dog breed discrimination

Note that both dates and agendas are prone to change at the last minute, so be vigilant in rechecking and confirming information. Under previous laws, residents who owned prohibited dogs would be forced to get rid of their dog or move out of the city limits. BSL stands for breed-specific legislation. Support for these laws is based on the misconception that pit bulls are more dangerous and prone to aggression than other dog breeds. Breed discrimination in America. As meeting dates approach or the vote nears, post updates online via social media, purchase small ads in local newspapers and distribute more flyers to encourage fellow citizens to show support and attend. Though breed-discriminatory legislation (BDL) is often an attempt to improve public safety, studies show that it does not accomplish that objective. Dr. Good testified at a hearing that if Dearborn adopted a breed-discriminatory provision targeting pit bull terriers, she’d lose one-third of her clients and would have to move her practice out of Dearborn. Dog breeds like Pit Bulls, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Chows, and others have been receiving discrimination for years. In Arlington, where 70% of homes are in multi-unit buildings and 60% are rent, the … In some states, like New York, there is even legislation that prohibits the discrimination of dog ownership based on their breed. And they discriminate against dogs based solely on their appearance. Best Friends, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, operates the nation’s largest sanctuary for homeless animals; provides adoption, spay/neuter, and educational programs. Generalization And Discrimination In Dog And Other Pet Training. Dress and speak as you would for a job interview. View legislative alerts about ordinances and laws that may affect your city, county, or state and take action where applicable. For these reasons, it is important to use the term “breed-discriminatory legislation” rather than “breed-specific legislation.”. If a breed ban is instituted in your community, law enforcement officials may be forced to take dogs away from their loving families and place them in already crowded animal shelters, where they will most likely be killed. Ask your local humane society to actively oppose breed discrimination. Why is Dog Breed Discrimination Okay? No-Kill 2025 | The Sanctuary | Act for Animals | Stories | Adopt + FosterWays to Give | Pet Care Resources | Who We Are | Locations | Shop, Careers | Contact Us | For the Media | FAQs | Position Statements | Financial Information. For more details, go to the National Canine Research Council website and read Dr. Voith’s study, called A Comparison of Visual and DNA Identifications of Breeds. 4,014 likes. Pets on Wheels is a Non-Profit 501c3 volunteer Therapy Dog organization. So, if breed discrimination doesn’t work, what does? This approach is not very effective if the BDL has been in place for a long time. Because of the inaccuracy of visual breed identification, Dr. Voith questions current public and private policies based on dog breeds. However, the problem of dangerous dogs will not be remedied by the “quick fix” of breed-specific laws—or, as they should truly be called, breed-discriminatory laws. When referring to the wider class of dogs (i.e., pit bulls and pit bull mixes), use “pit-bull-terrier-like dogs.”, Emphasize the need for “comprehensive breed-neutral laws” that focus on “behavior not bias” and those that target “reckless owners.”, Use positive language when talking about the dogs. The next demonized dogs were the Northern breeds, the Malamutes and Huskies, who were assumed by many to be the equivalent of wolves. Also, it would be a good idea to include a short snippet about your dog’s personality, what they like to do in their spare time, as well as their favorite treats. The expressed views are for the author only. Remember, politics is not a spectator sport. Ambassador dogs should always look their best, too — no chains, spike collars or the like. Pin. Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions | Comment Policy. In 2014, state laws were passed in Utah and South Dakota prohibiting breed-discriminatory laws and policies — through the efforts of one dedicated animal advocate in each state with help from Best Friends’ legislative experts. Breed discrimination is cruel and not grounded in science. That article is entitled “Breed Discrimination Touches a Therapy Dog.” We fully understand how this is a heated issue, and are writing this to clear up any misconceptions about our organization due to this article. Regulated breeds typically comprise the “pit bull” class of dogs, including American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers and English Bull Terriers. Every dog is an individual and should be judged on behavior, not appearance. In America, responsible people should be allowed to love and care for any breed of dog they choose. November 7, 2017. When making image choices in your anti-BDL efforts, however, it’s important to keep your audience in mind. Best Friends can provide information regarding effective policy measures and examples of enacted comprehensive breed-neutral laws that target reckless and problem pet owners. Provide adequate due process provisions for dog owners through comprehensive breed-neutral dangerous-dog laws, Restrict tethering, since tethered dogs are much more likely to bite, Prevent reckless or problem pet owners from having any dogs, Encourage (but not mandate) residents to spay or neuter their pets, since intact pets are more likely to bite, and maybe even charge higher license fees for unaltered animals, You might consider buying a copy of