Target: Gordon D. Fox, Speaker of the Rhode Island House of Representatives; M. Teresa Paiva Weed, President of the Rhode Island Senate
Goal: End dog breed discrimination in Rhode Island
Any local government in Rhode Island can outlaw ownership of a particular breed of dog. Responsible dog owners and lovers of targeted breeds like the American Pit Bull Terrier are speaking out against this law, which bans particular breeds entirely without considering individual cases, dogs, owners, or families. Now Rhode Island Congress has the opportunity to vote on House Bill 5671, which will prevent dog breed discrimination throughout the state.
As of February 2013, 10 separate cities banned or restricted pit bulls specifically, declaring them “vicious,” without regard to any individual family or animal. Some legislators in the state have asked pit bull owners to carry a $100,000 liability insurance policy on their dogs. Rottweilers are also heavily targeted. Some dog-lovers feel the need to permanently move from communities in which they are not allowed to keep their favorite companion animals. Others feel like their family units are threatened by the loss of a beloved pet.
Few dog owners believe that breed-specific laws actually work in curbing violence. Activists opposed to the ban cite the fact that breed discrimination has failed to improve public safety, leading to its vast unpopularity and prohibition in 13 states. Furthermore, the enforcement of such bans is both difficult and expensive. They ask instead for stricter punishments for dog-fighting organizers and animal abusers, who are widely regarded as the root cause of violence in animals.
Any dog can be a nuisance to society if he or she is not raised with the proper care and guidance. Ask Rhode Island legislators to end dog breed discrimination.
Dear Mr. Fox and Ms. Weed,
You will soon have the opportunity to vote on House Bill 5671, which will ban dog breed discrimination throughout the state of Rhode Island. I ask instead that you enforce stricter punishments against dogfight organizers and animal abusers, who are widely considered the true instigators of animal violence. These criminals have given certain breeds, like the Rottweiler and the American Pit Bull Terrier, a poor reputation. However, dog lovers can tell you that a loving household and a dedicated upbringing prevent animal violence, while the opposite promotes it, no matter what the breed.
Do not punish everyday families who simply love their pets and are loved in return. Do not ask them to pay for extremely expensive insurance policies in order to keep their companion animals. Focus instead on the root issue — animal abuse and neglect. Vote to pass HB 5671 banning dog breed discrimination.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: rmcnicholas via flickr