Imagine the following scenario about you and your dog.
You own a dog that you love.
You’ve spent time and money on food, vet care, toys, training, and other expenses.
You are a law-abiding owner.
You keep your dog on a leash & pick up after her when you walk her.
Your dog is registered with the county, has all the required vaccinations, & is well behaved.
Perhaps she is a certified therapy dog, has passed the AKC Canine Good Citizen test & the American Temperament Test.
She’s part of your life & your family.
Then, months, possibly years, after you have lived with her, the police show up at your door. They tell you that the local government gives you two options: move your dog to a place where “her kind” is allowed, or turn her in to animal control, where she will be destroyed. HUH? WHY? She has never attacked anyone. She’s never bitten anyone or anyone else’s dog. She doesn’t bark all day long. She doesn’t dig or chase the neighbors dogs or cats. You don’t allow her to roam loose, unattended in your neighborhood.
So why is the government after your dog?
Because her type has been placed on a list of “dangerous” dogs: dogs that are, because of their physical features, condemned as being “vicious. This is the unfair reality that hits owners in cities, states, or countries where Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) is enacted. Breed Specific Legislation, or BSL, is any law (generally a city, county, or state law) that attempts to force a dog owner to do any of the following for owning a certain type of dog:
Have extra liability insurance, generally totaling over $100,000 to cover the dog.
Muzzling whenever the dog is on public property, or not allowing it to leave the owner’s property at all.
The complete removal of that type of dog from an area, whether by forcing owners to give up their dogs for euthanasia or requiring them to move their families or their dog somewhere else.
BSL is an attempt at quelling a problem that is not rooted in one specific type of dog, which is where the laws immediately fail. The problem lies in many things, such as irresponsible breeding, neglect, or incorrect, dangerous training; however, breed alone is not the issue. Not only does it fail to address the real problems behind the dangerous dogs, but also it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to enforce. And just who is fueling the fire, whipping up the flames of this hysteria? Who is driving the onslaught of anti-dog legislation? Your local paper, TV or radio station – with inaccurate reports which use inflammatory language & show unrelated footage of dogfights. Every time a dog attacks it is suddenly reported as being a pit bull no matter what the breed or mix is. Why isn’t the finger pointed to the owner? Across the country – and around the world – cities, counties and local town councils are busy banning or restricting breeds instead of punishing irresponsible substandard behavior.
Breed bans – an outright ban on owning a specific breed of dog.
Breed-specific sterilization – owners are forced to spay or neuter animal.
Breed-specific insurance requirements – forces owners to obtain the unobtainable “vicious” breed insurance – in reality this forces owners to surrender dogs or move.
Weight or size restrictions – banning dogs over an arbitrarily determined weight or size – as in Fairfield, Iowa where all dogs over 100 lbs. are banned (St. Bernard, Newfoundland, Irish Wolfhound, Great Dane, etc.).
“The formula for creating a dangerous dog has been demonstrated (use in negative functions, abuse, poor socialization, chaining, dogs maintained as a pack, etc.). The formula for creating a dangerous breed is something entirely different. Since no breed of dog is inherently vicious, the creation of a ‘vicious breed’ is in reality the creation of an image.”
– Karen Delise
Information on how you are losing your rights to own pets and what you can do about it!
Scroll down for explanation of the difference between Animal ‘Rights” and Animal “Welfare”
Instead of donating to these groups please consider a donation of money or other needed items such as blankets, bowls, leads and more to your LOCAL shelter! That way you know exactly how you have helped homeless pets!
The following articles may be of interest to you if you care at all about YOUR RIGHTS —–>
More information on Canine Legislation can be found on the AKC website.
What is BSL?
ASPCA Position Statement on Mandatory Spay/Neuter Laws
Nationwide, per capita shelter intake and euthanasia have been in a steady decline for the past several decades and research indicates that the main reason for this decline is the increasing incidence of spayed and neutered animals in the pet population (Zawistowski et al., 1998; Irwin, 2001; Clancy & Rowan, 2003). In fact, the veterinary community recently formally acknowledged the importance of safe, efficient, accessible sterilization programs as the “best antidote to the mass euthanasia of cats and dogs resulting from overpopulation” (Looney et al., 2008). There is, however, variation in the trend in shelter intake and euthanasia decline across communities as well as a difference between that for dogs and cats. As a result, many communities are currently searching for methods to reach the segments of the animal-owning population that are still contributing disproportionately to companion animal overpopulation. Attempts to reduce shelter intake and euthanasia through the passage of legislation mandating the spaying and neutering of companion animals has recently garnered much attention and debate.
