Bill Would Ban Dog Breed-Specific Legislation

The proposed bill would prohibit Connecticut municipalities from enacting legislation banning specific dog breeds.

Two years ago, when a pit bull attacked and seriously injured another dog in nearby Hamden, many area residents began to urge officials to enact a ban against owning the breed.

But a bill in the state legislature would ban Connecticut cities and towns from taking such steps.

State Rep. Diana Urban (D-43rd), introduced a bill to to prohibit municipalities from adopting breed-specific dangerous dog ordinances. On Wednesday, the legislature's Planning and Development Committee held a public hearing on the bill.

"The whole idea behind it is vilifying, it is uneducated and unnecessary," she said. Some states like Ohio and Florida will try to take a family pet away because they are a certain breed such as Staffordshire Terrier, German Shepherd or Rottweiler, Urban said.

"You hear it so often but bears repeating: it's not the dog, it's the owner," she said. Some people will breed the dog to be aggressive, she said, but even those dogs when removed and put into a family environment will thrive.

In her own home, her pit bull, which she rescued from Ohio, is regularly around children and has never shown any aggression.

"In Ohio she is labeled a dangerous dog because she is a pitbull mix — it boggles the mine," she said. "It's like saying because I am blond, I'm stupid.

"I'm not saying a dog can't be labeled as dangerous," Urban said, "but that its breed can't be the criteria."

Angel Capone Pitbull Rescue Director Racquel Trapp has worked with more than 800 pitbulls in the past 2 years and says there are many myths about pit bulls.

"I have yet to meet an aggressive one," she said. "I have been attacked by an Akita, a chihuahua, and a yorkie but have yet to be attacked by a pitbull."

To ban certain breed of dogs would only take them away from good, responsible owners, she said, and produce a system of underground breeders selling dogs bred that would be unsuitable as pets.

She points to the American Temperament Society's breed aggression statistics, where the American Pitbull Terrier and the Staffordshire Terrier rated as having a better temperament than most other breeds. 

In addition, she said, the National Canine Research Council conducted a study in 2010 that found that in order to prevent a single hospitalization resulting from a dog bite, a city or town would have to ban more than 100,000 dogs of a targeted breed and to prevent a second hospitalization, that number would have to be doubled.

"Dog-bite related fatalities are so extremely rare that not even a state could ban enough dogs to insure that they had prevented even one," she said. "Both history, scientific study and common sense will tell you such a law is ineffective, unjust, and will likely backfire."

Lise Cavallaro February 20, 2013 at 07:56 PM
I agree! I have a Weimaraner and a German Shepard. The Shepard is more lovable than most people! I have also had Great Danes growing up and a Lab/Akita/Pointer mix who were all giant mush balls.
mr wood February 20, 2013 at 09:27 PM
mr wood February 20, 2013 at 09:30 PM
my x-wife is meaner than any dog could ever be !!
Connie February 20, 2013 at 10:41 PM
Here's hoping this bill goes through - they may try to ban pit bulls now, but this will clear the way for other breeds to be banned in the future too. At one time Rottweilers, Dobermans, even German Shepherds were considered dangerous, and you never know what will be next. No breed should ever be banned, I have a pit (most dogs referred to as "pits" are not purebred anyway, just a generalization because of their looks), and know many others, and they are good dogs. But the media sensationalizes every story involving them so that is the only thing many people hear about them. Attend the next Pitbull Day that's held in CT and see how great this breed really is.
Donna Maltese February 21, 2013 at 01:52 PM
We ALL know it's not the breed it's the owners. And, we all know who these ignorant, lowlifes are who train these dogs to attack. One thing that may help rather than banning the breed, MAKE IT MANDATORY TO HAVE THE DOG SPAYED OR NEUTERED. And, if a pit owner doesn't have the dog fixed, make it a $1,000 fine. This woul definitely help. Many cities and towns offer low cost $10.00 or FREE spay/neuter for pitbulls. Now all we have to do is get these lowlifes who abuse these dogs, to do it.


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