Friday, July 27, 2007

Finding a Good Breeder

Finding a Good Breeder
By Christie Keith,
Special to SF Gate Tuesday, June 26, 2007

There are three good ethical sources for family pets. One of them is a humane society or shelter. Another is an animal rescue group, which is an organization dedicated to helping homeless pets. The third is a responsible breeder. After I wrote my last column on a group of dogs rescued from a Midwestern puppy mill, I heard from a lot of people wanting to know how to make sure the dog or cat they were planning to bring into their family did, in fact, come from a responsible breeder and not from a mill. These concerns are well founded. Pet stores routinely assure shoppers that their pets don't come from puppy or kitten mills, and Internet pet store sites certainly won't announce that theirs do. Instead, they use the phrases people find reassuring: "Family raised." "Private breeders." "Raised with love." Despite those marketing slogans, the reality is that nearly all puppies and kittens sold in pet stores and on the Internet are mass- produced in circumstances that range from truly hellish to sterile, lonely and boring. The mothers and fathers of those puppies and kittens spend their entire lives in cages, bored beyond belief, sometimes kept in filth and misery, having litter after litter until they can't produce any more. So how can you know whether a breeder or other seller's claims are true? And even if you could hook the breeder up to a lie detector, how do you know what questions to ask or what the answers should be? The reality is that figuring that out and finding a good breeder can be a frustrating (albeit rewarding) treasure hunt. It can require a lot of homework and an investment of your time. These articles and Web sites are good places to start: Finding a Responsible [Dog] Breeder Questions to Ask a [Dog] Breeder How to Find a Good Dog Breeder from the Humane Society of the United States <> og_breeder/index.html Tips on Choosing a Cat Breeder <> Some people, when reading the undeniably useful and important suggestions on those sites, might feel overwhelmed, and that's understandable. While I still believe they're the best place to start, there are three pieces of advice I can give that can make it much simpler:
1. The Questions What's most important are not the questions you ask the breeder but the ones breeder asks you. Being grilled about your suitability as a pet owner is the single best indicator that you're dealing with a reputable breeder. Why? Ask yourself this: Would you really want to bring a living, breathing creature into your home, to become a part of your family, who was born and raised in the hands of someone who didn't give a damn what happened to that animal? Ethical, caring breeders want to know about your living situation, your past experience with pets, how other family members feel about a new dog or cat and if they can contact your veterinarian. Breeders are likely to want to know how extensive your knowledge of the breed is, and some of them have multipage questionnaires. Those frustrating restrictions and contracts, and those intrusive questions, are your guarantee that the breeder of your pet is an ethical one. Or to put it more bluntly, the easier it is for you to get that puppy or kitten, the less careful the breeder of that puppy and kitten is. Which is also why reputable breeders, those who are committed to improving and preserving their chosen breeds and bringing the healthiest possible puppies and kittens into the world, would never consider letting a third party, such as a pet store, place them in new homes. They care far too much about what happens to those puppies and kittens to let anyone else, let alone a stranger, take that decision out of their hands.
2. The Acid Test If the first test of good breeders is that they be as picky about you as you are about them, the second is the one I call the acid test: If you, for any reason, cannot keep this puppy or kitten down the road, will the breeder take him or her back? There is only one right answer to this question, and that's an unequivocal yes. In fact, good breeders won't just agree to that, they'll require it in their contract. Since animals are living creatures and not household appliances, no breeder, no matter how ethical, can guarantee they'll never have health or behavior problems. But I can guarantee that a breeder who answers no to that question is not someone you'd want to give your money to, or someone you should trust to bring your future pet into the world.
3. The Guarantee Let me be blunt: Any guarantee that requires you to return a sick or defective puppy or kitten in order to get your money back is no guarantee at all. It is actually a way to get out of guaranteeing the pet, because very few people will ever return an animal once they have brought it into their home. Breeders or pet stores that put the bottom line before the human-animal bond use that fact to get out of standing behind the health and fitness of the puppy or kitten they sold. Don't ever buy from breeders with this clause in their contract, because it's not only worthless, it's sadistic. When I bought a puppy who turned out to have severe allergies, her breeder returned my money, contributed toward her vet bills and offered me a replacement puppy. And also, of course, let me keep her - - because who on earth would want to see their lovingly bred puppy or kitten in the hands of someone who'd return it as if it were a defective washing machine? What about rescue groups and shelters? Some people are surprised to find out that they, too, have a few hoops people looking for a pet have to jump through -- things like veterinary references and answering questions about your expectations for the pet's behavior and health needs. Many rescue groups even have questionnaires similar to those used by the best breeders. It's important to realize that all these requirements, even those that may seem intrusive, arose from real situations where animals were placed in inappropriate homes. In an attempt to protect the lives and happiness of the animals in their care, these breeders and rescuers have devised tools to make sure the home is a good one -- and a permanent one. Although many of the requirements will seem excessive to you, it should be of some comfort to realize that you are getting your future pet from someone who really cares about that animal. Especially in the case of breeders, it is reassuring to know that they are so attentive to details. This will probably mean they were also very careful in how they bred the puppies or kittens and how they raised them. It is you who will benefit from this conscientiousness. Even if you recognize the good intentions behind these requirements, it can be tempting to walk away and get a pet somewhere with fewer restrictions. You won't be asked anything more than to flash your credit card at the pet store at the mall or before popping a puppy into your online shopping cart. Which brings us back to where we began, the dogs and cats who are spending their lives in loneliness, boredom and suffering in commercial breeding facilities. Ask yourself if having a clear conscience about where your dog or cat came from isn't worth jumping through a few hoops along the way.
Christie Keith is a contributing editor for Universal Press Syndicate's Pet Connection and past director of the Pet Care Forum on America Online. She lives in San Francisco

Washington D.C.- Alert- pet ordinance!

