Educating not Discriminating
Dog Legislation Education (DLE) is for anyone on either side of the Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) fence. I wanted to provide a place where you can ask questions that otherwise might spark debate. This is not meant to be a place to argue the issues, but to help people understand why dogs bite, who's really responsible, and what types of legislation have proven successful in protecting the public and punishing human offenders. Anyone commenting on the blog will be removed from the group for being insensitive. My main focus will be for citizens of Springfield, Mo as the Animal Issues Task Force (AITF) has proposed new legislation, policies, programs to City Council. Because these proposals could help improve the safety of citizens anywhere, the blog is open to anyone.
The Root of Fear is Ignorance.
The one thing I have learned over the years, is that most people who have a problem with a specific breed of dog either had one bad experience or heard bad stuff on the news. Humans are allowed to be afraid...I'm afraid of spiders, hopefully no one faults me for that! What I hope to accomplish with this blog is to help Pit Bull and other Power Breed owners to understand that some people don't know any better than to be afraid. As dog owners we have to take our time and show the public that no one breed stands alone with behavioral issues. I hope to not only educate people who don't know the blessings our dogs bring, but also help educate people who may not know what is appropriate behavior for them and their dog. Though I don't believe Breed Specific Legislation is effective in educating the public, I do believe Potentially Dangerous Dog, Dangerous Dog, and Irresponsible Owner Legislation can not only educate, but improve public safety as well.
Please enjoy the blog, sign up for email updates, keep your filters on when commenting, and hopefully learn something new today.
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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

More Legal Tug-o-War

Click the link below to see what's going on with the opposition for the Winston Law.

KC Dog Blog put out an article today about the other side of the Non-Breed Specific Legislation.
Apparently instead of listening to the professionals in the dog behavior fields they are trying to pull the "smaller government" card. I guess when you don't want to admit someone knows a profession better than you the typical human response is to grasp at straws. 

So how do we determine if a dog is a Pit Bull or Pit mix?
This is one of those million dollar questions. And the answer's impossible. Aside from the fact that Pit Bull is a "type" of dog not a specific breed...Even scientists that specialize in DNA testing and AKC judges who specialize in breed conformation admit it can be impossible to tell if a dog has a predominant gene of the Staffordshire Pit Bull Terrier. The problem is that only a small fraction of genes determine how a dog looks. Check out this clip to see if professionals can tell which dog is the Pit Bull.
  Pit Bulls Wrongly Accused?

Animal Issues Input Group and City Council meetings... I will let you know when I hear anything. There was nothing BSL in the meeting last week. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

I had to take a deep breath... again!

I missed this on the news a few weeks ago, but it didn't take long for my email, FB page, and phone to start blowing up. After watching it I really had no words. For those of you who know me, a loss of words is rare and when it happens you can bet that the next thing that will happen is Misti Fry will be peeling me off of the ceiling. So here you go...

First, I want you to watch the video... After... Well... you'll see I got my speech back...
                                                                                                                                                             Kolr 10 News: Laws to Create Equal Rights for Dog Breeds

 Take a deep breath and count to ten!

So, what is the new proposed Missouri law about?  As Representative Ron Hicks said, "It's not about eliminating laws, its about creating an equal playing field".  A law that prevents breed-specific legislation doesn't take away the safety of the people. It makes it so any person with any breed of potentially dangerous and/or dangerous dog will be held accountable. In turn, that makes people safer from any dangerous dog. Dogs will not be punished due to the breed; people will be held accountable for being irresponsible and dogs will be held accountable due to the situation and their temperament.

Assistant Director of Health, Clay Goddard said, "the bite is more serious with a Pit Bull than a nip from a smaller breed of dog". My simple response to that?... A bite from any dog is more serious than a nip from any dog! (Hehe)

As I have explained in past entries, a dog's bite can be more severe for a few reasons...
               1)The size of the dogs head; The bigger the head, the stronger the jaw strength.
               2)The size of the human and placement of the bite; same size dog bite on a child's face and a man's calf...different levels of damage.
               3)The gameness of the dog; If it doesn't have a "shut off" there is more of a chance of fatal damage.

Animal Control Supervisor Randy Barnts' comment made me laugh. "Most people don't want to live next door to a pit bull".  Really!?  What facts are the basis for that "opinion"?

*Just a note*
How ethical is it to put a person, that doesn't like a certain breed of dog, in charge of supervising Animal Control? How do we know he treats them humanely? We wouldn't have someone who hates little boys work at a daycare would we?  Maybe we should ask the ASPCA or the HSUS  how ethical this is?  Or maybe we should ask our Mayor?

Clay Goddard also stated that bites from pits and pit mixes are down such high percentages. I give that two reasons...
           1)When you kill 1500 of anything, you are bound to have a decline in any behavior from them, positive or negative.
          2) Public Awareness- When you plaster scary stuff for both sides of the BSL, all over the news, people notice and either hide their dogs or become more afraid of the Pit Bulls in the city.

In closing, if Clay Goddard says "the legislation has done what was intended", why not move forward?  If statistics show BSL costs more money than it makes, why not try something that could make the city money to build that new shelter?  Why are we not holding people more accountable for their actions?  Why are dogs being punished because of neglect caused by a human and the human gets a pardon? 

I wholeheartedly agree with the news anchor that said a Pit Bull is a beautiful thing to look at as long as you use it to its advantages. I would just change a few words...

A dog is a beautiful thing as long as you use it's strengths and weaknesses in a positive way.

Please support Missouri House bill 1116 also known as Winston's Law:

Send emails stating your "public opinion and expertise" to your Springfield city officials:
***Remember how much I stressed, in my past blogs, how we went wrong six years ago?

Let's be professional.

Mayor Bob Stephens-
Springfield City Council contact info- 
Director of Health, Kevin
Assistant Director of Health, Clay Goddard-
Animal Control Supervisor, Randy