Target: Prince George County Executive Rushern L. Baker III
Goal: End unfair breed discrimination laws that threaten to rip well-behaved dogs from loving homes
Authorities in Prince George County, Maryland continue to actively enforce laws that unfairly discriminate against certain dog breeds based solely on their appearance rather than their behavior. While regulations addressing dangerous dogs and irresponsible pet owners may be necessary to protect the county’s citizens, targeting specific breeds like pit bulls is ineffective and inhumane.
Breed-specific legislation (BSL), which unfairly discriminates against well-behaved dogs based on the way they look rather than their behavior, has been widely discredited by numerous reputable studies which found that a dog’s breed does not make it dangerous– negative situations like abuse and poor upbringing do. It has been proven that BSL does nothing to reduce the number of dog bites or prevent dog attacks. The Best Friends Animal Society, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the National Animal Control Association and the American Bar Association all oppose BSL, instead supporting “comprehensive, breed-neutral dangerous-dog laws.” Further, President Obama released an official White House position statement in August 2013 standing against BSL, citing research that discredits it and declaring it to be ineffective and a waste of resources.
Despite glaring opposition, Prince George County authorities continue to enforce BSL ordinances. One citizen, Paula Ward, has even gained recent media attention because county officials attempted to seize her pit bull terrier, Prince, allegedly for no reason at all aside from his breed. Ward was forced to separate Prince from his family while she searches for housing outside the county. Urge county officials to repeal all breed-specific ordinances and enact generic laws instead.
Dear Mr. Baker,
While regulations addressing dangerous dogs and irresponsible pet owners are necessary to protect Prince George County’s citizens, I strongly oppose the county’s current breed-specific legislation (BSL) that unfairly discriminates against dogs based solely on their appearance rather than their behavior.
BSL has been widely discredited by numerous studies, which have all found that breed is not what makes a dog dangerous—irresponsible pet owners, poor upbringing and abusive situations can make dogs of any breed dangerous. In fact, the Obama administration, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the National Animal Control Association and the American Bar Association all oppose BSL and support breed-neutral dangerous-dog laws instead.
I was shocked to learn that county officials allegedly recently attempted to seize a well-behaved pit bull terrier named Prince from his responsible owner, Paula Ward, for no offense aside from his breed. I strongly urge you to repeal the current breed-specific county ordinances, which are ineffective and a waste of taxpayers’ money, and instead enact generic dangerous-dog laws instead.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Crazypitbull via Pixabay