Pit bulls have long been discriminated against in the companion animal world. They are deemed “dangerous dogs” simply because of what they look like and the violent “history” and “behavior” that supposedly courses through their blood.
What’s more, since breed identification can be inaccurate, many pit mixes or bully-like breeds are often immediately thrown into the “pit bull” stigmatization, decreasing the chance of their adoption and increasing their euthanasia rates.
In fact, dogs that fall under the “pit bull” breed designation have a staggering 93 percent euthanasia rate in the U.S. alone, with over 80 percent dying in shelters before their second birthday.
These statistics are truly unbelievable and what’s even more absurd is the fact that we have allowed this to happen, that as a society we have perpetuated so many misunderstandings about these dogs, who are, in actuality, very loyal and loving companions with the right guardian by their side, just like any dog.
Unwarranted fear of “pit bulls” has brought about highly discriminatory laws called breed specific legislation (BSL) which has banned or severely restricted pit bull guardianship in a number of towns across the U.S.
However, now it looks like some states might finally be realizing just have futile and downright wrong BSL really is.
According to the Huffington Post, six states are “considering bills that would put an end of laws restricting dog ownership by breed.”
Hooray! Pit bulls (and us animal lovers) may soon get to celebrate!
The six states considering BSL repel bills include Maryland, Vermont, South Dakota, Missouri, Utah, and the state of Washington. If their bills pass, these six states will follow in the footsteps of 17 others that have “already passed laws that stop localities from discrimination against dogs by breed,” reports the Huffington Post.
With rescue groups, shelters, nonprofit animal protection groups, the American Bar Association, the Center for Disease Control, and even President Obama against BSL, let’s hope these six states stand up to discrimination and finally take more effective steps to combating the real root of the “pit bull problem”: poor guardianship.
If you live in Maryland, Vermont, South Dakota, Missouri, Utah, or Washington, be sure to contact your state representatives and senators and urge them to end BSL today!
Image source: Steph Skardal / Flickr