To: City Council
End dog breed bans in central Arkansas
In America, responsible dog owners should be allowed to own any breed of dog they choose. Breed specific legislation fails to enhance public safety, interferes with property rights, is expensive to enforce, and puts millions of dogs at risk arbitrarily. (1)
Sign and share to urge central Arkansas city counsels to end dog breed bans.
Why is this important?
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, and North Little Rock all have their own versions of breed specific legislation on the book.
This legislation is an outdated, ineffective approach to public safety.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 through 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.
* 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.
* 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."