Omaha passed a breed ban that took effect in 2009. this ban will have little effect at best, and it will ultimately cost the taxpayers in the hundreds of thousands of dollars to uphold. These bans are absolutely ineffective, they serve only to punish responsible owners, and allow the reckless actions of irresponsible owners to go on unchecked, they will continue to violate the responsibilities of dog ownership as a whole and we all know it!
the main culprits in dog bites are; roaming dogs, neglect, abuse, dog fighters, and tethering, caging and confinement play a large part in the antisocial behaviors of a dog, for obvious reasons.
Florida will spend upwards of $25.7 million dollars in an effort to maintain their ban.
Denver spends $803.170.00 annually on their little pet project, which by the way has not proven to be more effective on reducing dog bites, just Pit Bulls.
Those are just two states, imagine the rest! For my Canadian brethren, you get the picture, loud and clear, I hope!
Here is a calculator so you can see for yourself what it would cost your state;
I would like to give Best Friends Animal Society a great big “bark out” for posting this on their site! Thanks guys for your continued work with these dogs and for showing the world that these dogs have worth and the right to life!
I added the letter below, mainly because it is very well thought out, and accurate in it’s assessment, so Thank you Linda, very well put, and honestly you took the words right out of my mouth!
To the Editor:
This is in response to the pending legislation to regulate vicious/potentially dangerous dogs via breed specific legislation in the city of Waukon.
Dogs and their owners face discrimination in the city of Waukon. While we may pay lip service to the idea that dog is man’s best friend, we are allowing fear and politics to determine guidelines for pet ownership. Breed specific legislation is exactly what it sounds like, regulation of your rights to own or in this case to not own a dog based solely on the breed or type of dog, not on your responsible behavior as a pet owner. Breed specific legislation targets all animals of a specific breed, the innocent as well as the guilty, and fails to recognize the role of the owner in providing proper training.
Any breed of dog can be dangerous under certain circumstances. Only when the owner or custodian of the animal does not properly train and confine his/her animal, does that animal pose a potential risk to human safety. Any dog can be dangerous in the hands of an irresponsible owner. Any dog can become a problem for the public, if that dog is allowed to run loose and the owner does not take responsibility to properly train the animal. The key word here is responsibility.
Because humans are so closely bonded to the canines in their lives, they often forget about a dog’s natural instinct. A dog wants structure, expects rules and takes pleasure in obeying those rules. Boundaries set by an owner give a dog a stronger sense of security. Dogs need to know where they stand in the pack; rules and boundaries provide them with that information. In my opinion there are no bad dogs, just poorly informed or irresponsible dog owners.
I invite you to investigate “Cesar Millan-The Dog Whisperer”. This is a man who can take the most undisciplined Chihuahua, Dachshund, German Shepherd and, yes, ‘Pit Bull’ and in less than a day train that dog in a way that their behavior has completely changed. The dog’s inherent personality did not change, the handler did.
I deeply care about this issue, because it threatens responsible dog owners with the loss of a family member. Don’t punish all dog owners of a particular breed that care for their dogs as companions and members of their families. They can and do maintain their dogs so they do not pose a threat to anyone; why should they be denied their choice of dog simply because irresponsible owners of the same breed of dog have not “ethically and legally” protected others from injury?
I, too am curious as to the definition of a vicious breed. For example, by whose definition is a Rottweiler vicious? According to the AKC Standard, “the Rottweiler is good-natured, placid in basic disposition, very devoted, obedient, biddable and eager to work. Their appearance is natural and rustic, their behavior self-assured, steady and fearless. They react to their surroundings with great alertness. The American Kennel Club says it is basically a calm, confident and courageous dog with a self-assured aloofness. A Rottweiler is self-confident and responds quietly and with a wait-and-see attitude to influences in its environment. It has an inherent desire to protect home and family, and is an intelligent dog of extreme adaptability with a strong willingness to work, making them especially suited as a companion, guardian and general all-purpose dog. Rottweilers are a powerful breed with well-developed genetic herding and guarding instincts. As with any breed, potentially dangerous behavior in Rottweiler’s usually results from irresponsible ownership, abuse, neglect, or lack of socialization and training.”
