Breed Specific Legislation is Not About Dogs
By Cherie Graves
Our first instinct when BSL is proposed, is to want others, especially legislators, to see our dogs as we do. We rush to write letters to the government body, extolling the virtues of our dogs, and wonder why they just don't understand. They do not care about your dogs. They don't care if you care about your dogs. Breed specific dog laws appear on the surface to be about dogs, but upon closer examination we discover that BSL is all about we human owners of dogs. It's about government invading the sanctity of our homes, and our property, and removing animals that we consider to be a part of our family. It is about government criminalizing dog ownership by breed. It is about fifty-six breeds of dogs now named in breed specific prohibitions, or restrictions across the United States at this very time, that we, the people may not own.
The taking of dogs by breed is only the beginning of the eventual removal of all animals from our ownership, and use. Animals are among the most ancient of our traditional property, when government decides to remove our ownership rights, it will be piecemeal, not whole hog. Think for a moment what would happen if your city, or county government stipulated that all dogs must be forfeit. People would stand up and put an immediate stop to that. Those of us who own the target breeds are set apart, we are vilified, and made to look like criminals, so that the rest of society will not be troubled by the taking of our dogs. They will actually endorse the taking of our dogs, not realizing that their dogs are going to be added to the growing list of restricted, or prohibited dogs. Our dogs are purportedly endowed with mythical powers that no other breed of canine can match. The surrounding myth would make our dogs so omnipotent that no mere mortal could possibly outsmart, control, train, contain, or to have a normal owner relationship with them. Realistically all domestic animal breeds were developed by human beings. When we come to the realization that it is us that these laws are truly aimed at, then we can shed the blinders, and get down to the real business of protecting our rights. When we stand up for ourselves as citizens, when we refuse to have our rights, and our property stripped from us then we will be invincible.
If a baddie killed another person with a baseball bat, would the city fathers gather away all of our baseball bats? Of course not. In fact, in Lancaster, CA a thirteen year old boy beat a fifteen year old boy to death with a baseball bat. We don't see Mike Antonovitch, LA County Supervisor, standing in front of a poster of a snarling thirteen year old boy, wielding a baseball bat, with the words "BEFORE THEY BAT!". No city government would take our cars if a person committed vehicular homicide with the same make, and model that we drive. Think of the outcry. It is equally as unreasonable to prohibit the ownership of dogs by breed.
Laws must be reasonable. It is unreasonable to write animal behavior into laws that no animal has the capacity to understand, or to function under. It is unreasonable to mete out criminal labels to animals, i. e. dangerous, or potentially dangerous. It is unreasonable to proscribe punishments to animals under our laws. Laws must give us the right to due process of law. BSL in Denver, Kennewick, and many places across the United States remove animals for no reason other than breed, from responsible owners, with no charges of negligence, and no opportunity to have a case, or a case heard in the Courts. BSL allows warrantless searches and seizures of private property for no reason other than the breed of dog involved. BSL violates the Constitutional right to recompense for property taken by government for public use, i. e. public safety. Animals must not be criminalized under laws that are intended to protect human rights, and to control human behaviors. The act of criminalizing animals elevates them to a legal status of human beings under our laws. At the same time it devalues humans.
List of breed with specific legislation in the United States
Airedale Terrier - Akita - Alaskan Malamute -Alsatian Shepherd -American Bulldog - American Husky - American Pit Bull Terrier - American Staffordshire Terrier - American Wolfdog - Arikara Dog - Australian Cattle Dog - Australian Shepherd - Belgian Malinois - Belgian Sheepdog - Belgian Tervuren - Blue Heeler - Boston Terrier - Bouvier Des Flandres - Boxer - Bulldog - Bull Mastiff - Bull Terrier - Cane Corso - Catahoula Leopard Dog - Caucasian Shepherd - Chinese Shar Pei - Chow Chow - Colorado Dog - Doberman Pinscher - Dogo De Argentino - Dogue De Bordeaux - English Springer Spaniel - Eskimo Dog - Fila Brasiliero - Fox Terrier -French Bulldog - German Shepherd Dog - Golden Retriever - Greenland Husky - Great Dane - Keeshond - Kotezebue Husky - Labrador Retriever - Mastiff - Presa De Canario - Pug - Rottweiler - Saarloos Wolfhond - St. Bernard - Samoyed - Siberian Husky - Staffordshire Bull Terrier - Timber Shepherd - Tosa Inu - Tundra Shepherd - Wolf Spitz.
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