Pit Bull Discrimination

The Professor brought me the October 9th edition of The Blue Devil’s Advocate, which is the student paper of the Kansas City Kansas Community College.

Their lead story is about Maddie the pit bull, who is a trained service dog whose job it is to sense when Candi Butcher is going to have an epileptic seizure and warn her so that she can prepare for them.  Candi says, “I had a seizure on the side of the street and she kept me from wandering into traffic and getting killed.”

Since moving to Kansas four months ago, Butcher has been denied entrance into her doctor’s office and cannot ride the bus because her doctor and the bus driver don’t give a shit that Maddie is Candi’s service animal, but instead are concerned that she’s a scary pit bull.  She also was denied a job at Walmart because of the dog.

The thing is, though, that this seems to violate the Americans with Disabilities Act.  The paper reports that ADA regulation stipulate, “You may exclude any animal, including a service animal, from your facility when that animal’s behavior poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others.  For example, any service animal that displays vicious behavior towards other guests or customers may be excluded.  You may not make assumptions, however, about how a particular animal is likely to behave based on your past experience with other animals.  Each situation must be considered individually.”  [emphasis mine]

Butcher is making flyers and writing letters, trying to educate people about her dog.  If that fails, she’ll look into getting legal counsel. 

I would suggest that Ms. Butcher look into getting legal counsel immediately, since, as faithful readers will recall, Kansas City, Kansas recently banned all pit bulls from the city and is rounding them up to kill them.  Maddie is lucky that the worst thing that’s happened to her is that she can’t get on the bus. 

4 thoughts on “Pit Bull Discrimination

  1. The American Pit Bull is definately getting a bad rap, no doubt. Although I have can’t prove it, I believe my neighbor killed our Stafforshire. I’m sure he thought she was a Pit because he kept asking over and over again, and I think he told some of the neighbors that she was a Pit even after I explained that she was not. Doesn’t really matter, because I took her from a rescue group thinking she was a Pit and I wanted her before I knew she wasn’t anyway. As she grew a bit, we realized that she had a lot of the characteristics of a Stafford as opposed to an American Pit. Anyway, I hate hearing that poor animals are being rounded up and killed. Truly sad.

  2. Going back and re-typing over I messed up some stuff and left some out. I’m sure that an effective attorney can help Candi Butcher get her dog recognized as a service animal. I know that in some areas, they issue laminated badges to put on service dogs for identification and access to public places.

  3. It’ll be interesting to see. I haven’t seen the wording of the Kansas City, KS ordinance. I don’t know if they make an exception for service dogs. If not, they’ll be running head-on into ADA problems, to which I say, good. They seem to believe, like your neighbor, that all medium sized bull terrier breeds are dangerous "pit bulls" who must be killed.I keep thinking that, if only people were educated about the breeds, they’d stop being such fuckers, but a certain local blogger who shall not be named proved me wrong on that.

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