June 27, 2017
To Delaware Governor John C. Carney Jr. (D) for passing a law to protect dogs against breed discrimination.
Throughout the United States, people are at odds over legislation that targets specific breeds of dogs. Some citizens, and even some lawmakers feel that banning certain breeds in a given area will help to eliminate the number of dog bites that occur. However, in reality, all dogs can and will bite when they feel threatened or feel the need to protect a cherished person, item, or area. Furthermore, dogs may be more likely to bite when continuously chained, allowed to roam at large, when physically abused and/or neglected, and when unsocialized.
Children under the age of 12 years are most susceptible to being bitten by a dog. Usually, the dog is familiar to the child. To help reduce the risk of dog bites in any community, dogs should be well cared for, well-socialized, and maintained on private property or on a leash. Children and adults alike should know how to recognize the canine body language that usually precedes aggression and should be well-practiced in safe ways to interact with dogs. (Teach your child about safe and unsafe dog body language by using this activity.)
In light of this reality, some legislators are pushing back against ineffective breed bans. According to a recent news article, Delaware Governor John Carney signed House Bill 13 into law on June 2, 2017. The bill was introduced by Representative Charles Potter (D) and it will prevent pit bulls, dobermans, chows, and other dogs coined “dangerous” from being discriminated against because of their breed. Under the new law, animal control officers and animal shelters will only deem an individual dog dangerous based on a dog’s history of aggression, and not on a dog’s breed.
Take Action: Delaware residents, contact Governor Carney and thank him for passing House Bill 13 to eliminate the discrimination of our canine companions.