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Stop BSL by Promoting Responsible Dog Ownership

By May 16, 2016December 8th, 2016Legislation, Responsible Ownership



The ADBA, AKC and UKC believes that strong enforcement of leash laws, as well as clear guidelines for identifying and managing dangerous dogs, will promote responsible dog ownership and prevent tragedies from occurring. Simply placing restrictions on certain breeds will not improve public safety – it will only punish responsible dog owners. We strongly support sound, enforceable, non-discriminatory legislation to govern dog ownership, and we appreciate legislators’ desire to keep communities safe for both people and dogs. However, BSL will not address the root cause of dangerous dogs –irresponsible ownership!                             


  • BSL is inflammatory, and is based upon unproven beliefs, not facts.
  • BSL is under inclusive in that it only recognizes a threat to society from certain breeds, or mixed breeds of dogs.
  • BSL is over inclusive, as dogs are as varied within their breed, as are human beings within our ethnicity.
  • BSL by stipulating, and naming specific breeds as being dangerous indemnifies all of the unnamed breeds as being safe by exclusion.
  • BSL creates a false sense of public safety.
  • BSL does not address the irresponsible dog owner.
  • BSL punishes the law abiding dog owner.
  • BSL orders the death of dogs based solely upon their physical appearance.
  • BSL assumes that human beings are incapable of properly maintaining dogs of specific breeds, or appearance.

Breed-specific legislation is opposed by the ADBA, AKC, UKC, EBA, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the National Animal Control Association, the ASPCA, and a host of national animal welfare organizations that have studied the issue and recognize that targeting breeds simply does not work.


  1. Cost of additional animal control officers to enforce the ban or restrictions.  **Remember, most cities do not have sufficient animal control departments to enforce leash laws, which if enforced, would reduce many of the problems that lead to bite incidents.
  2. Kenneling.
  3. Veterinary care of the animals.  (Hope you don’t think the animals are confiscated and immediately euthanized).
  4. Legal fees, court costs, etc., associated with responsible owners lawsuits against ineffective and unconstitutional laws.

BSL is costly to implement and costly to enforce.


Prince George’s County: The Most Thorough Assessment of BSL to Date

In 2003, Prince George’s County, Maryland, authorized a task force to examine the results of a 1996 pit bull ban in the county. The task force findings were shocking. They estimated that

  • The cost to the county to confiscate and euthanize a single pit bull was around $68,000.
  • In the fiscal year 2001-2002, expenditures due to pit bull confiscations totaled $560,000. Income from pit bull registrations during that same period totaled only $35,000. Therefore, the county spent over half a million dollars enforcing their ban.
  • The county had lost an un-measurable amount of both direct and indirect revenue due to the “dramatic reduction” in number of dog shows and exhibitions held in the county.

Perhaps over half a million dollars a year is an acceptable expense to ensure public safety.

But was Prince George’s County’s ban actually doing what it was supposed to?Was the community making a sound investment?

Apparently not. The task force found that