To the knowledge of the ASPCA, the only method of population control that has demonstrated long-term efficacy in significantly reducing the number of animals entering animal shelters is the voluntary sterilization of owned pets (Clancy & Rowan 2003; FIREPAW, 2004; Secovich, 2003). There is also evidence that sterilizing very specific, at-risk sub-populations of companion animals such as feral cats and animals in shelters can also contribute to reductions in overpopulation (Zawistowski et al., 1998; Clancy & Rowan 2003; Levy et al., 2003; Lord et al., 2006; Natoli et al., 2006). In contrast, the ASPCA is not aware of any credible evidence demonstrating a statistically significant enhancement in the reduction of shelter intake or euthanasia as a result of the implementation of a mandatory spay/neuter law.
Caution must therefore be applied when interpreting existing claims regarding the effects of local mandatory spay/neuter (MSN) laws. First, because nationwide per capita shelter intake and euthanasia generally are in decline due to voluntary spaying and neutering, it is impossible to determine the effect of an MSN law without comparing a community’s trends in shelter intake and euthanasia for several years before and after the law was enacted to trends in adjacent, similar communities without MSN legislation. Furthermore, to discern with confidence the effects of any spay/neuter program on the animal population, which naturally fluctuates somewhat from year to year, population trends must be examined over a period sufficiently long to absorb those natural fluctuations; claims based on one or two years of data can be misleading.
In addition, it is imprudent to generalize about the effects of MSN laws. One reason is that the definition of “mandatory” varies greatly across communities. In some localities, a citation may be issued for any animal over the age of 4 months seen unaltered, while in other communities a citation results only when another animal control offence has been committed or if more than one unspayed female animal lives in the household. Another complication is that it can be extremely difficult for even a veterinary professional to visually determine if an animal, particularly a female, has been sterilized; it would be virtually impossible for an animal control officer to make those determinations in the field. For these reasons, and due to variation across communities in law enforcement funding and personnel support, actual enforcement of MSN laws varies widely, making comparisons between MSN laws or predictions about their impact very difficult.
Another reason for caution when interpreting the effects of MSN legislation is that shelter intake and euthanasia statistics are often presented as a total of dogs and cats. In some communities, the number of dogs entering and being euthanized in shelters is dropping significantly while the number of cats is declining more slowly or even increasing. Therefore it is critical to examine population and shelter statistics for dogs and cats separately, so that reductions in dog intake and euthanasia do not mask increases in cat intake and euthanasia. This issue is particularly critical in the analysis of the effect of MSN laws, since feral and unowned stray cats continue to represent a substantial proportion of the shelter population and euthanasia. This major contributing factor is not addressed by MSN laws that, by nature, target owned animals.
Even when an MSN law seems to have a positive effect on one aspect of animal welfare, it may have a negative effect on another. For instance, in at least one community that enacted an MSN law, fewer pets were subsequently licensed, likely due to owners’ reluctance to pay either the high fee for keeping an unaltered animal or the fee to have the pet altered (Office of Legislative Oversight, 1997).
The ASPCA is also concerned that some communities may rely primarily or exclusively on MSN legislation to reduce shelter intake and euthanasia even though the animal shelter population is actually very heterogeneous, with no single cause or source (National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy, 2001). Many social, cultural and economic factors as well as animal health and behavioral issues contribute to shelter intake; therefore no single program or law can be relied on to solve the problem.
Furthermore, one of the main barriers to spaying and neutering of pets is accessibility of services, which is not addressed simply by making spaying and neutering mandatory. Cost is one of the primary barriers to spay/neuter surgery in many communities (Patronek et al., 1997; Ralston Purina, 2000; Frank, 2001). In fact, low household income and poverty are statistically associated with having a sexually intact cat (Patronek et al, 1997), with relinquishment of pets to shelters (Patronek et al., 1996), and with shelter intake (Frank, 2003). As a result, the proportion of pets from poor communities who are being euthanized in shelters remains high; shelter euthanasia rates in the poorest counties in states including California and New Jersey are several times higher than those in the most affluent counties (Handy, 2002; Marsh, 2008). Each community is unique, however, in terms of the particular sources and causes of companion animal overpopulation and the primary barriers that exist to having pets altered. No one-size-fits-all solution is therefore possible. In examining communities around the country that are having significant success in reducing companion animal overpopulation, it appears that the common denominator is a multifaceted, targeted community program that:
* Is based on careful research to determine which segments of the animal population are actually significantly contributing to shelter intake and euthanasia and then targets efforts to those segments of the population;
* Focuses on the particular barriers to spay/neuter that are predominant and strives to overcome them;
* Is well-supported and well-funded; and
* Has an efficient voluntary spay/neuter infrastructure in place to service the populations it targets.
