Breed Specific Legislation Leads to Passionate Debates about Pit Bulls
Recently I was involved in a discussion gone wrong on LinkedIn where someone shared an article about Breed Specific Legislation (BSL). The group member who shared the link is passionate about protecting the American Pit Bull Terrier Breed. Another group member shared her thoughts on the breed. Is the breed’s aggression nature or nurture?
This sparked a heated debate that went back and forth for weeks and was reduced to libelous accusations and attacks. The discussion was deleted, which is a shame, because the fight against Breed Specific Legislation is an admirable cause. The current focus on the American Pit Bull Terrier Breed is frightening to me for three reasons.
1. The breed is being judged as aggressive when I believe that judgment should be based on a case by case evaluation. The idea of putting down good, well behaved, and loved dogs is heart breaking. I do understand that my “case by case” suggestion threatens to bog down the court system with dog bite cases, but is the answer really to euthanize a dog based on an accusation?
2. I question the court’s ability to determine if a dog belongs to the APBT breed. Personally, I confuse these dogs with other breeds all the time. Check out This Online Test to see if you can identify the APBT. If the courts make a mistake, then more dog owners risk losing a beloved family member due to ignorance.
3. How long before this expands to your dog’s breed? I will burn down a court house before I let them take my babies and I know that there are many dog owners who feel the same. But feeling that way will not protect us from losing a battle to save our dogs’ lives if they’re placed on the list.
The law makers have stepped in to legislate 0ur ownership of “inherently aggressive breeds” and I question their ability to manage this legislation in a way that protects people and dogs. Instead of penalizing good dog owners, we should be advocating education, dog training, and tolerance. Dog owners found to be neglecting, abusing, or fighting their dogs should be subject to more than fines. If insurance companies are going to require additional policies from families who provide these dogs with a home, then a discount should also be offered to responsible families.
The passionate LinkedIn discussion and the news of laws being created around the country have inspired this dog lover to speak out. I’m starting by learning more about Breed Specific Legislation and contacting my City and State politicians. I don’t have an answer, but I think together, the dog lover community can develop an answer. What do you have to offer?