Washington D.C.'s proposed pet ordinance. It calls for a forfeiture of the right to own animals!!!http://www.dccounci l.washington. 00001/2007020716 2842.pdf

Help Stamp Out Stupidity

By Gary Truitt
The word "stupid" is defined by Wikipedia, the on-line encyclopedia, as "the quality or condition of being stupid, or lacking intelligence , as opposed to being merely ignorant or uneducated. This quality can be attributed to both an individual or a person`s actions, words or beliefs. The term can thus also refer to poor use of judgement, or insensitivity to nuances in a person who is otherwise intelligent." This last part can be applied to Microsoft. The company that brought personal computers in to all our lives and literally runs the world with their Windows operating system has proven just how stupid smart people can be. Microsoft has donated $100,000 to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). This is one of the most radical animal rights organizations in exsistance. David Martosko, director of Research for the Center for Consumer Freedom says "HSUS is basically PETA with a nicer wristwatch."While $100,000 is pocket change to a corporation like Microsoft, why they would stoop so low as to fund the reprehensible activities of this group is mystifying. Obviously, some bonehead in Seattle did not even do a Google search on this group before cutting them the check. Either that or one of the most powerful technology companies in the world has a very radical social agenda. A sobering thought, no?Speaking of scary, many of the people who cook our food are turning against it. The latest group to organize with an anti-meat, anti-agriculture agenda are the chefs. A wave of anti-agribusiness activism threatens the food and beverage industry like nothing we have seen before. "Celebrity chefs," linked to cultish guru-followers, have joined forces with "green" brigades of anti-corporate activists and organic food marketers. They are flooding consumers with bad science. They seek to generate fears about the quality of the food supply and attack the morality of producers. Restaurants that specialize in serving meat, like Morton's or Ruth Chris, are targets. Well-funded activist groups, like the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), are suing food companies into submission. Kellogg's is the latest to cave to this intimidation. The cereal maker has vowed to make changes in their cereals to meet specific guidelines for calories, fat, sugar, and salt. Products that do not make the (non-science based) grade will no longer be advertised to children. This includes such favorites as Rice Krispies.This food censorship is happening in other nations, too. In the United Kingdom, the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre banned the reappearance of several 1960s British TV food ads featuring the slogan "Go to Work on an Egg." The government-backed agency justified the censorship by claiming that the old egg commercials failed to comply with modern broadcast advertising codes because they don`t "promote a varied and balanced diet." We typically think of stupidity in terms of individuals, but entire groups or populations can become stupid. In psychology, this is known as "deindividuation" in crowds and can lead to behaviors usually not displayed outside the specific social situation. The behaviors occur because individuals will conform to perceived social norms in order to "fit in" or project an impression of self as "normal". That is the real danger of groups like HSUS or CSPI. With an activist agenda and junk science, they are trying to change what has always been considered normal. Once they do that, consumers, judges, lawmakers, and the media will do all manner of stupid things. Just think, it could lead to such a thing as a major world city passing a law banning foie gras. Oh well, as Forest Gump would say, "Stupid is as stupid does."

HSUS wants to take control of FEMA's National Disaster Canine Response Teams

HSUS has made big strides in it's efforts to take control of FEMA's National Disaster Canine Response Teams. Now they're soliciting those of us who do/ have done/ want to do SAR, and making available an HSUS sponsorship to cover the costs of training, equipment and deployment travel. HSUS is offering handlers thou$and$ that we ordinarily have to spend out of our own pockets with our search dogs. I'm sure that will attract a lot of people interested in various tracking hobbies.A handler can only apply the training techniques developed by HSUS. (Excuse me, I'm gagging on this...brb.. .) My name must have been pulled from 10-year old county records, as it's been that long since I was active in SAR. HSUS has slyly insinuated itself into FEMA, with the objective of becoming the decision-makers about the deployment of search and rescue dogs, K9 cops, and service dogs in any disaster. Don't ask me what credentials they bring to the table because I haven't seen any document that would qualify them to manage responders, communication, or sites, much less any experience with handling SAR dogs.In addition, HSUS organizers in all states are successfully seducing already-overwhelmed govt agencies into trusting them (HSUS) to determine whether pets can be salvaged following disasters. It's doubtful they'd believe that any animal would pass muster and be worthy of rescuing, wouldn't you agree? I've spoken with the AZ rep several times without letting him know that I'm on to him. Agencies are willing to hand over large chucks of control just to get out from under it themselves. And the reps have palms of honey and lips of gold.These three strategies aren't the only ones in play. Two others that give me chills are 1) statements that they have a very comprehensive agreement with FEMA regarding animals and their ownership during and after disasters; and 2) when you read the fine print about their sponsorship of training, gear, and travel, you discover that you'll be under THEIR command from now on - not the federal, regional, state or local affiliations you presently work with.

