Dog breed bans infringe on responsible pet owners’ property rights

Can you imagine being forced to give up your pet just because of the way your dog looks?

Can you imagine bureaucrats telling you what kind of pet dog you can own? Twenty-two states have laws that prohibit governmental overreach but unfortunately, some states still allow outdated local laws that would prohibit you from owning certain dogs like Doberman pinschers or German shepherds.

Dog breed bans are ineffective because they focus on the wrong thing. Studies show that dog breed is not a factor in bites. The focus should instead be on the behavior of the dog and the behavior of the owner.

Every American should have the right to own whatever breed of dog he or she chooses—it's that simple.

Dog breed bans are ineffective because they focus on the wrong thing. A 2014 national survey done by Luntz Gobal revealed that 94% of Americans don’t believe that the government should dictate what breeds of dog they can own.

Are certain breeds of dogs more aggressive?

Some people assume specific breeds of dogs are more prone to attacking and biting, but this is wrong. Legislation that targets specific breeds is often a knee-jerk reaction to one media-driven incident. But these laws are ineffective and very costly for local governments and consumers.

Dogs of a variety of breeds like German Shepherds, Chows, Rottweilers, Pitbull terriers, and Doberman pinschers are unjustly targeted by breed-specific legislation. Peer-reviewed studies published on the National Canine Research Council website, reveal that most of the factors involved in a dog bite are things that the owner controls -- not the dog’s heritage. The American Veterinary Medical Association, the National Animal Control Association, and the American Bar Association all support the repeal of breed-specific laws. Unfortunately, fake news has given certain breeds of dogs a bad reputation.

Dog breed bans fail to enhance public safety and lead to costly litigation.

That is why the International Municipal Lawyer's Association issued a new model dangerous dog ordinance in 2018 removing the breed-specific section. Breed-specific ordinances not only often violate the due process clause of the constitution, but they also usually violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Creating safe communities is a priority for us all.

Everyone benefits from safe communities—both people and pets. Rather than pass laws that punish innocent pets for being born a certain breed and their responsible owners, our communities should hold reckless owners accountable for dogs that are dangerous. And efforts to protect community members from dangerous dogs are a key component of any public safety plan.

Individual accountability is the only effective approach to protecting both people and pets. When it comes to enforcing dangerous dog laws, our focus should be on negligent and reckless owners, not the breed of the pet.