State Senator Michael Rush’s S. 969 Would Allow Breed-Specific Laws in Massachusetts

Sept. 26, 2013 update: As the AKC has reported, S. 969 is no longer in consideration for this session.  


S. 969 is currently in the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government.   Please write the committee members and politely ask that they not pass S. 969 out of committee.   The people of Massachusetts and their representatives have spoken.   They don’t want ineffective breed-specific laws; they want laws that actually keep the people of Massachusetts safe.


Undeterred by the fact that the Massachusetts legislature passed S. 2192 last year, which nullified all breed-specific laws (including Boston‘s) in the state of Massachusetts, State Senator Michael Rush this session has proposed S. 969 which would reinstate Massachusetts municipalities’ “right” to pass onerous, ineffective, unconstitutional breed-specific laws (BSL) within the state.   And since Boston Mayor Thomas Menino’s  name appears on the bill, we can surmise that Senator Michael Rush is acting at Mayor Menino’s behest.   Ironically, Mayor Menino called S. 2192, the bill that overturned BSL in the state last year, an “animal rights bill.”   Typical.   Those who pass BSL are often just ignorant.   BSL was originally proposed by radical animal rights groups as one way of ending domestic pet ownership.   In other words, the BSL that Mayor Menino was and is pursuing so vehemently is actually doing the bidding of the very animal rightists he disparaged!   Just to be clear, those who oppose breed-specific laws are not animal rights activists; they’re animal welfarists, the dog lobby, and/or constitutionalists.

And I suppose since Mayor Menino has demonstrated ignorance for BSL’s origins, he probably also doesn’t understand why Boston’s BSL, passed in 2004, was an embarrassing failure.   See the Boston Herald‘s Hundreds of pit bull attacks listed in Boston article. While the Boston Herald article was supposed to be a “pit bull” hit piece, probably also at the behest of Mayor Menino, it actually showed the ineffectiveness of breed-specific laws. The article itself notes:

“There were 226 confirmed pit bull attacks on people between 2008 and 2011, while 40 percent of all dogs that turned up at city shelters were pit bulls, city officials said.”

You call that success???

Yes, they do consider that success since the article goes on to say that “Pit bull attacks on humans have decreased from a high of 67 in 2009 to 47 last year.” And why did that happen? Because the relinquishment rate for so-called “pit bulls,” which isn’t even a breed, skyrocketed! (In other words, because of Boston’s BSL, people either gave up their “pit bull” dogs to local shelters or they were confiscated.   Either way, most if not all of the dogs were probably killed.) The article itself states that, “40 percent of all dogs that turned up at city shelters” were “pit bulls.” So, just like Toledo claimed supposed success for their “pit bull” law, it was only because they were killing so very many dogs. And since, again, “pit bull” is not a breed but a type that can describe a myriad of actual dog breeds, their mixes, and lookalikes, Boston only had a slight decrease in so-called “pit bull” attacks because their relinquishment/confiscation/kill rates shot up. (And the very irresponsible people, who cause problems with any breed of dog they own, are also the ones who, if they relinquish their dogs rather than comply with breed-specific restrictions, simply switch to irresponsibly owning another breed of dog.   But again, Boston calls this success?   So Mayor Menino thinks it’s okay to kill all these dogs even though their irresponsible owners are to blame?)   Not so surprisingly, higher kill rates of all these dogs of a type support the agenda of radical animal rights groups, who again, want an end to domestic animal ownership. They do this via BSL just like Boston’s and Toledo’s where it’s an out-and-out doggy kill-for-all. Yes, your bite rates will go down when you significantly decrease the canine population! Yet the doggy-killers call this success???  

Okay, so if Mayor Menino is so ignorant about BSL (or is he?), how did he get State Senator Michael Rush involved in pushing S. 969?   You’d think a state senator would know better.   Since I’m from Chicago, this kind of favor-trading smacks of that same kind of political relationship where even though Boston is just a city, it carries entirely too much clout with the state legislature.   Chicago does the same thing, pushing its heavy-handed unwanted and onerous legislation in the Illinois state general assembly too, regardless of what the people or the rest of the cities in the state want.   It makes Chicago suburbanites and “downstaters” fume because it basically disenfranchises them.   And barring Chicago getting its way when it pitches a big enough fit about something, even though the rest of the state doesn’t want some piece of legislation, they can just gerrymander the districts until the political influence swings their way. (And here’s a little piece of ironic trivia: the term “gerrymander” was coined by Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry who redistricted the state in 1812.)  

Oh yes, it’s just as corrupt as you’d imagine it to be.   But then, Chicago was the home of Al Capone who famously quipped: “Vote early, vote often.”   It seems like Boston may have the same thing going on and bill S. 969 illustrates perfectly what happens when a self-interested politico puts his dirty fingers in a pie that isn’t even his.   Yes, forget that Boston’s own breed-specific ordinance was proven ineffective long before it was repealed last year.   Some people just claim ownership of bad legislation and can’t admit when it, and therefore they, are wrong.

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