AVMA community approach to dog bite prevention

Breed Specific Legistation Does Not Protect The Public

1. BREED SPECIFIC LEGISLATION DOES NOT PROTECT THE PUBLIC Breed bans and breed specific laws do nothing to stop dog attacks, they do nothing to stop illegal activity, they do nothing to protect the public from irresponsible dog owners and only punish responsible dog owners, causing court litigation, wasted tax money and impoundment of innocent dogs while criminalizing U.S. Citizens. There is no data at this time to prove that a breed ban or breed specific restrictions has been effective legislation. There is no scientific proof that genetics cause a breed of dog to be aggressive, vicious or dangerous. Irresponsible owners are to blame for the behavior of dogs that are aggressive, vicious or dangerous. Breed specific legislation is an injustice, genocide of dogs. In this country according to a study done by the National Council on Pet Population between 1994-1998 showed 2- 2.3 million dogs are taken in by shelters across the country each year. 44% are found new homes or returned to their owners. The number two leading cause of dogs ending up in shelters is landlord issues ( insurance discrimination and breed specific legislation )
2. COURT LITIGATION PROVES BREED SPECIFIC LEGISLATION IS NCONSTITUTIONAL Zuniga v. San Mateo Dept. of Health Services (1990) 218 Cal. App. 3d 1521, 267 Cal. Rptr. 2d 755. The court found there was not sufficient evidence to prove Pit Bulls have an inherent nature of being dangerous. Carter v. Metro North Assocs. (1998) 255 A.D. 2d 251; 680 N.Y.S.2d 299 A New York appellate court determined that the alleged propensities of Pit Bull Terriers to behave more viciously than other breeds had not been authoritatively established. On December 13, 2002 ACF filed civil action against the city of Pontiac Michigan for 500,000 dollars in damages for passing breed specific legislation, Pontiac negotiated and repealed their breed ban. ACF litigated the city of Huntsville Alabama in 2002 in a case that was heard by the Alabama Supreme Court. Huntsville v. Four Pit Bull Puppies (Ala. 08-30-02), No.1010459, unreported. The court determined that American Pit Bull Terriers were not dangerous. In March 2003 ACF sued the city of Ottumwa Iowa for 750,000 for passing a breed ban, the case is in litigation. ACF v Ottumwa EQEQ 103700 On July 16th 2003 ACF brought forth a constitutional challenge against Ohio's state law that declares the Pit Bull vicious. The case was heard in the Toledo Muni Court and the court found the American Pit Bull Terrier was not dangerous and granted Pit Bull owners due process , the case is in appeal. Tellings v State of Ohio CRB02-15267 In August 2004 a case ACF assisted in was heard by the Ohio Supreme Court. State v. Cowan 103 Ohio St. 3d 144 , 2004 – Ohio – 4777 The court found ORC 955:22 violative of the right to be heard as applied to ORC955:11 which declared the Pit Bull vicious in Ohio. The decision struck down Ohio's breed specific legislation at the state level. Ohio was the only state to have this type of legislation at the state level.
3. BREED SPECIFIC LEGISLATION DOES NOT REDUCE DOG BITE RELATED INJURIES In analyzing nonfatal dog bite injuries we find an increase in serious injuries each year. A study was done by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Center for Injury Prevention The study showed in 1994 333,700 patients were treated for dog bites in emergency departments (EDs), in 2001 368,245 persons were treated in Eds. A study was done by the American Canine Foundation which shows that where breed bans have been enacted that dog bite incidents reports have increased. Banning ten breeds of dogs from a city from current dog bite data will not reduce dog bites given the ratio between mixed breeds compared to purebred dogs.
4. EXAMPLES OF WHY BREED BANS DO NOT PROTECT THE PUBLIC Breed bans have been passed by cities in the United States with the animal rights organizations supporting them claiming they will reduce dog bites and fatalities, statistics show us breed bans do not reduce dog bite incidents, fatalities or stop illegal activity involving dogs. Denver Colorado passed a breed ban on American Pit Bull Terriers in 1988. A state law was passed in 2004 to stop breed specific legislation in Colorado. Data from Denver revealed that there are more American Pit Bull Terriers in Denver now than before the breed ban, there have been over 40 severe attacks and 2 fatalities by dogs since 1988 and they were not American Pit Bull Terriers. All Denver's breed ban accomplished was seizing innocent dogs that had no aggressive behavior and at the same time criminalizing their owners. The enforcement became so bad the courts ended up releasing dogs seized to addresses outside Denver and dropping charges on the owners. Not one case of a Pit Bull being released can be found where the dog injured someone. Denver's animal control director Doug Kelly admitted to ACF members on a Denver talk show the breed ban was not working.
5. ACCURATE FATAL ATTACK STUDIES SHOW BREED IS NOT A DETERMINING FACTOR The National Canine Research Foundation did a study on fatal dog attacks from 1965-2004 and the study shows us that fatal attacks have not been reduced by breed specific legislation. It was discovered that the number of fatal attacks each year over a 30 year period have remained close in numbers. 6. DOG OWNERS HAVE DUE PROCESS RIGHTS Nicchia v. People of State of New York, 254 U.S. 228 (1920). The case is referring to the licensing of dogs and the U.S Supreme Court makes it very clear that the requirement of dog licenses does not take one mans property and give it to another, nor does it deprive dog owners of liberty without due process of law. The US Supreme Court supports a finding from a New York Appeals Court case, Fox v. Mohhawk & H.R. Humane Society (1901) The US Supreme Court gives broad power to regulate and control dogs including drastic measures as long as it does not take away due process.The Nicchia case clearly supports a finding that dog owners have a right to liberty and due process.
7. NO BREED OF DOG IS GENETICALLY DANGEROUS Reported by Attorney S. Zendorf Toledo Ohio "On August 30, 2002 the Alabama Supreme Court affirmed a Circuit Court Decision that four American Pit Bull Terriers born at the Huntsville Animal Control Shelter did not lack any useful purpose" as required by the local ordinance Huntsville v. Four Pit Bull Puppies (Ala. 08-30-02), No.1010459, unreported. The court determined that the puppies were not trained to fight and were not vicious. In addition, it held that three women who wanted to adopt them had a right to intervene. The City of Huntsville claimed the Pit Bull puppies were genetically dangerous, used expert witness testimony, and appealed to the Alabama Supreme Court after the lower court rejected its arguments and evidence. The Alabama Supreme Court granted the Washington Animal Foundation's petition to participate in the proceedings as Amicus Curiae because the Foundation is an expert on canine genetics. The Foundation provided expert testimony to prove that Pit Bulls and other breeds are not inherently genetically dangerous and must be trained to fight". S.Zendorf (Attorney at Law)
8. FATAL DOG ATTACKS IN TEXAS The state of Texas has had over 40 fatal dog attacks since 1965 ranging from a Brittany Spaniel to Great Danes. Studies show us that severe mauling's have occurred from many different breeds in many cities throughout Texas and many of these go without attention that the media give to certain breeds such as the Rottweiler and American Pit Bull Terrier. Targeting a specific breed of dog will do nothing to reduce dog bite related injuries from occuring.
9. EFFECTIVE CANINE LEGISLATION Strong laws that penalize the owners, regardless of the breed are what is needed. These types of laws are valid, have merit and are not vague or capricious. ACF supports laws that hold owners accountable for their dog's behavior.
Sincerely, American Canine Foundation Jeff ShaverJeffery J. ShaverWhite Shaver11200 Westheimer, Suite 200Houston, Texas 77042713/953-0860 telephone713/953-0917*Board Certified - Personal Injury Trial LawTexas Board of Legal Specialization

NJ Tethering Ordinance- hearing postoned

Montclair, NJ Tethering ordinance hearing postponed!
Please note that the public hearing on the proposed tethering ordinance has been postponed to August 7, 2007 due to a delay in publishing the proposed ordinance.Alan G. TrembulakMontclair Township Attorney973-509-4934973-509-1030 (fax)