Based on currently available scientific information, the ASPCA strongly supports spay/neuter as an effective means to reduce companion animal overpopulation. In particular, the ASPCA supports voluntary, affordable spay/neuter programs for owned pets, Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs for feral cats and the mandatory sterilization of shelter animals and of certain individual, owned animals based on their or their owners’ behavior (such as animals deemed dangerous under local ordinances or those repeatedly caught at-large). In order to assure the efficacy of any spay/neuter program designed to reduce shelter intake and euthanasia, the ASPCA believes that each community must conduct credible research into the particular causes of relinquishment and abandonment and the sources of animals in its shelters, including the barriers to spay/neuter services that are faced by those populations contributing disproportionately to the problem. Each community must address these issues with a tailored, multifaceted approach as described below:
* The community should have in place an adequately funded, readily accessible, safe, efficient, affordable spay/neuter program.
* Community research should identify the particular segments of the population that are contributing disproportionately to shelter intake and euthanasia, and the community should produce programs that are targeted to those populations.
* The community should strive to maximize the accessibility of spay/neuter services and provide compelling incentives to have the surgery performed.
* The spay/neuter program should be developed with the guidance of veterinary professionals who are committed to delivering high quality spay/neuter services to all patients (Looney et al., 2008).
* The program must adequately address the contribution that feral and stray animals make to overpopulation.
* The program must be adequately supported in terms of financing, staffing and infrastructure.
* The efficacy of all aspects of the program must be monitored and revisions made as necessary to achieve its goals.
In summary, the ASPCA recognizes that sterilization is currently the best method to reduce companion animal overpopulation, and therefore to reduce shelter intake and euthanasia. The most important step a humane community can take to decrease companion animal overpopulation is to make a safe, effective, voluntary spay/neuter program available and readily accessible to the community, with programs and incentives targeted to the populations known to be contributing disproportionately to shelter intake and euthanasia.
Clancy, E. A., Rowan, A. N., 2003. Companion animal demographics in the United States: A historical perspective. In: Salem, D. J. & Rowan, A. N. (Eds.), State of the Animals II: 2003. Humane Society Press, Washington, DC, pp. 9-26.
The Foundation for Interdisciplinary Research and Education Promoting Animal Welfare (FIREPAW). 2004. Cross-program statistical analysis of Maddie’s Fund programs, Williamstown, MA.
Frank, J., 2001. Executive summary of research results for: the economics, ethics, and ecology of companion animal overpopulation and a mathematical model for evaluation of the effectiveness of policy alternatives. Houston, TX: The Foundation for Interdisciplinary Research and Education Promoting Animal Welfare.
Handy, G., 2002. Animal Control Management: A Guide for Local Governments. International City/County Management Association, Washington, D.C.
Irwin, P. G., 2001. Overview: The state of animals in 2001. In: Salem, D. J. & Rowan, A. N. (Ed.), The State of the Animals 2001. Humane Society Press, Washington, DC, pp. 1-19.
Levy, J. K., Gale, D. W., Gale, L. A., 2003. Evaluation of the effect of a long-term trap-neuter-return and adoption program on a free-roaming cat population. Journal of the American Veterinary Association 222, 42-46.
Lord, L.K., Wittum, T.E., Ferketich, A.K., Funk, J.A., Rajala-Schultz, P., Kauffman, R.M., 2006. Demographic trends for animal care and control agencies in Ohio from 1996 to 2004. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 229, 48-54.
Marsh, P., 2008. Analysis using data from New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (1998) and the California Department of Health Services (1995).
National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy, 2001. Exploring the surplus cat and dog problem: Highlights of five research publications regarding relinquishment of pets. New London, MN. Online at petpopulation.org.
Natoli, E., Maraglioano, L., Cariola, G., Faini, A., Bonanni, R., Cafazzo, S., Fantini, C., 2006. Management of feral domestic cats in the urban environment of Rome (Italy). Preventative Veterinary Medicine 77, 180-185.
Office of Legislative Oversight, OLO Report 97-3: An evaluation of Bill 54-91, Revisions to the county’s animal control law. June 24, 1997. Montgomery County, MD.
