Breed Specific Legislation or BSL, is legislation enacted by local governments that limit or remove the right of people to own certain breeds of dogs based on the appearance of the dog. The problem with Breed Specific Legislation is that it is based on fear and ignorance. In the end, breed specific legislation hurts all dog owners due to the fact that any dog that resembles a restricted breed is at risk.
Enforcement of BSL is Expensive
The cost to enforce breed specific legislation is expensive. Municipalities will require more dog enforcement officers, an onsite veterinarian, more shelter space, the cost of euthanasia supplies, and the cost of administering and enforcing BSL. This undoubtedly leads to higher taxes to pay for the BSL.
All this money, and "enforcement" will still be ineffective and pointless.
Most People Don't Know a Pit Bull from a Boxer
Most people cannot correctly identify an American Pit Bull Terrier. Take the Find the Pit Bull Test and see how you fare. Did you choose correctly the first time? Are you an owner of one of the pictured breeds that is not an American Pit Bull Terrier? If so, your dog could be at risk. It is a crime that so many dog breeds are subject to random and arbitrary death due to their appearance.
Loss of a Loved One
Breed specific legislation often includes a mandatory euthanasia clause. For a pet owner, this means removing the "offending" dog from your premises immediately or your four-legged family member will be seized and euthanized. Depending on how the law is written, every dog is at risk.
And if if this precedent is set, what happens when some city councilman gets it into their thick skull that more breeds need to be banned to protect the public. Your dog could be next.
Moving Presents Even More Problems
People move due to family situations or for employment. Most dog owners would not think to call the local animal control officer or contact the local city hall to check if they have breed specific legislation in place. This is especially true of owners of small dogs like Jack Russell Terriers or mixed breed dogs. Dog owners need to check; your 25 pound brindle dachshund mix could be on the hit list due to their coloration.
What Dog Owners Can Do
Breed specific legislation adversely affects all dog owners. BSL puts all dogs at risk. Dog owners should be proactive in preventing BSL. Use the websites listed at the end of this article to help educate local politicians and lawmakers about how ineffective and costly BSL is.
Promote Dog Neutral Legislation
Promote breed neutral dangerous dog laws instead of breed specific legislation. Properly written dangerous dog laws protect humans and canines. This type of legislation penalizes those that mistreat animals, and it protects the real victims of mistreatment: the dogs. Breed neutral legislation works because it addresses the causes of dangerous dog behavior. See what the city of Boaz, Alabama has done to reject BSL in favor of better legislation.
Breed specific legislation hurts all dog owners. Poorly written legislation like BSL leads to higher taxes and unnecessary euthanasia of innocent dogs. BSL puts a tremendous strain emotional and financial strain on dog owners of all breeds. The safety and well being of all dogs is jeopardized when breed specific legislation is passed.