More and more police departments around the country are choosing to use "pitbull-type" dogs as K9 units because of their excellent temperament and trainability (common traits of "pitbull-type" breeds). Congratulations to Dozer, the first "pitbull-type" K9 officer in Louisiana who has already assisted police with over 17 narcotics busts since June! A big thank you to the Animal Farm Foundation and Universal K9 for the work that they do for "pitbull-type" dogs!
In effect since 2005, Toronto's Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) has 100% failed to prevent or reduce serious dog bite incidents in the city. In fact, dog bite incidents in Toronto have risen 57% while BSL has been enacted (from 486 in 2005 to 767 in 2014). Why have dog bite incidents increased in Toronto (a major metropolitan city with a population of almost 3 million) with BSL enacted? Attempting to reduce dog bite incidents with BSL has not only been proven ineffective by multiple peer reviewed studies and also in actual practice, but it is a red herring for public safety since the legislated (or banned) breeds are eventually replaced by other strong breeds (too many to list) which are also capable of serious bites, fatalities, and other bite-related incidents. Any declines in bite incidents from BSL are always short-lived because as one or several breeds are phased out, other strong breeds replace them (aka "breed rotation"). BSL does nothing to prevent breed rotation or the irresponsible ownership of other strong breeds - only comprehensive breed-neutral regulations are effective for reducing bite incidents long-term by regulating potentially dangerous dogs of all breeds. In 2005, if Toronto had worked on strengthening breed-neutral regulations instead of BSL, Toronto's bite-related incidents would almost certainly have been reduced and more importantly - those reductions would still be in effect today resulting in a true improvement to public safety. Instead, Toronto will need to go back to the drawing board if they truly want to reduce dog bite-related incidents in the city and improve public safety.
While politicians in Toronto continue to refuse to acknowledge the facts and the failure of BSL, the silver lining is that Toronto is yet another city providing data and evidence that BSL is ineffective and does NOT have any positive impact on public safety. Learn more about BSL, and why Breed Neutral Legislation (BNL) is the more effective and widely preferred standard, on the Breed Legislation Page.
It's time STOP and put an end to Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) because it's cruel, unjustified, obsolete, and ineffective:
Cruel: BSL is cruel because it indiscriminately targets and punishes specific dogs based ONLY on their appearance and not on their individual merit, behavior, or history -- which is inhumane, cruel, and literally the definition of discrimination. Worse, BSL leads to poor and cruel conditions for dogs -- family pets removed from their loving homes, over-population in animal shelters, irresponsible ownership (abusive people who seek out "banned" dogs), and even euthanasia. Simply stated, BSL puts great dogs at risk and denies them of a fair chance at a happy life for no other reason than their appearance. Because of this, we believe that BSL is a form of animal cruelty and that BSL should be banned -- not dogs.
Unjustified: There are zero scientific, peer-reviewed studies that conclude that any one breed is "inherently more dangerous" than any other breed. However, multiple peer-reviewed studies have concluded that dog bite-related statistics for the individual "pitbull-type" breeds are in-line with other breeds, that breed is not a factor, and that preventable factors related to irresponsible ownership are the primary cause for the majority of dog bite-related incidents. BSL is unjustified and it is NOT based on science or reality.
Obsolete: BSL is a discriminatory trend in decline as evidenced by the vast majority (98%) of cities, towns, and local governments that use Breed Neutral Legislation (BNL) instead of BSL because BSL does nothing to address the relevant factors that are directly and scientifically linked to dog bite-related incidents such as a dog's history of negative behavior, previous bite-related incidents, and factors related to irresponsible ownership. BSL is an outdated, fear-based policy that has been obsoleted by more equitable and more effective behavior-based breed-neutral policies.
Ineffective: Multiple peer-reviewed studies have rejected BSL and have concluded that preventable factors related to irresponsible ownership are the primary cause for the majority of dog bite-related incidents and that breed is not even a factor. Learn more about BSL, and why Breed Neutral Legislation (BNL) is the more effective and widely preferred standard, on our Breed Legislation page.
A HUGE THANK YOU to all of the rescue organizations, shelters, volunteers, and wonderful people that are rescuing and helping animals and pets affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas. There are too many organizations to list, but a special thanks to The Humane Society of the United States for everything that they are doing to help pets in need.
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Insight, news, and analysis on issues and topics relevant to pitbull-type dogs.