RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges all state, territorial, and local legislative bodies and governmental agencies to adopt comprehensive breed-neutral dangerous dog/reckless owner laws that ensure due process protections for owners, encourage responsible pet ownership and focus on the behavior of both dog owners and dogs, and to repeal any breed discriminatory or breed specific provisions.
Translation: stop discriminating against pit bulls and all the dogs that look like pit bulls, might be pit bulls, or that people who don’t know anything about dogs might think are pit bulls, as well as the dogs’ owners. It’s not fair, it’s unethical, and it’s un-American. Or, as Elise Van Kavage, chair of the Animal Law Committee of the Tort, Trial & Insurance Practice Section, put it, “People love their pets, no matter what their appearance,” she said. “This is America. Responsible pet owners should be allowed to own whatever breed they want.”
I must say, I was surprised at the ABA’s entry into this controversy, recently highlighted by Maryland’s adoption of a controversial rule that declares pitbulls “inherently dangerous.” The nation’s largest voluntary bar association usually takes reliably liberal political stands that are both partisan and unseemly. This one, however, does real good, coming to the rescue of beleaguered dog owners who are being victimized by a toxic combination of fear, ignorance and bigotry. Until the ABA threw its prestige behind the principles of due process and freedom, the argument against breed-specific laws and bans could be framed by the media and anti-dog activists as akin to the gun control debate: irrational dog lovers willing to let babies get mauled so they could own a four-legged weapon. This was always nonsense, but as the large number of anti-pit bull laws around the country proves, it remains popular nonsense. Cheer and plaudits are due to the ABA for coming to the rescue, just like Rin Tin Tin.
Facts: ABA Journal
- ABA Journal
- ABA Now
- Ethics Alarms [I don’t usually include the blog, but I really liked this post (and the pictures), and not many people read it, perhaps because I used Elizabeth Warren in the title.]
Graphic: Daily Picks and Flicks
Ethics Alarms attempts to give proper attribution and credit to all sources of facts, analysis and other assistance that go into its blog posts. If you are aware of one I missed, or believe your own work was used in any way without proper attribution, please contact me, Jack Marshall, at firstname.lastname@example.org.