BSL is Bad, Senseless Lawmaking

By on January 31, 2017 with 49 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

Our fight against discriminatory, breed-specific legislation (BSL) is likely to gain momentum with a raft of states considering legislation to remove and prevent restrictions on pet owners keeping certain breeds and types of dogs.

Dog experts and researchers – along with just about every reputable humane organization, from The HSUS to the ASPCA to the American Veterinary Medical Association – have long rejected the idea that breed specific legislation works in preventing dog bites or other dangerous encounters with dogs. Science shows us that a dog’s breed and how he or she looks does not necessarily predict the dog’s behavior, or provide any insight into the animal’s propensity to harm someone. What’s more, such laws are typically very difficult to enforce, given that many dogs are mixed breeds and aren’t readily classed by breed type. In fact, there is no breed known as a pit bull, and many pit-bull type dogs are of mixed lineage.

What breed specific legislation does achieve is to take dogs with good behavior away from loving families. Typically, these dogs are taken to shelters, placing additional burdens on already oversubscribed facilities and handing them an animal with few options but euthanasia.

It also turns law-abiding people into lawbreakers. So many people who love their dogs will risk non-compliance because they cannot stomach the idea of giving up their animal. It’s an act of loyalty and love for them not to submit to a law that makes little sense and breaks the bond of a lifetime.

As an alternative, we think it’s important to focus on the dog and the animal’s caretaker. We have long backed effective “dangerous dog” legislation that targets animals known to cause a problem, or an owner who simply cannot keep their animal under control. Appropriate penalties should be meted out against people who recklessly handle the responsibility of owning a dog.

We understand the impulse that lawmakers and even citizens have after a harmful incident, or perhaps even a human fatality. They are grieving, and they worry about other dogs replicating that behavior. It may be emotionally satisfying to pursue a breed-specific ban, of pit bulls or akitas, but such a ban simply sweeps with too broad a brush and discriminates against dogs and their owners who’ve done nothing wrong.

We estimate that more than 500 localities have breed discriminatory policies, so there’s a lot to unwind here. We now have created a great resource to assist you if you want to fight against breed bans and work on “dangerous dog” ordinances in their place: a toolkit specifically designed to provide comprehensive information on this issue, giving you the confidence to challenge BSL in your community, making it a safer place for both dogs and people. You can explore this new resource at

Besides the toolkit, we are also offering this year a daylong course on BSL at our Animal Care Expo in Fort Lauderdale this May. If you are involved in the national, state, or local fight to end BSL, or would like to be, please join us for a day of strategic planning and training.

Pet keeping is a serious responsibility, but so is lawmaking, and both actions should be conducted with care.

Companion Animals, Public Policy (Legal/Legislative)

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  1. Marie says:

    Well I will tell you this: I am sick and tired of arrogant owners who refuse to control their pets. I now carry a gun when I walk my own leashed dog and I will not hesitate to use it if we are confronted by an aggressive, loose dog.

    • Marisa says:

      BSL has ripped many dogs away from their families. This legislation does not, per say target only specific breeds, but also any other dog deemed to have same physical characteristics as the targeted breed or even a similar appearance. The answer to your question is too many dogs have been taken away from their families because of this useless and harsh law! There have even been studies have you read the blog among other blogs that support the claim with multiple studies that BSL, where it has been implemented, is not effective in decreasing dangerous dog encounters of ALL types and increasing public safety. This legislation is also costly as it increases the dogs in shelters and gives all dogs affected a bad name regardless if they are a good dog. BSL encourages bans such as Montreal, therefore YES it does take the dogs away from their families, unless those families are willing to move to another area where BSL has not been implemented, they must surrender the dog unfortunately. To all whom think Pit bulls are not family pets; they are as much as a family pet as the next dog! It’s NURTURE NOT NATURE than makes any dog turn out the way it did. Chow Chow’s and Akitas are known to be aggressive so where is the ban on them too? I would rather have a pit bull over a chihuahua any day as a family pet. BSL IS COMPLETE BS!!! Some of these commenters here are blind and obviously never met a good pit bull and just running off the stories they hear in media with no detailed evidence to support that these pit bulls aren’t good family pets.

