Yesterday the Boston Herald reported that “pit bull” maulings are on the increase in Boston since Massachusetts prohibited breed-specific legislation (BSL) in 2012, thereby, in effect, repealing Boston’s 2004 “pit bull” ban. The article referred to the state BSL prohibition as “an animal-rights bill” that “nullified Bostons 2004 pit bull ordinance.” No, the Boston Herald got that backwards. Breed-specific legislation is animal-rights legislation sponsored by radical animal rights groups, or their bought-off proxies, who want to end all domestic animal ownership, BSL being only one of many ways they do so.
But more to the point, the Boston Herald interviewed Bostonians who admitted that there were unscrupulous “pit bull” breeders and abusive “pit bull” owners in Boston. Boston’s own Animal Control Director, Mark Giannangelo, acknowledged:
“We suspect that people are breeding them in the city neighborhoods to sell on the street for $50 or $100, and theyre not professional breeders…”
Another Bostonian echoed Giannangelo, adding,
“I just think theyre over-breeding them in East Boston…The owners who do have them are negligent and not caring for them properly.”
Boston’s claim is that these breeders just cropped up overnight and are a result of the forced repeal of Boston’s breed-specific ordinance.
It’s much more likely that Boston’s BSL actually created the problem by setting the stage for a black market underground for the very unscrupulous breeders and owners they are now seeing. As a result, Boston has more “pit bulls” being bred by unscrupulous breeders and sold to abusive owners, and Boston can’t figure out why maulings are on the increase?
It’s also interesting that Pawtucket, Rhode Island, which is a 45-minute drive from Boston, recently had an Animal Control Officer say something very similar to Boston’s Animal Control Director. Pawtucket’s ACO told the Providence Journal that,
Pawtucket has witnessed a substantial drop in attacks by pit bulls since the city ban. Before that, Pawtucket experienced significant problems, sometimes associated with people involved in criminal activity, with pit bulls that had been trained to become vicious, or with people who were indiscriminate pit bull breeders…”
Gosh, it’s almost like Pawtucket’s and Boston’s Animal Controls were reading from the same press release doesn’t it?
It’s interesting too that Pawtucket would admit the real problem was crime and not “pit bulls” (even though their contention is that the “pit bull” ban is what lowered attacks and not stepped-up police enforcement which took out the dogs along with the criminal element), while Boston seemingly cannot make the same correlation, even though Boston’s AC Director is also acknowledging an increase in “pit bulls” by unscrupulous breeders. So if the problem in Boston is really crime, which it seems like it is given the increase in unscrupulous “pit bull” breeding/ownership, which Boston’s neighbor Pawtucket admits is associated with a criminal element, then why won’t Boston address the real problem instead of using “pit bulls” as scapegoats?
Perhaps, too, both Pawtucket and Boston can learn a little something from the cautionary tale that is the U.K. It has been widely reported for years that the U.K.s breed-specific law, the Dangerous Dogs Act, which has been in place since 1991, has been an utter failure as there has been a huge rise in banned dog breeds. The BBC noted that, the number of banned dogs used for fighting, then abandoned, is soaring. In fact, a man in Cowplain, Hampshire, U.K., was just attacked by his own Staffordshire Terrier mix, a man who was a purported repeat-offender animal abuser. Clearly, all breed bans and breed-specific restrictions do is deprive good owners of their beloved dogs while creating or broadening the very underground black market BSL claims to be curbing.
Yet Boston’s Animal Control Director claims that Boston’s prior breed-specific law “helped rescue and save a lot of the breed because we got to take them out of bad situations and adopt out most of the dogs we got.” (And in case you missed it, there’s that radical animal rightist newspeak again about how BSL is supposedly good for “pit bulls” because it supposedly saves them. Yes, well, piles and piles of innocent dead “pit bulls” in Denver might disagree with that claim.) On the contrary, it looks like Boston’s breed-specific law simply pushed “pit bull” breeding and abusive ownership underground right into the hands of those individuals officials didn’t want owning and breeding them — animal abusers and unscrupulous dog breeders — just like BSL did in the U.K.