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« Update on KCMO's new "performance standards" | Main | NCRC -- is the media a reliable source for dog attack data? »

August 09, 2009

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YesBiscuit!

Always appreciate reading your roundups - there's so much I miss during the week! Rock Hill is in South Carolina btw, nor North.

Selma

Great roundup. It's pretty funny that T-man has a post about forming accurate opinions, considering the half-baked nonsense he posts about 'pit bulls' from time to time...ah well, even a broken clock is right once a day. And Terrierman is good when he sticks to what he knows...

EmilyS

no, the funnier thing about Terrierman is his statement that there is no owner side to the Bassett hound story... the owner is guilty because she ACTS guilty (giving up her dogs). As we know, there has never been an incident of the law intimidating dog owners into giving up their animals. ahem

These incidents always follow the same pattern: 1) outrageous story promulgated and believed by everyone. 2) factcheck suggests original story is completely bogus, and this is believed by everyone. The folks in #1 and #2 are EQUALLY credulous. 3) rarely, a followup revealing that "the truth lies somewhere in between"

BTW, I wonder when "terrierwork" became about dogs digging and not about dogs killing as many "varmints" as quickly and efficiently as possible (since Tman generally asserts that he rather than his dogs do the killing)?

EmilyS

oh and that Denver thing is so weird. With all the restrictions she wants to put on "pit bulls" it can't possibly save any money.. assuming they actually enforce them

Brent Toellner

Emily, The Denver thing at this point has nothing to do with dogs, or costs of enforcement, or enforcability at this point. It has everything to do with trying to make the lawsuit go away and prevent the ongoing and expensive court costs.

Selma

...otherwise known as saving face, Brent...at the expense of not only the truth but also citizens' rights...which should be grounds for immediate dismissal of an elected or unelected civil servant, imo.

MichelleD

I'm not sure why Denver's new ord should make the lawsuit go away. I say let 'em "repeal" their breed ban. Get a handful of pit bull owners to follow the ordinance to a T. THEN, "it would be funny to" make anonymous phone calls weekly to the AC saying you witnessed the pit bull owners violating the ord - you think. Run their AC budget dry...I mean I'm not saying break the law I'm just sayin' it would be "funny".

Selma

IMO, the new proposed regulations are not one whit better than what they have.

They think everybody is protesting because they are killing (ha ha) 'pit bulls'. Obviously that's part of it, duh.

However, the real problem is the discrimination against certain owners and resultant inhumane treatment of living dogs - in the absence of any supporting evidence.

They just don't get it and nobody seems to be able to explain it properly to the courts. Repeat after me: All dogs are genetically identical except for minor blips that create superficial differences - exactly like humans. Breeds are not species. Looks are not breeds. Behaviour is not heritable.

If they could just get their heads around all or any of those simple, scientifically and experientially supported concepts, there isn't a judge in the land that could uphold a 'breed' (ha ha) ban without compromising their sworn duty to defend the constitution, especially the equal protection clause(s) in the US and Canada.

We gotta lot of 'splaining to do, that's really what it is. And evil forces, mostly just ignorance and laziness, are working against us.

Brent Toellner

Well, and the other element in this is, in spite of all the $$ they've spent trying to justify this law, and all of the dogs they've systematically rounded up and destroyed, they still cannot produce evidence that public safety is improved because of it.

So at what point, when you're enforcing a vague, discriminatory, expensive, ineffective law, do you look at it and say, well, that failed, let's change it? For me it would have been several years ago. It's one thing to make a mistake based on bad information -- it's quite another to stand behind the mistake and defend it in spite of all evidence being against you.

Lisa

I was talking to a lawyer about the BSL proposal in Denver, and he concurs that all it would do is make court challenges more difficult, because 'pit bulls' wouldn't be technically banned, while at the same time, the restrictions would make it very difficult to keep a dog they called a pit bull. And I'm just guessing they'd be even less stringent in calling dogs 'pit bulls' if they were getting revenue from them.

Also, I looked around at insurance rates, and it's maybe $700 a year for 100K in liability insurance on a 'pit bull.' That is a pretty big deal for a lot of people.

The ban, as it stands, is pretty indefensible if the right plaintiff were to bring the challenge.

I say leave it intact, and make them defend it as it is. I expect Denver's ban failing would have a pretty serious domino effect on BSL everywhere.

A lot of places I've seen seem to have cut and pasted their wording right from Denver's, too, so if that goes down and the challenge survives the appellate courts: Boom! Precedent!