    • Violet says:

      Marie, please consider this. If an owner is not controlling their dog, please talk to the owners first. It is simply unfair to shoot a dog because the owner is not controlling them. Think of it this way, if a toddler was running around a restaurant, screaming and the parent is just sitting there letting it happen; you are not going to blame the child, they don’t know any better, they weren’t taught any better. The same exact thing goes for these pets.

      • Rachel says:

        There are laws (rights, protections, etc. depending on the municipality), as well, that would enable the dog owner to go after you for wrongfully shooting a dog that merely appears dangerous. You’d have to have just cause (or something similar) like the dog latched on to your leg with its teeth and wouldn’t let go. A dog nipping at or lunging towards you or your animal isn’t enough to justify shooting it dead in of most areas where BSL is enforced. Thats like me saying I carry a gun for my protection so I can shoot anyone who seems threatening to me. Unless there’s a legitimate action that warrants murder, it’t not only uncalled for but also unjust (depending on your definition of justice), illogical, and punishable by law.

    • Ella says:

      You carry a gun!? That is worse than people letting thier dogs be free. I’m sorry that animals should not be controled, they are living breathing things. You should be arrested for that! If you every shot a animal you would go to JAIL!

    • Ashlin Duncan says:

      You are a monster!

  2. Sam says:

    Large-scale problems cannot be solved with surgical precision. Intelligent policy comes from understanding the probabilities, and doing what makes sense. Pit Bulls kill and catastrophically maul more pets than all other dogs combined. They were breed to kill dogs and therefore have no place in a civilized society.

    The American Veterinary Medical Association exists to further the interests of veterinarians, who make big money sewing up dogs and cats ripped apart by Pit Bulls, which were bred to do exactly that.

    How unfortunate that an otherwise decent organization is on the wrong side of the Pit Bull problem, and that Wayne Pacelle will be remembered for failing to grasp the Pit Bull problem and act accordingly.

    Because of this issue, I stopped supporting the HSUS and frequently urge my friends and coworkers not to support them either.

    • Doglover says:

      This argument “Sam” is RIDICULOUS. Do you know any vets? I do, and I can unequivocally say the vast majority of vets have live and respect for animals.

      This argument is tantamount to saying that the American society of cardiothoracic surgeons are in league with Phillip Morris because smoking means more business.

      It’s unfounded, slanderous and pure conjecture that NO ONE believes except for you DBO cult members.

      • Patricia Frederick says:

        Pitbulls are not mean dogs, it is the owners that make them mean and fight them with other dogs. You can’t lump them together and day they are all that way. Wrong.

        • Hmmmm..... says:

          The whole purpose of breeds is that you can lump them together and make judgements on them, how they should look, how they should act. It has nothing to do with pit bulls being mean and everything to do with them being created for dog fighting. Please read the science behind canine genetics.

          • Violet says:

            But that is incorrect. Pit bulls are actually not even a breed. It is just a category for about eight dog breeds. These dogs are not naturally aggressive. Though since they are easily trained and they have they are very strong, powerful breeds, it is very easy to assume that if they are trained that way.

  3. Eric Mills says:

    I’m likely in the minority here, but I’ve long believed that pit bulls and mixes should be bred out of existence. These dogs have been bred to kill for 400 years–it’s inherent in the breed. Plus the fact that these are powerful animals who don’t give up. I’ve seen videos of pits with broken legs, still continuing to fight. To my knowledge, no other breed would do that: Dobermans, German shepherds, mastiffs, whatever. Pit Bulls & their mixes are surely the most abused canines in the world. Me, I’m for banning them outright everywhere. The stats are staggering. How many more adults, children, pets and wildlife have to be savaged before we do the obvious?

    Eric Mills, coordinator

    • Annie Brown says:

      You are NOT in the minority. You are in the not so silent now majority! But people are sick of this and are now speaking out! Thank you for doing so!

    • Violet says:

      This is unfair, it is not true that pit bulls attack when unprovoked. ] Pit bulls are actually not even a breed. It is just a category for about eight dog breeds. These dogs are not naturally aggressive. Though since they are easily trained and they have they are very strong, powerful breeds, it is very easy to assume that if they are trained that way.

