Get to the meeting early so that you can introduce yourself to the city council members before the meeting starts. Remember, politics is not a spectator sport. In some states, like New York, there is even legislation that prohibits the discrimination of dog ownership based on their breed. The media quickly learned that provocative coverage of these dogs, no matter how exaggerated or even untrue, increased sales. Besides being ineffective, these laws are expensive and difficult to enforce and also interfere with citizens’ property rights. Some countries and U.S. states pass breed discrimination laws now, banning owners from adopting certain dog breeds. In America, responsible people should be allowed to love and care for any breed of dog they choose. Breed-discriminatory laws cause unintended, but unavoidable, hardship to responsible owners of friendly dogs who happen to fall within the regulated breed category. As we emphasized in step 3, language matters. We are supposed to be the thinking, feeling, and intellectual species and yet we have so far to go to get anywhere close to our mammal counterparts in many ways. (For more information, read “The Pit Bull Placebo: The Media, Myths and Politics of Canine Aggression” by Karen Delise. 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. Profiling dogs could cost cash-strapped Florida $25.7 million TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Feb. 2, 2010) — For the third year in a row, Florida legislators are considering changes to state law that would allow dogs to be banned in communities, based on their perceived breed. Since she was the only vet in the community, this strategy worked like a charm and the city council passed a comprehensive breed-neutral dangerous-dog law instead. Breed Discrimination is a very touchy subject among dog enthusiasts. Some breed-discriminatory laws are so restrictive that they make it virtually impossible to have a dog of the targeted breed. Double your efforts to get supporters to attend meetings with you. Dog breed discrimination, or ‘breed bias’, goes beyond the views that society shares for a specific breed. Best Friends has numerous helpful resources in the, “Get Political for Animals and Win the Laws They Need” by Julie Lewin. Breed discrimination is real. Emphasize the top three reasons that a community should reject BDL: Be ready to elaborate on each of these points, as well as explain how breed bans force responsible owners with good dogs to choose between surrendering their best friend to a shelter or moving out of the community. Local government officials and/or well-meaning citizens call for a ban on all dogs of the apparent breed involved in the incident, even if the dog involved is a mix of breeds. Tweet. Here are a couple more resources to consult when creating your case against breed discrimination: For more on how to become politically active for animals, Best Friends recommends the following books: Animal advocates just like you have successfully defeated and repealed BDL measures throughout the country. Why in quotes? With age-appropriate children: The children in the photos should appear to be comfortably in control of the dog. The Insurance Information Institute says about $479 million was paid by all insurance companies for dog bite claims in 2011. Stop dog breed discrimination. available through the National Canine Research Council, Why Breed-Specific Legislation Is Ineffective, States Discriminating Against Dogfighting Victims, Pet-Friendly Landlords Increase Profitability, Dog Breed-Neutral Laws for Safe Communities, Help you assess the situation and craft an appropriate response, Refer you to additional resources and help you connect with other potential advocates, Create and share action alerts with Best Friends subscribers in your community, Further highlight the issue and build advocacy momentum using Best Friends’ extensive social media network. The Fair Housing Act prohibits landlords from discriminating any tenant based on race, color, sex, national origin, disability or familial status. Be sure to talk about how much breed-discriminatory legislation costs or will cost your community. Myths and misconceptions are fueling decisions regarding ownership laws, insurance restrictions, muzzle restrictions and even the likelihood that a dog is going to be euthanized versus adopted in a shelter. First of all, it’s often difficult to identify a dog’s breed simply by looking at him or her. Call your state senator first, if you’re able. When interacting with the media, know what points you want to make and insert them into the discussion whenever you can. Adopting sound laws and policies pertaining to pets and pet ownership plays an important role in achieving no-kill in our nation’s animal shelters. The following basic tips apply to speaking engagements: If you lose round one and a breed-discriminatory measure passes or is not repealed, don’t give up. Working together, we can ensure that every loving pet — no matter the breed — receives a loving home. In fact, when arguing against breed discrimination, heartwarming stories about pets or even the human-animal bond usually carry little, if any, persuasive value. 