Special thanks to Arin Greenwood and PupJournal for featuring this piece by Deirdre S. Franklin from ‘The Pit Bull Life’ book.
Outlawing a dog based on how it looks will not keep us safe from a dog bite. What will keep us safe, on the other hand, is introducing breed-neutral laws for all dog owners to comply with.
- Ask lawmakers for breed-neutral dangerous-dog legislation. This allows animal control to enforce true dangerous-dog issues without having to drive around speculating about whether a dog is a pit bull.
- Ask lawmakers to support education efforts to ensure that parents are aware of the whereabouts of their children and the way that children interact with dogs.
- Ban chaining/tethering or at the very least, require dog owners to be present when their dog is tethered.
- Do not allow at-large dogs to roam. Enforce leash laws or enact leash laws if they do not already exist.
- Penalize people that are noncompliant and elevate fines for repeat offenders. Fines can help increase funding for educational materials.
- Encourage breed-neutral spay-and-neuter programs, and when possible, offer those programs at low or no cost to low-income dog owners.
- Encourage the licensing of breeding, though this can be challenging, since backyard breeders are not necessarily going to comply without the risk of fines and enforcement.
- Require licensing and necessary vaccinations, such as rabies shots. This is obvious, but many dog owners are not in compliance with licensing. This might be due to a fear of breed-specific bans, or ignorance.
- Teach dog bite prevention to dog owners and non-dog owners.
- Make whistleblowing options available to people aware of dogfighting activity in their community; for example, a toll-free phone number.
- Note that breed bans are a violation of property rights.