Bluefield, West Virginia and Caddo Valley, Arkansas Illustrate Why Breed-Specific Laws Don’t Work
Bluefield, West Virgina, who prior had a breed-specific law (BSL) that wasn’t working, passed an additional breed-specific law on April 23, 2013, which in fact was an outright ban, and gave existing “pit bull” owners a mere 10 days to register their dogs. Many upright citizens, not wanting to disobey the law, though they certainly didn’t agree with it, complied and registered their so-called “pit bulls” with the city. However, the ban didn’t reduce dog bites and in fact, one of Bluefield’s own city employees was bitten by what was described as a Shar Pei-mix. While investigating the Shar Pei incident, authorities discovered an unregistered “pit bull” at the residence where the owner of the Shar Pei-mix lived. Both dogs were confiscated, though only the Shar Pei-mix was described as “vicious” and had in fact actually bitten before.
Because BSL tends to be so myopic, authorities waste more time policing the banned breeds when they should be policing all dogs and particularly irresponsible owners. For instance, if the Shar Pei-mix had bitten before, why was it out free-roaming? Still, two dogs will likely die now, but only one was really potentially dangerous. And guess what? It wasn’t the so-called “pit bull.”
Like Bluefield, Caddo Valley, Arkansas also recently passed a breed-specific ordinance. While “pit bull” registrations were required, only one resident actually registered his dogs.
So, there you have it. Two perfect illustrations of why breed-specific legislation in any form is ineffective, unenforceable, and archaic.
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