    • Jessie says:

      So far off base that this would be humorous if it weren’t for how it affects one of the most loving breeds in existence.
      It’s not even simply”the way their raised” as soooo many Pitbulls & pit-mixes even overcome that!
      Sadly humans publicized what they thought were the dangerous of did thought to be Pitbulls which then encouraged idiots to try to fight them, crop their ears & trails and they to look tough.
      Chows are much more dangerous, so are various Shepard Breeds, Rottweilers, Mastiffs and more, yet this breed constantly overcomes what humans throw at them
      Pitbull/bully breed dogs are some of the most loving, family, even “nanny dogs” on Thurs earth.
      Spend some time with some Pits before casting stones out of ignorance and fear

  4. Sabrina says:

    How can you favor a ban on fighting dogs in Mexico (your blog 2016), which are if the same breeds that we are fighting here in the United States and not support legislating these same dogs here in the USA? Isn’t that a wee bit hypocritical or just plain nonsense?

  5. Tina says:

    On September 9, 2016 my landlady invited my grandson and I to have pizza with her. As we walked over from my place, her pit bull attacked my grandson, knocking him down. My grandson stood back up and the dog had its nose right up to my grandson’s face by the time I reached them. Instantly a knowledge took over; I swear I have no idea from where. I knew if I grabbed Briar the dog would grab his legs and we would be in a tug of war for my Briar. 

    Instead this 60 year old grandmother chose to grab the dog around his body and take him away from Briar. Beyond that I just knew I had to fight to hold onto the dog as he exploded even more violently. He had selected his prey that night and it wasn’t me. He kept trying to get back to Briar. His collar came off so I grabbed him again, screaming for help. The dog turned back to me again and began to try and tear my throat out. I had to put my hands in his mouth to keep him from my throat. The scar on the front of my throat is a daily reminder of how close we came to death.  

    I saw him as he broke a bone in my hand. Then he grabbed one arm after the other as I tried to protect my throat and head. He ripped my bicep open, my forearm my hands each finger. This monster grabbed my face and ripped it down, peeling it partially off in three sections. He turned his attention back to Briar and I remember my landlady telling me to stay down but that dog was stalking back to Briar so I had no choice but to crawl through the dirt, but this time I had a broken hand, chunks torn from my arms and my face hanging in shreds, to grab that dog again. One side of my face had already been torn from eye to chin the other from cheek to chin and my chin was ripped open as well. 

    By this time which seemed like hours but was only minutes Briar had been taken to safety and it took 6 gun shots to bring that dog down and stop the attack. When the rescue squad came the pit bull was at my feet guarding his prey. It took 2 more shots to kill him. I remember a fireman telling me the dog would not get me again on his watch. I took care to refuse treatment until they looked at my boy who needed a stitch in his ear. When they loaded me up I was able to get them to put up a sheet and let him ride in the front. I knew how bad it was. I was holding my face in my hands to keep it from the dirt. I didn’t want Briar to see that. 

    The docs tell me with the severity of my injuries that Briar would have been killed had the dog been able to get to him. It was a night of instinctual battle with a dog from hell determined to get his prey. I had my 5th surgery. unfortunately this surgery did not replace my lip and deal with the massive scars on my face. So I will have at least another 3-5 surgeries. I drool. My anxiety is through the roof. I see surgeons, orthopedists, psychiatrists and counselors. I cannot work. I have lost everything. The owner has gone about her life like nothing happened while I deal with the trauma. 

    When the switch is flipped on these dogs they do not stop. The breed has been developed for hundreds of years with massive jaws to bring down their prey. They do not respond to pain or commands. They are out to kill. A mere google search will show you the victims that are left paying for the damage done by these dogs. I did not believe in the anti-pit bull sentiments and in fact scoffed at breed laws (BSL) until I experienced first hand what these dogs can do. I am a firm believer now!

    I have been vilified, mocked and called a liar about our attack because I speak out, despite the witness statements, sheriff’s office investigative report, the ACO report and my voluminous medical records. True animal lovers advocate for all breeds and support spay/neuter programs, licensing and registration, proper containment, and maintaining proper insurance coverage to protect the public. Unfortunately, too many pit bull owners do not comply, which is why some cities choose to make these laws mandatory for pit bull owners. That, and their relentless, brutal attack style that causes life-altering injuries like mine.

  6. Lisa Waits says:

    What a bunch of rubbish! When has BSL taken an animal out of their home? Using scare tactics is the wrong way to inform the public about legislations that are very well needed for public safety and the well being of over bred, over sheltered dogs. How about printing the truth?