Patronek, G. J., Lawrence, T. G., Glickman, T., Beck, A. M., McCabe, G. P., Ecker, C., 1996. Risk factors for relinquishment of cats to an animal shelter. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 209, 582-588.
Patronek, G. J., Lawrence, T. G., Glickman, T., Beck, A. M., McCabe, G. P., Ecker, C., 1996. Risk factors for relinquishment of dogs to an animal shelter. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 209, 572-581.
Patronek, G. J., Beck, A. M., Glickman, T., 1997. Dynamics of dog and cat populations in a community. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 210, 637-642.
Ralston Purina, 2000. The state of the American pet: A study among pet owners.
Secovich, S. J., 2003. Case study: companion animal over-population programs in New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Maine and a new program for Maine. Master’s thesis, Public Policy and Management. University of Southern Maine.
Zawistowski, S., Morris, J., Salman, M. D., Ruch-Gallie, R., 1998. Population dynamics, overpopulation, and the welfare of companion animals: new insights on old and new data. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science 1, 193-206.
Let me make this clear – I DO NOT SUPPORT TERRORISTIC ORGANIZATIONS OR EXTREMIST ORGANIZATIONS SUCH AS ANIMAL LIBERATION FRONT, PETA OR HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES.
If you love and care about your pets and the rights to own them – you wont support these groups either!
Animal Rights: What Everyone Needs to Know
Jan 6, 2009
Many people assume when they hear about animal issues that the pro-animal people are on one side and anti-animal people are on the other side. This is rarely the case—almost always the disagreement is between two groups each believing that they are protecting animals and improving their lives. Millions of votes are cast and millions of dollars donated each year by people who do not understand the differing views and who inadvertently support the very people they intend to oppose. Politicians courting the “animal vote” unwittingly support legislation that animal lovers are devoted to defeating.
Whatever beliefs you hold, if you care about animals, vote, donate money, or want to be informed, spend an hour doing some basic research on this topic so you are at least supporting the side with which you genuinely agree.
There are hundreds of subtly different views and organizations, but there are two core views that are not reconcilable:
Animal Welfare / Animal Owner: Animals can happily and productively share their lives with humans if certain conditions are met to ensure the welfare and safety of the animals and the public. Deriving utility from animals is acceptable so long as certain conditions are met.
Animal Rights: Animals should exist only in a pure and natural state free from captivity or any human intrusion. Captive animals should be released or destroyed: death is preferable to life involving humans. Animals should never be utilized by humans as pets, food, or research tools.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS), and other Animal Rights (AR) organizations oppose any animal captivity. Their central objective is to eliminate animals in captivity and to pass laws that will outlaw captive animals or eradicate them through attrition. As clearly articulated in their own official reports, they kill virtually every animal that falls under their control.
These organizations are well-funded and do some good work which we all support: they fight genuine animal abuse, spotlight cruel industrial practices, increase awareness and motivate change concerning the humane treatment of all animals. They advertise and lobby ceaselessly to focus media attention on the good work that they accomplish, but none of these activities modifies their core mission: killing or freeing every captive animal—aquarium fish, beloved pets, cancer-research rats, dairy cows, zoo otters… They artfully create the illusion that they love pets and pet welfare in order to win millions of dollars in donations which they use to kill animals and lobby towards pet extinction.
Consider the following points:
1. All animals are “captive” in their local habitat, their continent, their planet, their home range surrounded by physical boundaries or other animals’ ranges. The involvement of human consciousness does not make captivity wrong. People are capable of providing superior lives for animals—free from parasites and predators and with optimal nutrition and water, secure space, needed veterinary care, and enrichment. The life expectancy of human cared for animals averages two to three times longer than that of their wild counterparts, and for much more of their lives they are healthy, robust, and comfortable. AR advocates assert that “natural” is the only good. Most authentic animal lovers focus on providing the best possible lives for animals, and while nature provides the seminal model, “nature” is rarely the ideal. The only intrinsic difference between a wild animal and a well-kept animal is that the captive animal has a person tending to its every need. Animals have lives in captivity that are every bit as rich and full as in the wild, and in general they are longer, healthier, more comfortable, and by any practical criteria better.
2. AR people have killed many animals, turned countless animals loose to starve, opened gates and enclosures so that cherished pets are run down on the streets, all in the zealous belief that no animal should ever be captive. Many of these released animals had enjoyed full and happy lives that were ended abruptly because those lives did not conform to the AR view of what they should be. Further, AR people have taken custody of animals, promising to re-home them, then destroyed and discarded them.
