Freedoms to Fight For

July 4, 2012  

By Laura Petrolino, VP of Operations

In honor of Independence Day, I thought I’d do a round up of some interesting articles concerning breed-discriminatory laws:

When animal control workers go rouge: Really interesting article from KC Dog Blog about a potential repeal of the Wilmington, Del., breed-discriminatory law which is moving forward in the Wilmington City Council. Of course, any repeal of a breed-discriminatory law is a step in the right direction, however, this particular situation is one of note because of the reason for the potential repeal. Very simply, Wilmington is unable to find an animal control provider that is willing to enforce breed-discriminatory laws.

This gives a very interesting new perspective as to where targets of advocacy and education against breed-discriminatory legislation should lie. It is the opportunity to really help the entire professional animal control community understand the false logic of BDL and negative repercussions – an opportunity that has not been taken full advantage of as of yet. After all, if cities can’t find professionals to enforce these laws, they will need to be repealed, if only by default.

Now, this is, of course, not the end-all answer to BDL, and many factors are involved, but situations like this are helpful to examine. Sometimes it is easy to fall into the same patterns and miss opportunities to make change – opportunities that have not perhaps been tapped effectively.

Another typical pit bull attack … by a piranha: Here is a very extreme but noteworthy example of a pit bull being wrongly accused of biting off a child’s fingers. When a mother discovered her 18-month-old child’s finger had been bitten, she automatically assumed their pit bull did it. It wasn’t until the child’s father cut open one of the piranhas, and the piece of his daughter’s finger was found inside the fish, that the dog was exonerated.

Yes, this is slightly absurd, however, it illustrates a really good point. Simply, assumptions will only serve to protect you from the wrong source, all the time leaving the real danger free to continue to impose damage. The whole scenario is very symbolic of breed-discriminatory laws as a whole. By blaming a specific kind of dog for potential dangers, cities put themselves in a vulnerable position by ignoring the real cause of dog bites and attacks.

More on Maryland: If you are following along the events in Maryland (which you should be!), here is a transcript of the June 19 Task Force Hearing. Another must read is this wonderfully written report from the National Canine Research Council. I started pulling out what I thought were the most important points made in this article and realized I as basically cutting and pasting the entire thing. Any canine advocate, guardian or citizen in a community affected or with the potential to be affected by breed-discriminatory laws MUST read this (and, FYI, that means every single one of you).

Happy Independence Day everyone. Let’s celebrate the many freedoms we have and those that we still need to fight for.

(photos by Melissa Lipani)

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2 Responses to “Freedoms to Fight For”
  1. AnnColeman says:

    Thank you for continuing to support us as we battle discrimination here in Maryland!

  2. Wave59 says:

    A “bread-winner” is a household’s main economic contributor and has little to do with actual bread-provision, for example. This is also seen in the phrase “putting bread on the table”. A remarkable or revolutionary innovation is often referred to as “the greatest thing since sliced bread”. In Russia in 1917, Lenin and his fellow Bolsheviks promised “Peace, Land, and Bread.