    • Taylor Roberts says:

      Well said! Preying on fear that dogs will be removed from happy homes is absolutely a scare tactic. It seems like instead of educating, HSUS is just pandering to irrational fears.

    • Violet says:

      Sadly, it is very true that BSL has taken animals out of their homes. Just google “pit bulls being taking away” and you’ll find hundreds of stories about animals being taken from their homes.

    • Jessie says:

      Pitbulls are taken away from their homes all the time when people unknowingly move into an area and then have neighbors fear mongering and calling police and anyone else to complain too.
      Ridiculous the comments on this page from people who truly know nothing about dogs let alone pitbulls including they people who claim attacks .
      The woman that tries to make herself seem like a lil ol g’ma (at age 60!) is pathetic. That alleged story of a dog attack would’ve seen her way worse off of she’d take taken on an aggressive dog as strong as some Pits.
      Remember ANY DOG or any animal can be aggressive!
      Fight aggressive animals and bad owners and stop trying to claim a mixture of breeds is “one breed” and dangerous.
      Go meet these dogs! My brother has Down’s Syndrome & the mental capability of a 6 year old. My “pit-mix” never met small children not those with special needs to she was several years old. She immediately knew he was “special” and gave him even more love yarn she gives every other person she meets.
      I have to protect my dog from the human idiots of the world because she’s too darn loving & trusting.
      Again… It’s not at all about breed no more than the way humans act is about skin color, religion or gender!

  7. Paul says:

    No, you are wrong with your delusional ways of thinking. For you to say that people grieve when an attack occurs that happens to kill someone shouldn’t effect the type of animal that caused the death is outrageous. The fact that over 500 people are dead because of a type of dog called the “pit bull” is more than enough cause to have these animals put out of the category of being a pet ASAP simply because it will save one more life. Denying this and going against this is putting you all in the category of insane and will cause all of the next deaths. These deaths will be your fault for allowing these potentially dangerous dogs stay as a pet like they are just another normal dog. Looking back on all the attacks by this type of animal alone shows they are more beastly and more severely aggressive than any other. They have ripped other pets, livestock and people apart like rag dolls. No other animal in Societies as pets do this in such numbers as the pit bull. You want to deny BSL because of your lack of proof they are the too vicious? Are you all even capable of understanding what you are doing? This type of animal should become extinct today, tomorrow may cost another human life or 100 other pets. Give it up already, you are killing people and other pets, please stop the madness.

  8. Californians for Regulating Pit Bulls says:

    What is senseless, is all of this advocating for dogs bred for bloodsport. What is senseless, is the needless blood shed, and life lost. You advocates have had a good 20 years of education, and the problems persist: the over breeding, the cruel life sentence of warehousing by pushing no kill, the dogfighting, the use of these dogs as unregulated weapons. Humane advocacy shouldn’t blame victims. The Humane Society has found a cash cow in the pit bull, it’s at odds with all of the carnage they create, DAILY!

    Goats are banned in city limits. Where is the outrage? When is the last time there has been a goat related fatality?

    The Humane Society is apparently happy with the status quo. Promoting pit bulls as safe family pets and opposing any measures to ensure that only people who understand the risks, can ensure that they can’t “somehow” escape, and afford the liability should they fail (usually themselves or a family member will be the victim) is not empathetic, nor is it HUMANE. What this is called, is insanity. Remember the Humane Society the next time you read about someone’s pet being mauled or a human life forever changed or ended, all because the choice in a breed became politicized and the cause du jour. Peta has a more humane stance on this issue.

  9. David Edelstein/ Team Pit-a-Full Dog Training & Rehabilitation says:

    “Our fight against discriminatory, breed-specific legislation (BSL) is likely to gain momentum with a raft of states considering legislation to remove and prevent restrictions on pet owners keeping certain breeds and types of dogs.”

    See? This is where HSUS goes wrong.
    Humane Society should be creating and leading that momentum, not jumping on its coat tails after the fact.
    Yes, we know the motive behind the conservative and careful move forward:
    Not to disturb non-pit bull owning annual financial donors.

    When animal welfare turns to big business… animals lose!!!

