The best way to make sure that prejudice doesn’t continue or it is at least dramatically decreases is to get the proper information that is based on science, based on proper behavior, from people who are legitimate sources. Get that information out first and foremost and be an advocate of that information.
Not just “well we like these dogs and they are great because I have one”, but get the information, have the ammunition because it’s really hard to argue with legitimate information.
Learn more about the issues:
The most important thing that you can do is to get better educated about the breeds that are being discriminated against, about the breed-specific legislature, and about laws that are in your community. If you have FACTS and not opinions, you will have a better chance of being an amazing advocate for dogs.
Here are some helpful websites:
In addition to these online resources, Best Friends’ legislative experts have many ways of supporting your efforts to overturn existing breed-discriminatory laws or counter a proposed measure in your area. To get this type of assistance, contact the pit bull terrier initiatives staff at email@example.com.
This is a snippet from an amazing article done by Best Friends Animal Society Dog Breed Discrimination: How to Prevent It in Your Community
Tailor your arguments fro your audience: “we must speak in terms that decision-makers understand, relate to, and find persuasive. That means using arguments focused on the violation of personal property rights, fiscal accountability, and public safety. Emotional arguments about the plight of dogs affected by BDL should play a very small supporting role or even none at all.”
Use effective language: “Use positive language when talking about the dogs. For example, don’t say, “Pitbull terriers aren’t inherently dangerous.” People only hear “pit bull” and “inherently dangerous.” Instead, say something like this: “Pitbull terriers are wonderful family dogs who score higher on temperament testing than many other beloved breeds. All dogs can bite.”
Contact your local officials: Calls, letters, and emails from voters greatly influence public officials’ decision-making process, so encourage as many supporters as possible to contact the relevant government officials.
Emphasize the top three reasons that a community should reject BDL:
- BDL infringes on the fundamental property rights of good citizens. Legally, dogs are considered property and BDL restricts ownership of certain breeds, thereby violating citizens’ property rights.
- BDL wastes valuable tax dollars because it’s ineffective and expensive to enforce.
- BDL fails to enhance public safety because studies show that it doesn’t reduce the number of dog bites. The focus of dangerous dog laws should be on the behavior of the dog and the dog’s owner, not the breed.
Special thanks to:
Drayton Michaels, CTC is the owner of Urban Dawgs Dog Training in Red Banks, NJ. He also holds a Certification in Dog Training and Behavior Counseling from the San Francisco SPCA Academy for Dog Trainers.