The problem of dangerous dogs will not be remedied by the “quick fix” of breed specific laws. Or, as they should be called, breed discrimination laws. One of the most basic problems with breed specific legislation is that it ignores the fact that dogs are individuals. Within any breed there is the potential for aggression or friendliness. A dog’s temperament is influenced by its environment, its socialization, its health, its reproductive status and the ability of its owner to train it properly.
Historically, breed bans have been difficult to enforce. Irresponsible owners don’t care what breed of dog they lose the right to own…. When one breed is banned they’ll find another dog breed to fit their needs.
According to the ASPCA, there is no evidence that breed specific laws make communities safer for people or animals. There is, however, evidence that such laws are costly and difficult to enforce. Some states (Texas, New York and Illinois for example) favor laws that identify, track and regulate dangerous dogs on an individual basis, regardless of breed.
After a thorough study of dog bites, the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) took the stand to not support breed specific legislation. The CDC cited the inaccuracy of dog bite data, the difficulty in identifying dog breed, especially in the case of mixed breeds and the likelihood that when specific breeds are regulated those that exploit dogs by making them aggressive will replace them with other unregulated breeds, as its reasoning for taking this stand. Data gathered between 1979 to 1998 identified over 25 breeds as being involved in fatalities. In all fairness, are we going to attempt to ban all 25 breeds in the city of Waukon?
Breed specific legislation is not a practical approach to regulation of dogs. It is estimated that one half of the dogs in the United States are mixed breed dogs. What is the reliability or significance of a visual breed identification of a dog of unknown history? The modern science of genetics makes a breed label based on visual characteristics difficult. Breed specific legislation has historically been upheld only when it refers to named breeds of dogs that meet the standards set by recognized breed clubs.
Proving that a dog falls within the ordinance frequently requires expert testimony. Application of breed specific ordinances to mixed breed dogs presents both legal and practical difficulties. Whether an expert can even identify a mixed breed dog has been subject to debate. Who is going to pay for the determination that a dog is a breed that is banned? The taxpayer, perhaps?
Breed specific legislation causes hardship to responsible, law-abiding owners of friendly, properly-trained and supervised dogs that are well socialized just because their dog companion falls into a specific breed definition. These dog owners have done nothing to endanger the public, yet they are forced to comply with local breed bans and regulations that often go unenforced with regard to the irresponsible dog owners.
I have some very real concerns and questions that should be addressed by the City Council. What actions will be in place to remove a dog from its owner if this law is passed? Does the City have the staff in place to enforce this law? Is there space available to kennel an animal that has been removed from its owner? What about vet costs? Have they been considered? Is there a timeframe that an owner will be given to fight for their rights and the rights of their dog once it’s been removed and, if not, what are the legal ramifications for the City in potential lawsuits? What about attorney costs? Research shows one of the main reasons this law is not passed by well-informed governing entities is the financial cost to the City that such a law can demand.
Breed specific laws may very well compromise public safety rather than enhance it. When limited resources are utilized to regulate and ban a specific breed without regard for behavior, the focus shifts away from effective enforcement of laws that do make communities safer such as dog license laws, leash laws, animal fighting legislation and anti-tethering laws.
In my online research, I learned that the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the CDC, the National Animal Control Association, The Association of Pet Dog Trainers and virtually all animal welfare charities oppose breed specific regulations. Seems to me there are some real experts in these groups and we should be listening to them.
I certainly agree that all community members have the right to feel safe on the streets, sidewalks, and walking in the park; but as a person that respects the rights of a dog owner, I ask that the City Council seriously consider the impact of breed specific legislation. There are several types of non-breed specific legislation that should be considered to regulate the irresponsible owners and not punish those that maintain their dogs safely and humanely.
Regulations defining prohibited dog behavior are a more practical approach than breed specific regulation. Citizens and responsible pet owners alike are supportive of such legislation. Properly worded, such legislation has a stronger legal basis and leads to straightforward enforcement and administration. It also more directly addresses the concerns for public safety.
I suggest that we work to establish reasonable guidelines for responsible pet ownership, and encourage legislation that supports owner responsibility without reference to specific breeds. I contend that comprehensive dog bite legislation combined with consumer education and legally mandating and enforcing responsible pet ownership practices is a better solution than breed specific legislation.
Linda Peterson, Waukon.
Now you know the truth about the money value behind ineffective and unlawful bans.