Washington D.C. Proposed Dog Ordinance


Vick and the Brutal Truth

Article published Sunday, July 22, 2007Vick and the brutal truth
IT IS said that a society is judged by how it treats its most defenseless members, the young, the old, the disabled, the disenfranchised of any sort, and - we would add - the animals with which humans share this earth. Hunting and fishing, raising all manner of animals for consumption, and keeping animals for companionship or work are all appropriate activities. But raising, keeping, and training animals for blood sports is senseless, barbaric, and not befitting members of a civilized society. Do you hear, Michael Vick?
The NFL star, a standout quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, is facing federal charges that he raised and trained pit bulls for dogfighting, contests in which the animals bite and tear at each other until one is so badly battered and bloodied it cannot continue.
The indictment against Mr. Vick and three others claims they have been involved in dogfighting since 2001, the former Virginia Tech star's rookie season, and that eight dogs at Mr. Vick's home in Surry County, Virginia, were brutally executed as recently as April because they were deemed to be not ready to fight.
The manner of their deaths was gruesome, the indictment saying they "were killed by hanging, drowning and/or slamming at least one dog's body to the ground." Mr. Vick is not accused of taking part in that incident, but the indictment says that when a dog from his kennel, Bad Newz Kennels, was wounded in a losing battle, he was consulted before it was doused with water and electrocuted. Mr. Vick has said that he knew nothing of the criminal enterprise and was taken advantage of by relatives.
But the point is not that such a well-known figure may be involved in a degrading "sport." The only salient point is that dogfighting - along with cockfighting, bullfighting, bear-baiting, and other "sports" in which animals are abused or killed for the betting and entertainment of humans - is depraved, cruel, and sadistic.
Dogfighting is illegal in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and it's a felony in most states. Mr. Vick and his associates, if convicted on all counts, could face up to six years in prison and $350,000 in fines and restitution. Often, however, those attending dog fights face only misdemeanors. That does little to discourage their attendance, or to encourage police to pursue charges. Obviously, the penalties for owners and spectators must be tougher.
Sadly, when the illegal activities are broken up and the dogs rescued, the animals, trained for generations for their aggressiveness, invariably have to be euthanized. Little can be done for them, but steps should be taken to end the practice. Federal legislation should ban the use of animals in blood sports and make jail time and fines, for spectators and owners, so severe that breaking the law will be "bad newz."

Forwarded from another list...The Humane Society of the United States has mounted a huge campaign toraise money to care for the dogs rescued from Michael Vick's dog fighting ring. The plea comes complete with a heartbreaking picture of one of the injured dogs. (Not surprisingly, studies have shown that people donate more when shown a picture of or told a story about asingle animal needing help. HSUS is very clever at fundraising.) Butbefore you contribute, please note:
1) There is a disclaimer in fine print at the bottom of the form whichsays your donation may be used for other HSUS programs and may not beused to help the dog fight victims.
2) There has been no accounting for the nearly $20 million HSUS raised for the Katrina dogs and cats. The organization is under investigationby the Louisiana Attorney General for their handling of that situation.
3) HSUS has NO shelter. It is a corporate office building inWashington, DC. It is supposedly "overseeing" the care of the dogsthat were seized from Vick's house, but we don't know where theanimals are, Will the shelter actually providing their care receiveall the donations this campaign generates?
4) There is no reason to believe that your contributions will go tohelp the dogs seized from Michael Vick or any other dogs or cats. HSUSspends most of its money on legislative efforts to make dog breeding impossible and pet ownership more difficult, more expensive, and more dangerous.
5) HSUS claims its servers crashed from the response to their first appeal for money for these dogs, yet they are still out there beating the drum for more money, still claiming more is needed for the Vick dogs.And if you are still considering writing that check, read the following quotes from Wayne Pacelle, president of HSUS"I don't have a hands-on fondness for animals. To this day I don'tfeel bonded to any non-human animal. I like them and I pet them andI'm kind to them, but there's no special bond between me and other animals." quoted in Bloodties: Nature, Culture and the Hunt by TedKerasote, 1993, p. 251."We have no problem with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding." quoted in Animal People, May,1993.When asked if he envisioned a future without pets: "If I had mypersonal view, perhaps that might take hold. In fact, I don't want tosee another dog or cat born." Wayne Pacelle quoted in Bloodties:Nature, Culture and the Hunt by Ted Kerasote, 1993, p. 266.

Pit Bull Training Academy

Los Angeles Animal Services Announces Pit Bull Training AcademyJuly 23rd, 2007 in Charity, News, LA, National, Dogs Los Angeles Animal Services is launching a first of its kind program to help improve the lives of pit bulls in the Los Angeles area.The Pit Bull Training Academy is designed to assist Animal Services' quest to make Los Angeles the largest no-kill city in the United States by helping the city's most at risk and misunderstood pet population, the pit bull."Pit bulls and pit bull mixes represent 25% of all dogs rescued each year by LA Animal Services, 19% of all dogs adopted, and 41% of all dogs euthanized," said Ed Boks, general manager of LA Animal Services. "We are often asked if pit bulls are a dog problem or a people problem. The answer is both!" To address this problem, LA Animal Services is partnering with Villalobos Rescue Center, the largest pit bull training program in the United States, to establish the nation's first public/private Pit Bull Training Academy."What makes this new program so powerful", said Tia Torres, president of the Villalobos Rescue Center, "is that our teachers and rehabilitators are `two legged Pit Bulls' who understand what it means to overcome being an underdog," referring to the parolees from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation who are specially trained by the Villalobos Rescue Center to rehabilitate pit bulls.The Pit Bull Training Academy allows parolees and pit bulls to work "hand in paw" to show the rest of the world that anyone can change for the better when given a second chance.At The Pit Bull Training Academy, many of the city's lost and homeless pit bulls will be housed, trained, and rehabilitated by their "two legged counterparts" who are intent on raising awareness and enhancing the adoption opportunities of this largely misunderstood breed by educating the public on what it takes to be a responsible pit bull guardian.Source: Press release

Banning Specific Breeds Unfair

Dog experts: banning specific breeds unfair By Dan Klepaldklepal@courier-journal.comThe Courier-JournalTwo dog experts testified to a Louisville Metro Council subcommittee re-examining the city's controversial dog control ordinance this afternoon that banning specific breeds of dogs is unfair and an ineffective way to protect the public from dangerous dogs.The subcommittee is taking testimony from animal experts from all over the country this summer. Today was the second of five scheduled meetings.When council passed its animal control ordinance in December, it had considered banning specific breeds. Instead, it settled for higher dog license fees for animals that are not spayed or neutered. Christine Zink, a professor in the Department of Comparative Medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and an expert in the field of veterinary pathology, said banning a breed, like pit bulls, isn't appropriate, even if the breed is identified as causing most bites in a community."You don't know the denominator – how many pit bulls are out there," Zink said. "You end up punishing (responsible) people who are doing the right thing with their dogs. Twenty years ago, before anyone ever heard of a pit bull, it was rottweilers. Before that, it was German Sheppards. You end up throwing the baby out with the bathwater."Butch Schroyer, a Lexington veterinarian and immediate past president of the Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association, agreed: "The pit bull is the most common dog in American. So you end up with disproportion…it becomes a slippery slope. Leash laws and containment of the animals is what it's all about."The subcommittee meets next Aug. 6.

