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The absurdity (and tragedy) of breed-discriminatory laws

A woman in Hazel Park, Michigan, was saved (literally) by her pit bull terrier from an abusive, drunken boyfriend while he was slamming her head into a wall. The dog grabbed the guy’s leg and scared him off.

The “behavior correction” administered by the hero dog required 30 stitches, something that most regular folks (and everyone I know) would applaud.

The woman, Jamie Kraczkowski, said this about her dog, Isis, whom she calls Ice: “She was done with him abusing me, and abusing her.”

In a gesture of leniency, and I suppose some sort of compassion, Hazel Park police told Jamie that, considering her situation, Isis won't be euthanized. However, pit bulls are banned within the city, so she had five days to find somewhere to place her devoted lifesaving pet.

It’s important to note that the police are just doing their job and should not be the focus of anyone’s displeasure. This is what happens when uninformed people manage to get elected to office. Scale up this type of stupidity, and you get the kind of circus that we are obliged to endure with the goings-on in our nation’s capital, and which provides renewed insight into the words of Mark Twain: “Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.”

If only Isis had allowed the boyfriend to beat Jamie to a pulp rather than interfering! If she had just hidden under the bed, then Jamie wouldn’t be facing the prospect of having to move or get rid of her beloved dog.

Thankfully, Isis did what any friend would do — and what you certainly hope your dog would do. She jumped in to protect Jamie. We say shame on the local lawmakers who bought into the dumbed-down idea that the wholesale banning of specific dog breeds enhances public safety.

Here are a few truths about dogs, dog bites and related laws:

  1. All dogs are individuals and they all have teeth.

  2. All dogs can bite, and the bigger the dog, the worse their bite may be. There is a greater variance of temperament within the same breed of dog than between different dog breeds.

  3. Pit bull terriers routinely do better on temperament tests than do golden retrievers.

  4. European countries that have banned or restricted breeds saw no decrease in dog bites and, in fact, some studies actually showed an increase.

  5. Laws that actually do serve the interest of public safety focus on the behaviors of both dog and owner. Many cities are enacting ordinances preventing reckless owners from owning pets, and many states have passed or are considering passing laws that ban breed-discriminatory ordinances altogether.

  6. Without DNA testing, the breed or breed mix of dogs is incorrectly identified by shelter workers 75 percent of the time.


Advocates were out in force at last night’s Hazel Park city council meeting, which is good news for that community. But Hazel Park is not alone in having this type of costly, regressive law on the books. That is why Best Friends has been successfully working to outlaw breed discrimination. In fact, 19 states across the country now have provisions that outlaw breed discrimination by municipalities. But clearly, there is still a long way to go.

That’s why we’re actively working to pass a statewide law in Michigan right now, and we need your help.

If you live in Michigan, please click here to easily and quickly send your state lawmakers a message urging them to act and pass a bill banning breed discrimination.

If you’re not in Michigan, but still want to get active to help save lives, please click here to sign up for our legislative action network. When adding your voice to a local discussion is critical, we’ll let you know so you can take action.

Thank you. Together, we can Save Them All.
Francis Battista, Co-founder, Best Friends Animal Society Francis Battista
Co-founder
Best Friends Animal Society