This is a summary of the article, “Six More States May Outlaw Breed-Specific Legislation, Making Everything Better For Pitbulls,” written by Arin Greenwood. To read the full article, click here.

Breed Specific Laws (BSL) restrict dog ownership by breed. These laws target dogs labeled as “dangerous.” Pitbulls are usually the breed that is targeted.  BSL laws often force pet owners to choose between their homes and their pets. Luckily, these bad laws may soon become a thing of the past.

Breed Specific Laws are considered bad laws for a number of reasons:

  1. People consider dogs as members of the family. It’s not ethical to remove family members from homes without reason.
  2. The reasoning behind BSL are obsolete. They are designed to not allow violent animals into households. But there is no research that proves that pit bulls are violent. Breed is not a significant factor in dog bite fatalities. Contributing factors included: ability of an able-bodied person to intervene, and the dog being abused by its owner.
  3. They are a waste of public resources. In Baltimore, there are 151,105 dogs, and 10,918 dogs are assumed to be pit bull type dogs. It costs $992,606 per year to enforce BSL laws.
  4. Not many polled citizens agree with the laws. A survey recently conducted by Luntz Global on behalf of the rescue group Best Friends Animal Society revealed that, “84 percent of those polled believe that local, state or federal governments should not infringe on a person’s right to own whatever breed of dog they choose.”

Currently, seventeen states have passed laws to end Breed Specific Laws. Maryland, Vermont, South Dakota, Missouri, Utah and Washington state are now considering similar bills.

Ledy VanKavage, an attorney for Best Friends Animal Society met with South Dakota Senate’s Local Government Committee to discuss the bill. After, she told Huffington Post, “Today was a good day for dogs.”

Shortly after meeting with Ledy VanKavage, South Dakota Senate’s Local Government Committee, passed their bill. It will now move on to the House.

There is progress in Maryland as well. Maryland state director for the Humane Society of the United States, Tami Santelli, believes that her state will also be passing legislation in favor of pit bulls soon.

VanKavage said, “If we could get just one or two this year I’d be happy.”