New Research Reveals Missouri Voters Strongly Oppose Breed-Specific Bans

ASPCA urges Springfield voters to reject proposed ordinance that would ban pit bull ownership in the city
June 25, 2018

NEW YORK, NY – The ASPCA ® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ®) today announced in a new poll conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy that 62 percent of Missouri voters oppose the proposed ordinance that would ban pit bull ownership in the city of Springfield, Mo. Additionally, 67 percent of voters believe that local governments should not have the authority to impose such a ban. If approved by voters in the upcoming election on August 7, this measure would infringe upon the rights of responsible pet owners and force them to relinquish their pets or relocate.

“Missouri voters clearly do not support breed-specific laws, which irrationally and unfairly target responsible dog owners and penalize innocent dogs,” said Andy Briscoe, director of state legislation for the ASPCA, Central region. “This research shows that Missouri voters want to preserve their right to adopt any breed of dog they choose and we urge them to make their voices heard on election day by voting no on Question 1.”

The stated purpose of breed-specific legislation is to reduce dog bites and attacks, and while many municipalities have passed these laws, there is no evidence that they make communities safer for people or companion animals—in fact, they often compromise public safety. In Toronto, dog bites have actually increased in that city since its breed-specific law passed in 2005.

Breed-specific laws shift focus away from effective enforcement of laws that have the best chances of making communities safer and keeping pets and owners together. Responsible owners of entirely friendly, properly supervised and well-socialized dogs should not be penalized simply because their dog happens to resemble a specific breed. 

“The ASPCA recommends that communities enact strategic ‘dangerous dog laws’ that address individual animals, not blanket breed bans,” said Briscoe. “Treating dogs as individuals, providing them with the care, training and supervision they require, and judging them by their behavior and not by their physical appearance is the most effective way to ensure that dogs and people can continue to share safe and happy lives together.”

For more information about the ASPCA or to join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade, please visit