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Why I Back Breed Bans

Why I Back Breed Bans

The mayor of Sioux City, Iowa wants to lift the city’s pit bull ban and modify the “one bite and you’re out” vicious-animal ordinance. According to a recent article in the Sioux City Journal, no new pit bulls may currently be brought into Sioux City, and animals found to be vicious must be euthanized.

Some animal advocates oppose such laws, but I’m in favor of breed bans and wish it was illegal to bring pit bulls into my community. Of course, I believe that any breed ban should include a grandfather clause protecting dogs who are already living in good homes. They deserve to live the remainder of their lives safely and peacefully.

But for my own dog’s safety, I would never want to reside in a neighborhood where a pit bull was living. I simply could not take that risk. Ever since I moved to Sarasota in November, I’ve been keeping a watchful eye out for pit bulls and other potentially dangerous dogs. There is a reason why homeowner’s insurance is often higher for people with pit bulls, Rottweilers, and other potentially dangerous dog breeds: They pose a greater threat to public safety.    

Although pit bulls can be loving companions when cared for by kind people, they are bred to be aggressive. It goes without saying that a dog’s temperament and behavior will vary depending on how he or she is treated, but “vicious” behavior tends to be common in pit bulls. Even those who don’t have a history of abuse and have never displayed signs of aggression have “snapped,” mauling neighborhood children or animals, or even attacking their caregivers.  

All dogs, including mixed breeds, are capable of aggression, of course, but, according to DogBite.org, in the three year period from 2006 to 2008, pit bull type dogs killed 52 Americans and accounted for 59% of all fatal attacks. Combined, pit bulls and Rottweilers accounted for 73% of these deaths. There were 318 media reported pit bull attacks from January to June 2009.

People who oppose breed bans often point out that people are the problem, not pit bulls. This is a true. Pit bulls have a reputation as a living weapon and are abused more than any other breed of dog on the planet. Many of them are forced to fight and they understandably become vicious as a result. Others are used as guard dogs or “status symbols.” They are starved and beaten and chained to metal barrels so that they will become “fierce” and attack people and other animals. They usually aren’t spayed or neutered, and reports show that unaltered dogs are three times more likely to bite.

If you care about dogs—all dogs, as I do—why not support legislation that will stop people from bringing more pits into the world to be fought, mistreated, and exploited? That doesn’t mean that every pit bull must be euthanized or relocated; it just means that we need to pass laws banning people from breeding more pit bulls.

In case anyone thinks that I’m simply “singling out” one breed, please understand that I’m in favor of a ban on all breeding. With millions of animals euthanized in shelters every year, there is no excuse for anyone to continue churning out pit bulls, poodles, Pomeranians, or any other dogs. But we must start somewhere and since pit bulls are so often abused and are already prohibited in some communities, it makes sense for caring people to encouragelawmakers to pass and uphold similar bans everywhere. This will not only protect the public, it will protect pit bulls and other dogs too.

For a more detailed explanation, and information on PETA’s efforts to help pit bulls, see PETA’s position statements on pit bull bans.  

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471 comments

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8:24AM PDT on Jul 8, 2013

My family adores our pit/greyhound/yellow lab mix Pony. He was originally a street dog in NYC where he was taken in by a friend of our family. When their living situation changed and they didn't have time for him anymore, they asked if we would take him. He joined our family and the only issues we've ever had with him is that he doesn't like to give up his ball after fetching it and he likes to get muddy in the stream. He's much better behaved than either our Berner/ES cross or our Aussie. In fact, most of the mean dogs I've known in my life have been toys like Chihuahuas and Poms.

9:17PM PDT on Jun 24, 2013

BREED BANNING IS WRONG you want a solution increase the punishment for abusers prohibit them from ever owning animals any animals again&keep them on porole so they can be checked up on to ensure they follow the no animal guideline.

5:53AM PDT on Jun 21, 2013

Does it really work?

3:41PM PDT on Jun 3, 2013

Sorry, got cut off...

Like requiring that all dogs bred and adopted must be spayed or neutered, and be up to date on vaccinations when adopted. Unfortunately, a complete ban on breeding is going to drive it underground and into the black market. Now, Im not going to try to claim that you must not be an animal lover if you support bsl, but I will admit, that it doesn't really seem like you did your research or even thought all of what you wrote through.

