Unnecessary laws being passed

William Boenisch

Do you own a dog? Are you willing to give it away at a moment’s notice?

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What if your dog was taken away? When you decide to own a dog stereotyped as overly aggressive, including pit bulls and Doberman pinschers, this could happen.

Laws are being proposed that intend to take away the right to own particular dogs for no reasons other than their breed, the way they look, and the way they’re portrayed in the media.

How effective are these laws?

Based on a statement the White House released on behalf of President Barack Obama, “Research shows that bans on certain types of dogs are largely ineffective and often a waste of public resources.”

The statement goes on to say: “In 2000, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at twenty years of data about dog bites and human fatalities in the United States. They found that fatal attacks represent a very small proportion of the dog bite injuries and that it’s virtually impossible to calculate bite rates for specific breeds.”

The White House has come out against breed-specific legislation, but these laws are still being proposed.

When breed-specific legislation passes it keeps citizens from owning these breeds and removes family dogs from their homes.

Are there better ways to prevent dog attacks from happening?

Kerri Cribb, a Veterinary Technician for a veterinary hospital, thinks that if we socialize these breeds with people, then opinions would change.

Cribb has seen small breeds acting more aggressively than large breeds.

She also believes that in order to own an animal with an aggressive reputation, owners should be required to take classes that will educate them.

Cribb feels that this would help to prevent dog fighting rings and aggressive behavior.

According to Linda Weiss of Michigan State University College of Law, “Breed-specific laws should be replaced with behavior-based regulations and sanctions if communities wish to effectively control the potential for canine aggression and encourage owner responsibility.”

Rather than punishing good dogs owned by responsible owners, local governments might consider establishing laws that punish irresponsible owners.

In order to work around these laws, many dog owners have taken to hiding their animals.

Andres Magallans and Jayson Serna, students at San Jose City College, both agree they would not register their dogs if they owned these types of breeds.

Magallans also said that if he were to move to a city that banned certain breeds, he would hide his dog in order to keep it.

The White House, members of the Bar Association and many dog lovers have come out against breed-specific legislation.

It seems to force people into hiding their dogs rather than complying with the law.

This is an indication that it is time for local governments to find another way to deal with “aggressive” dogs.