A new bill was signed in Delaware that prohibits cities and counties within the state from creating discriminatory laws against specific dog breeds, especially Pit Bulls.
John Carney, the governor,signed House Bill 13surrounded by lovable, adoptable canines at theDelaware Humane Association.Patricia Blevins, with the state's Office of Animal Welfare, said in a statement:
HB 13 is in the best interest of public safety. It will ensure that laws are enforced consistently across the state, based on the actions of a dog or dog owner, and not a dog’s physical appearance.
After a string of places put breed specific legislation (BSL) into effect, many of them, including Toronto, Ireland and Sioux City, Iowa, have seen an increase in dog bite injuries.The American Veterinary Medical Association wrote in a statement:
Any dog can bite, regardless of its breed, and more often people are bitten by dogs they know. It’s not the dog’s breed that determines risk — it’s the dog’s behavior, general size, number of dogs involved and the vulnerability of the person bitten that determines whether or not a dog or dogs will cause a serious bite injury.
Many people living in places where BSL is enforced wrongly assume that since there are no Pit Bulls, that the remaining dogs are completely harmless, and therefore take undue risks.Thankfully, Delaware has joined 20 other states in making the correct determination that canine temperament is based on training and individual dogs, not on breed.
The new law will prohibit general bans, but will also punish landlords who discriminate against Pit Bull owners.In hopes that more states will continue this path to offer more lovable dogs - of all breeds - the opportunity to find loving families.
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