    Team Pit-a-Full Dog Training & Rehabilitation
    Denver, CO

    • Annie Brown says:

      The HSUS has led sooooo many people to their deaths for far too long! My vets office follows the “philosophy” RMDE of the HSUS and stated to me that pits were no more dangerous than other dogs, then, in the same breath, told me that if the dogs/cats etc that they have seen with severe or fatal injuries, almost ALL of them were inflicted by a pit or other bully breed. This has been evident for quite sometime and the HSUS refuses to protect our “other” pets from these monsters. Maybe they don’t ALL attack, but too many do and they are mauling, maiming and killing in record numbers. Shame on you HSUS! Shame on you Wayne!

    • Denise Duirway says:

      Why do you want to rescue steroid injected, fighting maulers that have 507 horrendous fatalpitbullattackscom? These Gladiator’s inherent instincts are dominant in any breed they are mixed with because Dogmen only bred the ones that won 3 fights for centuries! These monster maulers don’t discriminate between a warehouse, basement, Westminster Pit, a kitchen, bedroom, park or even trunk of a car called trunking!

      Out of the 31 maulers found in the illegal Chatham warehouse along with guns, a steroid needle injection and stapling kit, breeding rape stand, 7 were puppies were rehabilitated and saved. 3 were put out of their misery immediately because they were severely injured. The 21 remaining were monitored by the OSPCA for months and still were extremely vicious and probably would behead the first dog they see like Vick’s Tug did to Beans after supposed rescueing. Most of Vick’s maulers had to live in cages the rest of their life like Tug, Denzel, and Georgia. Georgia rubbed her nose raw in pain every day due to having all her teeth extracted so she wouldn’t kill her puppies. So how is exchanging a chain for a cage humane?

      Plus this is the second time these dog fighters were caught dog fighting! I am so disappointed naive Celebrities are colluding with the profiteering Fighting dog lobby to perpetuate this vicious cycle for vicious dogs.

      12 to 20 million dogs were euthanized each year in the 1970’s and euthanization of dogs decreased to 1.2 Million in 2015 according to the ASPCA. However, over a million were fighting dog breeds due to these breeds not being banned when dog fighting was outlawed. Fighting breeds are not suitable family neighborhood pets and are often surrendered when their inherent, instinctual, killer genetics kick in even when neutered, spayed, professionally trained and pampered.

      That is why we need high licensing fees and fines for these Potentially dangerous dogs to discourage a vicious breeding cycle for vicious fighting dogs that should have been banned when dog fighting was outlawed.

  10. Julie says:

    It’s quite obvious breed neutral laws are not working when 95% of severe attacks are caused by pit bull type-dogs on people, pets and livestock.

    Very Telling: An estimated 292 U.S. military bases ban pit bulls. There are 1,052 U.S. cities and 43 countries which enact breed specific ordinances because pit bull type-dogs present an unreasonable risk to health and public safety. 

  11. Petunia Polly says:

    Pit bulls are inherently dangerous. I cannot go a single day without seeing a pit bull attack. This is a very serious problem.
    It is not how they are raised.

  12. Myresponseis says:

    For everyone castigating the breed (which really isn’t a breed), think about it: if you’re a thug who wants a big dog to scare others or to fight other dogs, you’ll pick a pit bull type dog. With that kind of owner, these dogs don’t stand a chance. The dogs of that type that bite are often intact males, chained up until the one day they get loose.

    Picture another kind of pit type dog owner: a person who realizes they have a large dog and therefore, socializes her well; takes her/him to training classes; makes sure she meet kids; makes the dog part of the family, instead of imprisoning her on a chain; and, if it’s a male, neuters it.

    And if the dog’s like many pit bull types, it will have great potential as a therapy dog or at the least, will achieve a good citizenship designation.

    I’m worried about the dog in the first case, but not the second. Any large dog badly raised is a danger.

    So let’s say we take pit bull types away from bad owners? Don’t you think they’ll just latch on to another large breed? Then we’ll be trying to ban rotties, shepherds … you get the picture.


    • Annie Brown says:

      So……I’ll go ahead and pick apart your argument by paragraphs.

      I have been an advocate for Victims of dog attacks for over 4 years. That’s working every day with people who were attacked, people who own pets that were attacked and relatives who have lost family members or pets in a dog attack. This isn’t a few people or pets. There are literally HUNDREDS of victims streaming into our support sites every month. The MAJORITY OF THE VICTIMS were attacked by an American Pit Bull Terrier, a Staffordshire Terrier, an American Bulldog or derivatives or mixtures of these dogs. ALSO representing the majority was the FACT that the attacking dogs were NOT NEGLECTED, NOT ABUSED, NOT TRAINED fighters, but well treated family pets.

