Letters to the Editor

Letters Legislation on dog breeds

Some cities in the United States are replacing breed-specific legislation with breed-neutral laws that hold dog owners accountable for their dogs.
Some cities in the United States are replacing breed-specific legislation with breed-neutral laws that hold dog owners accountable for their dogs. Kansas City Star file

Hold dog owners responsible

Re “A Dangerous Dogs Act of 2015?” (Editorial, Nov. 8): It was appalling to read the editorial board’s editorial advocating pit bull bans, while using a discredited website to back its position. Not only is breed identification notoriously unreliable, banning dogs by look doesn’t reduce dog attacks.

The American Veterinary Medical Association, which opposes breed-specific legislation, recently published the results of a study that determined the leading factors in fatal dog attacks: no able-bodied person was present (87 percent), the victim had no relationship with the dog (85 percent), the dog owner failed to neuter/spay the dog (84 percent), a victim’s compromised ability (77 percent) and the owner keeping dog as resident dog rather than as family pet (76 percent). Notably absent from this list? Breeds.

Cities across the country are replacing breed-specific legislation with breed-neutral laws that hold reckless owners accountable for their dangerous dogs. Breed-neutral law is the only proven legislation that leads to safer communities. The Bee’s fear-based hysteria is a disservice to our community.

Laura Fisher, Sacramento

No to breed-specific legislation

As a proud owner of two trained and well-behaved pit bulls, I found the editorial about banning the breed to be the most ignorant and biased thing I’ve ever read in The Bee. It lacked both proper research and opposing arguments to breed-specific legislation.

What should be regulated is dog ownership, not the dog itself. Animals are easily obtained without any knowledge of animal behavior or training techniques. If dog training were easy, it wouldn’t be the lucrative business that it is.

Angela Velazquez, Sacramento

Danger at other end of leash

The common denominator in the editorial’s examples is not the dogs, but the irresponsible owners who have allowed these animals to become dangerous. A pit bull is just a dog; mine is a sweet, lazy rescue dog. Because they are extremely loyal to their owners and would do anything to please, they are often used as guard dogs or fighting dogs. They are overbred and abused.

Breed bans will not solve the problem, it will only cause heartache and fear for responsible owners like my husband and myself. Dogs owned by irresponsible people will continue to maul and bite; they will just be a different breed of dog.

The thought of someone taking my dog away and destroying her when she has never bitten or attacked anyone makes me physically ill. Suggesting breed bans is misguided and shows a lack of understanding for the real source of the problem.

Lori Beckmann, Roseville

Why always push for a ban?

Why does the editorial board of The Sacramento Bee always advocate a ban on something when a problem arises in our society? Why not instead strengthen accountability without restricting freedoms? We could simply make penalties much tougher on the owners of dogs who escape and maul people. Follow that up with a public education campaign to inform everyone of the harsh consequences of letting their dogs escape.

Again, why always a ban? Does The Bee’s editorial board not trust ordinary citizens to make rational decisions? Seems like rampant paternalism to me – the idea that ordinary citizens are little better than children who cannot make informed decisions.

Brian Bainter, Elk Grove

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