Stop Discriminating Against Certain Dog Breeds

Target: Joseph R. Biden, President of the United States

Goal: Ban discriminatory laws targeting particular dog breeds.

Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) is the term applied to any law that places stricter restrictions on or even bans the ownership of certain dogs on the basis of their breed. Though thought of as a preventative measure to protect people from “dangerous” dog breeds, there is no clear evidence that BSL is even effective in reducing dog bite attacks. Dogs commonly included among these discriminatory laws are Pit Bull Terriers, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, English Bull Terriers, Doberman Pinschers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Chow Chows, Mastiffs, and may extend to other breeds that resemble these dogs.

While federal bills enacting BSL in the United States were phased out in 2006 and 2010, individual states and cities are now allowed to make their own regulations regarding which types of dogs are allowed where. Several states, like New York and Texas, have specific laws that regulate dangerous dogs individually, instead of enforcing discriminatory BSL policies against entire breeds of dogs. However, more than 700 U.S. cities in 36 states have enacted breed-specific laws. In these places it is illegal to own specific dogs due to their appearance, or dogs of certain breeds are highly regulated and aren’t afforded the same rights as non-targeted breeds. Dogs of certain breeds are even banned from national military bases, as instituted by policies regulated by the Residential Communities Initiative consortium.

In addition to the fact that BSL is not even effective in enhancing public safety, the enactment of these unfair laws also reinforces negative stereotypes for the dogs it targets, which has many devastating consequences. Pit Bulls, and other “bully” breeds, are among the first to be killed in shelters and Pit Bulls/ Pit Bull mixes are by far the most euthanized breed in American shelters.

Serious incidents relating to dog bites are more likely the cause of individual behavioral issues or irresponsible ownership than they are a result of a given dogs’ breed. All dogs have the ability to bite. Sign this petition to end unfair discriminatory legislation against specific dogs and to ban BSL at a federal level.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Biden,

The practice of discriminating against dogs on the basis of their breed– known as Breed Specific Legislation (BSL)– is still legal in many cities and states throughout the U.S. BSL targets a dozen or so dogs, including Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, and German Shepherds, in an unfounded attempt to reduce dog bite attacks and enhance public safety in the process. Laws often restrict where dogs of certain breeds can go, or prohibit ownership of these breeds altogether.

There has been no evidence that BSL has been effective in minimizing dog bite incidents. In fact, BSL has done more harm than good. Pit Bulls and other “bully” breeds suffer immensely from the harsh stereotypes forced upon them. These dogs are among the first to be euthanized by U.S. shelters and Pit Bulls remain the number one most euthanized breed of dog. BSL fully neglects the influence of other, more relevant factors contributing to dog bite incidents, including individual behavioral issues and poor ownership.

We are asking you, President Biden, to please support federal legislation to ban this unfair discrimination of dogs on the basis of their appearances. You will save millions of lives in the process.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Sheila Sund


2 Comments

  1. All dogs are gorgeous!

  2. Christine Shurow says:

    Please edit the petition to also stop breed specific discrimination by insurance companies and landlords. Thank you!

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