As you may have seen TN is proposing a bill this week that is going to have an everlasting impact on every dog in TN. The proposed amendment may call for any dog over 50 pounds to follow certain regulations and require their owners to carry hefty insurance. ANY DOG. Think of the far-reaching ramifications here....
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"The proposed amendment in itself it fairly redundant in that it would require certain types of dogs to be leashed, fenced or otherwise restrained to prevent them from roaming at large -- and these type of leash laws already exist most places for all dogs, and for good reason. So, the Nashville animal welfare community does not have a problem with dog restraint in itself, although this amendment is redundant to that extent.
The problem lies in that the amendment labels any "pit bull type dog" as a "vicious dog", which is simply inaccurate, discriminatory and unfounded -- and this uninformed thinking is what has created breed-specific bans all over our country. First, there is no single breed called "pit bull" but many types of dogs that can fall into this category, leaving identification of these dogs to loose interpretation and very difficult to enforce. Enforcing this type of legislation costs tax dollars that could better be spent holding owners of truly aggressive dogs of any breed accountable.
What's more, pit bulls are actually proven to have incredibly wonderful temperaments. Contrary to the uninformed label of "vicious dog", one of the breeds referred to as a "pit bull" is the American Pit Bull Terrier -- which has a better temperament testing score (86.8% passing rate) than Beagles and Golden Retrievers according to the American Temperament Testing Society. So if national temperament testing shows that pit bull type dogs are scoring as safer and friendlier dogs than some of these popular family breeds, why is it that pit bulls are being unjustly singled out and labeled as vicious? Simply because when a dog of another breed attacks or bites, it does not make the news -- but any random, rare case of a pit bull doing so makes front page headlines. It's nothing but exaggerated hype.
In fact, even those pit bulls that are abused and made to fight typically never show any aggression. Animal Rescue Corps just rescued over 50 pit bulls from a fighting ring in Cheatham County, and not a single one of those dogs has shown any human aggression despite being abused and forced to dog fight. This is the rule, not the exception, with pit bulls. They are bred to be very friendly, loving and loyal.
That is why animal advocates in our community will fight any breed-specific legislation -- because just as you cannot judge a race of people based on their appearance, you also cannot judge breeds of dogs as vicious simply based on how they look. There is no scientific evidence to support any theory that you can. Instead, we need to focus on teaching dog bite safety and responsible pet ownership in our communities and holding owners of ALL breeds alike accountable for their dogs and for keeping them in a responsible and safe manner. This will make our communities safer; singling out a certain breed or type of dog and hurting responsible families and innocent dogs in the process will not.
That is why numerous organizations oppose BSL, including the American Animal Hospital Association, American Bar Association, National Animal Control Association, American Kennel Club, American Veterinary Medical Association, Association of Pet Dog Trainers and many others." - Heather Dowdy, Founder, Nashville Paw Magazine
Read how YOU can make your voice heard here:http://hosted-p0.vresp.com/748937/b9a9b48e33/ARCHIVE
And for MORE info on why BSL does not work: For more info on why BSL does not work:http://nationalcanineresearchcouncil.com/dog-legislation/breed-specific-legislation-bsl-faq/
And, finally, for all sorts of info on pit bull awareness, advocacy, issues and more, please visit our website athttp://www.nashvillepaw.com/pitbull
*****The above was written by Heather Dowdy, I only wish I could be this eloquent.
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