OPPOSITION STATEMENT TO TENNESSEE SB 2738
January 17, 2008
RESPONSIBLE DOG OWNERS OF THE WESTERN STATESP.O. Box 1406 Newport, WA 99156Web Site http://www.povn.com/rdows E-mail firstname.lastname@example.orgBlog https://rdows.wordpress.com E-mail List http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rdows Cherie Graves, Chairwoman, WA, (509) 447-2821Judy Schreiber-Dwornick, Assistant to the Chair, Director at Large, email@example.comHermine Stover, Secretary, Press Liaison, CA, firstname.lastname@example.orgMary Schaeffer, Finance Director, email@example.comCalifornia Director, Jan Dykema firstname.lastname@example.orgIllinois Director, Elizabeth Pensgard email@example.comIndiana Director, Charles Coffman firstname.lastname@example.orgIowa Director, Leisa Boysen email@example.comMississippi Director, Dan Crutchfield firstname.lastname@example.orgNevada Director, Ken Sondej email@example.comOhio Director, Tiffany Skotnicky firstname.lastname@example.orgOklahoma Director, Jade Harris email@example.comTennessee Director, Gina Cotton firstname.lastname@example.orgTexas Director, Alvin Crow email@example.com OPPOSITION STATEMENT TO TENNESSEE SB 2738
Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States was formed October 15, 1989 to protect the rights, and interests of dog owners.
Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States stands in opposition to Tennessee Senate Bill 2738, sponsored by Senator Tommy Kilby, D – Wartburg District 12 – Campbell, Fentress, Morgan, Rhea, Roane and Scott counties.
SB2738 if enacted would set a legal precedent that would allow the Legislature of the state of Tennessee to ban all dog breeds, or even all domestic animals from the ownership of the resident citizens of Tennessee.
Under the guise of banning “pit bulls”, a non-breed, SB 2738 names four separate breeds of dogs that would be prohibited from ownership, The American Staffordshire Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the American Pit Bull Terrier, and the American Bulldog. There is no factual evidence that a dog from any of these four breeds have caused any problem in Tennessee.
Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States has been tracking dog bite incidences since 1989. There has never been a report in the United States of any provably pure-bred Staffordshire Bull Terrier ever having been the perpetrator of an attack. In the entire United States there have been only three bite incidences involving provably pure-bred American Staffordshire Terriers since 1936 when the breed was recognized, and registered by the American Kennel Club. There has only been one fatality attributable to a provably pure-bred registered American Pit Bull Terrier which involved a nursing mother with her litter, and an unattended child that happened in the mid-1980’s. Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States has been unable to find any bite, or attack attributable to a pure-bred, registered American Bulldog.
SB 2738 creates a whole new criminal class, the dog owner. SB 2738 assumes that all owners of the named breeds of dogs are negligent, careless, criminals who are incapable of owning any of these four breeds of dogs competently.
Dogs are as divergent within their breed as are we humans within our ethnicity. Dogs are among the most ancient of human property. Human beings ownership of dogs can be traced archaeologically back more than thirty thousand years. This tradition gives dog owners legal standing to claim the right of dog ownership.
Urban myths must not be the underlying factor in writing legislation. Our laws must be equitable. Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States supports reasonable legislation that treats all dog owners equally while protecting the public from all dogs. Reasonable laws contain four basic elements; Owners Rights, Owners Responsibilities including standards of care, Owners liability, Criminal actions.
Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States calls upon the Tennessee Legislature to Kill SB 2738