Preparing for Breed Specific Legislation Meetings
HOW TO STOP Breed Specific Legislation (BSL)
- Look the part
- Educate yourself – Why Breed Specific Legislation Doesn’t Work
- Educate the Council- Talking Points to Address
- Submit a proven Alternative Ordinance Model Dog Law
Appearance is very important. Look professional as if you are going to a job interview or to church. Clothing should be blue hued – no strong bold colors – subtle works best. Avoid patterns. Avoid shiny.
No tattoos (wear clothing that covers them), one good piece of jewelry, subtle earrings, minimal makeup, hair in control.
How we present ourselves is so very important. There are those who insist that “thug” is OK because they care about their dogs as much as we do. Unfortunately, what these people do not seem to understand is you only get one chance to make a first impression. The people to whom we are making our case already have a preconceived notion of pit bull owners – it is our job to show them that responsible APBT owners are just like any other responsible dog owner. It has nothing to do with how much we all love our dogs, it has everything to do with playing to and utilizing the rules of the game that those who hold our dogs lives in their hands play and that is all… politics and impressions. PERIOD.
No one cares about how much we love our dogs. Keep whatever you’re saying more toward the facts than emotional stories.
We’ve found some points to be more effective than others such as, “Not one dog/human safety ORGANIZATION has come out saying breed bans/restrictions are effective.” (It’s important to say “organization” because if you say expert, you’d be wrong as there are some lone wolves, so to speak, who do think they work.)
If you choose to address the council here are some helpful hints.
PUBLIC SPEAKING HINTS
Unless you are an excellent public speaker or someone who is not intimidated by speaking in public, prepare note cards to keep your facts straight and to keep you on target. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Take into consideration that you will be allotted a specific amount of time to speak, so use data and statistics, not emotions. Keep your notes short and to the point. When in doubt just state the facts.
Hold your tongue. Once something is out of your mouth, it is too late to take it back. Harsh words or criticism of the council could very well leave a more harmful than helpful impression.