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Michele
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PostSubject: Writing an effective letters to officials   Wed Mar 03, 2010 6:29 pm

Writing effective letters to officials

One of the most difficult things for those new to fighting BSL is expressing your feelings to the legislators and/or other officials who have proposed it. There are some very important things to remember when communicating with officials:

First and foremost, ALWAYS BE POLITE AND RESPECTFUL in all your communications with officials. Don't be combative or argumentative regardless of the difference between your point of view and theirs. Our dogs are worth putting your personal feelings of anger aside in order to communicate effectively.

Stick to the facts. Try to avoid being emotional. It is a given that you love your dogs or you wouldn't be fighting for them. The simple truth is, the officials do not care how much we love our dogs -- they care about the safety of their constituents and their community. To that end, the facts related to the inefficiency of breed specific legislation and the integral part that irresponsible owners play in dog attacks are important facts to get across to them.

Money talks. One thing that always catches the ear of officials is cost. Reinforce the fact that breed specific laws cost a lot of money - additional animal control, shelters fees, vetting, litigation, etc. The bottom line is simple... BSL costs tax payers A LOT of money!

Breed identification. Another important flaw with breed specific laws is breed identification. There are a minimum of twenty-five (25) breeds that possess the physical traits of 'pit bulls.' Breed identification by animal control officers is subjective and, therefore, opens the city up to a liability issues in the event of mistaken identification. The "Find the Pit Bull" game is an excellent tool to demonstrate the difficulty of identifying 'pit bulls."

General letter writing tips:
It is not necessary to type your letter. In fact, a handwritten letter has a tremendous impact. (As long as its legible!) Even a postcard is fine, as long as it's nott the pre-printed "form" card.
Be brief and to the point. Try to limit your letter to one or two subjects. Include all bill titles and numbers whenever possible.
Send your letter as soon as you hear about an issue or bill. If it comes up again later in the session, you can always write again or make a phone call.
During the legislative session, send letters to the State Capitol building. During the interim, send letters to the legislators' home addresses.
Below are some form letters (ranging from very simple to quite detailed) which oppose BSL that you can modify to fit your current situation and send to officials.

http://fightbsl.tripod.com/id2.html
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