Inside Edition today reported on a mother in California who recently had to shoot a stray dog that attacked her two daughters as they stood on their front lawn. The dog’s breed was believed to be a Boxer, but as ever, the breed is not what makes a dog potentially dangerous; the fact that the dog was free-roaming is. That’s why dangerous dog laws are so much more effective than breed-specific legislation (BSL). Dangerous dogs laws treat all irresponsible dog owners equally, increase penalties for irresponsible dog owners, and therefore act as an effective deterrent.
It should be noted, however, that neither type of legislation would have helped in this situation since the dog’s owner could not be located, but where dangerous dog laws leave off, Animal Control should pick up. Unfortunately, with Animal Controls across the country cutting back staff due to the economic downturn, there are potentially more free-roaming dogs out there. And as the Inside Edition story should show, with those cutbacks come consequences.
When those who push BSL talk about safety as a reason to push BSL, though BSL has proven time and again to be ineffective in keeping communities safer, funny how they never seem to mention the need for more Animal Control enforcement, which would curb the number of free-roaming dogs. That’s because BSL is meant as a smokescreen to appease an ignorant public. Meanwhile, with BSL, the public is no more safe from free-roaming dogs, as the Inside Edition story illustrates.