      Let’s start with your paragraph 1:
      You prove our point, I’ll move on.

      Paragraph 2:
      Most of the fatalities for 2016 and I believe ALL of 2017 fatal attacks thus far :/ on humans were exacted by spayed/neutered bullys. That information is readily available and EASY to corroborate with actual victims. If you have any questions I’ll be glad to give you info.

      Paragraph 3:
      OMG……. I almost can’t talk after that one, but here goes.
      Therapy dogs are BRED from stable bloodlines of CERTAIN breeds carefully chosen that have the temperament to be a therapy animal. My neighbor works fostering therapy labs. The process is VERY EXACT. There are many years and lots of money spent on training, exposure, etc. Pit bulls weren’t bred to be pets much less therapy animals. You can’t ensure the bloodlines that these dogs come from are stable, and since part of their breeding is to NOT SHOW AGGRESSION until the EXACT moment they attack, they pass temperament tests then turn and kill something. We have WAYYYYY too many examples of that happening. So, nope. You can’t slap a pink vest on a dog and call it a flamingo.

      Paragraph 4:
      “Any large dog can be a danger” is not the same thing as saying ANY large dog IS a danger. That’s ludicrous! ALL LARGE DOGS are capable of killing, yet ALL LARGE DOGS ARE NOT KILLING. See how that works? Only certain breeds/types are severely injuring or killing. That’s why the need to focus on those breeds…… bullys.

      Paragraph 5:

      Pit owners without a pit could latch onto virtually ANY other dog breed and severe attacks and fatalities would drop by a minimal 75%. Owners of dangerous breeds MUST be legislated to force them to protect innocent victims.

      SHOULD ANOTHER BREED, after centuries of pits attacking and killing and being fought, take their place (DOUBTFUL) and kill thousands of animals and around 35 people annually, injuring hundreds more, we ADD that Breed (s) to the list of the breeds being legislated……..

      Simple….follow these laws with your pit/pit mix/bully to protect others and you can keep your pit/pit mix/bully. Don’t follow them you can’t have a dangerous breed.

      Get it?

    • Tina says:

      And then you have parents of children mauled to death by their much loved and family pittbulls. Contrary to your statement, pit bulls are not being used en masses as certified registered service dogs due to their uncertain temperament. I am talking about a real service dog not one you obtained a certificate for from Sears.

    • Denise Duirway says:

      Over 300 Pit bulls like you described as socialized and lovingly raised from puppies have killed their own family members. That is what makes them so dangerous!

      In Ontario’s BSL since 2005, Serious level 4 bites requiring surgery decreased 92%; even though the population of Rottweilers and Boxers quadrupled. They required Staffordshire Pit bulls to simply wear socialization, panting muzzles, be sterilized and microchipped. BSL works everywhere its enforced which is why 42 Countries have it.

  13. Amber says:

    HSUS and the ASPCA have been part of the pit bull problem. They are not part of the solution. Peta seems to be the only animal organization that understands that breed specific protection helps everyone–including pit bulls.

  14. Henry George says:

    If HSUS cared about pit bulls, the organization would be fighting FOR breed-specific protection laws for them. Have you never left your chair, Wayne? In communities across the country pit bulls, more than other breeds, are chained out, penned in their own waste, kept in tiny metal crates in backyards where they freeze to death and die of heat stroke in the summer, and are filling animal shelters, abandoned there more than any other breed of dog. Why would you not want to stop their abuse? What does HSUS get out of encouraging the breeding of pit bulls? It’s shameful.

  15. Sonia Leclerc says:

    BSL is good, meaningful, rational and logical lawmaking.

    These laws go a long way toward protecting not only the public but also the dogs themselves. Pit bulls are the most neglected and abused. Not surprisingly, many “retaliate” by attacking, injuring, and sometimes even killing humans and companion animals.

    Pit-bull bites are far more severe than those of other dog breeds. The April 2011 issue of the medical journal Annals of Surgery published a report by doctors and nurses at University Hospital in San Antonio, Texas, who examined 15 years of medical records of patients with dog-bite injuries admitted to the hospital’s level-one trauma center. They found that attacks by pit bulls were associated with a higher risk of death, caused more serious injuries, were more likely to require hospitalization, and resulted in higher medical-care costs than attacks by other breeds. After examining national statistics, the authors reported the following:
    – One person is killed by a pit bull every 14 days.
    – Two people are injured by pit bulls every day.
    – One body part is severed and lost every 5.4 days as a result of pit-bull attacks.
    The report (included) concludes, “These breeds should be regulated in the same way in which other dangerous species, such as leopards, are regulated.