the American Bar Association’s book, “The Lawyer’s Guide to Dangerous Dog Issues,” for your city attorney. Besides being ineffective, these laws are expensive and difficult to enforce and also interfere with citizens’ property rights. Call your elected officials to respectfully voice your opposition to the existing law or proposed measure. And sometimes, they happen to be pit bull-types—which really just means they have blocky heads, big smiles, and an insatiable need for snuggling. Why in quotes? To learn from our favorite dog ambassador, Captain Cowpants, visit facebook.com/captaincowpants. Another strategy to try is using the economic consequences to local businesses as an advocacy tool. Families can file lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the ordinances, but that can be expensive. Because of the extreme deprivation often suffered by sled dogs in the early North, and sometimes being let to roam free in packs, there were horrible fatal human incidents that the press gleefully fed the public. Municipal officials should know that DNA testing is expensive and will necessitate redirecting tax dollars away from other areas. They feel that dogs attack people who deserve it for one reason or another. The right language, on the other hand, can create a solid case that few reasonable people can argue against. The Web pages for Best Friends’ pit bull terrier initiatives contain lots of valuable information and resources to help you learn more about the issues involved in breed discrimination. It can take many forms, from individuals avoiding contact with certain breeds to insurance companies denying claims based solely on bully breed ownership. Are certain breeds of dogs inherently aggressive and dangerous? These types of BDL may require burdensome insurance policies for dog owners and stringent regulations dictating how dogs are handled and by whom, and whether they’re even allowed off their own property. Prepare yourself by obtaining upcoming meeting dates and agendas. And so America’s dog became the victim of a witch-hunt fueled by growing media hype based on negative stereotypes. The impetus is typically overblown media attention paid to an unfortunate dog-bite incident. Agra (Uttar Pradesh) [India], December 12 (ANI): An Agra woman, who has been rescuing and rehabilitating stray dogs for nearly 40 years, has raised the issue of discrimination … Second, dogs of the same breed may look alike, but their personality traits vary widely. As of 2019, 22 states (marked in orange on map below) have passed provisions against breed discriminatory legislation, and we’re working every day to increase that number. Here are a few inspiring examples. There are tests are available on the internet, flip through the photographs and find the pit bull. Include information about the law at issue along with the contact information for officials. It’s also about advocating for comprehensive breed-neutral laws that target truly dangerous dogs and reckless owners. Having a breed restricted dog is one of many factors that discrimination plays in people moving into questionable living situations. End Dog Breed Discrimination. With age-appropriate children: The children in the photos should appear to be comfortably in control of the dog. The way these laws work can be … The latest is the "pit bull". Unfortunately, their popularity hasn’t always protected them, most notably when the media sensationalizes a negative story involving pit bull terriers. Has Failed, But Dog Lovers Continue to Rail Against Breed Discrimination, L.A. T IMES, June 6, 2004, at K1 (discussing failure of Bill AB 2399, prohibiting breed discrimination but As we emphasized in step 3, language matters. Support animal-friendly candidates in future elections to help them win. We will reach no-kill in this country by 2025. This media bias started in 1987 when an issue of “Sports Illustrated” featured a photo of a snarling pit bull terrier on the cover and an article inside made a case against them. The book recommends against breed discrimination. As a way of showing decision-makers how difficult it is to correctly guess the breeds of mixed-breed dogs, ask your audience to “. Working closely with Best Friends, a veterinarian named Dr. Cheryl Good used a similar tactic to defeat breed discrimination that was being proposed in Dearborn, Michigan. 27 Washington cities have bans or restrictions on pit bulls, but this discrimination is about to come to an end. Besides the fact that BDL wastes tax dollars and fails to protect people from dog bites, it can result in the deaths of thousands of wonderful family dogs who have never bothered anyone. Double your efforts to get supporters to attend meetings with you. In order to prepare their shelter dogs for adoption into a real home..., the Toledo Area Humane Society in Ohio decided to do something special.They converted office space to look like a living room and called it “The Real Life Room.” In the case of a breed ban, the police and animal control lose the public’s trust by seizing and killing innocent pets simply because of their appearance. BDL infringes on the fundamental property rights of good citizens. Community Cats Program Handbook: Administration, Community Cats Program Handbook: Operations, Steps for fighting breed discrimination in your community, Why breed discrimination doesn’t work and what does, See Beyond the Stereotypes of Pit-Bull-Terrier-Like Dogs to Save Them All, A Comparison of Visual and DNA Identifications of Breeds, Breed Stereotype and Effects of Handler Appearance on Perceptions of Pit Bulls.”). Share. Politely relay your concerns to your community’s chamber of commerce or tourism council. Documentary films like The