “nuisance” dogs subject to higher penalties for repeated barking, biting or other offences.

The issue will be discussed by city council next week, but Coun. Kim Krushell told Aitken the information she has seen has already changed her mind.

“I watch the news just like everyone else does. As soon as you see a dog attack, especially with a kid, I’m not too sympathetic,” she said.

“(But) you have certainly sold me on the fact that if you go down with more breed-specific legislation, where do you stop? German shepherds bite, and chihuahuas.”