Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Pet Owner Alert - Georgia

Georgia Alert 2-8-05: Public Hearings Scheduled on Pit Bull Bill, House Bill 78; Please Contact Your State Senator & Representative

HAGA has just today received word that public hearings have been scheduled regarding a proposed bill (House Bill 78) which would prohibit ownership of pit bull dogs in the state of Georgia.

Pit Bull Bill hearing schedule: Wednesday, February 9th in Room 415 of the Legislative Office Building downtown (across from the Capitol) at 1pm. Thursday, February 10th in Room 125 of the Capitol at 1pm.

Although public hearings do not, in and of themselves, constitute legislative action, the fact that they have been scheduled signals the need for HAGA members to contact their legislators regarding House Bill 78.

HAGA adamantly opposes breed-specific legislation such as House Bill 78. While breed is one factor which may contribute to a dog's temperament, it alone cannot be used to predict whether a dog may pose a danger to his or her community. A September 2000 study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (VetMed Today: Special Report) illustrates this point. The report detailed dog-bite-related fatalities in the U.S. from 1979 through 1998, and revealed that, over that 19-year period, at least 25 different breeds or crossbreeds of dogs had been involved in fatally wounding a human being. The breeds cited ranged from the often-maligned pit bulls and rottweilers to the legendary "forever loyal" breed of St. Bernards. The main conclusion of the study was that breed-specific legislation doesn't work for several reasons, including the fact that the inherent problem in trying to determine and prove dog's breed makes actual enforcement of breed-specific legislation almost impossible.

Restrictions placed on specific breeds fail to address the larger problems of abuse, aggression training, poor socialization, lack of obedience training, failure to spay/neuter, and lack of proper containment and control by irresponsible dog owners. Georgia's current dangerous dog and dog-fighting statues, as well as existing local ordinances, are adequate to address these issues, and are a more reasoned approach to community safety than breed-specific legislation such as House Bill 78.

HAGA urges its members to contact their Georgia State senators and representatives, as well as members of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees (listed below) and oppose passage of House Bill 78. If you are able to attend either of the public hearings to speak against breed-specific legislation, or support HAGA's position in opposition to House Bill 78, your attendance would be appreciated.

For your information:
You can find your elected officials by entering your nine-digit zip code in the left column in Project Vote Smart - A Voter's Self-defense Sys? or by calling your county voter registration office. Contact us if you need help.

Please select if the Georgia website is back on line to read this legislation.

Sent by:
Humane Association of Georgia, Inc.
A coalition of humane societies, animal control and rescue groups and individuals.
1317 Hearst Drive / Atlanta GA 30319
Visit our website: or select: Humane Association of Georgia, Inc. - Home Page

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