Champions, which chronicles life after the fighting ring for the dogs rescued from the property of professional football player Michael Vick, are key to telling that story. (DOGS/DOG BREED DISCRIMINATION) Pit bulls have been the target of breed-specific legislation for years despite evidence claiming such laws do not diminish the number of overall dog attacks. A dog who has had many different positive interactions with children will come to learn the presence of kids means good things happen. Pit bull breeds are lumped together under this shared breed category which can be a death threat in a shelter setting. Always keep your tone respectful and polite. So, there are plenty of good reasons to combat breed discrimination in your community, but this fight isn’t just about getting rid of BDL. First of all, it’s often difficult to identify a dog’s breed simply by looking at him or her. Together, we can Save Them All. Now, however, the U.S. Department of Transportation has thankfully moved to ban airline breed discrimination. BSL is a misnomer, though, because there is nothing specific about this legislation. If you’re invited to an in-person interview, bring an ambassador pit bull terrier along if possible. I am writing a research paper about dog breed discrimination. All Rights Reserved. For example, in 2013, Best Friends’ pit bull terrier initiatives staff worked with energized and informed citizens in Watertown, Wisconsin, to overturn a proposed discriminatory measure against pit bull terriers. Pit bull terrier dogs and puppies are the most frequently and unjustly targeted by breed discriminatory legislation as inherently vicious, aggressive and dangerous, though this is not the case, as shown by research, studies and policies from the National Canine Research Council, the Center for Disease Control and the American Bar Association. Some feel that banning a breed is like human racial discrimination. Eliminating breed labels, which people seem to be using as poor proxies for stereotyped traits, may be the key to banishing a significant amount of dog discrimination—and getting more dogs into homes, Feuerbacher and the other researchers argue. One of Best Friends' main goals involves working to eliminate dog breed discrimination. It refers to laws that ban or restrict certain types of dogs based simply on their appearance, usually because they are perceived as dangerous. Virginia has banned municipalities from banning dogs based solely on their breed, but this discrimination remains in their homes. Intensify your efforts and outreach, including communications with officials. Pit bull terriers as career dogs: People look favorably on dogs who appear to have a job, such as search and rescue, bomb detection or law enforcement. Writer. I agree wholeheartedly, and my first decision as CEO of WHS was to change a long-held, breed-based policy that had resulted in the unnecessary deaths of thousands of dogs. Doing so will alert other potential advocates and build your base while also warning dog lovers who may be thinking about moving to the community. Avoid emotional pleas about how wonderful pit bull terriers are or how great your own dog is. If the dog is not a registered purebred, the only way to do this with certainty is DNA testing. What animal lover doesn’t love looking at or photographing dogs? Dog breed bans and other forms of breed discriminatory legislation force many people to give up their beloved pets. In the United Kingdom and Spain, studies of dog-bite rates before and after implementation of breed bans concluded that the breed-discriminatory laws had no effect whatsoever on reducing dog bites. Which dog breed is next? Breed discrimination is not limited to outright breed bans. Never before has grassroots advocacy had such an effective tool, so please use it. Breed discrimination is real. We’ve compiled the packet below with facts and resources to assist these advocates in promoting safe and humane communities through breed-neutral legislation. Apartments and rental homes often have breed restrictions and cause countless citizens to get rid of their companions. In order to prepare their shelter dogs for adoption into a real home..., the Toledo Area Humane Society in Ohio decided to do something special.They converted office space to look like a living room and called it “The Real Life Room.” She's a Pitt Bull and one of the sweetest dogs I've ever had a pleasure to know. Keep going to city council meetings and speaking out against BDL. In addition to these online resources, Best Friends’ legislative experts have many ways of supporting your efforts to overturn existing breed-discriminatory laws or counter a proposed measure in your area. Much of the conversation focuses on the fact that discrimination against dogs based on appearance is wrong. Only if the animal has a history of misbehavior or is not under adequate control of the handler that the animal would be excluded, municipalities that have ordinances for certain breeds must also comply with ADA regulations, thus are not allowed to exclude a service animal off of fears or generalizations of that specific breed. Take a stand for pit bull terriers and other dogs in need: Join the 2025 Action Team for resources on organizing your community, communicating with elected officials, advocating against ineffective "pit bull bans," and much more. To download a Best Friends flyer stating this fact. Or will cost your community to his or her behavior silly frilly collar or perhaps even a tutu thought “... In what you have successfully defeated breed-discriminatory measures throughout the country terms that decision-makers understand, to... 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