Why BSL Doesn't Work

by Amanda Payne, BDAR Volunteer

Wanna know why breed-specific legislation (laws banning pit bulls and other dogs based solely on what breeds they appear to be) is completely and utterly ridiculous, ineffective, and unfair?

This is Kalypso, a 50% "pit bull" terrier

Kalypso: 50% American Staffordshire Terrier, 25% Australian Cattle Dog, 25% Mixed Breed Groups

Taffy: 37.5% American Staffordshire Terrier, 25% Rottweiler, 25% Labrador Retriever, 12.5% Mixed Breed Groups

This is Taffy, who is only 25% labrador

These percentages were determined by DNA testing. Some places use tests like these to determine whether a dog is permitted to reside in that area or not. Some dogs are even put to death because of their DNA.

What do you see? A lab and a heeler?

Humans, even those in animal fields (me!), are notoriously bad at visual breed identification. Our best guesses (even mine, about my own dogs!) are often completely wrong. 

Not only that, but many dogs have physical characteristics that don't necessarily "match" the breeds in their genetic compositions. 

My two "pit bulls" can pass as a heeler and a lab. I could probably still own them in cities where "pit bulls" are banned. 

However, many dogs, and their adoring, responsible families, are not so lucky. Families are destroyed by legislation that has been proven to be ineffective and unfair- and yet, new laws are constantly being considered. 

This has to stop. Speak up. Be their voice. Dogs do not deserve to die, and families do not deserve to suffer, due to genetic compositions. End breed-specific legislation.