Education not Termination sign now

To: Bloomington Illinois City Council Members

We, the undersigned, are concerned citizens of the City of Bloomington, as well as concerned citizens of the United States. While recognizing the concerns of Bloomington residents, we are opposed to any breed specific ordinances. Specifically regarding the pit bull ordinance soon to be proposed by City Attorney Greenburg, which would have a negative impact on responsible, law-abiding dog owners and future owners. This ordinance would have an impact on not only Bloomington citizens, but also those who choose to visit Bloomington to show their dogs in legal events, to do business in the community, or to visit family and friends, or even for Veterinary appointments or emergencies. Following are listed our specific concerns.

(1) The ordinance would place restrictions on American Pit Bull Terriers, American Pit Bull Terrier mixes, and pit bull type dogs. Available data indicates that a dog of ANY breed can bite. Studies published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association conclude that there is NO reliable data identifying biting dogs by breed.
As well, the American Temperament Test Society has available results of dogs tested for temperment problems. As presented by the ATTS 2004 Temperment statistics, the following results were found which place no distinct difference in temperment among many common dogs:

(Number of dogs tested) [Percent of dogs passed]

American Pit Bull Terrier (469) [83.4\%]
American Staffordshire Terrier (480) [83.3\%]
Golden Retriever (659) [83.6\%]
Shetland Sheepdog (459) [66.7\%]
Collie (791) [79.0\%]
Border Collie (221) [79.6\%]
Rottweiler (4,498) [82.3\%]

(2) Cities that have tried to solve their dangerous dog problem by restricting or banning breeds have discovered that such laws do not work. Recently, Cincinnati, OH has repealed its ban on specific breeds and Baltimore, MD has removed all breed specific references from its ordinance.

In addition, the AKC, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the National Animal Control Association, and the ASPCA all have a firm stance against Breed Specific Legislation based upon their own studies which prove that BSL is ineffective.

(3) There is no reliable method by which to scientifically determine the breed of a dog. It is impossible to determine whether a mixed breed dog is 50\% of any particular breed. To require the owner of a mixed breed dog to prove that the dog is NOT 50\% of a targeted breed places an impossible burden on that citizen. The question of constitutionality comes into play here.

(4) The majority of the owners of targeted breeds are responsible, law-abiding citizens. The proposed ordinance unfairly brands these people as unreliable and irresponsible, solely because they own a targeted breed. Again, there is a question regarding the rights of citizens in regard to personal property.

(5) It is the consensus of knowledgeable dog experts (as reported in the JAVMA article, "A Community Solution to the Dog Bite Problem") that targeting the owners and the specific dangerous dog, not breeds of dogs, is the key to addressing the dog bite and "dangerous dog" problems.

(6) It takes a large amount of funding for these ordinance provisions requiring the training, testing, and property examination. Passing laws that cannot be enforced increases citizen cynicism regarding effective government.

(8) Finally and most compelling, Bloomington already has a dangerous dog ordinance that law enforcement can use to deal with dangerous dogs of any breed and their irresponsible owners.

In summary, this proposed ordinance is unfair, costly to taxpayers to enforce, time consuming to enforcement agents, unnecessary, and most importantly, ineffective.

As an alternative solution, we urge the Bloomington City Council to instead invest in an Animal Safety Program within the public schools. Such programs in Nevada can be directly credited with decreasing the bite incidents among children between 18\% and 20\% per county. Such programs provide children (the number one victim of dog bites) with information which will empower them, and leave them less vulnerable to strange animals, and more knowledgeable if an attack were to occur.

We urge you to protect your community through effective educational means rather than ineffective, costly, means of discrimination.

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Latest Signatures

  • 01 December 2015150. Melissa G
    I support this petition
  • 08 November 2015149. Erin C
    Punish the breeders!
  • 10 July 2015148. Vashti Wood
    please educate those that misunderstand the breed, and when a bite does happen and the A.P.B.T. gets the blame and later down the road is corrected as to what breed of dog it was ................please come forth with the correct information on the front
  • 09 June 2015147. Tom V
    I support this petition
  • 07 June 2015146. Courtney Chapman
    I support this petition
  • 30 May 2015145. Raimalu V
    I support this petition
  • 30 April 2015144. Heather B
    Pitbulls are so much more loving then any other dog I have ever seen. It is stupid to ban them ...pure ignorance!
  • 16 April 2015143. Stephanie C
    В
  • 30 March 2015142. Cynthia H
    I support this petition
  • 01 March 2015141. Michelle R
    I support this petition
  • 24 February 2015140. Natalie Z
    I support this petition
  • 21 January 2015139. Steven G
    Loyal and Loving animals.
  • 05 December 2014138. Clifton Wd
    I support this petition
  • 01 October 2014137. Gabriela L
    I support this petition
  • 27 August 2014136. Laura R
    I support this petition
  • 11 August 2014135. Heather T
    Pit bulls are not killers
  • 25 July 2014134. Jason K
    It would be a great injustice to this country and these breeds, if the safety awareness program was not implemented.
  • 12 July 2014133. Lori M
    I support this petition
  • 26 May 2014132. Jon Andrewh
    Leave our family members alone!
  • 22 May 2014131. Kirsten K
    more people die from auto accidents then pit bull attacks..maybe you should ban cars
  • 18 May 2014130. Br B
    В
  • 29 April 2014129. Angel Dinom
    It is but ignorance which dictates the fate of this breed. A breed of nobility, loyalty and a loving nature. We must stand united to ban vicious and monsterous owners who turn such great dogs into the monsters which you portray them to be! Ban the uneduca
  • 26 April 2014128. Justin Ward
    I support this petition
  • 15 April 2014127. Kristi S
    I hope you wake up and realize that these dogs are amazing living beings. Banning the breed as a whole will not stop the "danger". People will just find another breed of dog and train it to fight. The fact is that every breed of dog has the tendency to be
  • 23 March 2014126. Geert P
    The dogs are not the ones to blame!!!
  • 27 January 2014125. Laura H
    I support this petition
  • 25 January 2014124. Elizabeth S
    I support this petition

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Marisa SosaBy:
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Bloomington Illinois City Council Members

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