Tuesday, April 18, 2006

What Do You Think?

Seems there is a sudden surge of media attention given to breed specific legislation. Breed-specific laws are designed to cut down on dog attacks and other harmful behavior by banning specific breeds or placing restrictions upon owning breeds deemed to have violent temperaments. Such restrictions can include muzzling the dog any time it is outside, requiring special owner permits, requiring that a vicious dog sign be posted on your property even if there have not been attacks, as well as a complete ban on certain breeds. Bans usually include pit bulls (a type of dog, not a breed) Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Akitas, Dobermans, Chow Chows, and a few others. These laws are usually passed after several attacks by a particular breed so that city councils can assure citizens they are doing something about public concerns.

Are these laws the best way to protect our communities?


imabug said...

Personally I'm of the opnion that they should go after the owners responsible for the dogs rather than any particular breed. All of the breeds targeted by BSLs are all great dogs, but it's mostly through neglect, abuse, lack of or improper training and socialization and just plain owner irresponsibility that results in dog attacks.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe that the Breed matters. It is the training that matters. Every dog has the ability to bite (and because of size and strength, and sometimes, the breed, some dogs can inflict more pain and damage than others) and every dog has the ability to learn and be trained.

And really, laws are useless if they are not enforced and if a city passes a law, they should not do so until it has some 'real teeth', (forgive the phrase), to enforce it.
Look at the Berkeley County law that is supposed to stop folks from taking puppies to flea markets and selling them...there is no one to enforce the law..so nothing happens.

A real solution might be that if a person is thinking of getting a dog that falls into a historically agressive category, that they have to have the dog trained by a licensed professional and then pass a test that is administered by the animal control department.

This could be a money maker for the Animal Control department in that they would administer a test to make sure the dog is trained, and charge a fee for doing so.

If an owner who has a dog on the breed list has not received the training certificate is found out, they should be fined heavily and their dog PUT into training at the owner's expense.

If the owner does not comply with the order to have the dog trained, the dog should be removed from the owner and trained by Animal Control, with the funds raised from the licensing fees, then placed in a good home or, if possible, turned over to law enforcement to become a member of the K-9 Patrol.