|Gray Dawn- Treader|
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|Barked: Sun Mar 30, '08 4:41pm PST |
|Is there still something that we can do about this(?):
Georgia Considers BSL
[Friday, January 28, 2005]
Many thanks to the concerned fanciers and dog owners in Georgia who
contacted AKC this week regarding H78, a bill to ban "pit bulls" in the state. For
those who are not yet aware, H78 defines "pit bulls" as American Pit Bull
Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, or any
dogs displaying characteristics of those breeds. Current owners of these dogs
will be permitted to keep their animals, but only if the dogs are spayed and
neutered, kept in a secure area, and leashed and muzzled when not confined.
Violators will face fines of $1000-$5000 and/or up to six months in prison.
Since first learning of the bill's introduction, the Georgia Canine Coalition and
AKC's Canine Legislation department have been in touch with the bill's
sponsor, Rep. Earnest Williams, as well as other key Georgia officials within
the agriculture community. To date, Rep. Williams has been open to the fancy's
point of view and in fact had a lengthy meeting with Coalition members this
week. When he expressed the many safety concerns he has regarding
dangerous dog problems in his district, fanciers were quick to point out that
stronger enforcement of existing laws would be a better way to address those
issues than would banning certain breeds. Many Georgia legislators have
stated that they share AKC's position.
What You Can Do:
• The Georgia Canine Coalition is working closely with both Rep. Williams and other
legislators to oppose H78. To find out how you can help, contact
• To date, Rep. Williams has been very receptive to dog owners' polite, concise,
arguments as to why breed-specific legislation is ineffective. Georgia dog owners
who wish to express their opposition to H78 may do so by contacting him (see below).
Please remember to be respectful!
The Honorable Earnest Williams
• Watch AKC's Web site for further updates.
California BSL Bill Passes Committee
[Thursday, June 30, 2005]
Despite opposition from the American Kennel Club, the California Veterinary
Medical Association, The Animal Council, the Sacramento Council of Dog
Clubs, and a host of other animal organizations, SB 861 passed the Assembly
Local Government Committee yesterday. The bill would permit municipalities in
California to enact breed-specific laws. However, SB 861 was amended on
Wednesday to only allow breed-specific measures that pertain to mandatory
spay/neuter programs and breeding restrictions. Furthermore, cities that
implement such restrictions would be required to compile quarterly reports on
dog bites and submit them to the State Veterinarian.
Proponents of SB 861 claim that requiring spaying and neutering "of breeds
most like to attack" and prohibiting breeding of these breeds will promote
public safety. AKC does not believe that to be the case. If certain breeds are
restricted, owners who choose to be irresponsible with their animals—allow
them to run loose, train them to be aggressive, etc—will simply select new
breeds to handle irresponsibly. Only rigorous enforcement of strong generic
dangerous dog laws that affect all breeds and all owners will help keep
communities safe. Coupled with public education campaigns to teach people
about responsible dog ownership and breeding, such methods are far more
effective at protecting residents that are breed-specific measures.
Should SB 861 pass as amended, the impact on responsible dog owners,
particularly purebred fanciers who participate in conformation dog shows and
responsible breeding programs, will be devastating. AKC strongly opposes SB
861, and we need your help!
What You Can Do:
SB 861 now moves to the Assembly floor. Dog owners should immediately
contact their local Assemblymember and State Senator and ask them to
oppose SB 861. To find out who represents you in the California legislature,
click here: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/yourleg.html. It is critical that legislators
hear from their own constituents!
Contact the bill sponsor and voice your opposition to SB 861. Ask her to
withdraw the bill from consideration.
Points to Address:
Breed-specific laws are not the best way to protect communities. An owner
intent on using his or her dogs for malicious purposes will simply be able to
switch to another type of dog and continue to jeopardize public safety. The list
of regulated breeds or types could grow every year without ever addressing
responsible dog ownership. Deeds, not breeds, should be addressed.
When properly enforced, California's existing dangerous dog law forces all dog
owners to be responsible regardless of the breed they own. Clear guidelines
for identifying and managing dangerous dogs will promote responsible dog
ownership and prevent tragedies from occurring. Simply placing restrictions
on certain breeds will not improve public safety - it will only punish
responsible dog owners.
Breed-specific laws are hard to enforce. Breed identification requires expert
knowledge of the individual breeds, placing great burden on local officials.
Breed-specific laws are unfair to responsible owners.
Breed-specific laws increase costs for the community. Shelter costs for the
community could rise as citizens abandon targeted breeds and adoptable
dogs of the targeted breeds could be euthanized at the shelter.
Some communities have had their breed-specific laws overturned on
constitutional grounds. Because proper identification of what dogs would be
included is difficult or impossible, the law may be deemed unconstitutionally
Strongly enforced animal control laws (such as leash laws), generic guidelines
on dealing with dangerous dogs and increased public education efforts to
promote responsible dog ownership are all better ways to protect
communities from dangerous animals.
Breed-specific legislation is opposed by the AKC, the American Veterinary
Medical Association, the National Animal Control Association, the ASPCA,
and a host of national animal welfare organizations that have studied the
issue and recognize that targeting breeds simply does not work.
For more information, contact:
AKC's Canine Legislation department
Sacramento Council of Dog Clubs
Joan Gibson Reid, Corresponding Secretary
and Legislative Coordinator
The Animal Council
Edited by author Sun Mar 30, '08 4:52pm PST
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