EmilyS

Brent, it's infuriating. The High Courts keep ruling that it DOESNT MATTER if a law is stupid, ineffective, expensive, useless, cruel or even discriminatory.. if it has even the slightest vague relationship to public safety as determined by local officials, then it is acceptable, and not unconstitutional. That's how I read the Colorado and the Ohio SC rulings.

I hold out no hope for the new court case. And I don't think Madison's well-intentioned (well, I hope she's well intentioned) proposed law will go anywhere once people realize the ramifications. On the one hand, that it does NOT really allow pit bulls because of the un-meetable restrictions and on the other that it's a ploy to avoid the court case. And of course the usual hate spewers don't want anything that MIGHT allow pit bulls. I suppose if "KoryN in Denver" comes out in favor, we'll know that it's not about the dogs, as you say.

Brent Toellner

I'm not talking about the courts Emily. While it's frustrating that they dismiss all of the legitimate due process violations, I don't even know that that matters any more.

At some point, the court of public opinion is going to rule on this. Cities are financially bankrupt...and consumers are sick and tired of having taxes raised on them. At some point they're going to have to answer for wasting money trying to enforce ineffective laws.

Selma

I agree, Brent. As someone who just came off five long years of fighting in Ontario - there aren't that many of us, around a dozen in the hard-core group of Banned Aid - I can say that I am relieved that the Supreme Court decided to not hear our arguments. The courts don't get it - because they are hampered by their reticence to infringe on the right of legislatures and town councils to use their discretion when supposedly protecting the public from a supposed and in our case imaginary threat.

The court route seemed obligatory and I'm glad it's over. Now it's time to work even harder to get the public onside and get them complaining to their reps and out to demonstrations. Public pressure will carry far more weight with councillors and others than what the courts say - especially since even with a favourable ruling, there is no obligation for a govt to implement it in a timely manner - that would take another court case.

I think the Denver case is a good one this time and like it or not, there are some heavy hitters involved in this one. I suspect that if the case weren't good, then Denver wouldn't be talking about changing the rules for dog owners at this juncture.

The rules still suck though. As always, I would say to them that if the rules are considered useful they MUST be applied to all dog owners across the board or fuggedaboutit. Bottom line: There is no evidence that the 3 breeds usually named are any more dangerous than any other breeds. Mutts aren't a breed. Why don't they get it?

EmilyS

"court of public opinion is going to rule on this"

oh yes, I agree with that completely. The information you, NCRC and others have been collecting is so incredibly valuable. The public has been fed a line of b.s. for so long about vicious dogs and how BSL protects the public. Now we have FACTS to show that just the opposite is true.

The laws have to be changed by legislators, under the influence of the public/voters.

MichelleD

"The High Courts keep ruling that it DOESNT MATTER if a law is stupid, ineffective, expensive, useless, cruel or even discriminatory.. if it has even the slightest vague relationship to public safety "

OK, I know this isn't the point of this post but I'm with Emily. This is the part I just can't get my head around - its more than infuriating, its frightening.

And to expand the topic of BSL, how about pet limits and laws prohibiting TNR and even FEEDING stray/feral cats? I see how nimrods can get that "dangerous" breeds should be banned. But when did we decide that a 4 pet limit is fine but that 5th cat deserves to DIE!?!?!? WTF! I'm sure you will say the ARs pushed this but it was also embraced by ACs that wanted an ord that made their job easier.

I feel pet ownership is being attacked on all fronts and they're chipping away at our rights piece by piece with the help of naive and ignorant AW people. No more puppy mills! No more commercial breeders! No more back yard breeders! Ban breeds! Ban dogs over 50lbs! MSN! No feeding stray cats!

Where the hell are we going to get our pets in 10 years!? Assuming you don't want a lead based pet from China...

I digress...its all just so stupid.

MichelleD

btw - not saying I support puppy mills but its an example of all the laws that are being pushed that prohibit pet ownership in some way. They way out number any laws protecting pet ownership...

KC KS Kills Dogs

The court of public opinion is going to have IMO a big influence.

My suggestion try joining other citizens in your city, county, etc that are fed up with high taxes, bad city services, and bobble heads who pretend to manage effective city govt. Show these groups that you have aligned with, the poor performance of your AC dept, the money they have spent, and back it up with black & white data (available in city budget reports).

You might be surprised that the issue of breed becomes a mute point with these groups; the fact that public safety isn't being met becomes crystal clear, that citizens Constitutional rights are being violated becomes crystal clear.


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