What exactly is BSL?
BSL is an abbreviation for Breed Specific Legislation. Not only is this Legislation targeting specific breeds of dog, but dogs that appear to have characteristics of certain breeds. Your dogs may not even be close to what is on the ban list but may be affected negatively nonetheless. In Iowa, a Pit Bull is defined as “any dog that is an American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, or any dog displaying the majority of physical traits of any one or more of the above breeds (more so than any other breed), or any dog exhibiting those distinguishing characteristics.”
Pit Bull type breeds are included in every single breed restriction or ban that has been set in place by each region that has implemented a legislation, every single one! This ban affects dogs all around the world. These bans and restrictions around the world vary from region to region but the effect that it's having on these dogs is very real.
The following are some of the legislation requirements that you must follow depending upon the region your are in:
Must not own, sell, harbor, breed, keep a Pit Bull type dog.
Leash and or muzzle your dog when in public.
Must be 21 years of age or older
Post "Beware of Dog" signs around your residence.
Procure $100,000 US in liability insurance.
Spay/neuter the dog.
Must surrender the dog to be euthanized if it has bitten a person or animal.
Everyday, Pit Bulls are being killed due to legislation. In the areas where these dogs are illegal to have, there are many people that have no choice but to relocate their dogs within a certain time frame or give them up where they eventually are killed. Since it is already hard as it is to relocate Pit Bulls, the rise in deaths has grown drastically. These are dogs that have never harmed a thing in their lives and are gentle and loving and are being forced out of their homes to suffer an unjustifiable death with no where to go but shelters where they are put down. It's a Holocaust of sorts and is completely unfair to loving dogs and owners alike, who both feel the impact.
The ban affects home owners and renters alike because insurance companies see these breeds as a liability and will not allow them on their properties, making finding a residence extremely hard for owners that do not wish to give up their dogs.
There is a fear of these breeds now and this causes people to cast judgment solely based upon a false sense of fear. The truth is that dogs sometimes attack people,, not just a specific breed or breeds, but the species as a whole. By banning and killing off dogs solely based off of appearance, we are endorsing and showing that stereotyping is okay and should be enforced. It is showing that every dog that looks a certain way is exactly the same. This is so wrong on so many levels. Instead of killing off dogs that belong to a responsible owner why not punish owners who are irresponsible. Why should the actions of the few affect the masses so dramatically?
Banning these breeds, instead of implementing new laws that target irresponsible owners and dogs that actually are dangerous, is not working. These dogs are now being bred by people who just want to make a profit based on their desirability, who in fact, are worsening the breeds. These dogs are being bred in mills and with no concern for good temperaments, genes, and health problems, which is causing more stereotyping to happen. What should be done instead of banning the breeds, is enforcing proper breeding practices and responsible dog ownership.
The fight to end BSL is one that will take the efforts of every person that cares about these dogs. If we don't stand up for them no one will and then what? Let them die, suffer, and soon be banned everywhere causing the extinction of many breeds? Ending BSL starts with you. Educating yourself and others and being a responsible dog owner is just the beginning to a long road of changing the view about Pit Bulls and Pit Bull type breed.
So will you join in on the fight?