• End dog breed bans in Central Arkansas
    We all want safe and humane communities for people and pets. But some government officials in Central Arkansas wrongly believe that certain breeds of pet dogs are automatically dangerous. This leads to arbitrary and inconsistent decisions where a pet dog can be legal in one city but illegal in the next town. Batesville, Beebe, Caraway, Cotter, Dardanelle, Hot Springs, Jacksonville, Lake City, Lonoke, Sherwood, Little Rock, and North Little Rock all have their own versions of breed-specific legislation on the books. This legislation is an outdated, ineffective approach to public safety. It wastes our money because it’s expensive to enforce and violates our rights as dog owners. Breed-discriminatory laws infringe on our property rights. All Americans who follow the safety rules should be allowed to own whatever breed of dog they choose. It’s that simple. Indeed, a 2014 national survey revealed that 84% of Americans believe the government should not tell them what kind of breed of dog they can own. (2) It can also lead to families having to give up beloved pets that end up at our animal shelters and risk being put to death. Laws and policies should be fair and consistent. Cities should enact comprehensive breed-neutral ordinances that focus on the behavior of the dog and the behavior of the owner. The goal of public safety should be achieved in the most effective and most thorough way possible. Breed restrictions also prevent well-mannered dogs from being adopted and infringe on a family's right to choose the best dog for them. Research on breed and behavior: (1) Studies done in countries with breed-discriminatory laws, including the United Kingdom, Spain and Germany, found that these laws didn’t reduce the number of dog bites or improve public safety. “World-Wide Failure of Breed Specific Legislation,” National Canine Research Council, http://www.nationalcanineresearchcouncil.com/uploaded_files/tinymce/Worldwide%20Failure%20of%20BSL.pdf (2) Luntz Global Omnibus Poll, January 2014 * Researchers at Tufts University concluded that factors associated with actions of the owner —like the absence of an able-bodied person to intervene — are the primary cause of dog bite-related fatalities while the breed is not a factor. Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24299544 * A recent study asked 16 animal shelter workers to guess the breed of 120 dogs. While the shelter staff collectively identified 52% of the dogs as pit bull-type dogs, DNA tests proved that only 21% had any pit bull mix in them. Source: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S109002331500310X * A study published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior compared aggression between banned dog breeds and a control group of golden retrievers using temperament tests. Comparing the results of golden retrievers and breeds affected by breed discriminatory legislation, no significant difference was found. The researchers concluded that "A scientific basis for breed-specific lists does not exist." Source: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S155878780700264X
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  • End Arkansas Insurance Breed Discrimination
    Currently, responsible pet owners of particular breeds or mixes of dog get charged extra premiums, get denied insurance coverage, or may be dropped from their insurance company. These policies are all based upon the breed, or what breed the dog APPEARS to be. The practice of using breed as a predictor of risk is unsupported by reliable data. There is a wide range of dogs falling within the category of “risk” breeds including Boxers, Giant Schnauzers, German Shepherds, Chows, Great Danes, Alaskan Malamutes, American Staffordshire Terriers, Akitas,Cane Corsos, American Bulldogs, Belgian Malinois, Keeshonds, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Ovtcharkas, Siberian Huskies, Dobermans, Pit Bulls, Dalmatians, Rottweilers, Australian Cattle dogs and more. The NAIC should protect pet-owning consumers. Insurance companies should focus on the behavior of the dog. Dogs with aggressive behavior should not be protected by any moratorium. This is important because dogs are viewed by the vast majority of Americans as part of the family, and the ability for people to keep families together should be protected. Breed discriminatory insurance practices can cause responsible pet owners to be unable to keep their dogs, and cause an increase in the amount of pets in shelters. The likelihood a dog will bite is based on many factors such as socialization of the dog, obedience training, supervision provided by the owner, and how the victim interacts with the dog. It has not been proven by scientific evidence that aggressive behavior is present in any particular breed of dog. Insurance companies that want to reduce risk should focus solely on behavior.
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