NJ needs letters

Folks,The Township of Montclair, NJ has proposed an anti-tethering ordinance. Barbara Haywood of MY DOG VOTES has requested us to send beautifully informative, polite letters of opposition to the Township Mayor, and council, with a copy going to . Barbara wants to go into the council meeting with letters in hand so that she has proof of the opposition. Below is the contact information for the Township of Montclair, NJ. Please do not send Model Legislation. Anti-Tethering Position Statements are acceptable, but should be accompanied by a letter for impact.Thank you in advance for your help, and cooperation.Mayor Ed Remsen Montclair Township Municipal Building205 Claremont Avenue

Thursday, July 26, 2007

What Is A Puppy Mill

What Is A Puppy Mill? I cringe now when I hear the phrase "puppy mill." What I have to say may not win any popularity contests for me but it needs to be said. 1. What is a puppy mill? You have your definition I am sure. But there is no LEGAL definition of a puppy mill. Because we in the fancy have freely thrown this phrase around, we have actually aided the animal rights activists. As far as the animal rights activists are concerned, a puppy mill is anyone who purposefully breeds ANY dogs, even a single litter! I will bet you do not agree with this definition. But take a look at Calif. AB 1634 and see what's going on. In terms of AB 1634, you breed a litter, you're a PROBLEM! That's the way that bill is framed. 2. If there is no legal definition of a puppy mill, should we be in favor of preventing all breeding of dogs based on our own personal definition of a "puppy mill?" I think not. People want pets. You and I don't breed enough to supply them. Think about that! 3. Can we agree there is a definition of a puppy mill? I think not. Ask 10 fanciers independently and you will get 10 different answers. So what does the public think? How does the public (not dog breeders) define a puppy mill? Here is where the AR's have used us. They talk about "overpopulation" and the need to stop ALL breeding. We talk about "puppymills" and stopping puppy mills. So the public is now confused since there is no legal definition of a puppy mill. The public is beginning to view breeders, all breeders, as puppy mills. We have contributed to public perception. We don't breed enough to supply the public's desire for pets, but we oppose breeding by others who see a need and plan to fill it for profit. 4. We need to stop buying into the "overpopulation" rhetoric. People want pets and people will have pets. It is a matter of who will supply those pets. We need to focus the public on the value of purebreds over the various doddles and poos and mutts imported from Mexico, Puerto Rico and everywhere else. As long as we talk about "puppy mills" we are missing the boat. Talk about substandard kennels if you like. Talk about conditions. No one approves of dogs badly kept. Talk about diseases brought in by mutts from tropical climates. But don't talk about puppy mills. 5. Petland and Hunte exist for a reason: people want pets. They are commercial entities. We hobbyists don't like the idea of commercial entitites. That's been clear for ever so long. Does that mean that all commercial sellers are "puppy mills?" Well, there is no legal definition, please remember. Petland and Hunte probably do a much better job of selling commercial bred dogs than the mass breeders of doodles and poos and the chances of a Petland dog being healthy are way ahead of what the chances are for the mutt imported from Mexico or Puerto Rico. But the animal rights activists have been extremely successful in convincing you, the hobbyist, that all commercial bred dogs are bred in filth and squalor. In fact, that's not true. The terrible kennels of the 80's have in large part been weeded out by AKC's Inspections and Investigations department and 5000 inspections a year along with the USDA inspections. There are still some bad kennels, but guess what, there are bad hobby breeder kennels! Does that mean because you may personally know of a kennel where the dogs are not kept well, that all hobbyists are bad? Of course not. We just don't like the idea of commercially bred pets. But definitions count! 6. Historical fact: Some of our founding breeders of our own Shelties, people we all respect, made a lot of their living selling dogs including pets. People like Dot Foster (Timberidge) chief author of the current standard, Betty Whelen, excellent and beloved breeder, etc. There was a time it was ok to breed lots of dogs and sell the non showdogs for pets, and do it proudly. What happened? We all convinced ourselves we shouldn't breed too many dogs. We left the door open for commercial breeders and sellers. 7. The animal rights people have changed the landscape. If you help protest "puppy mills" please remember there is no legal definition. Some of the commercial breeders have state of the art kennels. I know you don't want to hear that, but it is true. Does a commercial kennel that is state of the art qualify as a "puppy mill?" Does your fellow breeder who breeds two extra litters of puppies a year qualify as a puppy mill? Does your single litter quality you as a puppy mill? Depends on whose definition you use. And remember that as we fight bad legislation, we are ALL Puppy Mills according to the animal rights activists! Let's concentrate on the real enemy: the animal rights activists who want no purposefully bred dogs at all. Charlotte McGowan

Canine Health Foundation Statement on Dog Fighting

From: "Wayne E Ferguson"
Date: July 20, 2007 9:15:32 AM EDT
To: "Jefferson D Sossamon"
Subject: CHF Statement on Dog Fighting
As President of the AKC Canine Health Foundation, I would be remiss if I didn’t address an issue affecting the health of dogs and the shameful allegations brought against Atlanta Falcons’ quarterback, Michael Vick. As you have heard, Vick will be in a Federal courtroom inVirginia on July 26 being arraigned on charges that he sponsored a despicable and appalling dog fighting operation on his property.

My concern and sympathy of course goes to the dogs who were allegedly affected and so brutally murdered through the course of this “sport.” But, as a responsible breeder and a fancier, I am also concerned with the general public’s perception of the various breeds involved. According to “The Complete Dog Book,” a publication of the American Kennel Club, there are several breeds originally involved in the “sport” of dog fighting including the Bulldog. Originally bred to bait bulls, the purpose of the breed was sorely corrupted and soon degraded into the extremely cruel “sport” which was banned in England in 1835. Responsible nineteenth century breeders resurrected the breed and set themselves to the task of breeding for temperament and to eliminate the undesirable qualities and characteristics. The result of these dedicated breeders and those of today is the lovable, obedient, and docile dog which regularly garners large rounds of applause from audiences who attend dog shows around the country.

Although dog fighting is banned and a felony in the United States, I can assure you that this disgusting practice is still taking place. >From the back alleys of major cities to the posh and stylish mansions of multi-millionaires, this repugnant “sport” is just outrageous and offensive, and it’s our duty as responsible breeders who are concerned about the health of our dogs to speak up and end this criminal activity. I urge you as responsible breeders and dog lovers to expose these atrocities, to work diligently to eliminate these heinous deeds and to join the millions who are appalled and bewildered by these cruel acts.

