Stray Rescue St. Louis was hosting their annual "The One" event. All pet adoptions were just $14! And they do not let people traipse in and out of the areas where the dogs are kept. Instead, they have a large binder that contains photos and biographies of all of their adoptable dogs. We were very impressed. The binder was even organized in alphabetical order by the dogs' first name!
One thing that we did notice was that they seem to specialize in rescuing Pit-bulls. I am not a breedist by any stretch of the imagination. I think that it is wonderful that so many Pit-bulls were saved from being euthanized.
However, upon looking at their website, I noticed that it mentioned to check for Missouri's BSLs before adopting. What the heck is a BSL? Thankfully, they provided a link to dogsbite.org. BSL stands for Breed Specific Laws. Some cities in some states have BSLs in which they tell people which breed of dog (s) they are and are not allowed to have.
I am outraged! How can someone tell you what breed of dog you are allowed to have? That is almost as ridiculous as saying that you are only allowed to have a certain type of human. "Sorry, you can only have boys if you live in Fenton, MO." Seriously?
But what I find even more appalling are the cities reasons for not allowing Pit-bulls. Bonne Terre, MO states that "Pit bulls are declared "vicious"". Hazelwood, MO claims that Pit-bulls are"dangerous". As for the other cities? They have simply banned Pit-bulls altogether.
What is even more heartbreaking is the tag line on the top of the dogsbite.org website: "Some dogs don't let go." Really? Why are they placing the blame on Pit-bulls and Rottweilers? These are not the only types of dogs that bite.
In fact, all dogs have the capability of biting. But, what these "law makers" are failing to look at is why the dogs are biting in the first place. Was someone on the dog's property that should not have been? If so, the dog was merely protecting his/her territory and owner.
Was a child involved in a biting incident? If so, where were the parents? Why were they not watching the child to make sure that the dog did not become provoked? Did the child poke and prod and pull on the dog's eyes, ears, nose and tail? For some reason, many parents teach their children that all dogs are friendly and that all dogs love children. And the worst "lesson" they can teach? All dogs are play things.
We own a Chihuahua that was abused by children. How do we know? He hates kids. He cannot be anywhere near children between the ages of 4-12. That's when he becomes snarly and bares his teeth. Oddly enough, he loves babies. And he adores meeting new people and dogs. So, should our town ban Chihuahuas because my dog doesn't like children? My husband isn't exactly a fan of them either. Should he be forced to move elsewhere?
I appreciate the following statistic that is listed on the website as well:
"In the 9-year period from 2005 to 2013, pit bulls killed 176 Americans and accounted for 62% of the total recorded deaths (283). Combined, pit bulls and rottweilers accounted for 74% of these deaths."
In response to this, I would like to know what type of Pit-bulls these were. I'm not inquiring about their coloration or markings. What I am in reference to is the heinous act of dog fighting. The preferred breed among dog fighters is Pit-bulls followed closely by Rottweilers. Were any of the dogs that were involved in the 176 American deaths former fighting dogs? Or current fighting dogs?
Unfortunately, fighting is all that some dogs know. That is how they were raised by their demented "owners." This is not the dog's fault. So, why are we so quick to blame the breed? Why not blame Hollywood for placing such stereotypes in movies? And how about MTV for their rap videos that feature these dogs as the "protection" of a pimp or drug lord?
These creatures are not naturally vicious. They are not born that way. All dogs want is a loving home filled with cuddles, food and clean water. They want to love and be loved.
Someone is teaching these dogs to be overly aggressive. We need to take a stand and prosecute animal abusers to the fullest extend of the law. There needs to be a public record of these abusers, just as there is one for rapists and child molesters.
BSLs are not helping these dogs. In fact, they are aiding in quickly sending them to a shelter where they will be euthanized due to lack of space. Please, speak to your local legislature about getting these horrific "rulings" overturned. We need to be a voice for the voiceless.