    Animal-shelter workers across the United States see firsthand on a regular basis the mistreatment and neglect that pit bulls are subjected to. Infected wounds left untreated, eyes swollen shut and oozing blood and pus, broken or torn limbs left to “heal” without veterinary care, and ear-cropping “home jobs” are just a few of the atrocities that we often witness while working in our local community. Pit bulls constitute the majority of dogs in many if not most animal shelters, the majority of victims in cruelty-to-animals cases, and the majority of dogs who must be euthanized in animal shelters across the country.

    It’s critical that the issues of pit-bull overpopulation, abuse, and attacks be urgently addressed in a humane, sensible way.

    Pit bulls are bred, fought, abused, neglected, and used as guards specifically because of their breed. At this point in history, it’s not only fair but also essential that we protect them based on their breed.

    I stand behind PETA. The best animal welfare nationally. PETA knows the real meaning of LOVE for all animals.

  16. AnimalLover says:

    I saw my beautiful dog after two friendly playmate pit bulls killed him. He was tortured to death and died from blood loss.

    No other breeds do this.

    Along with the human toll from pit bull maulings, animals die from their attacks every day, over 50,000 each year. They kill pets, wildlife and livestock.

    They chew off snouts and ears and paws. The animals that survive often are euthanized for mercy.

    Saying BSL doesn’t work only means you haven’t done the research.


    • Marie says:

      Thank you for sharing your story. I am so very sorry. I cannot imagine having to endure the pain of losing your dog in such a manner.
      I hate these dogs, I am surprised but pleased to read these comments showing that I am not alone in that hatred.
      Unfortunately the animal shelters here in the Northeast try mighty hard to adopt out these ugly monsters rather than giving them the needle as soon as they come in the door.
      I walk my dog daily and now carry a weapon to protect both me and my beloved dog.

    • Drew says:

      oh. I’m sorry but there are many dog aggressive dogs, and the situation was rare, 2 of them loose together. it’s not the breed itself the dogs are all innocent, may sound dumb but that’s how it is in the wild. On another note how are you sure they were pit bulls? because the word alone classifies more than 4 breeds and a pit bull can look like a boxer, terrier mix, etc unless they did a DNA test what are you sure about??

  17. Mihaela MJ says:

    BSL saves lives.
    Pit owners have proved to be irresponsible.
    They let their dogs run loose, mingle with little children and other dogs.
    Every day there are more maulings and maimings. How much longer!

  18. Mirl says:

    I will have to let my personal experience with pit bulls govern how I feel about BSL.

    In Canada we are going in the opposite direction with BSL because public safety remains a factor and “neutral” laws have not worked.

    American pit bull advocates are constantly trying to browbeat Canadian politicians into ceding our BSL regulations – animal advocate groups and SPCAs should not have input into public safety mandates unless they are connected to the animal side of zoonose. They advocate for dogs not people, that much is very obvious.

  19. Denise Duirway says:

    Good points everyone. I think we really need to target the AVMA because they did a 20 year study published in 2000 proving that there was a breed specific problem with highest amount of deaths by American Pit bull terriers to be 66 plus another 10 by Pit bull mixes. Rottweilers were second with 44 but are far more popular at #9 as opposed to Pit bulls #73. However, the Pit bull Lobby suppressed this report and have been false advertising for fighting dogs ever since.

    Now I refer people to the “Facts & Figures” section of Dogbitelawcom which contains the AVMA study and many others proving that Pit bull gripping type breeds cannot ever be trusted and need to be restricted with high licensing and fines. Unfortunately, if you say “ban”, you end up fighting an uphill battle. So I say BSL Protection laws with Grandfathering clause that allows responsible owners to keep their Pit bulls and eventually leads to a reduction in population and popularity through attrition.

