RDOWS POSITION STATEMENT ON BREED SPECIFIC LEGISLATION

September 27, 2006

RESPONSIBLE DOG OWNERS OF THE WESTERN STATES

Cherie Graves, chairwoman                                                 Hermine Stover, secretary

 323922 N. Hwy 2                                                                     23280 Stephanie

Newport, WA 99156                                                               Perris, CA 92570

 509-447-3231                                                                            951-943-0990http://www.povn.com/rdows

POSITION STATEMENT ON BREED SPECIFIC LEGISLATION

 Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States opposes breed specific legislation (BSL) on legal, and on moral grounds. 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. 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.

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