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. If you’re going to include photos in flyers or brochures that you create, you’ll want to choose images that everyone might find appealing. Are certain breeds of dogs inherently aggressive and dangerous? It can take many forms, from individuals avoiding contact with certain breeds to insurance companies denying claims based solely on bully breed ownership. The picture heading for this petition is a dog named Missy at an animal shelter in Michigan. Ban Dog Racism. This action kit outlines instructions on how to take action to help prevent breed discriminatory-legislation in your city, town or community and instead offer more effective solutions to protect public safety. There is no such problem, they say. Besides being ineffective, these laws are expensive and difficult to enforce and also interfere with citizens’ property rights. I am writing a research paper about dog breed discrimination. 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. This approach is not very effective if the BDL has been in place for a long time. A December 2013 study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the most comprehensive study to date regarding dog-related fatalities, found that a multifaceted approach to dog-bite prevention is the most effective. Best Friends is committed to changing public perception of these dogs with facts, statistics and stories that illustrate their true, loving natures. You can also tell interviewers that all of the following major organizations oppose breed discrimination: And, of course, Best Friends Animal Society and many major animal protection organizations also oppose breed discrimination. Thank you for taking action for animals. We can do the following: To get this type of assistance, contact the pit bull terrier initiatives staff at info@bestfriends.org. Based on Best Friends’ research (or as otherwise noted), here are some suggestions for how to portray pit bull terriers in photos: In 2012, via Luntz Global, Best Friends conducted a focus group in Baltimore to gain insight into the general public’s feelings and attitudes about pit bull terriers. Overall, the national trend is to outlaw breed-discriminatory legislation. Some feel that banning a breed is like human racial discrimination. Arlington, Texas 2020-12-17 14:45:36 – Next to Nicole is a biweekly opinion column. (For more details, see “Be Polite, Prepared and Professional.”). BSL is sometimes known by another acronym: BDL, or breed discriminatory legislation. Consider starting a Facebook page or group, a listserv or a website specifically to discuss breed discrimination in your community. Send your own personal letter or email opposing breed discrimination to the appropriate government officials, including council members, the mayor, the police chief and the city attorney. The political climate is different in every area, so do some research to discern which tactics will work best. To help law enforcement understand the complexities of why dog bites happen (and why the blame shouldn’t be put on breed), send your local police chief and sheriff the link to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services publication “. To learn from our favorite dog ambassador, Captain Cowpants, visit facebook.com/captaincowpants. 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. With kitties: Use images showing pit bull terriers and feline friends. Organizations that oppose breed discrimination include the American Bar Association, the National Animal Care & Control Association, the United Kennel Club, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and even the White House. In some areas, regulated breeds also include a variety of other dogs like American Bulldogs, Rottweilers, Mastiffs, Dalmatians, Chow Chows, German Shepherds, Doberman Pinschers or any mix of these breeds—and dogs who simply resemble these … To order a copy, visit. I am a longtime Coloradan and I would like to address the banning of specific dog breeds — namely banning pit bulls. Laws that prohibit reckless or negligent pet owners from owning pets get at the root of the problem: the behavior of the owner. Why should you fight breed discrimination in your community? Show dogs at play with each other: Sometimes play looks like fighting to the general public. Intensify your efforts and outreach, including communications with officials. To download a Best Friends flyer stating this fact. by Patricia Grisafi January 23, 2020, 1:40 pm. As celebrity wannabes: Photograph local sports heroes or other celebrities with pit bull terriers. All breed-specific policies and laws can be traced to racism, classism, and ableism. Click here to access.). Alert others about the need to contact officials, either via email, social media or the old-fashioned way, by distributing flyers. 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. 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. Stop dog breed discrimination. There are tests are available on the internet, flip through the photographs and find the pit bull. What is the process to sign up? These laws — known as breed-discriminatory or breed-specific legislation — target certain dogs by breed or even just by appearance. Both breed discrimination and BSL are a perceived response to highly publicized attacks by certain breeds, particularly Pit Bulls. More information regarding the problems of visual breed identification is. We’re grateful for the dedicated advocates fighting against breed discrimination all around the country. Our legislative experts can also help you contact government officials to oppose the measure or request a repeal, and recommend proven public safety legislation in its place. Through the years different breeds have been the major focus of breed discrimination ... german shepherds, doberman pinschers, etc. 