As Francis mentioned to you yesterday on the blog, President Obama’s Administration put out a very clear statement in opposition to breed discriminatory legislation (BDL) in their response to a petition on the White House’s “We The People” website. I’d like to add my thank-you to the Commander in Chief for this declaration.
The official response correctly cites the Centers For Disease Control’s (CDC) analysis of 20 years of dog-related fatality statistics, which concludes that (1) fatal attacks represent a very small proportion of dog-related injuries to people and (2) that it’s virtually impossible to calculate bite rates for specific breeds. The CDC goes on to say that the types of people who exploit dogs aren’t deterred by breed regulations. When their communities establish a ban, these people just seek out other, unregulated breeds. And the simple fact is that dogs of any breed can become dangerous when they’re intentionally or unintentionally raised to be aggressive.
The logical extension of the Administration’s positive response to the petition advocating against BDL would be for the President, in his capacity of commander in chief, to reverse the Pentagon’s policy of breed-discriminatory regulations on U.S. military bases, which ban members of the armed forces who live in military housing from keeping a certain breeds and mixes of dogs as pets. We’re asking him to do that, and we’d like for you to do the same.
We’ve set up an easy alert that allows you to send a letter directly to President Obama asking for him to reverse this ban.
The White House’s fact-based response to the issues surrounding BDL validates the long held opposition to breed discriminatory laws by just about every leading humane organization, including Best Friends. In fact, in the last 18 months, Best Friends has helped lead the preemption or repeal of breed-specific laws in 81 communities. This has helped save and positively impact the lives of almost one million American pit bull terriers and pit bull terrier like dogs in the United States.
The current Pentagon policy is misguided and is the equivalent of the very breed specific legislation that the White House opposes.
I thank President Obama for coming out against breed discrimination and I urge him to implement that position by acting now to allow every type of dog breed to be kept as a pet by military personnel living on bases around the world. Dogs and their owners should be judged simply by their behavior, not their appearance.
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Together, we can save them all.
Best Friends Animal Society