It is our responsibility to let the general public know that for these precious canine companions it is all about nature vs. nurture – that these various breeds involved in the “sport” are not bred this way, but are baited and beaten into submission and forced to live this life. It’s our duty and obligation to take a stand – for the sake of all our dogs.


Wayne E. Ferguson
President, AKC Canine Health Foundation

The AKC Canine Health Foundation, founded in 1995 by the American Kennel Club, is the largest nonprofit worldwide to fund health research exclusively for canines. Our goal is to help dogs live longer, healthier lives. The AKC Canine Health Foundation is the leader in non-invasive genetic health research, stem cell research, and biotherapeutics benefiting both canines and humans. Through the generous financial support of the American Kennel Club and the Nestlé Purina PetCare Co., we’re proud to announce we have allocated more than $18 million in canine health research through 74 schools and research institutions worldwide.

OH- "Canton Adds Bite to Dog Law"

Canton adds bite to dog law document.title = "Canton adds bite to dog law"; Tuesday, July 10, 2007 By ED BALINT REPOSITORY STAFF WRITER CANTON In a move targeting pit bull owners, City Council toughened the dangerous and vicious-animal law Monday night. Council unanimously amended the ordinance on first reading- meaning the ordinance was introduced at Monday's meeting, but did not receive the two additional readings that most legislation receives before approval. Councilman Greg Hawk, D-1, said he believes the legislation will take effect upon the mayor's signature. With dog complaints more prevalent in the summer, Councilman Donald Casar, D-at large, said the revamped dangerous and vicious animal law should be implemented as soon as possible. Since proposing a stricter law aimed at pit bulls about a month ago, Councilman Joseph Carbenia, D-9, said he's heard more complaints about pit bull-related attacks. Carbenia decided against banning pit bulls outright. "This way they can have (pit bulls)," he said. "They just have to follow the rules." Plus, "outright bans are going to be challenged in the courts, and they're going to create obviously some legal issues that restrictions might not," Kris Bates, assistant city law director, said recently. The new law means that unlike any other breed of dog, a pit bull is now considered vicious simply because of the breed, Bates said, and doesn't have to engage in violent behavior. The owner of a pit bull can be charged with a third-degree misdemeanor if restrictions are not followed, including confining the dog to the backyard and carrying insurance, even if the pit bull did not attack another dog or a person, she said. The same penalty and conditions also apply to other violators of the dangerous and vicious animal ordinance. "It should be a good weapon to battle irresponsible pet owners," Bates said. VICIOUS ANIMAL RESTRICTIONS Under the law, which revises the existing vicious animals ordinance, a pit bull must be confined to a backyard with a six-foot fence. The pit bull can be walked only if on a leash and muzzled. And the owner must have $100,000 in liability insurance, a new requirement. Pit bull owners - and the owners of other animals considered vicious under the law - are entitled to a hearing before the safety director at which the owner can challenge the charge. A hearing was added to comply with an Ohio Supreme Court ruling on a vicious-dog case, Bates said. Without the hearing, Bates said she believes the law may not be enforceable. Pit bulls were not listed specifically in the existing law, passed in 1986, which says: "No person shall knowingly keep, maintain or have in his possession or under his control within the city any dangerous or carnivorous wild animal or reptile of wild, vicious or dangerous propensities." Under the revised ordinance, a dangerous and vicious animal means "any animal that belongs to a breed commonly known as a pit bull dog, whether full blooded or mixed breed." That's the new part. Dangerous and vicious always has meant: -- Any animal with a known propensity, tendency or disposition to attack unprovoked, to cause injury or to otherwise endanger the safety of human beings or domestic animals. -- Any animal which attacks a human being or domestic animal without provocation. -- Any animal owned or harbored primarily or in part for the purpose of fighting or any animal trained for fighting. Animals on the dangerous-animal list already are banned and cannot be owned by a resident unless an exemption is granted through the mayor's office. No dogs, including pit bulls, were on the list. However, the law still bans baboons, elephants, gorillas, sharks and other animals. Carbenia said he wanted to zero in on pit bulls because, "You're more likely to get bit by a pit bull in this town than a coyote." And when pit bulls get loose and cause harm, their owners should be held accountable, he has said. COUNTY DOG WARDEN Evert Gibson, the county dog warden, said he sees "nothing wrong" with the city strengthening its dog laws. Gibson's office monitors owners of pit bulls to make sure they comply with state law by having adequate insurance and meeting other requirements. In the early '90s, a pit bull owner argued that the dogs cannot be considered a vicious animal simply because of the breed and that state law was too vague. But the Ohio Supreme Court sided with the state. According to Jill Rowland, an attorney on the research staff at the Ohio Legislative Service Commission, the court said the public knows what defines a pit bull based on behavioral traits, including the strength of its jaws. But in 2004, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled part of the Ohio's dog law unconstitutional, because it did not allow for a hearing for the owner of a dog that was said to have attacked a neighbor, Rowland said. State lawmakers have not revised the law, which makes its enforcement questionable, Rowland said. Reach Repository writer Ed Balint at (330) 580-8315 or e-mail:

Pet Overpopulation Is a Myth

There is not a link between breeding and shelters. In isolated areas (LA) you'll see breeding populations of pit bulls on the street. That is quite rare country wide. The causes of surrender have to do with circumstances and training, mostly. It's a people situation, not a dog situation. MOST euthanasias are feral cats. Show breeders very rarely have an animal go into a shelter. Whether or not the general public alters their pets is probably a minor factor. If your local shelter is euthanizing huge numbers of animals, look to shelter management and shelter ideology for the primary causes. Here is a quote from Nathan Winograd of No Kill fame: "In order to achieve No Kill, these animal advocates believe they must attack the problem of pet overpopulation. And, to them, that means addressing the issue of public irresponsibility through a series of punitive laws like cat licensing, pet limits, and mandatory spay/neuter which, as their logic goes, will force people with pets to be more responsible. But this approach has never worked, and never will. As a result, positive results they seek have not been forthcoming. And they will never be forthcoming, because pet overpopulation is a myth and public irresponsibility is not why animals are being killed in shelters. The real problem, the real reason we are not closer to a No Kill nation today, even though San Francisco and Tompkins County have shown us how to achieve it, the reason why people's desire for a No Kill nation is continuously being thwarted, is because those in power-the directors who run the shelters, the health department bureaucrats who often oversee them, the local governments which fund them (often inadequately), and the large, national non-profit animal welfare agencies which provide them political cover, are failing. They are failing to learn from the past. They are failing to implement the programs and services with a demonstrated track record of saving lives and/or to demand that shelters do. They are failing because they lack the vision to see the possibilities. In short, it is easier for them to kill than do what is necessary to stop it, even though stopping it requires no more money and no more staff than the status quo. In some cases, it is actually less expensive to save lives."

