BSL laws, or breed-specific legislation, are laws that ban/restrict specific types of dogs based on things, such as their appearance, simply because they are considered a “dangerous” type of dog. BSL is categorized into two forms: bans and restrictions. Approximately more than 937 cities in the US have BSL legislation in place actively.
Breed bans require dogs of a certain look be removed from the city/town where the ban has been put into action. These breeds of dogs are called “targeted breeds”, and are killed by animal control, though sometimes dogs can be saved. These “targeted” animals are only killed if they are in the municipality AFTER the effective date of the ban, since there are grandfather clauses that allow dogs of this certain breed to stay in the area (after proper papers are registered with the city by a time specific date, and are usually subjected to restrictions). These restrictions can include things along the spectrum of muzzling the dog in public, to being required to wear a “vicious dog” tag.
BSL is wrong in so many ways, and heres a few reasons why:
- Half a million dollars a year are spent to “ensure public safety” from these breeds of dogs. Money that comes out of the tax payers pocket. It cost a county around $68,000 to confiscate and euthanize a single pit bull. Just one.
- It punishes responsible dog owners for having a dog of a “certain look” when, in actuality, that dog did nothing wrong. The BSL targets ALL dogs of a certain appearance, not just the dogs who are actually the ones responsible for injuries and destructive behaviors.
- BSL laws provide the public with a false sense of safety. Do not, and I repeat, do not, rely on a stereotype about a dog breed to save yourself from a dog bite. Dog’s behavior is so much deeper than their looks, and since you don’t always know a dogs behavior background it’s safe to say you probably shouldn’t rush to make assumptions.
- Not one single canine professional supports BSL. Shouldn’t a specialist’s opinion matter? So many canine welfare groups deal with countless amounts of aggressive dogs, and super sweet ones, on a day-to-day basis, yet still don’t support this legislation. Here’s a few professional groups that don’t, and these aren’t even all of them!
- ABA (American Bar Association)
- ADOA (American Dog Owners Association)
- AKS (American Kennel Club)
- ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)
- AWDF (American Working Dog Federation)
- APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers)
- Best Friends Animal Society
- HSUS (Humane Society of the United States)
- IAABC (International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants)
- Science nor statistics support policies that discriminate based on physical appearance.
Dogs are a product of their environment, which means if you abuse or neglect a dog, of course it’s going to become vicious, but if you love and nurture these beautiful animals then they can grow old with you and your family. About 800,000 pit bulls are euthanized a year, simply because they’re pit bulls. The worst part? The term pit bull is just an umbrella term, like retriever or spaniel. There are so many types of ‘pit bulls’. The only thing that makes a dog a pit bull is a muscular build and a square face.
These dogs deserve a better life, one where they won’t bite the dust simply because they’re a certain appearance. The list can go on and on about why the BSL legislation should be looked at again, but simply put, we need to put an end to euthanizing dogs because of their stereotypes and looks.