Obama Administration Calls Dog-Breed Bans "a Bad Idea"

Thursday, August 22, 2013 - 3:15pm
Happy pit bull wearing harness and collar

The ASPCA applauds the White House for taking a stand this week against local laws targeting certain dog breeds. We have worked for years to fight these unjust and ineffective laws, known as breed-specific legislation or “BSL.” The Centers for Disease Control, the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Bar Association all agree that BSL does not prevent dog bites or enhance public safety. 

BSL is counterproductive. Rather than give up their beloved pets, owners of restricted breeds often attempt to hide their “outlaw” dogs by restricting time outdoors and even limiting vet visits. Actions like these, taken to avoid detection, can have negative consequences for both public and canine health.

Studies have concluded that correctly identifying a dog’s breed based on looks alone is a hit-or-miss proposition—and the confusion only grows when dealing with mixed breeds, so these laws are difficult to enforce. Additionally, animal control officers in jurisdictions with BSL end up spending too much time enforcing breed bans instead of routine enforcement of dog licensing laws, leash laws and other regulations that require owners to control their dogsregardless of breed.

The ASPCA is currently fighting breed discrimination in Massachusetts and Maryland. On the national scale, residents of public housing funded by the federal government are often impacted by rules that unfairly restrict the breeds they may own. The Obama Administration’s statement should instruct federal agencies to review their policies to be sure they don’t allow flawed regulations and breed bans. Join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade to help fight BSL in your area!

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I agree


I agree. I wrote the White House about all animal problems and they wrote back saying they agreed with me. I'd like to think my letter helped. All of us need to write the White House about how animals are killed for no reason. We need to stop the killing and mistreatment
of all animals.


It's bad here! Even dogs get the bad rap! Dog profiling/discrimination?

Angela P

This is one war I would stand by Obama to fight! We must end the senseless slaughter of innocent family animals based on lies.


I just gave up my pitbul to the SPCA of Ogdensburg NY. My husband and I are living in an assisted living facility and we have been here for three months. It breaks my heart that the excuse the housing authority gave to us for not allowing us to have our 7yr. old Pitbull was "the dog is too big and he is a pitbull" They lied and didn't tell us we weren't taking proper care of the dog. We had the pitbull since he was 5 1/2 weeks old. My husband and I did the right thing but the assisted living authority gave us the wrong reason to do it. I love pitbulls.


Would have loved to have taken your dog in. Actually, I acquired mine through the incarceration of a relative. He was released just a few days ago and has been forbidden to live in the same house with me :). My Pit is affectionate (too many times) as you never know who may coming around to trespass on your property is he is always doing 'back flips' with everyone. One stereotype is that people see him and are ready to run from him just to head on with a moving vehicle. Never happened though but the possibility exists. I always have him on a leash. What needs to happen, though, is that we need 'POOP' police. Excrement everywhere on the streets!


I am glad to see legislation being put forth to stop this. In Florida where I live it is becoming a big problem not only BS but SIZE too. Residents of public housing or now in most rental housing or association community run housing are now being forced to abide by these unfair restrictions of breed, quantity and size(made by individual residences usually a 25lbs or less limit total) laws. With the economy and the large amount of families losing their homes they are forced to rent and are finding that more often that not not only are rentals, even if it is in an other home, communities are more expensive than what they where paying before but they may no longer can keep their family pet. The no-kill shelters down here are overflowing and begging for foster homes so they can take in more from the kill shelters or from the people who can't keep their pets. People are so desperate to not turn there pets into kill shelters they are willing to let them loose to fend for themselves which is no solution but better off than a dead pet. We have had reports on the news of hundred of dogs that we know of that have been rescued from the roads that line the Everglades not knowing how many have disappeared into it or been kill along the roads where big trucks rumble every day and that's only in south Florida I am sure the same thing is happening everywhere. So I'm Glad some legislation is being proposed but it needs to be taken farther because these are not just our pets they are our family and would you give up one or two of your family members just because someone said you could have no place you could afford to live if you brought your family members to live with you? You would sue them, but with an animal you can't, can you. So let's change that law!


Military housing also bans certain breeds. So many give up their loving pets so they can live on base or the breed is not allowed in the country they are moved to. I would love to see an end to this, but unfortunately we cannot change other countries laws.


I agree w/Annie! Retired army here and Pits are NOT allowed!


And in most cases its the peoples fault for the dogs having a bad rep. There are no bad dogs just bad owners.