Stop Dog Breed Discrimination in Rhode Island

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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.

PETITION LETTER:

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.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: rmcnicholas via flickr

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6 Comments

  1. Lisa england says:

    I own a pitbull and he’s the nicest dog – educate yourself for a minute – really!!!

  2. This needs to be nationwide…
    Discriminating against a specific breed shows ignorance based on fear. media based unfounded fear.

    • Gina, it is not discrimination. If I said I didn’t like rattle snakes because if it bit me I might die, versus a corn snake which would not, would you say I was discriminating against rattle snakes? It’s common sense. When a type of bully breed continually proves itself to attack humans and pets for no reason, ewven when it was loved and cared for, shouldn’t we be concerned for our safety?

      • Lisa Maynard says:

        Did you know that Pits were bred to be nanny dogs for babies & toddlers in the 1800’s? It’s where the breed originated from. Google it & you’ll see many pictures of massive bullies laying with babies & sitting beside the toddlers they protect. Photography was something sacred in the Victorian era & was extremely expensive so for families to take such pictures it shows what a valued & loyal family member they were. You need to educate yourself lady! ANY dog breed, even a poodle will attack if provoked to do so & any dog who is raised right will NOT attack unless something causes it to feel that it needs to & fyi,yes I would say you was discriminating the rattlesnake!!

  3. People really need to educate themselves my son is always around pits and they area soo loving and I love them! Most loyal dogs I’ve ever known

  4. Gail appears to be a very silly woman. No breed is inherently dangerous. And ‘bully breeds’ is a nonsense term made up to scare people so bully people can try to get their own way in this world. Any dog or cat can attack. People need to use common sense. But everyone with a brain in Pawtucket knows the ban is due to the animal control officer that has worked here for years and is frightened of dogs. What a city I live in…the senior animal control officer bans what he scared of. Perhaps he simply choose the incorrect occupation. He would have done better as a kitty groomer

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