Nevada’s AB 110 would prohibit Nevada cities and counties from passing breed-specific laws (BSL) within the state via the following amendment language (This is the PDF version of the bill):
“A dog may not be found dangerous or vicious…Based solely on the breed of the dog…”
“A local authority shall not adopt or enforce an ordinance or regulation that deems a dog dangerous or vicious based solely on the breed of the dog.“
Yet AB 110 still has some questionable language. For instance, the bill states that a dog may be considered “dangerous” if,
“Without provocation, on two separate occasions within 18 months the dog behaved menacingly, to a degree that would lead a reasonable person to defend himself or herself, or a domestic animal, against substantial bodily harm…” [Existing law is in black font; amendment language is in blue.]
Please note that the “without provocation” language is already part of Nevada’s existing law (which you can see because it’s in black type). The amendment language in blue adds that dogs may be deemed dangerous if a person must defend their domestic animal against another dog.
For years now we have been saying that dogs don’t attack without provocation or without warning. There is always something that provokes a dog to attack. We as humans may just not be aware of a dog’s subtle body language. For instance, the parenting section of a typical question-answer website informs parents of the common signs of an impending dog bite or attack ” which can include stiffening, raised hackles, a standing tail, a showing of the whites of the eyes, and of course bared teeth and growling ” adding,
“Dogs typically dont attack without warning. In most cases, dogs are sending subtle cues that signal distress before resorting to an attack.”
Simply because people may be ignorant of the subtle cues that a dog of any breed may give before attacking, doesnt mean they arent there. So, Nevada’s dangerous dog law is already in error when it comes to defining canine behavior.
Adding to that pre-existing error is another error that potentially labels any dog that attacks another domestic animal as “dangerous.” Again, this is a ridiculous dangerous dog definition. So a dog now is potentially dangerous for exhibiting alpha behavior? And the dog is potentially dangerous because, for example, it can’t distinguish between say, a domestic bunny rabbit kept as a pet and a wild one? As Cesar Millan has many times pointed out, alpha behavior doesn’t make the dog inherently dangerous; it makes the dog a dog. In other words, it’s up to the owner to establish him or herself as the alpha and control their dog’s dominance behavior. In other words, dominance behavior is a training issue, just like piddling on the carpet, though with potentially more serious consequences if the dog’s owner does not train his/her dog properly or contain his/her dog. An uncontrolled dog doesn’t mean the dog is inherently “dangerous”; it means the dog’s owner is irresponsible. That is, a dog’s behavior is its owner’s responsibility which is why legislation should focus on the owner’s behavior (lack of containment or training, etc.) not the dog’s behavior.
I wrote about how dangerous dog laws could be deadly a few years ago and this is precisely what I meant. Dangerous dog laws are typically just more of the same legislation that comes from radical animal rights groups whose end-goal is to eliminate domestic animal ownership. They do so by passing “model” dangerous dog laws (and breed-specific legislation) that call into question the very behavior of canines. In other words, these animal rights bills erroneously redefine normal canine behavior as “dangerous” or “vicious,” which serves only to kill that many more innocent dogs and even further scrutinize dog ownership to the point where nobody will want to, or nobody will be able to, own dogs. [Worse, these dangerous dog laws tend to have administrative hearings provisions: administrative hearings that are not held in a proper court of law, where the accused may or may not be able to face his/her accuser, where the accused does not have legal representation afforded to him/her, and which are seldom presided over by a proper judge. In other words, these administrative hearings actually negate dog owners’ due process rights and are therefore wholly unconstitutional.]
Radical animal rights groups do the same thing with agricultural bills that so unfairly scrutinize farmers that farmers can’t afford to own domestic agriculture animals and also with “puppy/cat mill” breeder bills which make it almost impossible for good and bad dog or cat breeders to breed. Add it all up and what you get in the end is no more domestic animal ownership which equals no more pets and no more animals for food. Think that can’t happen? Have you talked to any farmers/ranchers lately? Do you know how hard if not impossible it is for them to farm and ranch? And if farmers and ranchers can’t farm and ranch, where do you think you’re going to get your food from? We already saw the price of vegetables and meat skyrocket thanks to last year’s drought because for instance supplies of grain used to feed farm animals were/are limited. Add to these things the fact that there is so much needless bureaucratic legislation farmers face today, and America may soon be unable to sustain itself agriculturally. But I digress…
So you can see how dangerous dog laws, which all appear to have their source from the same radical animal rights group, could quickly and surreptitiously end dog ownership as we know it. As such, I cannot support all of the amendment language found within AB 110, but of course I do support the statewide prohibition of breed-specific legislation. Concerned Nevadans can continue to follow the bill’s progress here.