You don't always ask for it. You seldom want it. But every once in a while a situation arises and by the nature of who you are, where you live or what you do, you are faced with a choice. You can either take a leadership role and fix a situation, or you can do nothing and hope for the best (which seldom works). And even if you don't want to take on this role, there is something about you that makes it imperitive that you step up.
Over the past three months, the entire metro of Kansas City has been dealing is issues regarding pit bulls. There have been three major attacks in the metro, including one death. All three had similar situations including absentee dog owners who allowed the dogs to live in an abandoned house without food or supervision. The dogs get out, and attack. Two of the owners had criminal records. Meanwhile, the only solution many cities can come up with is banning pit bulls.
While many volunteers and pit bull owners have bound together to fight off this legislation, the animal welfare community has remained mostly silent. HSUS, the ASPCA, shelters, trainers, boarding facilities, rescues, veterinarians (with some notable exceptions -- thank to you all!) etc have been mostly silent. Even the Missouri Pit Bull Rescue has adopted a stance that they are about rescue and not politics (although a few of their members are acting independently)...never mind that if BSL gets enforced, there will be no one to adopt to. Same with vets and boarding facilities who haven't stepped forward even though it would dramatically affect their business...and I have no idea why HSUS and ASPCA have been non-existant.
The standard response when we call these places is that they don't have time, or their primary objective isn't BSL (although they all have statements on the matter). But here's the rub -- by the very nature of what they do, what their career calling is, they HAVE to have a response. No response is a vote in favor of pit bull bans. And yet, many do nothing.
One of my favorite quotes says that sometimes remaining indecisive, is a form of making a decision. I couldn't agree more. I know that we may not always sign up for it -- but it looks us square in the face, and either we can react, or not. But not fighting is the same as agreeing.
This same premise happens in every industry, business, city council, neighborhood, or community group anywhere. Silence IS a decision.