In Mashpee, MA. a new kind of witch hunt has begun, not for humans, but for pit bull and pit bull mix puppies. Under the guise of a new bylaw claiming to protect children the owner (or keepers) of any “pit bull type dog” who has a litter must bring them to the town kennel for destruction. The bylaw claims certain breeds have “a strong instinct for dominance” and a prey drive that results in “aggressive pursuit of . . . human children.”
I find this disturbing on so many levels, I hardly know where to begin. When your power of choice is taken away and someone else steps in to make your decisions you no longer live in a free country. This isn’t about protecting you from a dangerous breed, it’s about the government coming in and telling you what it deems a dangerous breed and therefore making it so.
Are we not capable of making our own decisions anymore?
Here’s a comment from Best Friends Animal Society, eloquently summing up all that is wrong with the proposed bylaw.
Best Friends Animal Society feels compelled to emphasize that the aim of this bylaw is to hunt down all dogs that have the appearance of a certain breed of dog and destroy any offspring.
This bylaw is a representation of misinformed policy-makers and public making panic-induced decisions without consideration of civil liberties and reason. It takes on a school of thought similar to the witch hunts that took place in Massachusetts over three hundred years ago whereby paranoia and panic is taking over logic and reason.
These assertions and recommendations are counterproductive to ensuring the safety of town residents and are wholly unsupported by any scientific evidence.
There you have it, start with this law and what’s next? Maybe only dogs with blond fur and blue eyes will be allowed to live-sound familiar? Who’s going to be the judge of which dog has too much pit bull? And what exactly is too much pit bull? After the pit bulls are destroyed what breed is next, and where does it end? Or will it ever end?
To all owners out there, just remember the old adage: First they came for the pit bulls and I didn’t speak up because I didn’t own one. Then they came for German Shepherds and I didn’t speak up because I didn’t own one. Finally they came for my Shih Tzu, and by that time no one was left to speak for me.
A law like this must not be allowed to pass, it is unjust and unfair. It takes away one of the best things about being an American….freedom of choice.
The City of Mashpee will hear about this alarming breed discriminatory bylaw at its Annual Town Meeting on October 19, 2009. Best Friends implores Massachusetts residents to take action and get in touch with their town representatives regarding this proposal. Please go to their website for all the contact information and specifics on what to do.