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. With grey-haired ladies: Research indicates that who a dog is photographed with affects people’s perceptions of the dog. Remember, always be polite, professional and respectful. We will reach no-kill in this country by 2025. The expressed views are for the author only. The impetus is typically overblown media attention paid to an unfortunate dog-bite incident. Breed-Discriminatory Legislation (BDL/BSL) Fiscal Impact. Locally, Prince … Most people choose the wrong breed (Myself included). The following language tips come from Best Friends’ years of research and experience: For more information on this topic, view the Best Friends webinar, “See Beyond the Stereotypes of Pit-Bull-Terrier-Like Dogs to Save Them All,” presented by senior legislative attorney Ledy VanKavage. Though breed-discriminatory legislation (BDL) is often an attempt to improve public safety, studies show that it does not accomplish that objective. Breed discrimination is not limited to outright breed bans. When making image choices in your anti-BDL efforts, however, it’s important to keep your audience in mind. It’s crucial to attend city council or county board meetings to testify in opposition to breed discrimination. There are several breeds most commonly discriminated against, known as the "usual suspects." Our team can also provide information regarding the need for public education about spay/neuter, responsible dog ownership and safe dog interactions. As a species I have high aspirations for human beings. House Bill 4035 sponsored by Rep Jim Ellison will eliminate breed discrimination in municipalities throughout our state.This important legislation has passed through two House committees with strong, bipartisan support and now needs to be considered in the House. So don’t use images that prominently display a dog’s teeth, especially the dog’s canine (fang) teeth. Email, write or call folks directly to relay your gratitude. On the flip side, laws and policies that are breed-discriminatory in nature pose a tremendous threat to the safety of both dogs and people. That’s why a conservative think tank, the Platte Institute, calls them a mistake. The city could ban any breed but most were pit bulls, Rottweilers, and others that have a “bad reputation”. Some of the recommended organizations: Calls, letters and emails from voters greatly influence public officials’ decision-making process, so encourage as many supporters as possible to contact the relevant government officials. BSL is a misnomer, though, because there is nothing specific about this legislation. Mandatory dog training and, finally, pitbulls should be so EXPENSIVE that punks can’t afford them. Some feel that banning a breed is like human racial discrimination. 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.” Study the information and print the reports to distribute to your government 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. We are happy to share our research findings with you via this webinar, “See Beyond the Stereotypes of Pit-Bull-Terrier-Like Dogs to Save Them All,” presented by senior legislative attorney Ledy VanKavage. All of your public calls-to-action should encourage polite, respectful, informed discourse. Through the years different breeds have been the major focus of breed discrimination … german shepherds, doberman pinschers, etc. According to a 2014 national survey conducted by Luntz Global, 84 percent of Americans believe that federal, state or local government should not tell citizens what breeds of dog they cannot own. Arin Greenwood . American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Animal Care & Control Association. Your dog’s resume should include standard details like the pup’s name, breed, age, weight, vaccination dates, and a current photo. Everyone has very strong opinions concerning one of the most heavily discriminated breeds, the “pit bull”. Also, be sure to emphasize to the media that ending breed discrimination is a national trend. The power of social media is undeniable. 0 Shares. Much of the conversation focuses on the fact that discrimination against dogs based on appearance is wrong. Unfortunately, their popularity hasn’t always protected them, most notably when the media sensationalizes a negative story involving pit bull terriers. It's time to make a difference. 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. Go to your community’s Wikipedia page and edit it to disclose that your community has or is considering BDL. In this interview, Dr. Kristopher Irizarry explains the genetic basis for why dogs don’t necessarily act alike even if they look alike. Ending Breed Discrimination There’s a movement to rebrand Pit Bulls as “pibbles,” a nickname created to show a softer — and no doubt trendier — side Why should landlords be concerned with the breed of dog a … When people think of dog breed discrimination, they often think of pit bulls. Because of the inaccuracy of visual breed identification, Dr. Voith questions current public and private policies based on dog breeds. 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. Writer. Dogs love to smile, but their teeth can scare the general public, in particular those who aren’t animal lovers. The book recommends against breed discrimination. As family dogs: Depict dogs with adults who appear to be loving and responsible owners. 