Thursday, July 2, 2009

Jane You Ignorant Slut!

A 10 year old boy was killed in Rusk Co, TX after being bitten by two Pitbulls last month. From what I gather reading the news stories, the area apparently had no leash law and the dogs were roaming unsupervised. A terrible and preventable tragedy.

The two dogs were killed by the county and charges are pending against the owners. As is often the case after such an event, things have spiraled out of bounds:
The family of Justin Clinton is now asking for tighter leash laws in Rusk county and trying to get pit bulls outlawed completely in Texas.
[...]
The family calls their mission "Justice for Justin." They're [sic] goal is get Texans to sign a petition that would outlaw pit bulls in Texas.
The notoriously biased dogsbite.org blog has picked up the story and now the goal seems to have leaped from a statewide Pitbull ban to uh, America:
Among those attending the protest was Cynthia Kent, a Tyler attorney who served for several years as a district judge in Tyler.
[...]
She and others vowed to take the fight to ban pit bull dogs to the national level. Mrs. Kent said she would speak with U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert of Tyler about the prospect of national legislation.
[...]
The court also adopted a resolution calling for the banning of pit bulls throughout the nation.

Oh and they adopted a leash law for parts of Rusk Co. (in case anyone sensible is still reading).

Leash laws and humane confinement of dogs make sense. So does pursuing legal action against owners who violate those laws. Banning an entire breed because of the actions of some irresponsible owners and the tragic consequences which follow is illogical. Breed bans do not work.

If you live in the 1st Congressional District of TX and want to contact Rep. Gohmert, he has an e-mail form here. Hopefully he will hear from some folks educated on the issue. I'd hate to think the only person contacting him is Mrs. Kent.

9 comments:

Muse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Whipple said...

That seriously made my stomach flip. If they must do something about pit bulls specifically, why not just do what was done in Alberta Canada? They must be on a 6 foot leash, no flexis. And be muzzled in public. No banning necessary. Still, now there are attacks by Akitas and Shepherds. Ugh, people will not learn until it's too late.

Heather Houlahan said...

How does making one type of dog wear a muzzle protect against dog bites?

Why would you grant that "they must do something about pit bulls specifically?"

Liz and Dulce said...

Um, to Whipple: I think it's YOU that hasn't learned until it was too late.

Yeah, let's muzzle our dogs only to admit guilt.

You know what else they did in Canada? They killed THOUSANDS and banned the breed entirely. Do some research.

Let's muzzle the entire black race, too? Would that work for you?

I apologize to the Blog Poster if my post is offensive.

NYCKitten said...

In defense of Whipple - if you read she said IF they must do something...not that they should. And he/she also said that rather than ban an entire breed - shorter leashes and muzzles are an option.

I am completely opposed to any type of breed ban because as we all know it's the owner, not the breed. But I do support the banning of breeding certain dogs (yes, pit bulls) until we can get the overpopulation of unwanted pit bulls under control. Pitties are my favorite breed and I am a long-time rescuer and am working with 2 special ones right now. But they don't deserve to be so overbred that they either languish in cages or get euthanized. The spay/neuter of all dogs, not just pits, is obviously the only way to reduce homeless pets. England has a great protocol in which pit owners must get a breeding license to breed (it's expensive) and it has drastically reduced their homeless pit #'s.

Sorry to go on but after spending the day trying to save one of the most gorgeous pits I've ever seen - this is close to my heart. We need to get this population under control.

Pai said...

A major factor in the issue of Pits not being adopted is their constant demonization by the media. Don't think for a minute that the stereotype of Pits as vicious doesn't directly translate into less chance of them getting adopted by people.

And 75% of owned pets are already S/N. That's saturation-level sterilization as it is; you aren't going to make any more of a dent in shelter populations than has already happened in the past 20 years (from 25 million pets dying annually in shelters in 1970 down to 4 million today) as the result of S/N education.

It's time to move past looking at S/N as the sole cure-all for our shelter population and to progress onto other strategies (advertisement, pet retention programs, etc) to get pets out of shelters and into homes.

Pai said...

Also: Pitbull owners often face problems getting insurance and housing because of their dogs as well. Which is another discouragement for people who may otherwise want to adopt one. So it's not as simple as 'too many are being born'.

Tamara Follett said...

Legislators need specifics, not vague suggestions:

If --instead of demanding "better enforcement of existing laws"-- we give authorities a simple tool that will make their under-staffed under-funded Animal Control agencies vastly more effective without increasing either their staff or funding, legislators will sit up and pay attention. (See the Public Sightings of Problem Dogs service, available from the website, www.PreventDogBites.com, or www.PreventDogBites.ca. The PSPD reporting feature is similar to the Crime-Stopper's Tip Line, except it is internet-based and for reporting loose or aggressive dogs. And it is free.)

Likewise, if instead of demanding "equal treatment for bully breeds", we give authorities a mechanism whereby dogs of ANY breed can be quickly assessed based on objective risk factors so that limited municipal resources can be focused on those dogs presenting the greatest danger to society, legislators will start listening. (The Canine Threat Assessment Guide, C-TAG, for municipalities is a free tool also available from the above websites that enables the ranking of dogs based on the level of risk they pose to the public and to their families. Click on Dog Bite Prevention Public Safety Guides from the Home page and then click on the C-TAG link.)

But if we continue to rail and cry out against BSL without providing a better alternative, we will continue to be ignored. Change the approach, and we'll change their direction.
 
As always, permission is granted to forward/reprint/cross-post. Please help spread the word on this free evidence-based alternative to BSL by sending this to municipalities, legislators, and decision-makers!

I can't do this alone -- I've been trying since 2007. I need others to champion the C-TAG and the Public Sightings of Problem Dogs tools.

Best Regards,

Tamara Follett, CEO
Dog-Trax North America
Event Host: www.dangerousdogcongress.com
Producer/Host: www.blogtalkradio.com/DogBlogRadio
 
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The truth comes in three phases:
First, it is ridiculed
Next, it is opposed
Finally, it is accepted, praised, widely used and believed as “obvious”.

-- Karl Bryan, Business Coach
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Jan Plant said...

I live in Texas,and am all for the leash law.However,I recently had to put down my Cane,after a "child" poked his eye out,THROUGH my 6' chain link fence.Yes I concur ,all pets should be on leashes and supervised. But who the heck is educating the children on proper pet behavior and why aren't unsupervised children put on leashes!Bullies were originally bred for fighting,but I've seen some pretty nasty cockers as well.It's not truly the breed,but the stigma forced upon it.Thank you for allowing me to get that off my chest!