Watertown, Wisconsin Considering “Pit Bull” Breed Ban; Restrictions
Here is the initial article about the proposed ban and/or restrictions, and following are excerpts from the article along with my comments. (Notice in the comments section of the Watertown Daily Times article what appears to be the usual inaccurate schpiel from Dogsbite.org . So I guess it’s not hard to trace the source of this awful, archaic “model” ordinance.):
Watertown officials are considering a change to the city’s laws that would deem all pit bulls vicious and place new restrictions on the dogs and their owners/The Watertown Public Safety Committee is the middle of crafting changes to the city’s vicious dog ordinance following complaints from citizens about a relatively high number of vicious dog activities in the city, committee chairman Mark Kuehl said.
Now I wonder if these complaints are like the kind of complaints we’ve historically heard about that come from well-placed operatives within (or without) the city who phone in phony vicious dog complaints to generate numbers in support of a ban. No really, we’ve heard this from more than a few sources and experienced it ourselves, so we know it happens. And right off the bat, notice the city has stats for so-called “pit bulls,” which isn’t a breed but rather a slang term that could describe a myriad of actual dog breeds and their mixes. But yet when it comes to spelling out the breeds in the ordinance, it’s American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and Staffordshire Terriers. No one sees the discrepancy here? Looks like they dusted off an old bait-and-switch tactic. And the city should know that language like “any dog displaying a majority of one or more of the other three breeds” has been repeatedly ruled as unconstitutionally vague.
The ordinance further spells out the “grandfathering” restrictions:
Those restrictions include posting of signs on a dog owner’s property, making sure outdoor pen areas are secured and muzzling dogs at all times when they are off the owner’s property. Kuehl added the committee is also considering requiring pit bull and vicious dog owners to maintain a minimum amount of $500 of liability insurance.
First, true grandfathering means NOT requiring those who owned their dogs before the ordinance was passed to abide by the newly-passed restrictions. So, what Watertown proposes is actually an ex post facto violation, and since you can’t prove there is a safety issue on a non-existent “breed” of dog, the argument for health, welfare, and safety goes out the window. Second, the dog lobby has seen this ridiculous “model” BSL ordinance for years. Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t this ordinance originally have its source from a radical animal rights group? That’s interesting since isn’t the stated end-goal of radical animal rights groups to end all domestic animal ownership? And wouldn’t BSL be a really good way to go about ending pet ownership since the slang term “pit bull” can describe so very many breeds and their mixes?
And here’s a variant of the same ol’ same ol’ urban mythology about “pit bulls” that has been widely debunked since the 80s:
…the big difference is when a pit bull, or similar breed, is in attack mode it is much more dangerous than other smaller less aggressive dogs.
This is just another variation of the locking jaws, more powerful jaws, more aggressive, all-“pit bulls”-have-gameness urban mythology told by the same radicals pushing the same, tired old legislation. As others and myself have debunked “pit bull” urban mythology endlessly, I’ll simply include the link to the debunking “pit bull” urban mythology page and then say once again that there is no such thing as “pit bull” locking jaws, that breeds commonly referred to as “pit bulls” pass their temperament tests at a higher rate or at about the same rate as Golden Retrievers, and that of course any medium- or large-breed dog may be more dangerous than smaller breeds because they’re larger! (though smaller breed dogs have been known to kill infants).