So Omaha has decided to punish dogs instead of irresponsible people. Let me clarify, with the help of the local Human Society, the great city of Omaha has decided that all pit bulls, American bulldogs (because they share the same characteristics as pit bulls), and any mixes will, effective January 1, 2009, have to wear muzzles while walking in public places.
The only way to circumvent this piece of legislation is to go to special behavioral assessment by the Humane Society of Omaha to determine whether or not the dog would be exempt from the law. This behavioral assessment would not just happen once but yearly at the cost of $75 initially and $50 for every year thereafter. These costs are on top of the harnesses, insurance, muzzles, and a myriad of other costs that the legislation is piling on the owners.
The good owners are being punished for the deeds of uneducated, irresponsible bully breed owners.
Wow, sounds to me like Omaha just started registering races for genetic purity. I know that this sounds incendiary, but the days of people kicking in doors and raiding homes for breeds deemed inappropriate won’t be all that far away.
Breed Specific Legislation of ANY kind is DISCRIMINATORY, whether it is animal or human.
I am disturbed on a deeper level that the Humane Society is participating in this heinous legislation. Their mission statement on their website says “The Nebraska Humane Society acts as a voice for the animals, and through them, enriches the communities we serve.” So they are picking and choosing the animals they will have a voice for. What arrogance. (Please Note: The Humane Societies are independently run and have no national over-sight structure. So my comments are directed solely at the Nebraska Humane Society.) Why aren’t they speaking for the pit bulls and educating the public? Instead, they have backed a piece of legislation that will effectively reduce what they consider an ‘undesirable’ dog in their community. The Nebraska Humane Society will determine if a dog ‘looks’ like a pit bull or has the characteristics of a pit bull, it will be subject to the legislation. So the quality of life of an entire segment of dog breeds fall into the narrow gaze of biased observers who won’t be able to be fair in their judgements. So much for being a fair voice.
Oh. Apparently the Nebraska Humane Society isn’t fair.
Are they that hard hit by the economic down turn that they have to make money this way? According to their own numbers they estimate 6,000 pit bulls in the Omaha area and only 1,400 are registered. Apparently, this will be a great source of steady income for them.
The ironic thing is that a dog is a dog. They have good days and bad. They don’t necessarily like to be approached or touched all the time. People look at a dog and say “Oooo, what a cute dog” and immediately make-a-move to pet the dog. They rarely ask the owner for permission or observe the dog for warning signs.
So when the dog snaps and bites, the people freak out. A responsible owner will immediately ask a person not to approach their animal and wait for proper introductions to be made. That being said, a person walking up to a dog needs to ask for permission to approach the animal. This is simple common sense, but given the BSL going on common sense has been replaced by governmental interference and lack of responsibility.
Breed Specific Legislation is never the answer. Responsible pet ownership is.