This Week in Animal Protection
News and headlines for March 6 - March 18, 2022
These are some of the stories making headlines in animal protection:
A “pit bull” ban in Leawood, KS, has been declared unconstitutional. The lawsuit was filed by the family of Lucy; a blind dog forced to live away from her home on the threat of impoundment and killing. Lucy had done nothing wrong, and the city failed to provide a rationale for its law, based as it was “on outdated suspicions about the breeds from decades ago.” The court victory allows her to move back home.
However, Florida legislation to overturn the “pit bull” ban in Miami-Dade and breed-discriminatory laws in other cities failed to pass. These communities will continue to kill healthy and friendly dogs.
Banning dogs based on how they look is immoral. It is also ineffective. That’s not just opinion; it’s science:
50% of dogs labeled as pit bulls lack DNA breed signatures of breeds commonly classified as pit bulls;
Dogs targeted for breed discriminatory laws are not more likely to bite, do not bite harder, and such bans do not result in fewer dog bites or bite-related hospitalization rates; and,
Enforcement of bans is expensive, with no measurable impact on public safety.
“When a city has a breed-specific ban, good dogs die. It’s that simple.”
While legislation to help these dogs failed in Florida, legislators passed a bill that would harm others.
The proposed law protects puppy mills by overturning local bans on the sale of commercially bred puppies and kittens in pet stores. The legislation would also prevent other cities from passing such prohibitions. As such, dogs and cats will continue to suffer unless the Governor vetoes it.
Bans on the sale of milled animals serve three purposes:
Encouraging people to adopt/rescue;
Educating the community about abuse in mills; and,
Stopping neglect and abuse.
And they work. With half a dozen states and roughly 400 cities divesting themselves of this pernicious harm, “Nebraska Department of Agriculture records show that half of the state’s commercial dog and cat breeders have left the business.”
Legislation to ban the declawing of cats passed both the Maryland House of Representatives and Senate. It now heads to the governor for his signature.
Legislation pending in California would also ban declawing.
Studies show that declawed cats are at significantly greater risk for back pain, not using the litter box, aggression (scratching/biting), and excessive grooming (barbering). They are at even greater risk for pain with bone fragments due to “poor or inappropriate surgical techniques,” which occurred in 63% of cases.
A No Kill nation is within our reach:
“The Rosenberg Animal Control and Shelter facility was honored by city officials for its third anniversary as a No-Kill facility.” In 2021, Rosenberg, TX, reported a 99% placement rate for dogs, 96% for cats, and 96% for other animals. “Shelter director Mara Hartsell was presented an official proclamation during a Rosenberg City Council meeting... The facility is an open-intake, No-Kill shelter for lost and surrendered animals in the Rosenberg city limits.”
As more people turn to rescue and adoption and more shelters embrace progressive policies, the number of communities placing over 95% and as high as 99% of the animals is increasing:
Madison County, AL, reported a 96% placement rate for cats and 94% for dogs.
Camano Island, WA, reported a 99% placement rate for dogs, 94% for cats, and 100% for other small animals.
Madison County, NY, reported a 99% placement rate for dogs and 95% for cats.
These communities and national data prove that animals are not dying in pounds because there are too many, too few homes, or people don’t want the animals. They are dying because people in those pounds are killing them. Replace those people, implement the No Kill Equation, and we can be a No Kill nation today.
In communities implementing the No Kill Equation, “Animal euthanasia has become increasingly rare, with high adoption rates and greater awareness surrounding animal welfare.” In Washington County, OR, “crews dismantled a grim reminder of a different time: the incinerator at Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter, which was once used to cremate euthanized animals.”
Food for thought: