Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Finally, a city that has its head in the game.

Recent events in Hopkinton IA, have once again brought Breed Specific Legislation, or BSL, to the forefront. Granted the events that started this conversation are horrific-
Unattended dogs and children is a set up for disaster. Any breed of dog. Many people like to site the statistics of dog attacks and bites in the US. But remember, this is reported bites. Most are the ones requiring medical attention, happen with multiple witnesses and there is no information provided as to the events of the bite.

After having dealt with a dog bite during one of my kennel club’s dog shows, I got a really big eye opener when talking to the AKC rep. She’s one of my favorites, btw. No nonsense. Her statement-a bite, is a bite, is a bite. It doesn’t have to end with gashes, stitches, severe injury. It’s as simple as a grab of the pant leg, spit left on your arm or making sure all your digits are accounted for. Once a dog bites, there are extreme chances of it happening again and again, getting worse and worse. It’s small toy fox terriers, it’s large German Shepherds. it’s a Neopolitan Mastiff walking past an exhibitor sitting in a chair and attempting to eat the Pomeranian sitting on her lap. Yes that did happen and no, no one said a damn thing. Particular Neo ended up at some other show actually causing a fight and injuring a person and dog.

Basically, regardless of the dog and the bite, it’s the person responsible for the dog that needs to take action and own up to its dog’s behavior. The City of Hopkinton said just that, banning a breed, won’t solve the problem because next time it will be the hunter’s lab or the neighbor’s beagle that bites. How far do you go and how many breeds do you need to ban? Communities need to step up to the plate and make dog owners do right by their dogs. And breeders need to be more responsible about placing dogs-you can say no when a dog isn’t right for a person. Enforce you spay/neuter contracts.

Many thanks need to go out to the AKC for stepping up to the plate and providing timely information to the City of Hopkinton on why BSL doesn’t work. Thanks Jennifer! I’m very happy with the AKC being there to help when asked. They jumped right on it, sending letters, making phone calls and keeping me updated on what they were doing.

Now on to Center Point! Then to Springville and see about lifting the breed ban on... pandas!

Later gators..

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