Arkansas, known for its abundance of beauty such as the Ozark region and wildlife, has earned the reputation as the “Natural State” or “Wonder State.”
Despite the superb reputation of the Ozark Mountains and bountiful wildlife, Arkansas has contempt for Pitbulls.
Arkansas is a part of the several states along the Mississippi River that enforce BSL (Breed Specific Legislation). In fact, there are over 20 counties in Arkansas that's enforcing BSL today!
In 2009, after several fatalities of children across the "wonder state," many legislators issued an emergency ordinance to ban Pitbulls.
Unfortunately, the ban spread like wildfire and county legislators incorporated BSL into city ordinances.
The legislators were simply trying to meet public demands because many people believe that pit bulls are inherently dangerous dogs.
Actions to ban pit bulls in Arkansas can be traced back as early as the 80s because of the mishandling of pit bulls by negligent dog owners.
BSL laws are impacting responsible and law-abiding citizens more than the people who are the cause behind the bad reputation of the pit bull.
Here's a testimony from a man who lived in Arkansas during the beginning of BSL;
"I applaud the city council for doing something; however, on the same note -- Help," said Wallace. "We want to keep our animals, and we will comply to the best of our ability. Those of us who are responsible dog owners, I feel like we're being punished for having the kind of dog that I have. It is not the animal's fault; it's the owner's responsibility. If the owner is not responsible, they don't need to have the dog, period. As a dog owner, I understand the ordinance and I know why it's necessary, but the insurance is just too high a cost to bear." Arkansas pitbull owner Patty Wallace (AreaMedia)
Law abiding citizens are paying the cost and fees, and are inconvenienced just for wanting to properly love pit bulls, while dog traffickers continue their tyranny through underground fighting rings.
The fear that people have toward these victims, the pit bulls, has caused unjust passing of laws.
Arkansas is looking at the pit bulls as the issue and not as victims.
Why are these dog attack incidences occurring throughout the states along the Mississippi River anyway?
For the same issue that has been going on for centuries, and that's dogfighting culture.
When looking at Arkansas, dogfighting has been a massive problem for years.
Pitbulls have always been the number one breed targeted in these type of social environments.
Money could be the motive behind dogfighting, and these traffickers are going to do what it takes to continue this cruel sport. Dog fighters are least troubled about what this heinous sport has brought in the communities of Arkansas.
Yet these obvious dogfighting problems were not enough to stop the people from wanting pit bulls banned from their counties.
In July 2009, there was a multi-state dog fighting raid, which was known for being the most extensive federal crackdown on dog fighting in U.S. history. Over 400 dogs were rescued during this operation, most of them were Pit Bulls. These raids launched by national and local agencies took place in Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi and along with several other states. (fox4kc)
When dog fighting rings are raided, these pit bulls are shipped off to rescue shelters with the intentions to rehome hopefully but what people are not taking into consideration is the trauma that these animals are left with after enduring such abuse. YES! Animals are not exempted from behavior issues when suffering from trauma. So, rehoming a pit bill and expecting them to behave like other dogs who have never experienced abuse, seems to set these victimized animals up to fail. Sending these animals to homes with children and the elderly is not rational at all because it takes professional trainers to redirect these dogs behavior if possible. HINT: Most of the fatalities through pit bulls were children and elderly. But sources never seem to specify the upbringing of these dogs precisely.
Were they victims of dogfighting or not? Most people should ask!
Even after BSL has been in place for years, dogfighting is still an on-going problem in Arkansas.
Would dogfighters care to register his dog according to the state laws?
NO! They’re going to have these victims illegally and continue to fight them. The issue is not with the dogs, it’s with the dogfighting culture
Most of these counties in Arkansas do not have adequate animal control to go after dog fighters. So their resolution is just to pass BSL hoping that banning the dogs would make the problem go away.
THE PROBLEM WILL NOT GO AWAY BECAUSE THE PROBLEM IS NOT PITBULLS
Pit bulls have been victims for a very long time. States laws like BSL are not solving problems but merely avoiding the underline cause of the issue. According to the Animal Legal and Historical Center, the experiences of a victim of dogfighting is gruesome, as the following passage give a horrific example of how a PERSON can manipulate the loyalty of these great dogs.
“His face is a mass of deep cuts, as are his shoulders and neck. Both of his front legs have been broken, but Billy Bear isn’t ready to quit. At the referee’s signal, his master releases him, and unable to support himself on his front legs, he slides on his chest across the blood and urine stained carpet, propelled by his good hind legs, toward the opponent who rushes to meet him. Driven by instinct, intensive training, and love for the owner who has brought him to this moment, Billy Bear drives himself painfully into the other dog’s charge... Less than 20 minutes later, rendered useless by the other dog, Billy Bear lies spent beside his master, his stomach constricted with pain. He turns his head back toward the ring, his eyes glazed, searching for a last look at the other dog as he receives a bullet in his brain.” (AnimalLaw)
Arkansas people need to see that dogs will be dogs without proper behavior training. Every responsible dog owner is entitled to apply proper training when owning a canine.
Owners should be accountable for keeping their dogs on their property. If they should leave them outside, owners should be responsible for leashing their animals and not let their dogs roam free on their land, risking them going to neighboring lots. YES! It happens that our fur babies can be rebellious and run off, but you can reduce the risk by being outside with your dog and taking proper precautions to ensure safety for others.
View this video below as an example of the result of negligent dog owners in Arkansas. This video has not a single pit bull involved. If anything, there are popular breeds in this video, like the golden retriever! Untrained canines recently attacked a woman! Vicious dogs are created through social environments, not because of their breed.
BUT WHY ARE PITBULLS THE ONLY DOGS WHO HAS BEEN BANNED?
DOGS DO NOT HAVE TO BE PITBULLS TO BITE OR ATTACK
Therefore, Arkansas should find a better resolution when dealing with dog attacks. Perhaps the natural state can get on board with other states in America, such as Arizona and pass a bill like the Senate Bill 1248. This will allow counties to enforce animal control laws without discrimination toward pit bull owners.
There are people in Arkansas who are already paving the way for a change!
You can be a part of that change too, click the picture below to sign the petition to stop BSL in Arkansas today!
We must continue to stand for pit bulls who are often misguided and unloved the most of all breeds. If you are a resident of Arkansas be a part of the city meetings in your county and SAY NO TO BSL
Below are the following counties in Arkansas that have BSL:
Arkadelphia, AR- Chapter 6.16.03
Batesville, AR- Section 6.04.12
Beebe, AR- Ordinance NO. 2016-15
Blevins, AR- Ordinance NO. 05-2014
Cabot, AR- Sec.4-114
Caraway, AR- Ordinance 2017-6
Carlisle, AR- Section 4.15
Dardanelle, AR- Sec. 4-115