To the Editor,
Our names are Peyton Frank and Taylor Frank, Co-Directors of Better Together Animal Rescue in Vinton. We are writing you today regarding the current Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) in Benton County.Benton County long ago adopted BSL banning Pit Bulls, or those resembling as such, from Benton County. As Co-Directors of the only animal rescue in Benton County, animal advocates and citizens of this County, we are in favor of laws and regulations that protect our community members. This regulation, however, has several pitfalls to it that we hope you reconsider. One reason laws are created is to keep consistency amongst civilians, yet the term "appearance" is subjective and makes the current regulation only pertinent to some. Without proper DNA testing or a licensed veterinarian, we question how an officer can determine an animal's breed based on their appearance and to further call for the removal of said animal(s). Canine breeds may have breed standards regarding their appearances, but to make assumptions and demands regarding such opinions seems hasty and unethical, particularly when the animal(s) has no history of behaving dangerously.The larger issue, however, is why these judgement calls are even being made. BSL is an antiquated practice originally created to "protect" communities from specific breeds of animals. Laws and regulations should be enacted and enforced based on facts and as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has cited, there is no evidence that breed-specific laws make communities safer for people or companion animals. Instead, we urge you to consider supporting strong dangerous animal codes that protect Iowans' rights to choose the dog(s) that is the best fit for their families. We are proud to be members of this community and believe Benton County and the towns within it can be more forward thinking than this current regulation suggests.We and Better Together Animal Rescue, Inc. strongly oppose BSL in any manner and join the vast majority of animal organizations in Iowa that instead support dangerous animal codes. We humbly ask you to reconsider the current regulation and work towards ending BSL in our community.Respectfully, Peyton Frank, Co-DirectorTaylor Frank, Co-Director
Better Together Animal Rescue, Inc.