By Sloane Quealy-Miner
UPDATE 10-23-12 – Pit bull ban passed, keep up to date on how this will be fought at the STOP Etowah, TN from Banning Pit Bulls Facebook Page HERE
Speak out for all the innocent pit bull type dogs in Etowah, Tennessee. On October 22nd they will be sentenced to a lifetime of punishment for crimes they did not commit if the second reading of the proposed pit bull ban is passed.
Countless dogs within the city limits will pay with their freedom and in some cases their lives when they are dumped at high kill shelters due to the high cost of the insurance that will be required for their families to keep them under the grandfather clause.
For the dogs that do remain there will be no more walks, no more playing in the park and no more socializing in public in their own community. Instead they will be treated like vicious criminals, only allowed out to go to the vets office and only with a muzzle on. The quality of their lives and the lives of the humans who love them will be grossly impacted.
If the city officials were truly dedicated to making their community safer they would not be taking the lazy approach to solving their communities dog issues and be pushing to ban pit bulls citywide. Instead they would be pushing to strengthen and properly enforce dangerous dog laws.
Breed specific legislation does not work, as its target is misplaced to the dog and not the owner. Deeming entire breeds of dogs that fall under the term “pit bull” “dangerous” is ludicrous. This unfairly holds millions of well-adjusted dogs and responsible owners accountable for the bad acts of a few. Why not look at the Calgary and Alberta, Canada, model, as they have the lowest bite rates and no breed specific legislation. They have succeeded where Etowah, Tennessee is setting up to fail.
They incorporate licensing, public education and enforcement, with supporting agencies all working together. Key aspects of the program include no breed specific legislation, stronger licensing programs and stronger enforcement as well as safety public awareness and education campaigns. “We don’t punish breeds, we punish behavior,” said Chief Officer Bill Bruce. “The bottom line is, we believe all dogs are capable of biting.”
“Every animal that ends up in a shelter or on the street is there because a human relationship failed them. It’s always the animal that pays in the end.
People are legally allowed to force their “pets” to endure such stressful and inhumane situations that it is no wonder dogs act out. Forced to suffer through extreme weather conditions, sporadic feedings and shown no kindness.
It does not take a scholar to realize that factors beyond a dogs breed affect a dog’s tendency toward aggression – such as reproductive status, heredity, sex, early experience, and socialization and training. These concerns seem well-founded given that more than 70% of all dog bite cases involve unsterilized male dogs, and an unneutered male dog is 2.6 times more likely to bite than a neutered male dog. In 2006, 97% of all dog related human fatalities in the United States involved unsterilized canines. Dogs kept tethered whether by chains or collars for hours, days, months or even years suffers immense psychological damage. A friendly and docile dog, when kept chained becomes neurotic, unhappy, anxious and often aggressive.”
CALL TO ACTION:
CONTACT the City Clerk firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTACT City Manager Matthew Gravely email@example.com
SIGN Petition to STOP the Pit Bull Ban in Etowah, Tennessee HERE
STOP Etowah, TN from Banning Pit Bulls Facebook Page HERE
Educate the City Manager as well as City Council members regarding the ineffectiveness of BSL. Encourage them to do right by the people in their community as well as the animals. It is up to us to speak up for the voiceless animals. We are all they have, and they are depending on us!