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« Update on the situation in Sikeston | Main | All eyes are still on Sikeston, as with 2 sides the story, pit bull roundup may continue »

December 09, 2012

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Comments

Selma

Great post. The nice thing about the Sikeston situation was that it was right out there for all to see.

People forget that BSL targets OWNED family pets based strictly on their physical appearance, not 'breed' or owner/dog behaviour.

Most people are decent and fair-minded. They find this policy deplorable once they understand what's going on.

Fox News did great reporting on this. Public opinion has been firmly against BSL for years but as always, it's a silent majority. It's nice to see media catching up with that and doing some responsible, accurate reporting around "pit bulls" and BSL lately.

Laura

The story got a lot of play because even people who don't really realize that BSL is an affront to dog owners civil liberties, they SENSED it in a very big way with this story.

Government officials going door to door? Confiscating dogs (private property)? Without warrants?

Any one can FEEL that is WRONG in our country - even people who still don't really "get" that BSL is punishing people for being "that kind of person who likes that kind of dog".

The city is back pedaling because they realized it is one thing to say "pit bulls are subject to these restrictions" and another to say "we are going to go door to door and confiscate people's dogs today." Even they can FEEL and the public's reaction made them SEE that they crossed a huge line here.

Honestly if more cities and towns would do this, it would be good for eliminating BSL. Because people would see more clearly how BSL violates their civil rights and we'd see a lot more of the "acting out" we need to remove these laws across the country.

Until people "get" that BSL is a violation of the PERSON'S civil rights, we will never completely eliminated it. That is IMO the ONLY way to stop BSL in its tracks: change the conversation from being about the dogs to being about the citizens who own those dogs. Dogs don't have rights (they are private property) - but people DO.

Samantha Laine

Terrific post. T h a n k y o u.

Brie

I freaked out when I saw your original story about this. It made me sick. I shared it far and wide. Although I was relieved that the city backpeddled (yes, it did) this was still so scary to me as a dog lover. What would I do if they came to my house? Would I break the law? I'm sure I would. As I was watching a documentary about BSL this weekend, it just drove home the senselessness of BSL. I'm just thankful that more and more people are getting educated and speaking about against this insanity. Thanks again, Brent. I know it is only part of your advocacy, but you do more good with your keyboard than you may ever know.

"Complacency and indifference perpetuate the status quo. Change comes only through collective action. Let's get busy."

Cheryl Huerta

Great Blog Brent!!!

I totally agree with your assessment not only of the Sikeston situation and why they stopped their 'audit' but also that the news media seems to be turning around in regard to pit bulls and the people who choose to have them. I guess that is what happens when enough dogs and their owners have been victimized by people who would rather believe the news media than what is actually happening in the world around them. Nonetheless the 'climate' does seem to be changing around pit bulls and their responsible owners.

I'd like to add, if I may, that those of us out here who enjoy having our pit bulls and pit mixes without fear of having them banned and then seized due to their appearance can do a LOT to help the public's perception of us and our dogs. It doesn't involved spending money. It doesn't involve writing letters. It doesn't really involve anything more than what we more than likely do as responsible pit bull owners to begin with...we just have to be much more public about it.

What I'm talking about is for us as a pit bull loving community to do whatever it takes, that works best for us and our dogs, to ensure that our own pit bull is an ambassador for pit bull type dogs in every way possible. We MUST take the necessary steps and effort to make sure that our dog is well-socialized with humans and other animals in that our dogs are safe for all other living things. Then we MUST get out there with our dogs and meet the public. People may believe the news media about things but when they are met with a 'personal' experience they will believe that personal experience over the news media every time AND they will tell others about their experience whenever the subject arises.

Here in Portland Oregon we have monthly Bully Walks and I would strongly encourage like-minded pit bull owners to organize some sort of group walk or event where you live in an effort to educate the public, through their personal experience, about who the typical pit bull owner is and what the typical pit bull is like when in the hands of responsible humans. The more we get out there with our well-behaved and perfectly safe pit bulls the less people will request and/or support bans on pit bulls or bans on dogs of any kind because we are showing them that it is the human being that determines how safe or dangerous a dog is NOT what breed of dog it is.

I can't stress the importance of this enough. The pendulum is swinging and together we can help it swing back to where it was for pit bulls when they were American's Dog!

Thanks to everyone who already does this! Please motivate and inspire those around you to do the same...help one another, support one another. After all this is for our dogs who are valued members of our family!

If you are curious about what one of these public events looks like visit our advocacy's Facebook page at The Portland Pit Bull Parade.

Karen Batchelor

There is nothing 'parting' about this shot Brent, and Chris Hayes (Fox2) hasn't finished with it either.
Cheryl, Laura, Brent and all of you others who keep fighting the good fight, you are the reason these jack-booted bullies have to back off and we have to keep backing you and helping you to stand up to them.
My Pit Bull today, your Lab tomorrow otherwise. Dogs deserve their place in the world and we have to fight for it for them.

5pitbulls

Agreed completely, Cheryl. It isn't enough to love our dogs. We need to be sure they are the very best breed ambassadors they can be and that we give them all the public exposure we can. I am sure I'm not the only one who meets people daily who "know" pit bulls are evil demons and are then shocked that the dog they just pet and complimented for nice manners is one of those "evil demon dogs". Too many people only "know" pit bulls based on media hype and rabid ignorance like that spouted by dogsbite.org and literally do not know a pit bull when one licks them.
Responsible ownership and educating the public is the solution.

Brent

Yip Emily -- am getting it posted now.

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