Pitbull Photograph

What is Breed-Specific Legislation?

Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) has been implemented in many cities and towns in a misguided attempt to reduce dog bites. Instead of targeting the real problem – irresponsible dog owners – BSL discriminates against innocent dogs and the families who love them.  Under BSL, dogs can be seized and impounded by police, simply for looking like a certain breed (even though there is no real way to determine their background). Pit bulls, along with breeds including Rottweilers and German Shepherds, are often the target of such legislation. Luckily for Philadelphia's dogs, Pennsylvania state law prohibits individual municipalities from enacting BSL. Dogs in places like Denver, Miami, and Ontario are not so lucky - under such laws, any dog that even looks like a pit bull can be confiscated and euthanized.

The ASPCA provides a good summary of BSL’s harmful impact here: http://www.aspca.org/fight-animal-cruelty/dog-fighting/breed-specific-legislation.html

Studies from around the world have proven that BSL is ineffective: in countries and cities where BSL has been enacted, dog bites never decreased. Click here for a summary from Defending Dog of BSL studies and their results.