Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A guy walks into a court room along with his poser attorney, presents a purposely weak case, and actually sets a precedent for the very thing he claims to be fighting against. Perhaps this “joke” will ring a bell if I bring it a little closer to home for the dog lobby. There was this organization in the 80s and 90s that claimed to be opposed to breed-specific legislation, and they went around trying purposely weak cases to actually set a precedent for breed bans because they weren’t really opposed to breed bans; they were really aligned with the same radical animal “rights” group that was surreptitiously pushing breed-specific legislation (BSL) all across the country.
When another organization got wise to what the bad organizations were up to, they started legally challenging BSL properly and they started winning. The good organization challenged the very definition of what is a so-called “pit bull,” proving over and over again that the vague term “pit bull” did not embody a breed, but rather was an ambiguous term that could describe unknown numbers of actual dog breeds, and that because there was no one breed “pit bull,” statistics on so-called “pit bulls” were wildly skewed and therefore meaningless. Then out the window went the argument that this “breed” “pit bull” was more inherently aggressive or vicious than other breeds such that the doggy-killers could no longer “prove” that banning “pit bulls” was supposedly “rationally related” to public health, welfare, and safety. When the good organization proved it could win cases by beating the bad organizations at their own game, the bad organizations just started tampering with evidence and perhaps even buying off judges. Hence the “kangaroo courts.”
So when I read today that the West Virginia Supreme Court upheld the Wayne County city of Ceredo’s “pit bull” ban, I was skeptical. Yup, sure enough, the defendants argued that Ceredo’s “pit bull” ban was “unconstitutional in that it is arbitrary and unreasonable” and what did the circuit court find and the supreme court uphold?
That each Defendants dogs are of the breed that is typically referred to generically as pit bull dogs which are aggressive by nature, have been known as attack animals with strong massive heads and jaws, and have been found to represent a public health hazard;
The majority of jurisdictions have accepted the proposition that dogs of this type have a propensity to be aggressive and attack without provocation and it is well established that such dogs have gotten a lot of notoriety of being dangerous to public health and safety;
The ownership, maintenance and control of dogs or other animals within city limits is a local concern which does not exceed the limitations of the home rule doctrine;
That section 505.16 of the Codified Ordinances of the Town of Ceredo is legitimate, specific, rationally related to that legitimate interest and exercises the constitutional powers of the municipality to impose safety regulations to insure the health, protection and welfare of the citizens;
That the ordinance is not constitutionally vague nor does it violate the due process of the Defendants because the owners may by limited by and subject to the Citys legitimate exercise of police powers by living inside the city limits; and
That the conviction of each Defendant was based upon the evidence that these were pit bull dogs, they were within the city limits, and they were owned, harbored or maintained by each of the defendants within the jurisdiction and based upon the same the Court finds that there was no violation of due process.
Everything old is new again n’est-ce pas? Yup, and there they are referring to “pit bulls” as if they were an actual breed, and there’s that dubious language again about “pit bull” bans supposedly being rationally related to safety, health, and welfare. And where in the world did they get the wildly unsubstantiated claim that “The majority of jurisdictions have accepted the proposition that dogs of this type have a propensity to be aggressive and attack without provocation”? And there you see even the court admits that these are dogs of a “type” and are “generic,” i.e. not an actual “breed.” Clearly there was no dog behaviorist to testify either because even a novice dog trainer can tell you that no dog attacks “without provocation.”
Oh and they really dusted off a golden oldy with the “strong massive heads and jaws,” a.k.a. “locking jaws” urban mythology. If I recall correctly that was always a favorite of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) who claims they no longer push breed-specific legislation, you know, after they claimed to have Michael Vick’s “pit bulls” though they didn’t, were taking donations from the public for same, and meanwhile on the back channels were arguing for all of those poor, abused dogs to be unceremoniously killed, because, according to their “expert” opinion, fighting dogs couldn’t be rehabilitated even though a majority of Vick’s former dogs went on to be rehabbed.
So, care to guess which radical animal “rights” group is behind the West Virginia Supreme Court decision? Probably the same one that was behind the idiocy that was the Maryland Court of Appeals ruling last year that stated that “all types of [that non-existent “breed” “pit bull”] are inherently dangerous.” Say, isn’t that the same case for which Dogsbite.org filed an amicus brief? And isn’t Dogsbite.org the same website that claims with laughable “authority” that “pit bulls” are an actual breed? What isn’t laughable is how many innocent dogs are killed because of the hysteria and mythology Dogsbite.org pushes as fact.
Which reminds me that the absolute best piece I ever saw exposing Dogsbite.org founder Colleen Lynn was this one in which the author insinuates that Lynn may actually have embellished (if not engineered) the events of her alleged dog “attack.” Why? One could easily conjecture it was so that she could go on to become an animal rightist crusader and kill innocent dogs…you know, the way radical animal “rights” groups do. (And hello, the dog in question was 80 pounds, i.e. a large-breed dog, not the 40-60 pounds of the medium-sized dogs that are American Pit Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, and American Staffordshire Terriers, i.e. dogs most often erroneously fingered as “pit bulls”!) And just like in the Floyd Boudreaux case in which one wonders if the Louisiana SPCA had to cover up just how many innocent dogs were inhumanely killed during transport under their watch by “euthanizing” the rest of the “evidence,” an innocent dead dog who is whisked away to the incinerator, thanks to the lies of a sociopath, tells no tales. For some reason the words “Munchausen Syndrome” keep popping into my head. Gesundheit!
And why do the animal rightists tell lies like they breathe, and particularly lies about those of us in the dog lobby? Precisely because we unabashedly tell so very many truths about them.