Dogs are supposed to be man’s best friend, but there is nothing friendly about a dog that attacks either family members or people in the community. Due to the fatalities and bites from specific breeds, laws have been put in place to protect people from some high-risk canines. Many homeowners insurance carriers will insist on riders for owners with specific breeds, such as Great Danes or Pit Bulls, because they are most likely to cost the insurance company in the event of a bite. Government agencies, however, have stepped in to help protect citizens against many breeds with an increasingly horrible track record when it comes to their sociability and the risk they pose to a community.
Many communities are not only putting strict laws in place when it comes to dog bites and dog attacks, but they are also banning breeds, altogether. This has caused heartache for families who love their dogs dearly, and Pit Bull owners feel that it is an injustice not to be able to keep their family dog or to have to put down their dog, even though it hasn’t done anything to warrant it. A new law in Michigan is challenging the breed ban, and if it is passed, it would mean that communities would be prohibited from enacting any ordinance that specifically bans any breed of dog. Currently being mulled over in the House of Representatives, it would affect over twenty six communities across Michigan.
There are over fourteen various towns that have enacted bans on specific breeds, and most of them have added the Pit Bull to the list of dogs the locals can’t own. If they do have one, they are either not welcome to reside within the community, or are required to surrender their family pet. Put into motion to prevent dog bites, which for a while seemed to plague the news channels, the ban was made to protect the community from vicious dogs and the damage they can do to both adults and children alike.
State Senator David Robertson is leading the charge while a dog bite lawyer Philadelphia agrees, that dogs should not be banned based on what they look like. The problem, he believes, is that strictly banning a breed across the board takes away the responsibility that a dog owner has to train and spot potentially dangerous dogs. If any dog is socialized incorrectly or is mentally unstable, they should not be maintained in a home. It has nothing to do with what they look like; rather, it is being able to see a temperament as unpredictable and taking steps to protect the community from such dogs. That is the responsibility of the owner, not the dog or any dog breed.
Twenty states are currently considering the ban breed and the legality of it. Breed-specific laws, many lawyers argue, take away from a person’s property rights. Dog protection agencies agree that no dog should be discriminated against because of how they look and that it isn’t about reckless dogs, but reckless owners. They maintain that the laws do more harm than good, because they don’t target what is at the heart of the issue. They give people a false sense of security in the idea that dangerous dogs only come in specific shapes, sizes, and breeds, which is simply not the case.
Pit Bulls have had the worst record for killing people for over thirty years. The facts cannot be negated, and many in the Michigan area believe that, if a dog continues to be the source of so much carnage, no one should risk the chance of getting one that is harmful when there are so many other breeds of dogs out there that they could opt for, instead. Why own a Pit Bull or live next to one when they are high-risk and usually at the helm of any dog fatality?
The founder of the Michigan Pit Bull Education Project insists that banning family dogs is not the answer. It has only created many heartbreaking situations and cruel and unusual punishment when family dogs had to be removed from homes, and it also goes against the property rights laws that we have in place. Whether the ban will be allowed will be discussed this November, and a decision should come early this winter. There is no doubt that many Pit Bull owners are eagerly waiting with much anxiety and anticipation.