A few cities and communities may propose outdated breed-specific legislation (BSL), also known as breed discrimination, out of misinformation regarding the issue of dangerous dogs. We all want safe and humane communities for people and pets and want to prevent dog bites and attacks.
However, these ineffective laws target a variety of breeds of dogs, often pit bull terriers and mixes, while not addressing the real issue of a dog’s behavior. Scientific research shows that the main problem is dogs who are unsupervised, untrained, under-socialized and/or unneutered and who have reckless owners. Many local governments are now preventing reckless, or problem, pet owners from owning dogs.
BSL laws and dog breed bans
Best Friends prefers to refer to BSL as breed-discriminatory legislation (BDL) because certain dogs are targeted by laws based solely on a dog’s alleged breed, not behavior. Breed bans or restrictions fail to enhance public safety and violate the property rights of responsible pet owners. A dog’s appearance does not predict behavior. Breed is not a factor in dog bites or attacks. Studies, research and policies from the National Canine Research Council, the CDC, and American Bar Association, have also shown that these laws do not keep communities safer.
Cost of banning alleged dangerous dog breeds
The bottom line is these knee-jerk laws fail to protect citizens, and these provisions are extremely expensive for governments to enforce. They waste precious tax dollars.
Find how much it would cost your city, county or town, and how many pet dogs would be impacted, if public officials were to implement and enforce an ineffective breed restriction or regulation policy by entering your city and state into this breed ban calculator. In addition, you can also access talking points to discuss this important animal welfare issue with your legislators.
Visit Best Friends’ Legislative Action Center to get up-to-date information on current legislation and issues that affect animals. Let your voice be heard. Politics is not a spectator sport.