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Don't Hate Me Because I'm a Pit Bull

Breed specific legislation is unenforceable, ineffective, absurd, and more about lazy legislators, enforcement agents, and insurance companies than public safety. It is most seen in attempts to ban pit bulls from the world, or most notably in Denver where they are banned. The fact that pit bulls are not a breed at all seems irrelevant.

The fact that many dogs are mutts and therefore cannot be identified as a specific breed at all seems extraneous. The fact that Chihuahuas and Cocker Spaniels are at the top of the most likely to bite list, while pit bulls are often not even on the list, seems like unnecessary information. And, the fact that it is human criminals that train many breeds of dogs to be their accomplices is a fact that is completely ignored. The result - persecution of the pit bull, prosecution of responsible human companions, and preposterous consequences.

For example - in Denver, a loyal family pet is taken away and euthanized just for appearing to be a pit bull whereas any other dog is entitled to a hearing if their behavior was problematic. Nervous Nellies and "not in my backyarders" become consumed with fear if they learn that a neighbor has a pit bull. Ignorant insurance companies, suddenly concerned for the safety of its customers pile on and refuse to provide homeowners insurance policies for those with these dogs. The list goes on.

Lawmakers and enforcement personnel look for the easiest way to cope which means the use of a number, a label, a color or a one size fits all mandate in order to reduce the need for critical thinking, fact finding and imagination. It is essentially stereotyping and profiling in the worst way.

As expected they spend most of their time in court defending the indefensible - the fact - it is not a pit bull, and the principle - too broad to be constitutional. Think about this - man teaches dog to bite everyone. The dog does what he/she was taught.  All dogs that look like that dog are banned!

Instead of discriminating be discerning. All dogs can bite. All dogs can be gentle. Any breed can be a genetic lemon, and any breed can be the best dog ever. Mean people who try to make their dogs vicious (all breeds) are the ones who should be prosecuted. And, legislators, enforcement personnel and insurance companies should be better than this.

Finally, the state of California prohibits breed specific legislation UNLESS it is to mandate that specific breeds must be spay or neutered. All of the above applies. It doesn't work and it doesn't address the issues of responsible pet ownership and pet overpopulation. It's a slower way to wipe out a specific breed.

In case you are wondering - spcaLA does adopt out pit bulls.


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