Week 3 Assignment 2
Dr. Robin Evans Strayer University
October 27, 2013
Do we really know what makes a dog good or bad? What signifies a dog being a bad dog? Should the federal or state government make the determination? Do the laws differ by breed? What is the position of the state that I live in? All of these questions lead one to thinking is my pet a good dog or a bad dog and should I be more aware? Simply put, yes all dog owners should be more aware of taking care and responsibility of their pet.
Why should I write about dog laws and the responsibility of their owners? The reason is mostly because I have just become a new owner of an American Pit Bull Terrier. She is a wonderful loving girl and is an amazing ‘ambassador’ for the breed. I have owned Hope for 3 months now and she gets along with all types of different dogs, people and situations. It has not been an easy road for her to get to this point. She was found in a dumpster left for dead for what was determined to be about a month. She was just skin and bones. Her saving grace was the rainy season here in Florida and a contractor who heard her cries. It took over a year of weekly veterinarian visits, bathing, medication and a lot of food to bring her back to a healthy pup. One look into her eyes and you can see her story and the desire she has to just be loved. Hope is not the only reasons I am writing about this, she is a main reason though, and I feel that anyone who owns a dog should be aware of what the laws are. I know I took for granted the dog laws because I never took the time to make myself aware. I just thought all I had to do was make sure my dog was vaccinated and licensed in the state where I live. I was just being oblivious to what I should have been aware of. I know that I cannot be the only unaware person so I hope that this will help to educate more people who were and are like me. With this I hope to educate, stimulate and motivate other dog owners to ‘Be Aware”. I also hope to reach out to people who are able to make changes to the current laws and help make changes. Yes there are dangerous animals but the laws should not be breed specific. “The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) supports dangerous animal legislation by state, county or municipal governments provided that legislation does not refer to specific breeds or classes of animals. This legislation should be directed at fostering safety and protection of the general public from animals classified as dangerous.” Source: AVMA Communications Divisions, Human-Animal Bond (DVM: The Newsmagazine of Veterinary Medicine, 36(5), 8.)
In gathering information for my research I have found out that many states are changing the way the laws were written. For example in Ohio, the old law which was 25 years old was changed in 2012 to no longer state pit bulls as being vicious (DVM: The Newsmagazine of Veterinary Medicine, 43(6), 22.) By looking at what an owner should know about their dogs is key to going forward in research. The book Every Dog's Legal Guide: A Must-have Book for Your Owner, has been very helpful in understanding the basics from ‘dog bites’ to ‘vicious dogs’ and understanding the concepts of how this paper will be developed. The table below shows the states that have dangerous dog laws. The book also gives helpful information on what an owner should do so that they can help their dogs to be a successful team and help to avoid any possible issues.
I have a good idea of how the flow of the paper will go in first educating the reader about the laws both federal and state (for the…