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House Bill 313 will soon cross the desks of Georgia representatives that, if passed, would discourage dog adoptions by requiring that every rescue organization, shelter, or individual rehoming certain breeds to also provide potential adopters with paperwork and statistics on dog bite frequency and litigation costs during a transfer of ownership – whether it be through sale, adoption, or gift – even when the dog being adopted has never bitten anyone.
The bill, filed by District 60 Georgia Representative Keisha Waites (D), specifically names the usual breeds included in breed-specific legislation (American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bulldog, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Doberman Pinscher, Rottweiler, Akita, and wolf hybrid breeds), but also includes several breeds less commonly affected by BSL including the German Shepherd, Chow Chow, Husky, Great Dane, and Boxer breeds and mixes.
It would require the dog’s current owner or guardian to provide, upon transfer of ownership of the animal, the following data to the new owner:
- any statistics pertaining to injuries to humans caused by dogs which it deems relevant to inform the public of the risks related to dog bites
- data from the previous year regarding the reported number of humans bitten by dogs in the United States;
- data on the total medical costs related to injuries caused by dogs in the United States
- the total amount of damages awarded to victims of dog bites or dog attacks in the United States
The bill, nicknamed “Logan’s Law” was drafted in response to a recent attack in which a young Atlanta boy named Logan was killed by a pit bull on his way to the bus stop. The bill was written under the guise of increasing public safety, but those who oppose the bill believe that, not only would a bill already in place not have prevented the attack on Logan, it would not prevent future attacks from occurring.
Further, the bill places unnecessary burden on rescue organizations, forcing them to provide potential adopters with information that is both already readily available and is irrelevant in individual adoptions, sales, or transfers of dog ownership.
And, further complicated by the passing of the bill would be rescue efforts when any of the named breeds, or mixes of those breeds are involved. For example, would a rescuer be permitted to remove an animal from an abusive situation, or will he need to wait for the abuser to provide irrelevant dog bite statistics first?
You can read the entire bill right here:
If passed, the bill will take effect on July 1, 2017. The bill has been assigned to the House Agriculture Committee. It will need to pass through the House, get a vote on the House floor, pass the Senate Committee, and a vote on the Senate floor before the Governor would consider signing it into law.
The legislation, would not only discourage pet adoptions, but would complicate rescue efforts and make it even more difficult for dog owners needing to rehome animals to do so – all without any conceivable benefit to public safety.
If you live in Georgia, please contact your representatives here and urge them to vote NO on House Bill 313.