All across the United States, legislation has been passed on certain breeds of domesticated animals creating breed specific laws. These “dog laws” can be anything from restrictions to outright bans of ownership. Some dog laws even go as far as stating that certain dog breeds are legally dangerous or vicious. The reasons for these laws vary, but they are almost always in response to well-publicized incidents.
One of the most common reasons that these breed specific laws are made is due to public safety issues. Since some dogs are viewed as dangerous, things such as dog bite laws or leash laws get created. Along with that, certain places have also created mandates so that citizens must spay or neuter their dog, microchip them, or even buy liability insurance. These actions are meant to protect the citizens.
Another reason that breed-specific laws were created was to prevent dog fighting. Unfortunately, some owners get dogs just to have them fight. The dog laws were created as an attempt to prevent this cruelty. Although the reasoning for this legislation was good, there are better solutions. Rather than having breed-specific laws, perhaps there needs to be more consumer education and legal responsibility from the owners.
Although it variesdepending on the area, the most common type of scrutinized dog breed is a Pit-Bull. In fact, several hundred municipal governments across the country have created dog laws to ban or restrict Pit-Bulls, as well as other pit-bull like dogs. For instance, the Marine Corps created legislation that bans large breed dogs that have shown a predisposition to act in an aggressive manner. The typical dog breeds that are scrutinized are large ones that have had numerous incidents involving biting or attacking others.
Banning certain breeds of dogs is still a debatable matter. Over the years, there have been numerous lawsuits challenging the legislation. They raise the question as to whether or not it is fair to ban a certain dog if they are raised well. Many dogs that are classified as dangerous can actually make great pets. All it takes is a good owner that can properly care for the dog.
This goes the opposite way too because kind and gentle dogs, such as Labrador Retrievers, can become vicious if they are raised the wrong way. Dogs need to be shown love and attention. Without that, they will not be as kind and gentle as they are expected to be. For instance, some owners raise their dogs to be bad. They do this by rewarding them each time they display an act of aggression. If they are raised in a negative atmosphere, then they can easily become a dangerous dog.
As a vet or vet tech, you have an obligation to help the dogs regardless of the breed specific laws in your area. If you see a dog that is in need of help, you should do just that. If you see someone possessing a dog that they should not own, it is still your obligation to help and care for the dog. Also, if you see that the dog (outlawed or not) is being treated poorly, then you will definitely want to turn in the owner.
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