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There is no shortage of information on the ineffectiveness of Breed Specific Legislation (BSL).   While often times we think of BREED BANS when we think of BSL, the reality is that BSL means any legislation that singles out any breed of dog, for any reason.  If a city or state required, for example, that all poodles must have pink painted toe nails, that would be classified as BSL.
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Unfortunately, BSL has traditionally been much more condemning of innocent dogs than just requiring toe nails to be pretty.  For a history of BSL in America, click here http://www.animallaw.info/articles/aruslweiss2001.htm
 
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To bring it a little closer to home, in Indianapolis, former Mayor Bart Peterson has twice called the banning of any dog resembling a pit bull.  Such a move would do nothing to improve public safety and little to stop the criminal element from keeping and owning dogs.  Instead, innocent dogs owned by responsible people, could be rounded up and killed.  If the existing dogs were “grandfathered” in, meaning they would be allowed to stay in Indianapolis, the pit bull population would continue to grow.  Without the enforcement of comprehensive laws to address the real problems at the heart of the “pit bull problem”, our city would only continue an expensive and sometimes dangerous cycle.  Want the legal reasons why BSL doesn’t work? Click here
http://www.animallaw.info/articles/arus74fordhamlrev2847.htm
 
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For the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) position on dog bite prevention, click here:
http://www.avma.org/public_health/dogbite/dogbite.pdf
 
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In Denver, CO, a breed ban has been in place since 1989 but the law has done nothing to curb the number of pit bulls in their city.  Doug Kelley, director of Denver Animal Care & Control, has admitted that the breed ban has shown no tangible results. http://www.azstarnet.com:80/allheadlines/158745
 
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Meanwhile, pit bull owners in Denver have filed a lawsuit against their city, citing the ban as unconstitutional. http://www.denverpost.com/ci_5628087
 
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In Toledo, in 2006, the Ohio State Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the appellate, Paul Tellings, ruling the state acted in an unconstitutional manner when Tellings’ dogs were seized. This is a must-read for any one interested in learning about the constitutionality of BSL.  This appellate court paper  is long, but worth every minute. http://www.sconet.state.oh.us/rod/newpdf/6/2006/2006-ohio-975.pdf
 
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Prince George’s County, MD, is considering repealing their breed ban because of the ineffectiveness and cost.  Got some time?  Read the 300+ page Vicious Dog Task Force report here: http://www.understand-a-bull.com/BSL/Research/PGCMD/PGCMTOC1.htm
 
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The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) convened a task force to tackle the issue of canine aggression.  This is their report http://www.avma.org/public_health/dogbite/dogbite.pdf
 
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The evidence to end breed bans and, in turn, focus on responsible ownership is ever accumulating.  BSL is expensive, ineffective and nearly impossible to enforce.  In Indianapolis, in 2006, roughly 1,700 dog bites occurred.  Many were repeat offenders. Doesn’t it make most sense to put our resources and efforts into managing the dogs that have proven to be dangerous? 
 
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For more information:
http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2006/02/06/060206fa_fact

http://www.pbrc.net/breedspecific.html

http://www.hsus.org/pets/issues_affecting_our_pets/dangerous_dogs.html
 
Links
BSL
 
 
 
 
 
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Donations help offset the cost of spay/neuter surgeries, fund dog fighting education and promote responsible ownership. Indy Pit Crew is a 501c3. Public Charity Status 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) Donations are deductible as allowed by IRS code
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