Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) bans and/or restricts “types” of dogs based on their appearance. Simply put, BSL is discrimination. These “laws” not only support, but ENFORCE discrimination and limit our freedoms, going against the very values our country was built on. To judge any living thing based soley on appearance is immoral and wrong. It is incomprehensible to be living in a first world country in 2015 where ineffective “laws” are enforced which prevent our active duty military and millions of Americans from having the type of dog they want as family members. These “laws” are without merit, not based on facts, and deem “PitBull type dogs” (among other breeds) “inherently dangerous.” FACTUALLY, there is nothing more dangerous on earth than a human being and HUMANS are who need to be held accountable for irresponsible, uneducated, and reckless behavior, especially when it comes to PitBulls. If we are to truly make our communities safer for humans and pets it is time our law makers shift their focus to the other end of the leash. To ban the victim is total avoidance of the truth. BSL is ineffective, costly and wrong.
The determination as to whether a dog is or is not a “pit bull” is made by a police chief, police officers and/or animal control officials. The people enforcing these ordinances are not experts in breed identification and not even close to being qualified. And..factually there is no way to positively identify a “pit bull.” “Pit bull” is not a breed. It’s a generic term used to describe the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier and Staffordshire Bull Terrier. The physical traits and characteristics shared by “pit bulls” are also shared by approximately twenty-five other breeds that are not typically classified as bully breed dogs. This, in and of itself, causes great difficulty in identification and allows for discriminatory and subjective actions by animal control officers.
The focus of legislators should be on implementing and enforcing generic, non-breed specific dangerous dog laws. These laws deem a dog dangerous based on individual dangerous or vicious acts of the dog – not by breed. Existing laws should be strictly enforced and irresponsible owners should be held accountable for the actions of their dogs. Breed specific legislation removes the responsibility from the dog’s owner and places it solely on the dog itself.
Some other breeds affected by BSL:
- American Pit Bull Terrier
- American Staffordshire Terrier
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- Doberman Pinscher
- Cane Corso
- Great Dane
- Bull Mastiff
- St. Bernard
- Dogo Argentino
- Shar Pai
- Alaskan Malamute
- Siberian Husky
- American Bulldog
- German Shephard
- Chow Chow
- English Mastiff
- Wolf Hybrids
Breed-specific restrictions may require an owner of a targeted breed do any of the following or more, depending on how the law is written:
- Muzzle the dog in public
- Spay or neuter the dog
- Contain the dog in a kennel with specific requirements (6′ chain link walls, lid, concrete floors, etc.)
- Keep the dog on a leash of specific length or material
- Purchase liability insurance of a certain amount
- Place “vicious dog” signs on the outside of the residence where the dog lives
- Make the dog wear a “vicious dog” tag or other identifying marker
*Breed-specific legislation applies only to dogs of a certain appearance, not to any and all dogs. It does not take into account how the owner has raised, trained, or managed the dog. It does not take into account the dog’s actual behavior.
The White House issued a statement in 2013 stating “we don’t support breed-specific legislation—research shows that bans on certain types of dogs are largely ineffective and often a waste of public resources. And the simple fact is that dogs of any breed can become dangerous when they’re intentionally or unintentionally raised to be aggressive.” SUFP Foundation founder, Rebecca Corry commented on those statement along with other advocates in the Huffington Post. CLICK HERE to read the story.
All dogs, including Pit Bulls, are individuals. To judge them or any living being based on appearance or DNA is immoral, ignorant and wrong.