Friday, July 27, 2012

Breed Specific Legislation

Like many families across the world, our family is big time animal lovers. We have four pets; one dog and three cats. All have been rescues. We are firmly committed that is much better to rescue and adopt pets as opposed to buying them from breeders and pet shops.

 As animal lovers, we find it very troubling when we hear stories of animal abuse, neglect, and injustice. Like many, we recently heard about the heartbreaking story of Lennox who was a Labrador and American Bulldog mix that was heartlessly euthanized in Belfast on July 11, 2012 in accordance with their Breed Specific Laws.

 In Lennox's story, he was targeted because of his appearance and that he 'resembled' a pit bull. Lennox was actually a service dog to a chronically ill child and had never bitten anyone or exhibited aggressive behavior. Despite numerous pleas from dog advocates around the world to provide sanctuary for the dog, Belfast taunted the family by not allowing the family to even say goodbye to their beloved pet and euthanized him.

 The problem with Breed Specific Legislation is that it unfairly targets breeds based on preconceived notions and myths. Many times, individuals believe that certain breeds are just born aggressive, such as pit bulls, rottweilers, and other large breeds. The reality is, the problem is not with the breed, but rather in how the dog is raised.

 Breed Specific Legislation or BSL as it is more commonly known is set on wiping out breeds that they feel are harmful to society. In fact, much like Lennox's story, a dog does not have to be a pit bull but simply resemble one.

 Instead of creating laws that work to eliminate breeds, new legislation should be enacted that targets the owners. Responsible dog owners will raise responsible dogs. By going after individuals who operate dog fighting rings, abuse animals, and do not properly take care of their pets, much of the misconception regarding 'bully breeds' can be laid to rest.

 Although fighting Breed Specific Legislation is a large scale issue, there are many things that you can do easily to help raise awareness that BSL is not the answer.

First, educate yourself on BSL in your area. BSL laws vary not only from state to state, but county to county as well. It is important to find out if your area is affected and there is a ban on certain breeds.

Secondly, start writing your mayors, lawmakers, politicians, and animal rescue groups and share your position and ideas on how to reform the law and bring about positive change. It is important to note when writing, make sure that you do so in a classy and tasteful manner. Temper, slurs, and slander will not get your point across any faster but simply get your letter in the trash. Your letters can include solutions to better regulate dog owners, increase awareness regarding safer interactions between dogs and society, or even enforcing leash laws more. Whatever your point is in the fight against BSL, make sure that it is not lost in a fury of anger.

 Lastly, find a shelter and rescue group and get out there and volunteer. Many of the animals that are put down are in shelters and they just need someone to take a chance on them. Many times, shelters and rescue groups have low cost spay/neuter programs that are always looking for volunteers to help educate and increase awareness. Most dogs that have been violent are adults that have not been spayed or neutered and have been trained to be that way.

Wherever you are, no matter your age, you can take a stand and fight against BSL and be a voice for those that cannot speak for themselves.

It is incomprehensible to punish an entire breed based on looks, myths, and hype. As many have stated before, punish the deed and not the breed.

 For more information on BSL, check out Help me Put an End to Breed Specific Legislation.

Stay informed and if you hear about any families currently fighting to keep their dog from being euthanized under BSL, please let me know so we can increase awareness!

Until next time!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Chick-Fil-A Controversy

By now, just about everyone has heard about the firestorm Chick-fil-a is currently in when the restaurant President Dan Cathy took a stand against gay marriage stating that they are “supportive of family-the Biblical definition of the family unit.” Naturally, this created an onset of media attacks and fury from many people. What amazes me in this story is the hypocrisy of the entire situation. Since when is it not ok to stand up for what you believe in? Not everyone in this country is going to agree on everything, but that does not mean that they do not have the right to voice their opinion.

 In fact, some of the individuals currently against Chick-fil-a have been downright tasteless in their comments and show their lack of class all together such as Roseanne Barr’s comment that “anyone who eats Chick-fil-a (I omitted the slur) deserves to get the cancer.” On top of that, even government officials such as Democratic politician Rahm Emanuel have stated that he will use the government to “punish Chick-fil-a.” Even the Mayor of Boston, Massachusetts, Thomas Menino is working to block Chick-fil-a from opening a location in their city.

Personally, I commend Chick-fil-a for standing up for what they believe in. I’m sure individuals who do lead gay/lesbian/transgender/bisexual lifestyles are proud of themselves for standing up for their beliefs, so why is it not acceptable for someone else to do the same? Chick-fil-a is not discriminating against them by refusing to serve or hire them, but simply saying they see marriage differently. Chick-fil-a has a long history of building its business on integrity and Biblical principals; and in this country we are blessed to have the freedom of speech and religion. These freedoms are not only for a select few, but for everyone, REGARDLESS of race, creed, gender, or sexual orientation.

 In a world where we are so focused on anti-bullying tactics, can everyone not see what this really is? It is nothing more than large scale bullying by adults who are supposed to be able to set examples to the younger generation in how to treat others. What kind of message do you think our children are learning? They are learning that if someone does not agree with you, it is ok to publically attack them and attempt to ‘punish’ them until they conform to the standards that someone else has deemed acceptable.

 I’m sure that I will get some flack for this post, but I’m not too concerned with that. I think that if we spent more of our time building others up and respecting each other, no matter which side of the fence we are on when it comes to important issues like this, we would all be setting a much better example for our children and society around us.

The bottom line is this: Chick-fil-a has done nothing wrong to deserve such a negative outcry from the public and government officials. Personally, I agree with the Biblical version of marriage, but I would never say that someone who believes different needed to be ‘punished’ or slandered. It is my thought that everyone does love, kindness, and respect. Treat others the way you would want to be treated.  Plain and simple.

Just some food for thought!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Time Flies!

Hey everyone! It has been quite awhile since I last blogged! Wow, there is so much to catch up on! Well for starters, we are now living in Slidell, Louisiana. We moved to Louisiana in March of 2012 after many months of prayer and deliberation. We wanted to move South to be closer to my Grandmother and we also felt that this was where God was leading us. It was really hard to leave our church and our friends that we had made in Virginia but we know that this is something that we just have to do. We haven't found a house yet, so we are temporarily staying in our RV until we can get approved and find a house that meets our family's needs. It definitely can be a bit stressful, after all there are five of us and spaces are cramped, but we are confident that in God's time, the right door will be opened. Just to give you an idea of how much God has all ready moved since we have been here, the first day we arrived in Slidell (we visited with my husband's dad in Alabama first) my husband got a great job. Then, after working for a few months, my husbands boss gave us a minivan free and clear. We decided to put the boys temporarily in public school as opposed to homeschooling since we are living in the RV and small spaces make things difficult. So far they like their school and are looking forward to going back in a few weeks when school starts up again. Once we find a house, we will make the decision if we are going to continue public school or homeschool again. The boys seem to really enjoy both, so we'll see what happens. I have been staying very busy with school. I'm majoring in Criminal Justice and should graduate with my bachelors degree in 2014. It seems like so far away but I'm trying to stay focused and take one class at a time. Well, that is pretty much the gist of everything, and I will definitely try to keep my blog much more active in the months to come! Have a great day!