8:31AM PDT on Jun 3, 2013

Ok, so let me break this ban thing down a little. You want to ban a certain breed from being owned? From what I gathered from your article, you somehow think this would help the millions of pits stuck in shelters(there are almost 30 different breeds that are considered pitbull types). How exactly does that help? Since no shelter would be able to legally adopt them out, it would be a death sentence to any that came into shelters. You also forget that just like with guns, there are people who would pay no attention to the laws and would keep breeding and owning them illegally. Just like with guns, its the criminals and people who would ignore the laws that cause the most problems with dogs in general. See, unlike you, I realize that stupid people create dangerous dogs. Meaning, that it doesn't matter whether pitbulls live in your neighborhood, if an idiot owns a lab or golden retriever, that dog will be just as much of a threat. You would watch very closely if one of your neighbors owned a pit, but do you watch just as closely to one that owns another large breed? No. Its that underestimation that is more dangerous than anything else. I support breed neutral legislation that targets ALL owners of ALL breeds. I would much rather be protected from ALL breeds rather than just a small majority. I am not in favor of a complete ban on breeding but stricter laws that require a license to breed. With very strict regulation on how to breed. Like requiring that all dogs bred and adopted

8:29AM PDT on Jun 3, 2013

Ok, so let me break this ban thing down a little. You want to ban a certain breed from being owned? From what I gathered from your article, you somehow think this would help the millions of pits stuck in shelters(there are almost 30 different breeds that are considered pitbull types). How exactly does that help? Since no shelter would be able to legally adopt them out, it would be a death sentence to any that came into shelters. You also forget that just like with guns, there are people who would pay no attention to the laws and would keep breeding and owning them illegally. Just like with guns, its the criminals and people who would ignore the laws that cause the most problems with dogs in general. See, unlike you, I realize that stupid people create dangerous dogs. Meaning, that it doesn't matter whether pitbulls live in your neighborhood, if an idiot owns a lab or golden retriever, that dog will be just as much of a threat. You would watch very closely if one of your neighbors owned a pit, but do you watch just as closely to one that owns another large breed? No. Its that underestimation that is more dangerous than anything else. I support breed neutral legislation that targets ALL owners of ALL breeds. I would much rather be protected from ALL breeds rather than just a small majority. I am not in favor of a complete ban on breeding but stricter laws that require a license to breed. With very strict regulation on how to breed. Like requiring that all dogs bred and adopted

8:28AM PDT on Jun 3, 2013

Ok, so let me break this ban thing down a little. You want to ban a certain breed from being owned? From what I gathered from your article, you somehow think this would help the millions of pits stuck in shelters(there are almost 30 different breeds that are considered pitbull types). How exactly does that help? Since no shelter would be able to legally adopt them out, it would be a death sentence to any that came into shelters. You also forget that just like with guns, there are people who would pay no attention to the laws and would keep breeding and owning them illegally. Just like with guns, its the criminals and people who would ignore the laws that cause the most problems with dogs in general. See, unlike you, I realize that stupid people create dangerous dogs. Meaning, that it doesn't matter whether pitbulls live in your neighborhood, if an idiot owns a lab or golden retriever, that dog will be just as much of a threat. You would watch very closely if one of your neighbors owned a pit, but do you watch just as closely to one that owns another large breed? No. Its that underestimation that is more dangerous than anything else. I support breed neutral legislation that targets ALL owners of ALL breeds. I would much rather be protected from ALL breeds rather than just a small majority. I am not in favor of a complete ban on breeding but stricter laws that require a license to breed. With very strict regulation on how to breed. Like requiring that all dogs bred and adopted

6:17AM PDT on May 26, 2013

Let's get realistic, shall we? This story is a load of nonsense. Those figures are rubbery. You should be well aware that the media is all too happy to say that any dog attack is done by a pit bull. The real figures show that the most dog attacks are done by toy dogs. In actual fact, the types of dogs you have just maligned are loving, stable, dependable and gentle. They were bred to be that way. This article should be removed for its non-factual content and clear bias.

5:38PM PDT on May 25, 2013

Instead of scapegoating a few breeds (resulting in nothing but excessive abuse & abandonment of said animals for no fault of their own),

How about taking some responsibility for once, and stemming your OWN breeding first, and banning the breeding of ALL companion animals?

12:12PM PDT on May 18, 2013

I do support not breeding anymore pitbulls. That being said, I don't think pit bulls should be euthanized.

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