The language can be altered to the situation at hand. It is currently modified to reflect the pending legislation in Sumner
To be useful, legislation must be effective, enforceable, economical, and reasonably fair. Recently, a resolution has been
placed before the Sumner County Commissioners that fails all of these tests. This legislation is motivated by fear and lack
of relevant knowledge. It is discriminatory, impractical, and unenforceable. Worst of all, it will not solve the problem.
I urge you to vote against it.
The proposed bill would restrict the ownership of certain types of dogs, specifically pit bulls. These breeds have been the
subject of irresponsible and sensationalist reporting across the country. The media and the inexperienced would have you believe
that these breeds are vicious and should be prohibited.
The plain fact is that there is no relationship between the type of the dog and the number of incidents. If your town has
100 German Shepherds and 1 Poodle, you'll soon learn that the German Shepherds are responsible for 100 times as many incidents
as the Poodles. Does this mean that German Shepherds are intrinsically vicious? Of course not.
Taken as a whole, pit bulls have proven their stability and good canine citizenry by becoming 'Search & Rescue dogs, Therapy
dogs working inside hospitals, and family companions for years. A five year study published in the Cincinnati Law Review
in 1982, vol. 53, pg 1077, which specifically considered both Rottweilers and "pit bulls," concluded in part that: - statistics
do not support the assertion that any one breed was dangerous, - when legislation is focused on the type of dog it fails,
because it is ... unenforceable, confusing, and costly. - focusing legislation on dogs that are "vicious" distracts attention
from the real problem, which is irresponsible owners.
In light of the studies, the facts, and the discriminatory nature of the proposed legislation, we urge you to take the following
1. Reject the current legislation, which is contrary to fact and distracts from the real issue: responsible ownership.
2. Work to establish reasonable guidelines for responsible pet ownership, and encourage legislation that supports owner responsibility
without reference to specific breeds.
Study after study shows that ANY dog, regardless of breed, will be whatever its owner makes of it....nothing more, nothing
less. Owners can and should take responsibility for their pets. We suggest that the appropriate policy is "blame the owner,
not the dog." If a dog attacks a person, the law should treat it as though the owner attacked that person.
Voting for this proposal as it stands will harm both the law abiding, responsible dog owners and the victims, but it won't
I am writing in response to the pending resolution regarding regulations specific to "pit bull" dogs with the use of breed
specific legislation in Sumner County.
ANY dog can become a problem for the public if the dog is allowed to run loose and is not supervised. The key word is responsible.
Webster's definition of responsibility is: Being legally or ethically accountable for the welfare or care of another. To say
"pit bull" dogs are dangerous does not address the real problem - irresponsible owners.
Please reconsider and retract your pit bull resolution. Please do not punish responsible owners who maintain their dogs as
companions and members of the family; dogs that do not pose a threat to anyone. Why should we be punished simply because irresponsible
owners of the same breed of dog have not "ethically and legally" protected others from injury?
Please provide our community with non-breed specific legislation that is competent to regulate the irresponsible owners and
protect those who maintain their dogs safely and humanely. Please provide definitions for vicious and/or potentially dangerous
with measurable actions which cannot be questioned or misinterpreted due to bias.
The irresponsible owners do not care what breed of dog they lose the right to own - they'll find another breed of dog to fit
their needs. As a responsible owner, I ask you to seriously consider the impact of breed-specific legislation.