After watching a video on Twitter tonight, Jetsunma asked that we share some information with the sangha regarding laws called “Breed Specific Legislation” aka BSL. These are laws that ban particular dog breeds due to stereotypes about their aggression. Pit bulls are typically singled out in BSL, but the ASPCA explains:
“It is worth noting that in some areas, regulated breeds include not just American Pit Bull terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, English Bull Terriers and Rottweilers, but also a variety of other dogs, including American Bulldogs, Mastiffs, Dalmatians, Chow Chows, German Shepherds, Doberman Pinschers, or any mix of these breeds—and dogs who simply resemble these breeds.”
If a “banned” dog winds up in a shelter in these areas for any reason, they are automatically euthanized, even if the dog is perfectly behaved and has no history of aggression. The goal of BSL is to eliminate the breed altogether.
BSL is occurring nationwide at state and local levels. A small number of states have restricted local municipalities from passing BSL but several of those laws are being challenged. This website indicates the state-by-state BSL laws and has more information about the laws.
Please take the time to read about BSL and watch this video. If you find online petitions, please share them via FaceBook and Twitter.
We cannot be silent or remain uninformed about BSL. The lives of these dogs depend on us taking action whenever possible.