BSL is the acronym for breed-specific legislation. It’s also called breed-discriminatory legislation or breed bans. BSL frequently targets pit bull type dogs and dogs that resemble pit bulls. BSL laws range from restrictions on pit bull owners (like requiring additional liability insurance, or their dogs to be microchipped, to wear muzzles, or to be spayed/neutered) to outright breed bans whereby people are prevented from owning dogs with a certain appearance. While pit bulls are the most common targets, in some areas of the country the laws include German Shepherds, Dobermans, Akitas, Presa Canarios, St. Bernards, and more.They-Wanna-What2.png

Breed-specific legislation should not be supported by responsible dog owners. Not only are dogs and dog owners being discriminated against, but BSL doesn’t even work. There is a huge cost associated with enacting and enforcing a breed ban. The responsibility for breed ID falls on animal control or city officers who are often wrong. Plus, BSL fails to improve public safety. Sadly, dog bites still occur.

As BSL starts to take hold, it will become easier for legislators to tack on additional breeds, further restricting responsible dog owners from owning the dogs they truly love. BSL lets irresponsible dog owners off the hook. A neglectful owner who, for example, chains his dog in his backyard will chain his dog regardless of whether it’s a pit bull, a husky, or a Golden Retriever. Dog bites are usually caused by owners who haven’t properly socialized, trained, or contained their dog. The responsibility needs to be on dog owners, not dog breeds.

The reality is that BSL fails to protect public safety. It’s costly, inefficient, and ineffective. And it’s unethical. The bottom line? BSL punishes dogs instead of irresponsible owners. In fact, it gets bad owners off the hook and the dogs are the ones who suffer.



If you own a “pit bull” or any dog that looks remotely like a pit bull, the reasons are obvious.  For other dog owners, the government usually bans more than just pit bulls in legislation.  Other breeds that have been banned include Chows, German Shepard Dogs, Huskies, and Dobermans.  Even if you don’t own a pet, allowing someone to tell you which pet you can and can’t own based solely on subjective identification should not be allowed.


As always, make sure you are a responsible pet owner, especially if you own a pit bull.  It’s also important to become informed and speak up!  The best way to fight BSL is to tell those around you about BSL and why they should care. IPC has provided several links to websites with information about BSL to get you started.  Write a letter to your local government (see link to the right).  A link has also been provided below with a form letter to get you started.  Remember to always be respectful, stick to the facts, and keep it brief. Also, be on the lookout for town hall meetings in your area and attend them!  Take the IPC fact sheet or other information related to BSL so you can inform others about the facts and the fight.  Many Yahoo! Groups also provide frequent updates on BSL issues. And of course, check back with IPC to get updates on BSL legislation in Indianapolis and surrounding areas.


Sample Anti-BSL Letter - Microsoft Word Document



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