Friday, July 13, 2012

Gettin' It Straight

This is going to be one of the longest posts I have ever done. But, in light of the Lennox tragedy, I need to get it off of my chest.

Some people like to say to me, "Why do you care so much about animals, about BSL (Breed Specific Legislation), there are human and kids suffering all over the world! Get your priorities straight!"

Let me just say this: I DO care about humans, especially children. I'm constantly cleaning out our cabinets to give the local food pantry our food. I shop at thrift stores because there are a couple stores that use that money to give back to the community by helping with rent, or utilities. I pass all of our clothes down, or give it to the thrift stores. I do not like giving to a big company, because 9 times out of 10, if I would send money off to a foreign country, it would not be used to help those people. It's a FACT that the government and higher up and rich people of third world countries take the donated money from their people and use it for their own greed. Not all of them, but it happens more often than not. Help starts at home, in your community, and that's what we choose to do. We give to multiple charities when we can afford to do so. So I DO have my priorities straight.

I am also a very avid animal lover. I wanted to be a Veterinarian, I've been around all forms of animals all of my life. My eldest son gets that from me, from the time he was in kindergarten, he has said he wants to be a Veterinarian as well. We are going to try our hardest to make sure he is one if he still wants to be as he gets older.

Animals need our help, too. They have no voice, they can't form opinions and express them to people. Being part of the human race gives you the opportunity to voice about something that is wrong. You can talk, act, help, vocalize, rally, and show your emotions. We may be the dominate species on Earth, but that doesn't mean we have to dominate over every living thing on this planet.

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”-Mahatma Gandhi

BSL does not work. It doesn't do anything but cause the breed of dog to get looked at in a negative way. Thus creating fear and panic in a human, and then causing the human to lash out negatively and hurt innocent dogs.

Are there bad, mean dogs? Yes! Of course! There are some dogs, no matter what, that are going to bite, and be aggressive. But that is just that dog, that one dog. Just because that dog is of a certain breed, doesn't mean we need to label ALL of the dogs of that breed as aggressive.

We, as humans, are always trying to pass the blame on to something else besides ourselves. We need to start taking more responsibility for our dogs. How we treat them and raise them is a direct result of how they will act when grown. Don't put them in situations where they feel threatened, don't force them to do things when their body language dictates that they are scared or nervous. Pay attention to your dog! Learn your dog's language!

I've been bitten, although not severely, by a number of different breeds of dogs. Am I still afraid of those breeds of dogs? No. Do I lash out, or make those dogs breeds suffer by spreading lies or hate about them? No.

For this last part of this blog post, I'm going to list websites that are talking about BSL, dog bite facts, and some blogs of professional dog trainers. Just click on the highlighted word and it will take you there.

This is the CDC's post on dog bites. Please note that it states: "It does not identify specific breeds that are most likely to bite or kill, and thus is not appropriate for policy-making decisions related to the topic."

CDC-Dog Bite Facts.

What is BSL exactly and why it will not work:

Stop BSL.

Victoria Stilwell's Blog. Lots of good information here. She also helped change laws in my state (Georgia) about making sure owners are more responsible. About making sure that the good owners aren't being punished. She also rallied for Lennox, the dog unjustly killed by the British City Council.

Victoria Stilwell Positivley

This next guy is a dog trainer, a Retired Police Lieutenant and a former Animal Control Manager. He talks about the Lennox tragedy and opens things wide up.

Jim Crosby

This is a list of all the dogs that are on "The List". The List is long and lots of breeds you would never suspect as "being aggressive" are on here. This is the list of breeds that BSL is going to damage.

Hitler made lists! Is this the way the world is going to go? Everyone, every species, every last thing going on a list to make sure we are kept in line? How can anyone agree to such a thing?

The BSL List.

That list came from The Dog Blog, so I'm going to put up a link to them to make sure they get credit for it.

The Dog Blog

There are people out there who are dead set on spreading lies and talking bad about certain breeds of dogs. There are people out there who want some breeds to be completely killed off. Why? We made these animals, so how is it their fault, exactly? We don't label humans at birth. They can grow up to be alcoholic, a murder, a drug user, a pedophile. I know some lists are needed. Sex offenders, people who are in prison, those sorts of things. But they are on that list because they committed a crime already. Some of these dogs are on these lists because of their breed. They aren't based on a dog as an individual, they are on there just because of what they are and that is wrong.

Hitler kept lists. Do we really want to travel down that road? Haven't we learned that being racist gets no one anywhere?? That is causes nothing but fights and hurt feelings?? This applies to all living things!

Dogs are family pets. They have emotions, they show love and trust. If we are not careful, all dogs will be on The List, and we will never be able to have them in our homes without someone thinking we are bad people for owning a certain breed. If we are not careful, the only dogs we will be allowed to own are stuffed animals or plastic toys.

So yes, sometimes my Facebook page will have links about BSL, or the Bully breeds, or any breed on The List and I might lose a friend or two because of it, but that's ok. I know where I stand. I know where my heart stands. I know the difference between right and wrong. I'm not racist against any color of a person, and I'm not going to racist against any breed of dog, either.

My priorities are right where they are meant to be.


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