Target: Jacksonville Mayor, Gary Fletcher
Goal: Return a therapy dog to her family and ban unjust breed-specific legislation.
Soon after a single mother of three moved her family to Jacksonville, Arkansas, her daughter’s therapy dog was taken away because of the city’s breed-specific ban. The dog in question, a gentle pit bull named Edith, was so stressed from being taken from her family and kept in solitary confinement in a barren, concrete pen, that she became severely ill, experiencing diarrhea and vomiting. Because of this, Edith was returned to her home, only to be removed again by Animal Control eight months later.
Jacksonville applies breed-specific legislation where pit bulls cannot be kept as pets, nonetheless these laws do not apply to therapy dogs. Edith was taken from her owners a second time because the city deemed the family was not allowed to keep her because of her breed, disregarding the fact that Edith is a registered service dog. Pit bull terriers have been banned from the city of Jacksonville since 2007 and, until recently, pit bulls seized in the city would automatically be put down. Earlier this year, city council members passed an ordinance ruling that pit bulls coming into the shelter would be sent to rescue organizations outside of the city as long as they were not aggressive (instead of being euthanized). While this does save the dogs’ lives, it doesn’t remove the stress and fear caused by being taken from their owners and kept in shelter cages.
No doubt, Edith is currently experiencing distress and confusion at being removed from her family’s care and being housed in solitary confinement. Despite having done nothing wrong, this innocent dog is being subjected to anguish simply because of her breed. Sign this petition asking Jacksonville city officials to return Edith to her owners and to ban breed-specific legislation.
Dear Mayor Fletcher,
A gentle dog named Edith was taken from her home twice by Jacksonville officials, simply because she is of a particular breed. Since then, the dog has been subjected to stress and confusion due to being removed from her family and housed in a barren, concrete shelter pen. This has previously led her to become severely ill. This innocent animal has suffered this ordeal simply because she is a pit bull and your city still applies archaic breed-specific legislation.
As you are certainly aware, pit bull terriers are not inherently dangerous animals. Rather, they are peaceful, gentle and affectionate. Making these dogs illegal simply makes them more desirable to contemptible characters who breed them for criminal purposes. It would be more effective to focus the city’s efforts and resources on cracking down on these illegal activities, such as backyard breeders, puppy mills and dogfighting.
Edith is an innocent animal caught in the crossfires of a law that has not been properly thought out. This gentle dog has suffered enough distress, please release her back to her family and take steps to replace breed-specific legislation with more effective laws against unethical dog breeding and training practices.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Amanda Simmons