Nevada will become the 14th state to preempt its towns and counties from discriminating against dogs on the basis of breed or appearance. Governor Brian Sandoval has signed Assembly Bill No. 110, which both describes the circumstances under which local authority can declare an individual dog to be dangerous or vicious, and prohibits a local authority from either a) deeming an individual dog dangerous or vicious on account of breed; or b)passing an ordinance declaring a breed of dogs, dangerous or vicious. Assemblyman James Ohrenschall (D-Clark County) introduced the bill in February. The good sense of his proposal being apparent to both houses, Bill 110 moved quickly through the legislature. It was unanimously approved by the Assembly, then passed the Senate with only one dissenting vote. Professionals who have studied dog bite incidents and published their findings in the professional literature oppose regulating dogs on the basis of breed. An analysis of that literature shows that there is no basis upon which to consider one or more breeds of dogs disproportionately dangerous. Nor has regulating dogs on the basis of breed ever been shown to improve community safety, wherever it has been enacted. It has, however, wasted tax dollars. Community safety benefits from a responsible pet ownership model. Communities should adopt these clear principles, and apply them to all dog owners, whether their dogs are big or small, however many they have, and whatever kind they choose to keep.
- Behavior, Genetics, and “Breed”
- Public Policy