  20. Julie Wall says:

    Communities that have banned pit bulls (with a grandfather clause allowing dogs who are well-cared for to stay in homes) have seen huge reductions in these severe maulings and attacks. Example: In Aurora, Colorado, officials reported that after nine years of enforcing an ordinance that bans pit bulls in the city, bites involving the breed were down 73 percent, complaints and requests related to them were down 50 percent, and euthanasia of pit bulls was down a whopping 93 percent. Requiring pit bull owners to spay and neuter their dogs and keep them inside unless being walked on a leash (things that any responsible dog owner of any breed does without having to be told) have also seen reductions in the number of pit bulls ending up at shelters and having to be euthanized there–something people who claim to care about pit bulls should be in favor of. Example: Two years after a temporary spay/neuter requirement for pit bulls was passed in Ypsilanti, Michigan, the director of operations at the Humane Society of Huron Valley thanked officials for making the law permanent: “We’re very, very happy with the results and we want to see it continue. … We love this breed and we don’t [want] to euthanize them anymore.” The only people who want more pit bulls bred are those who fight them and make money selling them to irresponsible people. It’s past time that communities take this issue seriously and start strictly regulating the ownership of dogs who were specifically created by humans for the purpose of killing.

  21. Diana says:

    Well HSUS, it should be obvious to you via this comment page that you are on the WRONG side of this argument.

  22. Deborah Tyler says:

    My last dog was the most adorable black lab. Had an irresistable cute happy face. But she turned on a dime without warning. I got her from the humane society who assured she had a good temperment. Less than 2 weeks in she tried to bite me on the face, and through the years had nipped more than a few. I got to know the subtle signs, she was a great loving dog most of the time, yet very capable of being dangerous in a heart beat. We just had to learn that she was capable of this and take appropiate caution. She passed away at 12. I recently adopted a 15mo pitt bull, he wouldnt harm a fly, let alone bite anyone. He just loves everyone. Most people would mistakenly walk up and think my lab was the one who wouldnt bite vs my pit and would be very wrong. My black adorable lab was 100 times more likely to be the one to bite, even attack. We never knew why, figured she may have been abused. Just goes to show, if I was out with both dogs with out a doubt people would trust the wrong dog to pet. My pit would love it, my lab depended, but likely to be the one to bite.

    • Jeramie says:

      Thank you for sharing that. My dog was charged at the dog park by a lab, whose owner profusely apologized as he tackled his dog and dragged him out. Luckily my dog was only left with wounds that did not require much treatment, and I had bites that did require stitches. It came out of nowhere, and my dog did not bite back or instigate it. He was simply doing his run as fast as I can in circles around the park…it must have triggered some wierd prey drive in the lab. My dog looks somewhat similar to a pit, but is not one. That being said, I don’t hate labs. My mother too had one lab for years (he was over 100 lbs and lived to be almost 15!)…and he was dangerous…he could turn on a dime and bite and so was kept away when there were visitors…you just never knew. She had 2 others who were lovebugs and I have owned a lab myself. My son was attacked and bit in the face while playing a board game by the neighbors german shepherd. I have a german shepherd as well, I don’t hate the breed. Breeds do not determine what is expected. People do by treatment, bad breeding, abuse. And certain dogs, regardless of breed, can be a “bad apple”. I agree with regulations that deal with that. Specific dogs and people.

  23. Michelle says:

    I am coming to you with a sad heart…my neighbor has 3 pitbulls that they let regularly run free for exercise…they have killed numerous of my other neighbors pets. They have been warned and there is no animal control here. I have been run into my own home and now my sweet puff kitty that was in our yard got mauled to death. She was 8. I cannot express my grief and sadness. I now will be my own animal control when they come back in my yard.

  24. StopBlammingDogs says:

    Here is what it all boils down to for me, and I am not trying to offend anyone by saying this, but. for example, a white man kills a Hispanic man because the white man is just a mean and vicious person, should we just ban all the white men because they are white men? No! Of course not, that is just asinine, and to believe that one type of dog, which includes multiple different dog breeds, are all the same is asinine as well. Everyone who says “pit bulls” are the problem, tell me what is a pit bull? Because there is no breed known just as the “pit bull” besides an American pit bull terrier and that breed was never bred to be human aggressive and actually bred to be loyal and loving to humans. This is just my own person thought though.

    • PBS Taskforce says:

      Well said, while we’re at it, lets ban zoos. People not watching there own kids will let them crawl into an animal enclosure and end up dead or badly injured. All because he/she entered that animals territory. Oh yeah, let’s ban coconut trees as well.

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