Open Letter to Senator Beffort on Breed Discriminatory Legislation

December 15, 2011  

By Leslie Smith, as first posted on Dogtime, Dec. 13, 2011

Maybe’s most dangerous habit: trying to scooch Uno off the chair.

Dear Senator Sue Wilson Beffort,

My little corner of cyberspace is abuzz this morning with the news that you plan to introduce “dangerous dog” legislation here in New Mexico. I’m saddened and discouraged, but mostly surprised. The evidence is categorical and overwhelming: Breed Specific Legislation — of which dangerous dog legislation is the first step — protects no one but leaves those already vulnerable in an even more precarious position.

Don’t just take my word for it. Talk to the people who’ve researched and studied this matter in depth and who have extensive hands-on experience with animals of all backgrounds and genetic makeup: Best Friends Animal Society, BADRAP,, and the ASPCA. None of these highly respected groups would put their reputation on the line — or their communities at risk — if the findings didn’t indicate that BSL does not work.

As has been proven time and again, even for dogs who’ve endured the most heinous and abusive treatment, the majority emerge mentally healthy and do not pose a threat to public safety. The most famous examples, of course, are the former Michael Vick pit bulls, four of whom are now certified therapy dogs. Hector and the others visit nursing homes, kindergarten classes, and abuse survivors, shattering stereotypes and promoting compassion and education. (As I said in an earlier blog post: Understandably, a few Vick dogs still struggle with fear, but none are aggressive towards people.)

And for me personally, Ms. Beffort, this type of legislation would ultimately change the course of my life. I will leave New Mexico before I allow someone to rip apart my family. For more on how “dangerous” my dog Maybe is, check out the story, A Sparrow and an Eagle.

Sure, there are plenty of dangerous animals here in our state. But they happen to be human — and their attitudes and actions toward sentient, feeling beings couldn’t be more unsafe. It’s time to restrict their freedoms and make punishment more severe for their crimes. That’s the only way to keep all of our residents protected.


Leslie Smith
Editor-in-Chief, DogTime

Contact info for Sue Beffort:
Phone: (505) 986-4395

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One Response to “Open Letter to Senator Beffort on Breed Discriminatory Legislation”
  1. StellaGVidales says:

    Do you know of any Senators or other politicians in Texas who are trying to get BSL’s passed? Specifically here in San Antonio? I would LOVE to write them (or e-mail them) with why I am against these types of laws. I agree with you 100%, Ms. Smith, that unfeeling, uncaring humans should be subject to HSL’s (HUMAN Specific Laws) as well! God knows those types of people are much more dangerous than ANY Pit Bull could EVER be! At least Pitties will forgive AND forget whatever maltreatment they may have recieved at the hands of a so called “more intelligent species.” There are some people who NEVER forgive and never forget! (I have a family member & his family who are just like that!)

    Please let me know who I need to contact, either through the USPS or e-mail. Thank you for all you do for the most misunderstood breed of dog in the world! I’m sure if they could, every Pittie in this country would be standing on their hind legs and putting their paw together in applause for you!

    Stella G. Vidales