At the 2014 Seattle Pet Expo, one of the highlights was Deirdre “Little Darling” Franklin, founder of the non-profit Pinups for Pit Bulls, giving a presentation on Breed Specific Legislation (or BSL). There was also a booth for Pinups (seen on Animal Planet’s ‘Pit Boss’ with Shorty Rossi) throughout the show. Here’s the rundown on BSL:
What is BSL? Laws related to the attempted control or banning of certain dogs based on breed alone in attempt to cut down the number of dog attacks on humans. BSL comes down to breed bias; an unfair attempt at control. Laws based on misinformation and ignorance. Pit bulls are most often the targets (stay tuned for an article detailing pit bulls) but BSL can and has in some places included dogs categorized as a “bully breed”.
The word bully itself undoubtedly brings to mind that intimidating and domineering character we've all met on the playground. So automatically, a dog labeled as a bully breed is thought of as intimidating and preying on the weak. Is that the truth? No. Some of these so called “bully breeds” can be bullies, but so can Chihuahuas, it’s the owner- not the dog who has to correctly handle that behavior.
Here’s a few breeds considered “bullies”: dogs considered pit bulls, Boston Terriers, Boxers, and Bull Mastiffs. Most bull dogs in general are added to that list. Depending on who you ask however, you can add the Chow-Chow, Siberian Husky, Akita, Blue Heeler, Rottweiler...it goes on. There can be up to 75 different breeds that have been banned or restricted in some way, somewhere. These can crop up when trying to rent housing and are usually building specific.
President Obama, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the Humane Society of the United States and more, all agree that BSL is unfounded. There is no credible evidence that demonstrates any particular breed of dog is overrepresented among biting dogs. The AVMA has found that no breed is more dangerous than another. Get rid of one breed and another will take its place in statistics to represent biters.
Stay tuned for more on BSL in part 2!