Has your breed been banned yet?

RDOWS UPDATED COMPILATION OF BANNED/RESTRICTED DOG BREEDS ã The following list contains dog breeds, in alphabetical order, that are either banned from ownership, or restricted so as to make ownership more difficult than owning other breeds, in legislation either passed, proposed, or tabled in venues throughout the United States of America. The breeds are listed by name exactly as they appear in legislation. Redundancy, or misnaming is due to the wording of codes, and/or ordinances. Some breeds are named specifically, some breeds are included by physical description. All dogs are subject to being named. Dog ownership is under a barrage of legislation that threatens its very existence. The chilling fact is that our dog laws in the United States of America are riddled with misinformation, urban myth, and blatant lies. Based upon the egregious fantacies of breed specific legislation, it does not give us much hope for the rest of American juris prudence beyond of the realm of dog legislation. We must ask ourselves, and our legislators if the rest of our laws are so horrifically flawed. Breed specific legislation (BSL) sets a legal precedent that empowers the enacting body to add any or all other breeds of dogs, or domestic species, with no further public notice. Some breeds are included in so-called "pit bull" bans or restrictions. There is no breed of dog that is recognized by any registry as "pit bull" It is an umbrella term that covers twenty-five to thirty actual breeds. The term originated as a means to describe any dog whose owner fought it in the pit. It has expanded into a very broad, and erroneous usage. Some breeds are named under "wolf-hybrid" bans or restrictions. Common theory was that all domestic dog breeds were developed from a proto-wolf ancestor. Now with the advent of the Canine Genome Project it is a fact proven by DNA that all domestic dog breeds were developed from canis familaris lupis, a sub-species of the gray wolf. Wolf-hybrid bans do, in fact, encompass all domestic breeds of dogs based upon DNA evidence. Not one of these bans, or restrictions has made our cities, counties or municipalities safer. All dog owners should be treated equally under the law, and the public should be protected equally under the law. Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States opposes breed specific legislation. RDOWS encourages the passage of Responsible Dog Owner Legislation that addresses the real problems. For a copy of RDOWS Model Dog Owner Regulations please contact any RDOWS state Director, or RDOWS. 1. AIREDALE TERRIER 2. AKBASH 3. AKITA 4. ALAPAHA BLUE BLOOD BULLDOG 5. ALASKAN MALAMUTE 6. ALSATIAN SHEPHERD 7. AMERICAN BULLDOG 8. AMERICAN HUSKY 9. AMERICAN PIT BULL TERRIER 10. AMERICAN STAFFORDSHIRE TERRIER 11. AMERICAN WOLFDOG 12. ANATOLIAN SHEPHERD 13. ARIKARA DOG 14. AUSTRALIAN CATTLE DOG 15. AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERD 16. BELGIAN MALINOIS 17. BELGIAN SHEEPDOG 18. BELGIAN TURVUREN 19. BLUE HEELER 20. BOERBUL 21. BORZOI 22. BOSTON TERRIER 23. BOUVIER DES FLANDRES 24. BOXER 25. BULLDOG RDOWS UPDATED LIST OF BANNED/RESTRICTED DOG BREEDS ã PageII 26. BULL TERRIER 27. BULL MASTIFF 28. CANE CORSO 29. CATAHOULA LEOPARD DOG 30. CAUCASIAN SHEPHERD 31. CHINESE SHAR PEI 32. CHOW-CHOW 33. COLORADO DOG 34. DOBERMAN PINSCHER 35. DOGO DE ARGENTINO 36. DOGUE DE BORDEAUX 37. ENGLISH MASTIFFS 38. ENGLISH SPRINGER SPANIEL 39. ESKIMO DOG 40. ESTRELA MOUNTAIN DOG 41. FILA BRASILIERO 42. FOX TERRIER 43. FRENCH BULLDOG 44. GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG 45. GOLDEN RETRIEVER 46. GREENLAND HUSKY 47. GREAT DANE 48. GREAT PYRANEES 49. ITALIAN MASTIFF 50. KANGAL DOG 51. KEESHOND 52. KOMONDOR 53. KOTEZEBUE HUSKY 54. KUVAZ 55. LABRADOR RETRIEVER 56. LEONBERGER 57. MASTIFF 58. NEOPOLITAN MASTIFF 59. NEWFOUNDLAND 60. OTTERHOUND 61. PRESA DE CANARIO 62. PRESA DE MALLORQUIN 63. PUG 64. ROTTWEILER 65. SAARLOOS WOLFHOND 66. SAINT BERNARD 67. SAMOYED 68. SCOTTISH DEERHOUND 69. SIBERIAN HUSKY 70. SPANISH MASTIFF 71. STAFFORDSHIRE BULL TERRIER 72. TIMBER SHEPHERD 73. TOSA INU 74. TUNDRA SHEPHERD 75.WOLF SPITZ

