To: Brian Greene,
Subject: Protect Pet Owners' Property Rights -- YES on HB 97
Date: Thu Feb 06 14:11:43 MST 2014
Amy Westover 1696 west 680 north Pleasant grove, UT 84062-4072 February 6, 2014 The Honorable Brian M. Greene Utah House of Representatives 350 North State, PO Box 145030 Salt Lake City, UT 84114 Dear Representative Greene: Please Pass HB 97 to Protect Property Rights, Save Tax Dollars and Increase Public Safety As a Utah citizen, I believe federal, state and local governments should not interfere with a responsible citizen's ability to own whatever dog breed or breed mix he or she chooses. Seventeen states have passed provisions against breed-discriminatory ordinances because these laws violate basic property rights, they focus on the wrong thing, and they are arbitrary, ineffective, expensive and simply not practical. Any dog can bite, so communities should be protected against any dangerous dog, no matter the breed. The American Bar Association, the National Animal Control Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association don't support breed discrimination. They support laws that go after the real problem, the behavior of the individual dog and the behavior of the reckless owner. Owners should be responsible for their dog's actions: no exceptions, no excuses. Instead of punishing innocent dogs for resembling a specific breed, communities should hold reckless owners accountable and responsible if their pets are dangerous. Comprehensive breed-neutral dangerous-dog and reckless-owner laws should be passed and enforced. Breed discrimination also wastes tax dollars. According to figures provided by economic research firm John Dunham and Associates, if Utah enacted a breed-discriminatory law targeting "pit bull terriers," it would cost taxpayers more than $4 million per year to enforce. Even the conservative Platte Institute for Economic Research in Nebraska came out against breed-discriminatory or breed-specific ordinances. In reality, there is nothing specific about these laws. Studies show that when animal control officers and animal shelter workers try to guess the heritage of a mixed-breed dog, they are correct in only 25% of the cases. In America, every citizen who follows the safety rules as a responsible dog owner should be allowed to own whatever breed of dog he or she chooses. It's that simple. Thank you for your consideration of this important bill. Sincerely, Sincerely, Amy Westover