Paws Up! To the Overland Park, Kansas, City Council for ending a decades-long breed discrimination law.
September 28, 2021
A City Council in Kansas has just unanimously agreed to repeal their decades-long breed discrimination law which banned pit bulls from residing in the city since 2006. Overland Park, Kansas, began its war on pit bulls in the 1980’s when the city council deemed them “dangerous.” Sadly, many people are prejudiced against pit bull dogs because that type of breed is predominantly bred and trained in dog fighting. This prejudice carries over into the media and then bleeds into legislation and ordinances throughout municipalities and cities across the country.
Over the past several decades, more studies have indicated that aggressive behavior in dogs occurs for a variety of different reasons, not just based on the breed of dog. According to an article by the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are a number of factors that determine how a dog will behave: “…a dog’s tendency to bite depends on at least five interacting factors: heredity, early experience, later socialization and training, health (medical and behavioral), and victim behavior.” Only one of the five factors relates to the genetics of the dog. The rest are factors under the control of the dog owner. This is precisely why community breed bans are based more on fear, and less on fact.
Why Breed Bans Do Not Prevent Dog Bites
In addition to ending the breed ban, the new law includes improvement to existing animal welfare ordinances, such as restrictions on dog tethering and incentives for residents getting their pets spayed or neutered and microchipped.