Animal Farm Foundation on Breed Specific Legislation (BSL)

Animal Farm Post

It’s time to clear something up: BSL is not a “pit bull” dog issue. It’s not something that only affects “pit bull” dogs and their families.

BSL denies all of us the opportunity to live in a safe, humane community.

BSL affects us all, no matter what kind of dog we have. In fact, it affects everyone, whether or not they even own a pet. As we’re seeing in Louisiana now, where local veterinarians are taking a stand against BSL by refusing to euthanize healthy, safe family pets, BSL tears apart communities and traumatizes our neighbors. (see more:…/liv…/louisiana-pit-bull-rottweiler-ban/)

In cases like this, it’s also important to consider: Are the current animal control ordinances effective and are they being enforced? Set the tone for responsible dog ownership in your community by updating current ordinances and enforcing them with those who do not comply.

Here’s how BSL fails us ALL:

-BSL is ineffective and expensive (your tax dollars are being wasted). It has never been proven to increase public safety.

-BSL is time-consuming and nearly impossible to enforce. Animal control officers must spend time and resources seizing and destroying family dogs, based only on their physical appearances, rather than focusing their efforts on protecting the community from truly dangerous animals.

-BSL doesn’t treat all citizens equally. Every citizen deserves to be protected from ALL reckless dog owners, regardless of what kind of dog they own. BSL only targets certain breeds or breed mixes, based only on how they look and not based on how a dog actually behaves. Every dog owner should be held equally accountable.

-BSL has targeted more than 30 different breeds of dogs – from Boston Terriers and Chihuahuas to Siberian Huskies and Great Danes, plus countless mixed breed dogs. Think your dog is safe? BSL is a slippery slope and your dog might be the next victim.

-BSL and “no kill” are incompatible. Cities can’t claim to be “no kill” if a breed ban is in place. Euthanizing any dog identified as a banned breed, regardless of the dog’s individual temperament, is incompatible with the “no kill” philosophy. Forward thinking animal welfare policies don’t allow for discrimination.

-BSL creates an atmosphere of fear. Families who can’t move to other towns wind up hiding their dogs. Neighbors get the message that “those dogs” aren’t safe and look at their neighbor’s dogs differently. Myths, lies, and hype take the place of facts, truth, and personal experiences. Fear replaces logic.

-BSL perpetuates myths. BSL suggests we can accurately identify a dog’s breed based on their looks and that a dog’s breed is an accurate predictor of behavior. Science has repeatedly shown that both of these concepts are false. We cannot accurately i.d. a dog based only on their physical appearance. And we cannot predict or assume to know how a dog will behave in the future, based only on their breed or appearance.

Breed Specific Legislation fails us and our communities. Everyone benefits when breed neutral laws, that hold ALL reckless dog owners accountable for their actions, are in place. It’s in all of our best interests to defeat BSL.

Defeating BSL makes the world a better, safer, more humane place for ALL dogs and all humans. Those of us with “pit bull” dogs can’t get there without the help and support of the wider dog community.

If you believe that all dogs should be treated fairly and equally, please stand with us.

Here’s how:

–Boycott towns that have BSL: don’t hold conferences, sporting competitions, or events in these towns. Take your money to places that don’t discriminate. Money talks.

–Be informed. Know your local and state laws. Watch our presentation to better understand BSL:…/Breed-Specific-Legisl…

–Don’t be silent. It could be your dogs next. Help us stop the cycle of discrimination now, so that no other group of dog owners ever has to take up this fight again. Join “pit bull” dog families in your town and demand fair and effective breed neutral polices. Let your policy makers know that you won’t stand for discrimination and ineffective laws that compromise everyone’s well being.

“Pit bull” dog families and advocates can’t defeat BSL without your help.

Please help us stand up for all dogs and join us in saying:

We want safe, humane communities and we won’t stand for or support this discrimination.