Joey lives down the street. He is about seven ( which makes him doubt forty nine ) in human years. Joey was found on the street, almost at death's door by Sarah Joe ( a hint at how Joey got his name:) and her partner late one autumn night. Joey was fortunate, he only endured one year of abuse ( according to his veterinarian and behaviorist ). Following his six week recovery Sarah Joe adopted him - Joey has known and given love and loyalty ever since, he is good with children. Joey is a "PitRot" a mixture between a Pit Bull and a Rottweiler - a " bully breed" and one of the subjects of BSL - Breed Specific Legislation.
A couple of thoughts on "Bully's" / BSL and why this body of law does more harm than good.
"Bully Breeds" - or dogs bred specifically to fight or protect ( their owners ) are a group of dogs whose brain and braun have won them this title. It is unfortunate for these dogs that ,many of them are bred into situations where they are surrounded by ignorant people who use them as fighting dogs, and or use them as "trending" accessories. Less than 40% of people who own " bully breeds" consider these dogs family pets. The dogs are not the ignorant ones here it is the ignorant people who have bring these dogs into situations where their bully characteristics are tested to the limit - and hence the bad rep, sadly the dogs don't stand a chance.
The fall out? with interest in BSL growing more dogs who are labeled Bullys will be summarily discarded and sadly the use for them as fighters will simply go farther underground.
"A house is not a home without a dog" - Mark Twain
Because of the spread of BSL and the increase of reported dog bite claims, home owners may have to choose between owning a BB dog or having their policy renewed.
The fall out? Pros: those people who are not responsible or responsive pet owners and who are less than community minded will have to think twice about say leaving their BB walk without a leash in residential neighborhoods or in gated communities. This will help make these communal living spaces safer for everyone. Cons? if you own a home you NEED insurance having to choose between your dog or your home - I hope none of you are ever in that situation. Another negative aspect could be that many unthinking people will simple get rid of their dogs increasing the stray population, further taxing service personnel and areas shelters and rescues and creating unsafe environments. I've seen a scared hungry Bully Breed come running down the street, I stood my ground and the dog must have recognized me because I was find but other people walking small dogs have not been not so fortunate. Its not the "bully" dogs fault the fault lies with the owner! A dogs personality is largely shaped by the company they keep!
Whether you own a dog, care for a dog on a volunteer or professional level or you don't give a hoot about dogs one way or another, enacting BSL will affect YOU - why? Because YOU live among, and work around and unknowingly ( I HOPE ) are the target of dog fighters ( those morally bankrupt people who are on the look out for beloved pets to use as bait ).
What if BSL was in effect nation wide ( which could include "pet friendly" establishments ) this scenario could happen:
EXAMPLE Say there are one million homeless dogs ( this is a reported number from animal shelters and rescues ) . With BSL there could be an additional one million ( reported ) homeless dogs and another one million who are just lost - strays, bait for dog fighting rings or breeders, or people who abuse dogs for the thrill of it of for people who eat their meat ( these deaths go largely unreported ) .
Because we don't live in the world alone, whenever laws that have the potential to go nation wide are introduced we all should need to pay attention. Are you aware how many dog lovers there are in America? Do you know how much money the pet industry earned last year? According to the WSJ and the APPA ( the American Pet Products Association ) $53 Billion ( that is USD ) thats a lot of dog chow! This number represents all pet products of course but a large percentage of hat figure is based on what people spent on their dogs. Yes, according to scientific research, like people, some dogs are smarter than others and yes there are dogs among the bully breeds who are vicious and who have hurt people but as much can be said for people too.
If you remember nothing at all about this post, please commit this to memory:
Domestic dogs ( our canine "pets" ) are bred constructions of human fantasy. Some dogs were bred to be more family oriented than others and some were bred to be good hunters for example. We made dogs into what they are not the other way around. Learn more about dogs and breed specific legislation and read the mouse print on your homeowner policy - you don't want to have to chose between your house and your dog.