August 22nd 2006 6:19 am
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Here is the essay my mom wrote for school. I thought I would share it with everyone!! I hope you like it.
Breed Specific Legislation
Breed Specific Legislation is not the best course of action to stop dog attacks. Breed Specific Legislation (or BSL) is when a city, county, or State decides that a certain breed is dangerous. They normally make laws that ban one or more breeds of dogs, or require all dogs of one or more breeds to wear a muzzle anytime the dog is in public. Several places have BSL laws in effect right now and many more are considering putting BSL laws into effect. Denver, CO is one of those places that have banned all Pit Bulls as "Dangerous dogs", but there are also many other breeds that are often affected with BSL around the world. The ones who are affected the most in the U.S. are Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Dobermans, German Shepherds, Great Danes, Boxers, Huskies, and Chows, but in Italy they have very strict laws on over 90 breeds including, Labrador Retrievers, Collies, Border Collies, Corgis, Newfoundlands,... All of these dogs must wear muzzles if they are in public and if there are kids in the family it is illegal for you to own one of these dogs. If we allow BSL with these few breeds in the U.S. what will stop it from spreading to the other breeds until all breeds are banned in the U.S.?
What is a dangerous dog anyway? Is a dog considered dangerous because it's a certain breed? Is a person considered dangerous because he is of a certain race, or because he was born in a certain country? Of course not, if we said that then people would be yelling discrimination, and of course we know that some people are good and some are bad. Why can't we see the same thing about dogs? Just because a dog is a Pit Bull, Rottweiler, Chow, or any other breed does not mean the dog is good or bad, it just means that it's parents were of a certain breed. We go through so much trouble to make sure we don't discriminate against different types of people, so why do we discriminate against breeds of dogs?
So if it's not the breed, then what causes dogs to be dangerous? Most dogs who bite people are unneutered male dogs, or dogs who are chained up. Here is a quote from a vet who has worked with many dogs who have bitten people: "An unneutered chained male dog that's the No.1 biting dog in our community," said Becky Rhoades, veterinarian and director of the Kaua'i Humane Society. Also, the most common person to be bitten are young boys who like to tease dogs. Another big reason for people being bitten is when their is a group of two or more dogs, they then get into "pack mentality" and become more defensive of their property and if the lead dog decides to bite the others will normally follow their leader. And still another common reason for dog attacks is when a drug addict, dog fighter, or an abusive person owns dogs. Those dogs tend to become aggressive no matter what breed they are. These tend to be people problems more than dog problems and we do have laws that address most of these issues, we just need to enforce the laws we have.
While it is sad to hear that anyone has been attacked by a dog, there are not as many deaths by dog attacks as the media would have you believe, and not nearly as many deaths done by Pit Bulls. On the news they sometimes make it sound like Pit Bulls attack and kill every day, but here are a few true stats for dog bite fatalities in the U.S.A. In 1981 to 1982 there were fatalities caused by five Pit Bulls, three mixed breeds, two St.Bernards, two German Shepherd mixes, one purebred German Shepherd, one Husky type dog, one Doberman, one Chow, one Great Dane, one Wolf-Hybrid, one Husky mix, and a Pit Bull mix. For a total of 20 dogs involved in fatal attacks from 1981 to 1982.
In 1995 to 1996, the dogs involved in fatal attacks included ten Rottweilers, four Pit Bulls, two German Shepherds, two Huskies, two Chows, and two Wolf-Hybrids, for a total of 22 dogs involved in fatal attacks. You can see how the number in each breed change from year to year, but the number of fatalities stay about the same. With better education programs we can lower that number. It is very hard to find accurate info on the nonfatal dog bites because alot of people don't need medical attention, so the bite does not get reported.
So if we did decide to start banning breeds of dogs, which ones would we ban? If you say every breed that has killed someone, that would include most breeds. There have even been a few Pomeranians and Chihuahuas who have killed people. Almost every breed has been represented on the fatal attack list at least once, most of them more than once and it's not just the breeds some people consider "dangerous". If we decided to ban Pit Bulls, will that include Pit Bull mixes? Will that only include the American Pit Bull Terrier, or will it also include the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Bull Terrier, American Bull dog, and all of the other dogs that slightly resemble the Pit Bull? Who will decide what dogs are Pit Bulls? Can you pick out a Pit bull from other dogs? There are at least 25 breeds of dogs who are commonly confused with Pit Bulls, it is even hard for breeders to tell some of them apart. If we decided to ban all Pit Bulls what would happen to the dogs who are gentle, well trained family pets? What would happen to the Pit Bulls who work as search as rescue dogs who save lives? What about the Pit Bulls who have saved their families from dog attacks or murders? Those dogs are all heros, would you take them away from their families and kill them? Or would you make a grandfather clause for those dogs?
Pit Bulls do not bite as often as the media would like you to believe. The media is out to get Pit Bulls. There have been quite a few documented cases where the media reports that a Pit bull attacked, but upon further investigation they didn't even know what breed it was, or it was a shepherd mix, or some other mixed breed dog. In these cases when asked about it the media doesn't have any answers. The real answer is that Pit Bull attacks get alot more attention because of the bad reputation, that the media gave them, so they call most dog attacks Pit Bull attacks if they think they can get away with it.
In the past, each decade has had its own "dangerous" breed of dog. In the 70's the "dangerous" breed was the Doberman Pinscher, in the 90's it was the Rottweiler, and in the 00's it is the Pit Bull. So what breed will be the next "dangerous" breed? Will it be the Mastiff? What about the guardian breeds like the Great Pyrenees, or the Anatolian Shepherd, or even the Puli? Who will be the next breed that people want to ban, will it be your favorite breed? If the irresponsible dog owners can't own Pit Bulls then they will move onto another breed and people will be screaming to ban that one too, until there are no more dogs. Do we really want to see kids grow up and not know the love of a dog? What kind of a world would this be if there were no dogs left? I for one don't want to find out the answer to that question.
Another problem with BSL is who would enforce these new laws? Do you really want a raise in taxes to pay for those people to enforce the new laws? Our biggest problem is that our current laws aren't being enforced very well. Why don't we start with enforcing our current laws before we jump into banning breeds. Also, in places where they do have breed bans, that has not cut down on dog attacks at all, it's just different breeds that are attacking. So breed bans don't even really work for decreasing the amount of dog bites.
What we need to do, and some places have already started to do, is develop better educational programs. Maybe even add dog safety into school courses, to help kids understand how to approach a dog, how to act around dogs, and how to tell if a dog is friendly or aggressive. These programs are doing alot of help in places that have started them. This program along with enforcing our current laws will decrease the amount of dog bites suffered every year. So please say no to BSL, and volunteer to help with dog education programs in your area.
August 12th 2006 8:32 am
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Both of these dogs are Spitz/Chow mixes (just like me!!) I would love to see them both get into good forever homes soon!!
The first one is: DUTCHES
The second one is: Robert Red Furred
Please help them find forever homes!!
June 6th 2006 6:42 am
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We went to an agility fun match last Sat (June 3rd). It was alot of fun and there were alot of other dogs there. Alough it would have been more fun if it hadn't been so hot!! But at least the doggie daycare center let us be inside when we weren't running. We also had Tassie, Sassy, and Caspian with us. Me and Sassy were the only ones that could do the whole course, but I was running slow because it was so hot. We were there most of the day too (because we were helping). So we were all very tired when we got home.