3. AR people promulgate a simplistic and woefully untrue fantasy that every wild animal lives an idyllic existence with plentiful food and shelter while asserting that every captive animal endures relentless neglect and abuse. How many AR people chose for themselves a wild life with limitless freedom and rights instead of a comfortable captive life with food and medicine and electricity?
4. Finding a single instance of abuse or neglect, AR people assert that all people behave in the same way.
5. AR people have a track record of passing seemingly reasonable laws, then revisiting them repeatedly to incrementally increase their impact until statutes and regulations effectively preclude animal ownership.
6. AR organizations recruit celebrity advocates who believe they are working for animals. Many of these celebrities own pets themselves yet endorse organizations seeking to eradicate pets because they naïvely assume that they cannot be wrong in supporting the “ethical treatment of animals.”
7. AR people believe emotional and practical terrorism are acceptable tools for advancing their goals: that their cause is so important and right that they are justified in lying or terrorizing to accomplish their objectives. Read that again: they proudly admit that they will lie or cheat if it will help them achieve their goal, so everything they say must be questioned carefully. Conscientious and responsible animal owners live in terror that AR people will show up and open their cages or poison their animals or otherwise create problems in order to generate negative media coverage. Some of the most horrific animal abuse ever filmed has allegedly been staged by AR zealots: they torture animals, film the action, and use that film to condemn the actions of others. They turn animals loose and then use the loose animals as evidence that animals cannot be responsibly contained.
No discussion of the Animal Rights agenda would be complete without a quick examination of their flagship crusades:
A. Breed-specific Legislation: these laws target animals based on their breed. They are ineffective and immoral. Breeds are never responsible for any injury, only irresponsible owners. Create laws that prevent and punish people for failure to control their animals, or failure to care for their animals, and you solve the problem. Outlaw one more breed and you do nothing to reduce dog bites, you merely further the objective of eradicating pets one breed at a time.
B. Exotic animal bans: these laws target private individuals regardless of their competence or history and prevent them from owning and caring for certain animals. Such laws do nothing to ensure public health or safety: on the contrary, they hamstring the very law-abiding animal lovers who work to ensure public health and safety. Create laws that prevent and punish people for failure to control their animals, or failure to care for their animals, and you solve the problem. Regardless of the species, uniform and fair laws require any person to be able to keep their animal safely and properly.
C. Mandatory spay/neuter laws: these laws aim to eradicate pets, and do so at the expense of animal health. Individual owners should work with qualified veterinarians to decide which animals should have what surgery. Most experts believe that there is no pet overpopulation problem; however, even if there is, the superior way to control animal population is to educate people. But politicians should not be mandating health decisions relating to individual animals.
D. Vilification of all breeders: constantly extolling the ostensible virtues of shelter dogs and denigrating all breeders as heartless puppy-mills is a tactic aimed to eventually eliminate all breeding and therefore all pets. In truth shelters often perpetuate the very disposable pet attitude that creates a need for shelters while responsible breeders steadfastly work to improve their breed, ensure ideal lives for their puppies, and take back any dogs they bred that ever need homes.
Killing, eliminating, or banning well cared-for animals whose lives do not meet an arbitrary standard of being free from all human involvement is neither ethical nor humane. All true animal lovers must band together to prevent the eradication of all pets and ultimately all animals. Millions of dollars are donated to these groups by well-intentioned pet lovers who believe they are helping animals, and who are shocked and outraged when they learn the truth.
If you own a pet or believe that some people should be allowed to keep pets, there is no sound rationale for supporting AR groups. Please be part of the solution: make an informed decision to support organizations whose ideals and actions comport with your own and will genuinely help to make the world a better place.
Refuse to support deceitful and organizations that will take your money in the name of animals and use that money to kill and lobby against animals. Refuse to vote for politicians who support such organizations.
Please do your own research about any organization you would support. Here are a few websites with useful information on the animal rights issue:
I shouldnt have to even type this however – IF you live in an area where Breed Specific Legislation is in place – which means any restrictions and/or an outright ban of certain breeds of dogs – or if your HOA, insurance or county/city has BSL in place DO NOT contact us for a Stafford please! I do not care how careful you think you can be. I dont care if your neighbor/brother/BFF has a bull breed. We will NOT sell or adopt any Stafford to a banned/restricted area under any circumstance. Just dont ask. Its not worth it. Our dogs will only live in safe environments where they are not in jeopardy of breaking any laws. Thank you!