There is an unfortunate trend in cities, counties, states and provinces towards what is known as Breed-Specific Laws (BSL) in which a municipality bans or restricts the freedoms of dog owners with specific breeds of dogs. These laws vary from place to place and are affecting a greater number of dog owners every month. Most people may think that these laws affect only the "Pit Bull" but this is not the case. There are at least 50 breeds of dogs as well as mixed breeds that include targeted breeds named in the various laws in North America. The majority of Dogs affected are Pit Bulls and similar dogs, but other breeds are affected as well. These laws range from registration requirements and leash or muzzle requirements to extreme laws in which the breed(s) are banned from the municipality outright. Some places may even be permitted to confiscate a visitors dog who unknowingly enters the region with a banned breed.
DogFriendly.com does not believe in Breed-Specific Legislation, we do not think it works. In particular, as one breed is banned, people who train dogs to be vicious will move on to a different breed, causing it to be banned in due time. This hurts the responsible owners of these breeds. We especially oppose BSL regulation that forces, or allows the confiscation, and possible execution of a dog even if it did not harm anyone.
However, we suggest that dog owners whose dogs may be effected by these laws be aware of them and check that they are following all existing laws. To keep up to date on these laws we suggest checking the following websites, but keep in mind that they may not have the latest law updates.
US Breed Specific Laws (see map):
Canada Breed Specific Laws (see map): http://www.understand-a-bull.com/BSL/Locations/Canada/CanadianLocations.htm
AKC Legislation Department: http://www.akc.org/canine_legislation/index.cfm
Find the Pit Bull - why ID'ing a breed is a problem: http://www.understand-a-bull.com/Findthebull/findpitbull_v3.html
National Geographic Article on Breed-Specific-Laws http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/06/0617_040617_dogbans.html
Understand-a-bull.com's 10 worst breed-specific-laws list:: http://www.understand-a-bull.com/BSL/TenWorstList.htm
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