Legislator Tries to Put The Bite on Dogs
From the “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up” Department- A Georgia legislator has sponsored a bill to put the bite on dogs of certain breeds. House Bill 313 (HB 313) would require anyone selling specified breeds of dogs to provide a “document containing certain statistics created by the department” (Georgia Department of Public Health).
The “certain statistics” include;
(A) The reported number of humans bitten by dogs in the United States;
(B) The total medical costs related to injuries caused by dogs in the United States; and
(C) The total amount of damages awarded to victims of dog bites or dog attacks in the United States.
Such documentation would be required as part of an ownership transfer transaction of, “a canine that is entirely or partly of the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bully, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Doberman Pinscher, Rottweiler, German Shepherd, Chow Chow, Husky, Great Dane, Akita, Boxer, or Wolf Hybrid breed.”
The purpose of the bill, if there is any aside from promoting useless legislation, is unknown. It was authored by Representative Keisha Waites (D) apparently because she feels it’s necessary to alert potential dog owners that if they are bitten by a large dog, it will hurt and they may incur medical expenses. Could it be that Ms. Waites fears that her constituents aren’t smart enough to figure that out?
Beyond that, the bill smacks of breed bias, the canine equivalent of racial bias. I have owned German Shepherd dogs for over 30 years. I’ve wrestled with Doberman Pinchers. Yet the only times I’ve been bitten were by dogs not on Ms. Waites’ hit list. Small, yippy dogs are much more likely to chomp down on one of your valued body parts, yet HB 313 would not be required as part of the sale of small yippy dogs.
Certainly, the consequences of being bitten by a large dog are potentially more serious than a bite from a yipster, but in singling out specific breeds, HB 313 unfairly paints them as being dangerous.
The owner, not the dog
The true danger lies with the owner, not with the dog. Dogs (apparently like some legislators) become threats when they are abused, mistreated or trained to be vicious.
To verify that my thoughts were accurate, I checked with both of my German Shepherd dogs. They were of the opinion that in place of HB313, it would be much more useful to propose a bill that would require warning signs to be put on legislators who sponsor bills that reek of stupidity. (Okay, I made that last part up.)
Featured Photo provided by author Dave Emanuel. “It’s not a swimming pool, it’s a water bowl.”