Springfield, MO, Overwhelmingly Votes to Repeal BSL Law

August 9, 2018

aspca advocacy

We are pleased to report a huge victory for pit bulls and the families who love them!

Voters in Springfield, MO, hit the polls in full force on Tuesday, August 7, defeating Question 1 on the ballot by a margin of 68 to 32 percent and sending a very strong message to Springfield City Hall that breed-specific legislation won’t be tolerated.

Question 1, which banned city residents from bringing new pit bull dogs into their homes, was narrowly passed by the City Council last October despite public outcry. In, local advocate mobilized and collected the 8,000 signatures to initiate a repeal of the harmful law. With the ASPCA’s assistance, Citizens Against BSL, the Springfield based organization dedicated to stopping this ban, led an effective ground campaign to educate Springfield citizens on the importance of voting No on Question 1.

aspca advocacy

Breed-specific legislation (BSL) is the blanket term for laws that either regulate or ban certain dog breeds in an effort to decrease dog attacks on humans and other animals. 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. 

"This victory is the result of the tireless efforts of a coalition of local advocates who took action to put this question on the ballot and give voters the opportunity to preserve their right to adopt any breed of dog they choose,” said Andy Briscoe, Director of State Legislation Central Region for the ASPCA. “We hope other municipalities will follow Springfield's lead to reject efforts that infringe upon the rights of responsible pet owners.” 

With the pit bull ban repealed, Springfield Animal Services can now focus their resources on better educating communities on pet and human safety and expanding the city’s existing dangerous dog ordinance to develop more preventative measures.

aspca advocacy

The ASPCA applauds the voters of Springfield for taking a stand against this cruel, discriminatory law, and we stand ready to assist Springfield in crafting a new law that will more effectively protect people and pets.

If you haven’t yet, join the ASPCA’s Advocacy Brigade to stay up-to-date on animal-related issues and receive special alerts when animals in your state and community need your help.