Yep, we’re smart enough to vote…well I have my Mom go do it for me but you get my drift don’t you? If everyone who has a dog would understand that these stupid BSL laws will eventually pertain to ALL dogs, you’d better get ready to cast your dog’s vote too, WOOF! Here’s the information from My Dog Votes:
Survey Confirms Dog Owners May Be Key To Outcome Of Local Elections
New York, NY - October 30, 2006 My Dog Votes™ Brand T-Shirts, the company with a mission of Saving Dogs & Democracy™, announced today the results of the first nationwide political survey of dog owners. The company undertook the survey as part of its mission foster greater levels of voter participation amongst dog owners. The My Dog Votes™ Voter Opinion Survey pulsed the political opinions, levels of civic engagement, and probed voting trends of dog owners, who comprise nearly half of all U.S. households.
A key finding of the My Dog Votes™ Voter Opinion survey showed that a whopping 98.6% of the dog owners said a candidate’s position or track record on dog-related laws and policy would influence their vote in a local or state election. Dog ownership cuts across political, social and economic barriers.
The My Dog Votes™ Voter Opinion Survey, administered late last year with results complied in early March, sought to validate the notion that dog owners are a viable, cultural political constituency in local or state elections, and measure the political impact of local legislation, policy and issues that negatively effect dog ownership, as well as provide insight to key factors that motivate voter participation by dog owners.
Conducted online, the My Dog Votes™ Voter Opinion Survey sampled the opinions of over 1000 dog owners. Dog owners answered 118 questions on topics such as homeowner’s insurance discrimination, breed bans, weight and size restrictions, pet limit laws, public space bans, and mandatory microchipping laws.
The survey respondents, primarily women between the ages of 25 – 54, represented an almost even split of political party affiliations, with 34.5% identifying as Democrats, 31.6% Republican, 15.3% Independent, and 2% Libertarian. The remaining dog owners included 1.7% Green Party, 14.3% who identified no party affiliation at all, and 2.3% answered “Other.” Most viewed themselves as moderates, regardless of political affiliation.
The My Dog Votes™ survey found that the vast majority of the participants, or 81.5% of dog owners, own two or more dogs and 73.8 % reported an annual household income of over $50,000. All but 7.7% of respondents attended college, with 27.4% holding four-year degrees.
A startling 94.3% of dog owners ranked dog laws and policies as being an even more important concern than even property taxes, when questioned about which issues were important in a local or state election.
Many dog owners are concerned with the issue of breed discrimination and breed bans. The My Dog Votes™ Voter Awareness survey found that 97.8% of respondents are opposed to breed bans and 80.3% said that a candidate’s position on breed bans would influence their vote in a local of state election.
Party lines are blurred in local or state races where candidates have supported anti-dog legislation or breed-specific laws and policies, with 92.9% of respondents reporting they would cross party lines in a local or state election to preserve the right to own the dog of their choice.
Over 80% of respondents said a candidate’s position on breed discrimination in homeowners’/renter’s insurance underwriting practices would influence their vote, as bills circulate in numerous state legislatures that would prohibit insurance companies from discriminating against the owners of targeted breeds. More than 40 dog breeds have been blacklisted by the insurance industry in numerous states, resulting in dropped policies, limited coverage, or exclusion from policies for dogs with no bite history.
While dog owners also view their dogs as important family members, the overwhelming majority favored retaining the term “ownership” and legal status of ownership. Only 9.9% would vote for a candidate that supports the term ”guardian”, and 54.6% said they would cross party lines to actually vote against a candidate that supports guardianship over ownership.
In response to the growing concern over other local laws or measures that limit or restrict dog ownership, dog owners are also opposed to ordinances that restrict or ban dogs by weight or size (97.9%), pet limit laws (78%), as well as ordinances that limit or ban access to leashed dogs in public spaces such as parks or downtown areas (99.6%).
Certain communities have passed laws instituting the mandatory microchipping of dogs, to which dog owners are strongly opposed (77%). These measures are often coupled with clauses that mandate the spay/neuter or forced sterilization of targeted breeds and require dog owners of such breeds or mixes to register for databases. Over 80% of respondents are highly concerned about data privacy, which is seen as an emerging issue.
“This survey was an important first step in establishing a benchmark by which future studies can be measured”, said My Dog Votes™ founder, Barbara Haywood. “It is clear that dog owners are indeed a political constituency, and are highly motivated when it comes to these important family members. As dog-related laws become issues in local races, this survey may be a “wake-up call” for local politicians. Dog owners just may hold the key determining the outcome of local elections.”
The company plans to conduct the My Dog Votes™ Voter Opinion Survey on an annual basis, and expand it to include a larger sampling of dog owners from key demographics. My Dog Votes™ will also launch a Canadian version of the survey next month.
About My Dog Votes™
My Dog Votes™ Brand T-shirts and Clothing has a corporate mission of Saving Dogs and Democracy™. The company was founded with the goal of creating Dog-Friendly, Dog-Safe Communities™. My Dog Votes™ helps dog groups create and fund community responsible ownership educational programs through sales of the nonpartisan My Dog Votes™ political campaign style products, which feature the company’s popular red, white and blue Patriot Paw™ trademark. My Dog Votes™ also underwrites the country’s only national GOTV (Get Out The Vote) campaign for dog owners, aimed at elevating voter participation in local and state elections. On the web at www.mydogvotes.com