Playing Catch Up Successfully

Okay. Let's look at reality. This past week, a friend of mine told several of us that his sister and her family, who own a good business in the LA area, were going to donate THREE MILLION DOLLARS to PETA because of their good work for animals. Well, we just about came unglued. We dug up a host of facts and sent him on his way to educate his sister. Now, HOW MANY OTHERS are donating money thru wills, trusts, and just outright donations? Now, where does that lead? It leads to AR organizations being able to hire FULL TIME PR persons, full time lawyers to draft legislation, writers to create articles, and all of these spend at least 8 hours a day, five days a week, year in and year out PUTTING OUT PR and LEGISLATION for these animal rights outfits like HSUS and PETA. So how do we counteract that onslaught? 1. We need to support the national organizations that ARE working to provide real information, who have websites and who have media contacts, federal and state government contacts and who are respectable and factual in their presentations. National Animal Interest Alliance is one of Personally, I am not acquainted with all organizations that covers all animal interests and species. There are national orgs that relate to specific breeds, such as in dogs or cats; specific activities, such as farming or ranching or circuses; or to specific pet species, such as birds and herps and fish. They also deserve our support in terms of membership dues, and in terms of volunteer activities for these orgs. We all need to step up to the plate and get active in working to support our animal interest organizations. 2. We need to support the internet websites or bloggers that support OUR animal interests and causes, such as or or dog politics. 3. We need to PURPOSEFULLY educate our family members and friends and acquaintances about the problem of the animal rights orgs, and make a point of NAMING them...HSUS, PETA, etc. and tell why they are a problem for all animal owners. People need to know and appreciate the facts. 4. We need to 'make friends' with local animal control when that is possible. In other words, when they haven't already been taken over by the AR belief system. Even then, if local breed clubs can make a point of working with local animal control agencies, providing free training days for the public, assisting with adoptions, providing fund raising projects that help the shelter animals, THAT can change their minds. 5. We need to make sure that every member of the animal organizations to which we belong have their email address in the main files of that organization so that we are able to INFORM people when threatening bills are proposed at the state or federal level. And, it would help to have some meetings devoted to educating the membership about animal rights...who they are and what they do and how to fight them. 6. We need to respond to ALL media articles about animal issues and be sure that the information provided is accurate and gives a balanced opinion to the public. When a staff writer presents a one- sided AR view of animal issues, we need to call them on that and present the facts and push for them to share those facts with the public. We cannot stand idly by when b.s. is being reported in the news. 7. We need to introduce ourselves to our LOCAL county commisioners and our STATE representative and senators, and let them know about our interests in animals and our CONCERNS about the AR agenda. In my case, I give them a copy of the book: Animal Rights: The Inhumane Crusade, along with a one page flyer which describes the difference between animal welfare and animal rights. I make a friendly relationship with the staff person if there is one for the state rep or the federal senator or congressman. All these actions are what the animal rights folks are doing...If we FAIL to do this, we leave the area of legislative power in their hands...and then when proposed laws come forward, we are way behind the power curve. 8. We need to take the opportunities that present themselves and use them to educate the public. For example, when there are local dog, cat and bird shows, marts, or other animal events, setting up an educational booth with general information about the animal AND with special information about animal rights is great. Often the event organizer, if the animal rights issues are explained, will provide a FREE booth for such information. If that is not possible, find a person or organization with a booth who will allow you to provide flyers about the AR problem, or, get permission to pass them out at the door of the that every attendee gets a flyer. Be sure the flyer includes website information about the animal rights agenda and about pro-animal they can become a part of our solution to the problem. Probably others on this list can come up with further recommendations on what we can do, but the above eight actions are what I have learned over the past twenty plus years DO WORK! Now, the picture is bleak...but not hopeless. Why? Because more animal owners are waking up to the animal rights realities and deciding to do something about it. Because more and more members of the public are becoming educated about the AR agenda...and, if given the opportunity, even legislators do wake up. But, the wake up calls need to be put out there more and more often and the only way that is going to happen is IF and WHEN each person on this list selects the actions that they will perform to help change the tide of public opinion towards pro-animal interests. One individual cannot do everything, but one individual can do SOMETHING... Many individuals each doing SOMETHING will change the situation to benefit animal owners. (Name of author withheld on this blog)

RDOWS Statement on Breed Specific Legislation

POSITION STATEMENT ON BREED SPECIFIC LEGISLATION ã Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States opposes breed specific legislation (BSL) on legal, on moral grounds, and upon the Rules of Reason. Our position is that every dog owner is responsible for protecting the public from his/her dog. Our research shows that in the majority of severe or fatal dog attacks there had been numerous, previous reports made to Animal Control that were not acted upon. Our research further shows that as shocking, and traumatic as severe or fatal dog attacks are, they are relatively uncommon occurrences in comparison to other causes of severe injury, or fatalities in the United States, given that the vast majority of Americans are dog owners. MORALITY · BSL is based upon the urban myth of the "pit bull", which is not a recognized breed of dog. Under the guise of banning "pit bulls" any breed may be thus identified. There are at least seventy-five actual breeds, plus any mixed breed now either banned from ownership, or restricted in ownership in the United States. That is about 1/5 of all recognized breeds. · BSL is inflammatory, and is based upon unproven beliefs, not facts. · BSL is under inclusive in that it only recognizes a threat to society from certain breeds, or mixed breeds of dogs. · BSL is over inclusive, as dogs are as varied within their breed, as are human beings within our ethnicity. · BSL by stipulating, and naming specific breeds as being dangerous indemnifies all of the unnamed breeds as being safe by exclusion. · BSL creates a false sense of public safety. · BSL does not address the irresponsible dog owner. · BSL punishes the law abiding dog owner. · BSL orders the death of dogs based solely upon their physical appearance. · BSL assumes that human beings are inferior to, and incapable of properly maintaining dogs of specific breeds, or appearance. POSITION STATEMENT ON BREED SPECIFIC LEGISLATION ã Page II LEGALITY · BSL has been ruled unconstitutional in Court venues across the United States on grounds ranging from vagueness, to an infringement of property rights, to equal treatment, equal protection. · Dogs have been the domesticated traditional property of human beings for well over thirty-five thousand years. This tradition gives legal standing to dog owners based upon the IX Amendment of the Bill of Rights in the Constitution of the United States of America. · BSL violates the rights granted under the IV Amendment to the Bill of Rights. · BSL violates the rights granted under the V Amendment of the Bill of Rights. · BSL violates the rights granted under VI Amendment to the Bill of Rights. · BSL violates the rights granted under VIII Amendment to the Bill of Rights. · BSL violates the rights granted under XIV Amendment to the Bill of Rights. · BSL creates a whole new criminal class, the dog owner. · BSL sets a legal precedent that unchallenged empowers the enacting body to add any, or all other dog breeds, or even domestic species of animals to the prohibition on ownership. RULE OF REASON Laws must be reasonable. It is not reasonable to write animal behaviors, legal punishments, and criminal labels for animals into statutes that are enacted to structure human society. Animals must not be criminalized under laws that are intended to protect human rights, and to control human behaviors. It is unreasonable to write animal behavior into laws that no animal has the capacity to understand, answer to, 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. It is unreasonable to remove the human owner from blame, or culpability for the actions of his/her animal(s). It is unreasonable to assume that every dog of a given breed, or physical appearance will behave in exactly the same manner. It is unreasonable to assume that every owner of every dog of a given breed, or physical appearance is irresponsible, negligent, or careless with their animal(s). Human error, carelessness, or negligence is the underlying factor behind every dog attack. Given the actual figures of severe dog attacks, or fatalities related to dog attacks per capita in the United States of America, dogs are not the threat to human life that the sensationalistic media, and urban myth would portray