What’s the deal with BSL? Well, first we should probably mention that BSL stands for Breed Specific Legislation, most notable in connection with discrimination against Bully- type breeds of dogs. This also extends to the variety of dogs who have been labeled this way over the years like Dobermans and German Shepards who- just like their Bully friends- are now more commonly utilized as Service Dogs. The bad guy of the dog world seems to evolve as each one is singled out with no real change in the actual number or severity of dog bites in communities, leading one to believe that the real solution to the problem does not lie with the dogs but with the humans handling them.
BSL is costly to enact and enforce in addition to the fact that the breed labels do not need to be backed up by anything, they simply have to have someone agree that they look like the animal on their list of what is not allowed. If it improved public safety, it may still be something to consider but that does not seem to be the case. Like others who have enacted similar laws, Prince George’s County, MD spends more than $250,000 annually to enforce these laws and have not seen an improvement in public safety as a result that was not affected by general improvement of Animal Control Laws such as vicious animal, nuisance animal, and leash laws. All of which would be covered if we are holding the humans responsible for proper training and animal handling that would keep dogs of any breed from displaying harmful behavior to the public and help to solve the problem by evaluating animals that truly are a risk and not just labeled that way because of what they look like.
Putting a breed under microscope does nothing but punish good owners and good animals. Those who once were able to stay up to date with vet care and vaccinations go into hiding and may pose a public safety risk if they contract an illness, and the animal suffers from their inability to socialize and learn appropriate behaviors with others. We are not helping either the humans or the animals by judging them based on what they could physically be capable of, we are condemning perfectly good dogs who would otherwise find loving homes. Make sure to keep yourselves and your animals safe by checking for BSL in you areas, and you can start with this map:
I also hope to you will utilize this information to help fight against the unfair stipulations being put on these animals. Reach out to your local representatives and get them talking about it so we can help as many animals and their humans as possible- together.