JoAnna Lou
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N.C. Breed Discrimination Reversed
Dog lovers rally against making certain breeds “unadoptable”

The Internet has been buzzing about a proposal limiting the adoption of certain breeds in North Carolina’s Cumberland County Animal Control. In October, the Animal Control Board decided to recommend that certain breeds, such as Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Chow Chows and American Staffordshire Terriers, be considered “unadoptable.” The plan was to work with rescue groups from around the country to place the dogs elsewhere and avoid euthanasia.

Dog lovers rallied to convince the Board to change its decision, flooding the inbox of Animal Control Director, Dr. John Lauby, with more than 18,000 e-mails against the proposal.  

Last night, the Board decided to retract the plan and look into ways the county can more carefully vet potential adopters instead.

I’m really glad to hear that Cumberland County will be focusing their efforts on identifying responsible adopters instead of discriminating based on breed. For an area without breed-specific legislation, it’s disconcerting to see it crop up “unofficially” through limits on adoption.

However, the reversal just goes to show what animal lovers can do when we come together for a common cause. There is clear support against breed discrimination. Hopefully, other communities considering similar proposals or legislation will take note!

JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

Photo maplegirlie/flickr.

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Submitted by Anonymous | December 6 2011 |

As has been proved in many cases, the animal is not to blame, rather the "Owner" who has no clue as to how to train any animal, because they (owner) has never been taught to treat others ---human or animal..as should be..Thanks to the board for considering better options......

Submitted by Kim Wolf | December 6 2011 |

I'm thrilled that Cumberland County rejected a breed ban on adoptions, but the result IS NOT A TOTAL SUCCESS. They're calling for "special" rules for adopting certain dogs, based on breed or appearance. (1) When we make dogs like pit bulls "special," we make them different. Different becomes deviant. Adopters don't want "deviant" dogs, they want family pets, so those do...gs are less likely to get adopted. (2) This policy assumes that we can predict a dog's behavior based on breed or appearance (which science has proven otherwise), rather than evaluating each dog as an individual. (3) If the issues facing Cumberland County are reckless owners who fail to control/contain/maintain their dogs, then why are they punishing responsible people who want to adopt a shelter dog (chances are, the reckless owners who allow their dogs to behave dangerously did NOT adopt those dogs from shelters in the first place). (4) There is no behavior that's unique one breed or group of dogs, so there's no need to single out breeds/groups in adoption policies. As we know, no breed/group is inherently vicious and any dog can become a safety threat if his owner allows him to be. (5) Some advocates are calling for breed-specific mandatory spay/neuter, which is another form of BSL and when it's been tried it has never succeeded in creating safe & humane communities. There's STILL WORK TO BE DONE here! Here is some info to get started: http://www.animalfarmfoundation.org/pages/RESOURCES_FOR_HUMANE_COMMUNITIES

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