The promise of a new day (photo by Jacki Glastetter)
I have no doubt that the mere implication that I may be rendered speechless is enough to make some who know me read this post. Well, the events in our capitol cities, major counties and even some of Missouri's smallest towns, has caused me to have little to add.
This phenomenon began with the governor of Ohio signing HB14 which will effectively remove the automatic designation of "vicious" Pit Bulls have held for decades in that state. The governing body of Miami-Dade County has also passed legislation for further review that would remove a total ban of the breed in one of the largest metro counties in the United States. Not to be out done, Missouri's own community of Wentzville has agreed to the repeal of their ban on the breed, while the small town of Slater has agreed to drop their plans to enact a breed ban. Why? Because these rules DO NOT work. All they do is sanction the irresponsible owner and criminals, while holding a DOG responsible for the actions of humans.
If you think this is a trend only prevalent in the United States, consider Ontario Canada's legislative action to repeal their long-standing ban or even Great Britain's actions to repeal and reform their dangerous dog laws. This has become an epidemic of sanity by ALL governing bodies worldwide.
I am simply speechless. I had always said I would see sanity rule in my lifetime. I just did not expect it to all come at one time. All I have to say to this is THANK YOU!
Does this mean there will be nothing for the canine advocates of the world to do? Absolutely not, it means we can now concentrate on laws that will address animal abuse, dog fighting and the true offenders against our canine companions.
For me, it means concentrating on legislation such as HB1513, introduced by District 151 Representative Ward Franz of West Plains. This preemptive bill would effectively eliminate the attempts at removing the only protection against seizure that my dogs enjoy. That protection comes from insuring that they remain my "property" and as such cannot be taken from me except by due process. Would anyone reading this post wish to be the law enforcement that tried to knock on my door to take my dogs because they happen to be Pit Bulls?
Representative Franz learned from the attack by the Humane Society of the United States during the debacle over Prop B. He has had the foresight to understand the animal rights movement means so much more than the size of a kennel or the number of puppies a commercial breeder produces in a year. This movement has the capability of ending every aspect of the joys we receive from all of our domestic animals. This legislator is to be applauded and supported. We need more legislators that pay attention to such details.
While HB1513 might not hold the same meaning to some as it does to me, we have other issues in the State of Missouri to be concentrating on. The abolishment of the use of inhalant euthanasia or the gas chambers in our shelters and animal control facilities and the certification of shelter personnel performing lethal injection are two causes that should concern every true animal lover in this state.
It would be wonderful if we could have a 100% no-kill state but until responsibility and education are as common as breathing, we must face the fact that thousands of animals are killed in this state daily. If we must do this, we must do this in the correct manner and as humanly as possible. I will never feel killing and humane belong in the same sentence but it is a fact.
I ask every one of you to take a moment and consider how you can bring about reform in our state. This is not a difficult process. It is as simple as getting involved, writing a letter or email to your legislator to let them know how important the issues of animal welfare are to you. The only way they have of knowing what you hired (elected) them to do is if you tell them.
This is an election year in Missouri with 17 of 34 seats in our senate being up for grabs and 163 seats in the house up for election. November 6, 2012 is the date when you will be able to "hire" the officials that will be representing your interests. If you do nothing else, exercise the privilege of voting for the candidate that understands what our pets mean to us. Yes, I protect my right at ownership but that does not mean my animals are not my family.
These are the links to some of the best animal legislative "watchdogs" we have in this country. I applaud their efforts and am proud to stand at their side.