The following are the statements of positions and policies that have been approved by the Board of Directors of Yakima Humane Society. Taken together, these statements constitute the attitude and position of Yakima Humane Society (YHS) regarding animal welfare and protection issues at this particular time in history.
Yakima Humane Society believes that every animal is an individual, regardless of species or breed, and should be evaluated as such. To that end, we are opposed to Breed Discriminatory Legislation (BDL), also known as Breed Specific Legislation (BSL).
BDL refers to laws that ban or restrict certain types of dogs based simply on their appearance or breed. Frequent targets of these laws are Pit Bull type dogs, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, Akitas, Chow Chows, and others.
Peer-reviewed research has consistently shown that these types of laws are ineffective in reducing dog bites and promoting public safety. Instead, they violate the property and due process rights of responsible dog owners. They are also extremely expensive to enforce, diverting resources from other animal control services.
Accurate enforcement of these laws is of particular concern. Studies have consistently shown that breed labels visually assigned to dogs are almost always inaccurate. One study, in particular, found that over 90% of dogs identified by an adoption agency did not have the visually identified breeds as the predominant breed in their DNA analysis.
Our position is consistent with that of the nationally recognized experts in the field, including The National Animal Care and Control Association (NACA), Best Friends Animal Society, The ASPCA, The Humane Society of the United States, The American Bar Association, The American Veterinary Medical Association, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Therefore, the Yakima Humane Society opposes laws that prohibit or restrict the ownership of dogs based on breed and will strive to educate the public on responsible pet ownership and the ineffectiveness of such laws.