When BSL is proposed in your municipality/province/city/state, emotions run high and it's tempting to get angry at politicians. Circulating hateful messages only hurts the dogs/owners, pushes people further from the facts and are counter-productive to your goal.
We need to work with legislators, not against them, to find a solution. We all want safe communities and want substandard owners punished but that rule applies to ALL dog owners regardless of the breed or appearance of their dog.
Here is a link to a short presentation on effective advocacy tips for challenging BSL.
http://pblnn.com/resources/for-advocates-2/223-advocacy-tips-for-building-safe-humane-communities.html(Note: Click the black toolbar for audio, which corresponds with the slides below it.)
This presentation was put together by Kim Wolf.
to "change the public's opinion" is not required at this point.
Public opinion has no bearing on getting Breed Specific Legislation (BSL)
repealed in Ontario. I guarantee you; the government is not getting
bombarded by people asking to keep the ban. Once the ban is repealed there will
still be people who will be discriminatory, but the difference will be you will
have a better ability to protect yourself from nutters and low information
Here's what I believe our messaging needs to be
going forward to repeal BSL.
"Pit bull" is NOT a breed. A dog is
either registered purebred or it isn't. (Emphasis on the period).
Hershey's Bill passed second reading with a wide
majority, supported by all three parties. Committee hearings were held for a
second time since the original Bill and not one presentation was in favour of
the ban! Hershey's Bill just needed to be called for a vote when Dalton
McGuinty prorogued. All Bills died on the floor. PC MPP Randy Hillier has tabled a motion to have it brought forward for a vote.
Kathleen Wynne has stated she has no intention
of calling the Bill for a vote.
Jurisdictions continue to fall like dominoes,
repealing existing BSL with fair, enforceable laws that punish negligent
owners, regardless of the appearance or breed of their dog. The Ontario
Liberals are behind the 8 ball in their views toward animal welfare. Their
understanding of effective and fair legislation is obviously flawed. It is
common knowledge that "banning" or targeting/discriminatory laws only
punish those who abide by laws.
There is NO evidence to support that dogs are
dangerous based on their breed or appearance. (Emphasis on the period). To
support otherwise is ignorant or propagandised.
We want negligent owners punished! Negligent
owners not only do a great dis-service to their dog, they also are bad for
business for those of us who are good dog owners. We want to see people and
their pets as well as those who do not own pets live as harmoniously as
Let's talk about Calgary's Responsible Pet Ownership bylaw. The
Liberals were given alternatives but they continue to choose to ignore them.
What people can do to help? Call or write your
MPP and simply let them know you support Hershey's Bill, want it brought
forward for a vote and want them to support it on your behalf.
Print off petitions and
get family/friends to sign then mail to your MPP. Sheets do not need to be full
to be sent in. One signature is fine but more are better!
Topics to avoid;
Dog fighting has nothing to do with BSL. Dog
fighting is and has long been a criminal offence in Canada.
"Pit bulls" are NOT "the most
abused". There is no evidence to support this and this statement does not
garner sympathy as some believe.
"Pit bulls" need a special owner.
(This is utter BS dogs are individuals).
"Aggressive people are attracted to 'pit bulls'".
Again there is no evidence to support this statement. A negligent owner is a
negligent owner regardless of breed.
I know there are quite a few more topics to
avoid but if topics that are on message are discussed, this would be helpful.
The above topics were basically all we talked
about at the All About Pets Show this past weekend. People "got it"
and the (8 total out of thousands) naysayers got flustered and angry. They
couldn't back up their emotional response to the propaganda machine. We cannot
change their beliefs. What we can do is provide the facts. We have that area
more than covered since the other side has no evidence or facts to support
I have been asked several times in the past
week, "How do I feel about the children getting ripped up by 'pit
Answer; The same as I feel when people or
domestic animals are hurt or worse by any shape or appearance of dog. Why would
it be extra tragic if the dog has short hair? That is horribly unfair to those
bitten or attacked by other shapes of dogs! How would you tell them that they
don't matter because all the media or you personally care about are so called
* Media reports do not equal data!
Where dog bites are concerned in the media they should either ALL be reported
or NONE at all!
Keep emotions in check. I feel it is best to
refer ALL media requests to PC MPP Randy Hillier or NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo at this point. It is not helpful and it is
very risky, going forward, to speak with media. MPP's are trained.