A moratorium on breeding licenses
News and headlines for September 15 - 22, 2023
These are some of the stories making headlines in animal protection:
In Michigan, a “controversial dog ordinance banning pit bulls was passed… by Grosse Pointe Shores City Council.”
Under the new ordinance, residents are prohibited from owning any type of pit bull. Current owners of licensed pit bulls are excluded from the ban but must follow new rules to keep them, including:
Home must have a 6-foot fence.
Pit bulls must be on a leash at all times while out in public.
$100,000 liability insurance policy in case the dog injures someone and/or damages property.
Banning dogs based on appearance is immoral. It is also ineffective. That’s not just opinion; it’s science:
The breed of a dog tells how they look, not how they behave;
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 is expensive, with no measurable impact on public safety.
Bans also negatively impact surrounding communities and rescue groups, which have to take on the burden of such regressive and selfish policies to save the lives of these dogs.
Inspired by my recent visit to Greece, the Australian government’s plan to kill millions of cats, and my 30-plus years doing cat rescue in the U.S., my new article, “Kindness to Cats is a Classical Virtue,” looks at what we owe cats (and their caretakers) who call our communities home.
Specifically, it calls for an embrace of the Enlightenment values classical Greece bequeathed to the West by embracing tolerance and kindness toward cats — as Greece and the U.S. do — and a rejection of Australia’s sadistic plan based on the ethical and scientific failure of environmental conservation and its moral panic over cats.
If the Governor signs it, California families will not be separated or left on their own to find safety during disasters. AB 781, which passed both the Assembly and Senate and is sitting on the Governor’s desk awaiting his signature or veto, “is intended to provide a lifeline to both Californians and their cherished pets by requiring local governments to ensure that there are pet-friendly shelters available in the event that disaster strikes.”
Victory! In a lawsuit by rescuers against the Los Angeles County pound, the California Court of Appeal unanimously ruled that California shelters cannot kill animals rescue groups are willing to save by claiming those animals have “behavioral problems” based on temperament tests.
Specifically, the court ruled that “the County lacks discretion to withhold and euthanize a dog based upon its determination that the animal has a behavioral problem or is not adoptable or treatable.”
California makes it illegal to kill animals that rescue groups are willing to save, with narrowly tailored exceptions. But Los Angeles County claimed it could kill any animals it determined had a “behavior” issue. The Court disagreed.
This is the pound that killed Bowie, a shy 15-week-old puppy, claiming he had “behavioral problems.” The rescuer who offered to save him was devastated. She called it a “gut punch.” But the ruling applies statewide to all California shelters.
It was not a total victory, but the main issue on appeal resulted in a ruling favoring animals and the rescuers who wanted to save them from being killed based on unreliable and often vindictive reasons.