Can't Spell BSL Without BS

October 11, 2017
By Kiara.Eaton BRONZE, Republic , Missouri
Kiara.Eaton BRONZE, Republic , Missouri
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

The history of the vicious dog is purely circumstantial. Throughout past decades it changed almost annually. In the 70’s it was the Doberman, the 80’s the German Shepherd, the 90’s the Rottweiler, and, for two decades now, it has been the Pit Bull Terrier. It is proven to be a case of bad breeding, over breeding, wrong place wrong time, misunderstandings, and most of all, stupidity and ego. The Doberman was used to make men look tough, the same happened with the Rottweiler and now the Pit Bull is being stereotyped the same way, but significantly worse.  After you observe who and what has been blamed for dog related incidents from decade to decade, it  poses a question that famous dog trainer, Cesar Milan, once asked, “When will they blame the humans?”. 

Many people wonder what makes a dog breed suddenly deemed the baddest and the meanest of its time. Is there a similarity, a constant, between the breeds? The overwhelming connection is quite frankly, us, humans, owners. 100% of the time, a dog being aggressive is the fault of the owner. From the moment a dog is born they are excited and willing to be shaped into however you want them to be. The Doberman, the dog deemed dangerous most prominently in the 70’s, was simply victim of wrong place, wrong time. They became attractive to men who wanted to look “tough” due to their intimidating looking pointed ears and black coats (Richard Christian). This caused them to be both overbred and willingly molded to be the aggressive dog that their often criminal owners wanted them to be. The German Shepherd, who took the spot of “most dangerous” in the 80’s, comes as a surprise to many who know them as loyal police and military dogs. It was just that, their role as police dogs, that helped give the impression that they were aggressive. The media captured and filmed the dogs pursuing and stopping a criminal, which seemed extremely frightening and violent to some. What they didn’t capture was how as soon as they were told to stand down by their designated policeman, the dog obeyed. The decade before the Pit Bull arose was the Rottweiler. The rise of the Rottweiler being deemed dangerous was all due to power. If someone could tame a Rottweiler, then they weren’t be messed with. Rottweilers weren’t even really bred or trained to be aggressive, unlike the Doberman. They were used as watchdogs, but the media confused watchdog with attack dog, giving the Rottweiler a bad reputation for the next decade. The Pit Bull, the dog of our decade, is perhaps the most misunderstood and oppressed breed of dog that has ever been in modern media, and even in our laws, thus delving into Springfield’s unfair and unnecessary Breed Specific Legislation (BSL).


BSL Information and why it is unnecessary
Currently Springfield, Missouri has Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) being enforced. BSL is a set of laws directed at a certain breed, that breed being Pit Bulls in Springfield. The laws have been in place since April of 2006. The law gives a list of rules and restrictions to be abided by by a Pit Bull owner. The main, but not all, of the rules that are included in the law are first, a $50 yearly registration fee for each Pit Bull, an 8 x 10 sign at the residence stating that there is a Pit Bull dog residing there, and the Pit Bull must be muzzled when not on the owner’s property. Failure for the owner to comply will result in the owner facing prosecution and the likelihood that the dog will be “immediately impounded and destroyed after seven days,” even if the dog has done nothing wrong. Along with this, the city now wants to completely ban Pit Bulls, excluding pre-existing Pit Bulls because of a grandfather clause (exempting Pit Bulls that already lived here because they were present before the banning went into place). After these pre-existing pit bulls die then there will be no Pitbull or anything resembling one allowed in Springfield City Limits.


What the Public Thinks
On Sunday of last week, KY3 took to facebook to conduct a poll seeing what the public thought about the banning of dogs that are included in BSL (which is again, the Pit Bull in our city). There was an overwhelming majority of people that opposed the idea of banning these dogs, with there being 1.4 thousand signs of opposition and at most only 200 signs of approval.  A lot of the people on the opposing side weren’t afraid to speak their mind about the subject and they made a lot of valid points. Here you will see some of the opinions of a few of the citizens of Springfield.


“No they shouldn’t. Statistics show other breeds bite far more often. The pit bulls I have known have all been sweethearts and I retired from 30 years of carrying mail.” - Christy Shannon


“I’m outside the city limits but I wouldn’t get rid of my pit for any reason it just wouldn’t happen that’s it. However if anyone is looking for a great cocker spaniel there is one running around here that even my PIT BULL IS AFRAID OF. He’s killed countless cats and attacks people while they are trying to get in their cars but he’s not a vicious breed so its all good! {sarcasm} - Lisa Monjonnier


“But the good ole people of Springfield continue to push for this until they get what they want… its been said countless times, its not the breed but the owners. All dogs can be and will be vicious at some time, kind of reminds me of people too.” - Michael Burnett


“I got my dog without a clue what breed she was. She resembles a pit. She’s the 100 lb nanny of the house, she watches over all of us with unconditional love. Because of a ban on pitbulls I would be subject to discrimination if she were to ever get loose or be seen in public. Unbelievable. People who truly take responsibility for how a dog behaves are what this is about. Some kind of evaluation or permit would be more understandable. This is just sensible on all cities who enforce bans like this.” - Kyle Darby


“Pit bulls, Blue Heelers, German Shepherds, and Doberman Pinschers are all vicious animals under the right circumstances and so are chihuahuas, so almost every dog is actually violent if they are threatened or feel threatened.” - Betty Lay

“Just so ya’ll know it takes up to $250,000 a year to just enforce a breed specific legislation. That money has to come from somewhere. You think it doesn’t affect you think again. Also even if your dog resembles a pit bull breed but is not actually a pitbull your dog is at risk!!!” - Mariah Ummel

Again, these aren’t just random people that I found, these are actual citizens of Springfield. If the majority is rejecting this idea of banning pit bulls, then why is our city council still debating this if their main job is to listen to the people?

You can tell solely by the words specifically used in the law how scarily inhumane BSL really can be. A dog can be  “destroyed” for their owners not abiding by the law, an unreasonable law at that. The City Counsel obviously has never owned a dog because if they did then they would know how losing an animal is just about as hard as any human death on a person, and that is exactly what they are doing to people with this law. Sure a dog should be put to rest if it has maliciously attacked another dog or a person, but just because that dog has done something, doesn’t make the rest of the breed responsible. So, again us Pit Bull advocates ask, since humans do essentially run the world, when will we start blaming ourselves?



The author's comments:

I was really inspired to write this piece because I have owned and fostered several Pit Bulls in my life and NONE of them deserved the kind of discrimination that they recieve. The blaringly obvious reason is that we raised the correctly. I wanted to bring awareness to how humans are definitely to problem when it comes to unruly dogs.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Oct. 14 2017 at 12:06 am
FluffyPanda427 SILVER, Olympia, Washington
5 articles 0 photos 60 comments
I fully agree with your article. The dogs are not vicious at all they are sweet dogs. The mean ones are just the ones that didn't get raised properly.

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