Many states have laws about the dog breed, the Pitbull. These states have breed-specific laws against the Pitbull, sometimes making it illegal to own or breed the animal. Arizona, however, is not one of these states.
Arizona Pitbull Laws
Arizona Pitbull laws are non-breed specific. They have done away with legislation that controls the breeding and owning of Pitbulls. Senate Bill 1248 is the legislation that does away with breed-specific laws. It does not allow for breed-specific dog regulations in Arizona’s cities and towns.
They’re calling this the BSL-preemption law. Arizona became the 20th state to enact such a law.
Breed Specific Laws are Inefective
The breed-specific laws have been called ineffective by groups such as the ASPCA, the American Bar Association, the American Kennel Club, the American Veterinary Medical Association, and the White House. They’re expensive to enforce and have caused many problems for families, communities, dogs, and even the law itself.
Breed-specific legislation usually targets Pitbulls. However, there is no set definition for what a Pitbull is. Usually, the dog breed has a blocky head and muscular body. The law does go after other types of dogs, such as Rottweilers, Akitas, German Shepherds, and other “dangerous” dogs.
Breed-specific legislation limits the ownership or breeding of the dogs that are on the list. People may not own or breed the dog that is on that list.
The Bad Part of Getting Rid Arizona Pitbull Laws
Unfortunately, Arizona Pitbull laws do come with a downside. Along with the doing away of breed-specific legislation, they have also done away with requiring pet stores to sell only rescue animals.
This means that designer dogs can be sold at pet stores, which come from puppy mills. This is a problem because many puppy mills have inhumane standards. In addition, it takes away from helping to put rescue animals into homes.
The United States Humane Society has taken a neutral stand on Arizona Pitbull laws. They continue to make people aware of puppy mills as well as encourage them to adopt as opposed to shop.
At first they were against the policy, but once they found out about the BSL-preemption law and other legislation that protect animals, they decided to take their neutral stance.
Other Important Animal Laws
The law also dictates that animals must be labeled from where they come so customers know where the animal came from. The law also gives the Arizona Department of Agriculture the means to inspect pet stores and breeders. However, the department is incapable of inspecting puppy mills. But the law does aim to provide higher standards for dog breeders.
Arizona is a Dog Friendly State
Arizona is one of the states that now does not ban dogs based on their breeds. The law protects animals such as the Pitbull from being banned from being owned and bred.
This is a win for families all around the state who own Pitbulls and see them as part of the family. They no longer have to fear that their beloved pooch will be taken from them based on a law that does not work.
Any dog can attack and any dog can be vicious. It is not specific to the breed. In fact, with the proper training, any “vicious” dog can be a teddy bear. It is up to the owners of the dog to ensure that their animal gets proper training so that it knows how to behave. This will prevent dog bites and attacks easily.
An Optimistic Future for Dog Lovers
Arizona is leading the way into the future. After they passed their law, two more states followed suit. The passing of these laws is important because it saves money on a law that doesn’t work in the first place. People are not being fined for having a beloved pet that is just as likely to attack as any other breed of dog.
Discrimination Against Breeds
Breed-specific legislation is discriminatory against specific breeds of dogs and that isn’t fair. It’s like discriminating against certain classes of people, deciding that they’re more dangerous because of who they are and saying they can’t live somewhere or breed.
Animals are the same way.
Pitbulls themselves have been historically a gentle breed. They were used as nanny dogs in the past. Animals that basically babysat children so that their parents wouldn’t have to. The breed was so trusted that it was left alone with children to protect them.
It’s only been in recent years that the Pitbull has received a bad reputation. Much of this is due to the media sensationalizing dog attacks and highlighting when it was a Pitbull.
Over the years, many dogs have been in the Pitbull’s shoes, such as the German Shepherd, the Rottweiler, and the Doberman. All of these breeds at one point or another were feared as vicious and dangerous. The Pitbull is just today’s villain.
Since Arizona did away with breed-specific legislation, the Pitbull is safe in the state. Having that safety is imperative for the breed to thrive and for families to feel safe having their beloved pets securely on hand at home. The only drawback to this law is the permission of sales of dogs from sources other than rescues.
Puppy Mills and Keeping Animals Safe
Puppy mills can be horrible places for dogs. A lot of cruel treatments go on inside them., like dogs being shoved into crates too small for them. Often, they are malnourished and over-bred.
Many are also interbred, resulting in genetic mutations. Buying a puppy from a puppy mill can result in many different afflictions.
Having the store label where the puppies come from is a step toward helping people see where their dogs come from so they can research whether it’s a reputable breeder or a puppy mill. However, it would still be better if people chose to adopt instead of shop.
There are plenty of dogs out there that need a loving home. Thankfully, Arizona has made it possible for Pitbulls to have one too.
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