Thursday, February 3, 2011

Epic Media and Legal Bias

In Miami-Dade, if you have a dog resembling a Pit Bull, you may be charged $500 among other court fines. Your neighbors are encouraged to snitch on you. Your dog can be forcibly removed and either relocated out of county or killed. It does not matter the temperament of the dog or whether the dog IS a Pit Bull - you are a criminal for daring to welcome a domestic dog into your home who has certain physical characteristics the county has apparently deemed indicative of aggression, one of the silliest notions on the books.

But in Miami-Dade, if you have a Labrador Retriever mix and Golden Retriever mix who habitually get loose, despite your $6,000 in "kennel improvement" and purchase of random shock collars, you are gold. And if your dogs, illegally running loose, kill at least 11 legally loose cats, you are gold. Mind you, many of these cats were killed in their yards requiring the dogs to jump or dig under fences to access the animals. (Generally, I don't think any domestic animal should be running loose.)

In Miami-Dade County, you see, in order for a dog attack on a human or animal to be investigated, there must be a sworn affidavit presented. Unless you are just reporting a Pit Bull, then who cares, no affidavit needed!

The dogs - breeds mentioned once and on the second page - won't face an automatic death sentence, either, for killing 11 cats. If the dogs resembled Pit Bulls, that would be different. They would not even need to have bitten a cat in order to face death. Inconsistent, much?

The owner won't face any charges, either, except perhaps have two legally labeled dangerous dogs and all the court requirements that accompany that.

So while there are nonviolent dogs who look a certain way being killed and their guardians criminalized, these two dogs who have killed other animals and who may become involved in a human attack* and their owner is essentially getting a "pass go" card.

I'm sorry, are there still people who honestly believe there isn't a bias (breeds mentioned once on second page, nonviolent dogs killed versus violent ones)? Like, really? Planet earth, it is calling you back.

*Specifically, a redirected bite onto a cat or small dog owner who interferes.

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