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Breed Specific Legislation

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We Welcome Your Commentaries on Breed Specific Legislation

Baltimore County Councilman Vince Gardina who was elected to serve the 5th district is using his position to attempt to target certain dog owners. Unfortunately he isn’t targeting the negligent, or irresponsible dog owners he is targeting owners of specific breeds of dogs, and owners of dogs having a certain physical appearance. Yes!! You guessed it Vince Gardina is targeting the mythological monster “pit bull”. 

Since “pit bull” isn’t a breed of record, Councilman Gardina has decided to target low density, low population breeds, that to the best of our research and knowledge,  finds that the Staffordshire Bull Terrier as a breed  has not been involved in one bite incident in North America since their recognition by the American Kennel Club in 1972. The American Staffordshire Terrier  has three bites to its record since its recognition by the AKC in 1936, and no fatalities, and the American Pit Bull Terrier has only one record of a pure-bred registered dog being involved in a fatal bite incident it was in the 1980’s, and involved an unsupervised toddler.    These breeds and their owners are being singled out for extraordinary treatment under the law for incidences done by undocumented dogs of questionable background.  All provably pure-bred dogs have documented proof of registration, and of pedigree. Any dog that has no documentation is not provably pure-bred.

Councilman Gardina is quick to spout urban myth as truth, and to embroider upon it by comparing living, breathing flesh and blood animals to inanimate firearms. Mr. Gardina apparently believes that there is such a thing as a supernatural dog. A dog that is more cunning than the drooling idiot, genetic genius breeders are capable of out-thinking, controlling, or containing.  

And who could blame him when newspapers, and media reports are full of the stuff of which myths are created? The dogs that appear out of nowhere, that can disappear that can “lock their jaws”, that can escape like Harry Houdini, that are larger than life, and evil incarnate. It is interesting that media reports concerning “pit bulls” take on a sinister quality that surrounds no other breeds of dogs even when they are involved in a human fatality. “Pit bull” articles always play up the “dangerousness” of the dogs even when it is supposedly a positive article.

Councilman Gardina take a tip from Mark Twain, it is as true today as when it was written;  “It has become a sarcastic proverb that a thing must be true if you saw it in a newspaper. That is the opinion intelligent people have of that lying vehicle in a nutshell. But the trouble is that the stupid people–who constitute the grand overwhelming majority of this and all other nations–do believe and are moulded and convinced by what they get out of a newspaper, and there is where the harm lies.”
- “License of the Press” speech

Councilman Gardina prefers the myth to the truth. Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States among other national organizations has sent reams of factual, useful, and sound information to Councilman Gardina’s office. Councilman Gardina is blissfully wed to his Pit Bull Bill. Although he knows that there wont be enough vote to pass it. Councilman Gardina will take his Bill to a vote October 15. It is really a stunning shame that Councilman Gardina doesn’t want to apply equal treatment for all dog owners, and equal protection from all dogs to his Bill. He would rather discriminate, and pass arbitrary legislation that is based simply upon his personal bias, and has nothing to do with reality, or legality.

Cherie Graves, chairwoman
Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States

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