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Fighting Back: What to Ask for Instead of BSL (Feat. in PupJournal)

Special thanks to Arin Greenwood and PupJournal for featuring this piece by Deirdre S. Franklin from ‘The Pit Bull Life’ book.

Outlawing a dog based on how it looks will not keep us safe from a dog bite. What will keep us safe, on the other hand, is introducing breed-neutral laws for all dog owners to comply with.

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We recommend:

  • Ask lawmakers for breed-neutral dangerous-dog legislation. This allows animal control to enforce true dangerous-dog issues without having to drive around speculating about whether a dog is a pit bull.
  • Ask lawmakers to support education efforts to ensure that parents are aware of the whereabouts of their children and the way that children interact with dogs.
  • Ban chaining/tethering or at the very least, require dog owners to be present when their dog is tethered.
  • Do not allow at-large dogs to roam. Enforce leash laws or enact leash laws if they do┬ánot already exist.
  • Penalize people that are noncompliant and elevate fines for repeat offenders. Fines can help increase funding for educational materials.
  • Encourage breed-neutral spay-and-neuter programs, and when possible, offer those programs at low or no cost to low-income dog owners.
  • Encourage the licensing of breeding, though this can be challenging, since backyard breeders are not necessarily going to comply without the risk of fines and enforcement.
  • Require licensing and necessary vaccinations, such as rabies shots. This is obvious, but many dog owners are not in compliance with licensing. This might be due to a fear of breed-specific bans, or ignorance.
  • Teach dog bite prevention to dog owners and non-dog owners.
  • Make whistleblowing options available to people aware of dogfighting activity in their community; for example, a toll-free phone number.
  • Note that breed bans are a violation of property rights.