I'm going with- you, right?
|Barked: Tue Oct 12, '10 1:54pm PST |
|Tiller, apologies if I was not entirely coherent on my compounding evidence idea. I fully agree that any reasonable indication ought to be a green light to go, as you stated, but perhaps it's the cynic in me that is cautious to be less than specific and concise in wording, especially given the anti-pit bull sentiments abound. I just can see all too easily how wording that is not careful could open the doors to wasting time and resources in an attempt to appear as though something is being done (remind a bit of BSL?), and that same wording could cost lives -- if a community allows it, or a local government is sneaky (in my own community they have held meetings without being truly open to the public in order to pass what they wish), legislation could be passed that would allow them to remove dogs from responsible owners simply because they have "paraphernalia" but no reasonable indication they are involved in fighting. We all know what too often happens then. Again, perhaps it's my cynicism, but given how strong anti-pit bull sentiments can be, I don't believe it's entirely unfounded.
Stronger wording, I feel, would allow responsible owners to still own responsibly, would allow law enforcement to focus where it is better served in this area and observe and speak to owners if they are skeptical that there is truly any fighting going on on their part -- it would prevent malicious, anti-pit sentiments from being a factor. Plus, the stronger the wording in law the stronger the law itself: perhaps better warrants could be drafted so items found would not be dismissed in court, perhaps it would give law enforcement a better idea of what sort of indication gives them that green light, and perhaps it would allow for less interpretation when this is brought to court. Of course, stronger legislation in my opinion as regards dog fighting also calls for stronger sentencing terms. Given the general culture of "professional" dog fighters, stronger sentencing terms in dog fighting as well allows more of a chance of getting these people out of the community.
I have no problem burdening some inconvenience for the sake of these dogs, none whatsoever, but knowing what I do of people and knowing what I do of history, there are some things I see going beyond inconvenience and opening the door for abuse. That I am unwilling to feel comfortable with. You touched on some of the reasons yourself: "culturally safe" being one of the biggest things, for me, and I will second your statement that "little changes until we address something so fundamental" as how these dogs are viewed. Much like with BSL, education is key -- early intervention, so to speak, is also key; unlike BSL, however, as has already been discussed, it's a situation where focusing on the people we turn our backs to all too often can also have huge, long-lasting impacts upon these dogs as well.
As I have already said, I really do see where you're coming from and I understand what you're saying. I'll chalk it up to cynicism and strong belief in slippery slopes, as well as learning lessons from history, that leaves me not entirely comfortable with too much legislation here. I also get what you're saying with the major players being so adept at keeping under the radar, but I'm just not sure that legislation itself will necessarily make up for that -- rather I feel that careful legal wording will actually assist if it is done with great consideration that any law should receive.
Now, moving on...haha, this isn't just so I can clarify my own take and views on all of this. I would also like to support your statement that often the most adoptable dogs are Pit Bulls and pit bull-types. I volunteered with a nearby SPCA for a while and I will say the pitties were always typically the best behaved, more well-mannered and balanced of the dogs there. Oftentimes the pitties picked up as strays were more stable and well-mannered than dogs surrendered by owners who had owned them for years -- dogs with unknown pasts opposed to dogs with well-known pasts. There was even a pittie girl, very dog selective from my understanding, who you would never know it walking her by all but the rare dog, and that includes the dogs barking for all manners of reasons in their runs: she simply ignored, and once she got to know you, she was a complete and utter sweetheart of a dog! The only dog she had visible problems with, even with distance between them, I knew to be an instigator and really that can't be held against her in my mind (though I'm sure some would). The average person might think a dog selective pittie is immediately less adoptable -- perhaps her potential homes were a bit more limited, but she was still better behaved and more well-rounded than many other dogs of other breeds that I had experience with there. It truly is sad how people would overlook these dogs when they're looking for solid, well-adjusted family pets in favor of non-pit bulls because I can say with complete confidence that the majority of these dogs in shelters would truly impress and often outshine other dogs when it comes to the average person. If only they weren't stigmatized...
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