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. Many dog breeds -- such as the Pitt Bull and the Doberman Pincher -- are discriminated against and labeled "aggressive breeds" because of how they were treated, raised, and individual dog issues. Breed discrimination is cruel and not grounded in science. Why should landlords be concerned with the breed of dog a tenant owns? Feature the dogs with babies or very young children: These images not only make the children seem vulnerable, they send the message that it’s OK to leave children unattended with dogs. Table of ContentsSteps for fighting breed discrimination in your community, Why breed discrimination doesn’t work and what doesAdditional resourcesSuccess stories. The next demonized dogs were the Northern breeds, the Malamutes and Huskies, who were assumed by many to be the equivalent of wolves. BSL is often enacted to ease fears over public safety, but these laws are ineffective and very costly. They feel that dogs attack people who deserve it for one reason or another. For these reasons, it is important to use the term “breed-discriminatory legislation” rather than “breed-specific legislation.”. Best Friends prefers to use the term breed discriminatory legislation, as it more accurately describes these types of laws. A dog can be trained to be nice and calm, or to be an attacker. Shares Share Tweet Pin Arizona has just become the 20th state to completely do away with breed-specific legislation — laws that ban or otherwise regulate dogs by breed. Finally, if the media needs additional background information on the topic of breed discrimination, Best Friends is happy to help. You might also consider starting a blog or contributing to your community newspaper’s blog. © 2020 Best Friends Animal Society. Provide good alternatives to breed-discriminatory legislation, including model ordinances and sound policies. Breed discrimination in America. The Case Against Dog Breed Discrimination by Homeowners' Insurance Companies: Larry Cunningham : 11 Conn. Ins. Best Friends is happy to assist in this endeavor. By Minette. Just don’t forget to update the page again after you’ve successfully defeated proposed BDL measures. 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. Images that work well in a fundraising campaign for your local animal shelter might not be persuasive to a legislator who’s indifferent to dogs or even not crazy about them. Keep in mind that community leaders can be quickly turned off by large numbers of angry calls, letters and emails from people, especially if they are coming from individuals who don’t reside in the community. Pets on Wheels is a Non-Profit 501c3 volunteer Therapy Dog organization. They feel that the statistics compiled on dog attacks are inaccurate, and that the press has created the false impression that there is a dog bite problem in the USA. October 14, 2013 3 Comments. Breed-discriminatory legislation also infringes on … Re-examine all efforts to date to learn where adjustments may need to be made and how strategy may need to be altered. They discriminate against people by placing unnecessary and unfair hardships on them simply because they’ve chosen to adopt or have a certain type of pet. Share. Some people assume some breeds of dogs are more prone to attacking and biting, though this is a misconception. Call your elected officials to respectfully voice your opposition to the existing law or proposed measure. Take a deep breath and then: When you do win, be sure to thank your public officials as well as your fellow advocates. Under previous laws, residents who owned prohibited dogs would be forced to get rid of their dog or move out of the city limits. Your local newspapers, television and radio stations may be very interested in what you have to say. group of laws targeting specific breeds of dogs deemed “dangerous” or “vicious” based on their appearance VIDEO: Lawmakers discuss the benefits of repealing and preventing breed-specific legislation. Ask your local humane society to actively oppose breed discrimination. If you’re invited to an in-person interview, bring an ambassador pit bull terrier along if possible. For example, knowing a dog has a short snout and long hair doesn’t give us any information about whether he’s afraid of thunderstorms or gets along well with cats. Here are a few inspiring examples. Every dog is an individual and should be judged on behavior, not appearance. For more information, email Best Friends at info@bestfriends.org. If pit bull terriers are America’s dog, why does BDL primarily target them? Some say, "do nothing at all." All dogs can bite.”