Animal advocates and pit bull lovers are celebrating the news that Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed a bill that will ban breed specific legislation (BSL) in the state as of October 1, 2013.
Once it goes into effect, Assembly Bill 110 will prevent any governing body from enacting any type of laws or regulations that declare a dog dangerous or vicious based solely on a dog’s breed anywhere in Nevada, making it the 14th state to pass a law against BSL.
Sponsored by Assemblyman James Ohrenschall and spearheaded by Best Friends Animal Society, AB 110 was introduced in February and hit a few snags along the way, according to Stop BSL, but ultimately passed with no home rule exemption and no grandfather clause.
“I’m confident that this law will benefit dogs, dog owners and animal lovers throughout our great state. It has always been bad public policy to enact ordinances that target a certain breed of dog without considering that individual dog’s actions. I’m proud of sponsoring this legislation because it will help keep our innocent friends from being killed needlessly and senselessly. This bill will help strengthen the bond between humans and our beloved dogs,” said Ohrenschall.
Breed bans don’t just pointlessly tear families apart and kill innocent dogs for no reason, they are ineffective when it comes to keeping communities safe and are also extremely expensive. Best Friends also points out that breed bans are not supported by a number of organizations, including the American Bar Association, the National Animal Control Association or the American Veterinary Medical Association, which has stated that when it comes to pit bulls, “controlled studies have not identified this breed group as disproportionately dangerous.”
The National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors believes that “it is almost always the behavior of the owners of these dogs which makes them a danger to others.”
Best Friends has been working with animal advocates and government officials to end BSL and change the negative perception of pit bulls. The Vicktory dogs the organization took in offer living proof of what a little love and understanding can do and continue to help raise awareness about the breed’s plight and counter the negative stigma associated with pit bulls, including Mel – whose adoptive dad Richard Hunter testified before the Nevada Senate in support of this legislation.
“Our fundamental goal is to achieve safe and humane communities. We want our communities to be protected against dangerous dogs – and we want abused dogs to be protected from irresponsible owners,” said Ledy VanKavage, senior legislative attorney for Best Friends who helped draft the bill. “Because everyone benefits from a safe society – both people and pets.”
To find out more about what Best Friends is doing for pit bulls, check out their pit bull initiatives.
Photo credit: Thinkstock
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