June 4, 2013
Nevada pit bull owners had occasion to celebrate recently over legislation that will end discrimination against their breed of canine. Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed a bill that will prevent local authorities from passing laws that deem dogs “dangerous” simply on the basis of their breed. What is commonly referred to as breed specific legislation or “BSL” permits local authorities to seize and kill dogs simply because they belong to a “dangerous breed.”
Commenting on BSL, Jessica Clemens of the non-profit organization “Incred-A-Bull” (www.incredabull.org) stated: “Basically, I’m being discriminated against and my dogs are being discriminated against because of the way they look.” Not anymore. Although the legislation signed by Governor Sandoval affects several dog breeds, pit bulls have historically been targets of the discrimination.
The National Canine Research Council (www.nationalcanineresearchcouncil.com), an organization dedicated to research and advocacy, cautions that “dogs cannot be characterized apart from people” because “at the heart of any public safety issue involving dogs is the need for responsible pet ownership.” We should approach “each dog as an individual, free from hurtful stereotypes” states the website of Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program, a veterinary program at the University of Florida.
With Governor Sandoval’s approval of the bill ending canine discrimination, Nevada joins approximately 14 other states that have banned BSL type laws.
Don’t get mad, get legal!