. The physical appearance of a dog does not provide any clue as to his or her behavior. The latest is the "pit bull". Dog owners are not given due process, as their dogs are deemed dangerous based solely on looks and can be killed without any scientific evidence. Re: Dog Breed Discrimination I watch a lot of the Animal Cops shows on Animal Planet, and it is amazing the number of pitt bulls and mixes of that breed that end up in the shelters. Our communities deserve comprehensive dog laws that demand responsible dog ownership and hold reckless owners accountable when their poor decisions result in other dogs or people getting hurt. Therapy dogs come in all shapes and sizes. Of those that are aware, I believe the community’s opinion is largely against breed discrimination and they believe it should be studied more in criminology. In Arlington, where 70% of homes are in multi-unit buildings and 60% are rent, the … Apartments and rental homes often have breed restrictions and cause countless citizens to get rid of their companions. Contact information is usually available on your community’s website. Breed Discrimination Dog fighting and breed discrimination go hand in hand and are the dark side of our society that needs to be eliminated not only because of its extreme cruelty to the innocent dogs forced to participate, but also because of its association with gambling, gang activity, and drug use. Besides being ineffective, these laws are expensive and difficult to enforce and also interfere with citizens’ property rights. On Animal Precinct Miami, they can't adopt these dogs out from shelters … 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. Dog breeds like Pit Bulls, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Chows, and others have been receiving discrimination for years. Emotional arguments about the plight of dogs affected by BDL should play a very small supporting role, or even none at all. If a number of people are involved in your anti-BDL efforts, select one person as the media spokesperson and make sure that person is articulate and can speak accurately about the issue. Instead, dig in for the long haul and aim for a repeal. When a breed-discriminatory law is passed, the burden of proof is on the municipality to prove that a dog is of a certain breed. BDL wastes valuable tax dollars because it’s ineffective and expensive to enforce. Breed Discrimination Packet. Such “panic policymaking,” driven by anger and fear, ignores the multitude of factors that may contribute to dog-bite incidents, such as a dog’s level of socialization and whether he/she has been sterilized. Another strategy to try is using the economic consequences to local businesses as an advocacy tool. View legislative alerts about ordinances and laws that may affect your city, county, or state and take action where applicable. Messages: 2,058 Likes Received: 1,894 Trophy Points: 113. In America, responsible people should be allowed to love and care for any breed of dog they choose. You can undermine your own argument with the wrong language. 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. (See “. All Rights Reserved. Under previous laws, residents who owned prohibited dogs would be forced to get rid of their dog or move out of the city limits. Ambassador dogs should always look their best, too — no chains, spike collars or the like. In addition to being an ineffective way of protecting the public, breed-discriminatory laws are a tremendous waste of tax dollars because they are expensive to enforce and maintain. Third, “breed-discriminatory” is a more accurate descriptor for these types of laws. Because any breed of dog can be a service dog, facilities do not … Why in quotes? You will see breed-discriminatory legislation (BDL) also referred to as breed-specific legislation (BSL). 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.”). Adding well-written, informed comments to relevant stories in the local online media is a great way to advocate for your cause. If you are interviewed by local media representatives, provide them with basic information first, but be ready to share specific talking points if asked. Use the term “breed-discriminatory legislation” rather than “breed-specific legislation.” There is nothing specific about so-called breed-specific legislation (see the sidebar below), so don’t perpetuate that myth or undermine your argument. The ADA does not restrict the type of dog breed that can qualify for a service dog. As a way of showing decision-makers how difficult it is to correctly guess the breeds of mixed-breed dogs, ask your audience to “. The quantitative analysis examines personality types of the owners with the type of dog owned. Refer to the dogs as “pit bull terriers” rather than simply “pit bulls.” Many pit bull breeds actually are terriers, and adding that word softens the name and helps people relate to the dogs. We are so close to ending dog breed discrimination in Michigan, but we need your voice to make it happen. BSL stands for breed-specific legislation. 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. A dog who jumped at the sound of a heavy box falling to the floor can become frightened by other sudden noises down the road. Breed-specific legislation (BSL) is the blanket term for laws that either regulate or ban certain dog breeds in an effort to decrease dog attacks on humans and other animals. The term “pit bull” is most often used today to describe a dog of a certain appearance. And they discriminate against dogs based solely on their appearance. In fact, legislation that targets dogs by breed has been proven to be ineffective when it comes to reducing dog-bite incidents. Dog breed discrimination is wrong, and breed ban laws do not keep the public safer. Regarding effective policy measures and examples of enacted comprehensive breed-neutral laws are expensive and difficult to and! When it comes to reducing dog-bite incidents Non-Profit 501c3 volunteer therapy dog organization media paid! Assistance, contact him or her behavior can lobby, too ( but please visit Bolder! Some countries and U.S. states pass breed discrimination: how to Prevent in. 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