How Do You Help Fight BSL?

March 1, 2013  

Answers to Our Community Question of the Week

With the recent news of breed-specific legislation popping up across the nation, we asked our Facebook friends, ”What suggestions do you have for peacefully combating or protesting BSL in your area?”

Education, letter-writing, getting to know local politicians, and letting our fabulous dogs speak for themselves are some of the ways that we can combat – and hopefully reverse – breed-specific legislation. Thanks everyone for sharing.

It’s never the breed that makes a “bad dog,” it’s only ever the owner. Humans somehow always bring out the worst in doggies… or the best that they can be! ~ Kirsty Gray

I attend peaceful protest walks, write letters to my legislators, and do what I can to provide evidence based research (national canine research council is a great place to start) to combat stereotypes. I also invite those who still don’t believe me to visit my dog and experience a pit bull for themselves. ~ Becky Britz

Education for the public. In Maryland there is a group that works tirelessly. They have so many events including “pit bulls on parade” where responsible owners can bring the dogs (usually dressed up) and walk around the inner harbor, where we can stop and talk to people about the breed. ~ Lauren McGehee

Bring out the pit bull therapy dogs. ~ Kathleen Woodley Strittmatter

Education is the key above all! Combating biased sites that crank out misinformation, with intelligent and well thought out non-biased factual evidence that pit bulls are not inherently any different than any other dog. ~ Nuria Rodriguez

Whenever I learn of proposed BSL in my area (meaning my state), I research, write and persuade (hopefully). I check to confirm what’s being proposed, I compose a letter or message to those proposing the change which is specific to their plan and I strive to persuade them there are other ways to handle the issue which do more to ensure public safety while not targeting innocent dogs. Most officials think they’re doing the right thing or there is no alternative so I try to use diplomacy to let them know there are other ways which can be more effective. ~ Aubrie Kavanaugh

One for all and all for one. Any larger dog can be a biter. Depends on the owner’s treatment of any dog. If one breed is behaving worse than another one, ban the owners, not the dogs. ~ Myra Marchant

Pit bulls are their own best ambassadors. There was a campaign where owners sent photos of their dogs with the kids and other animals. Photos speak volumes. ~ Gloria Mccurley Lantz

Several years ago my sister-in-law and I (along with a few friends) took our pit bulls to the local assemblyman’s office. We had the newspapers there to report our meeting. The assemblyman came outside with a box of dog biscuits, he shook the box and all of our dogs turned to look at him and sat down. He asked if they could have a treat and each handler told him “yes” but that he had to feed it to them. Very hesitantly he fed each dog a treat and was amazed by how gentle they took the treat and how well-mannered they were. We then went inside and talked about the BSL that was on the table and made suggestions on how to change it to encompass all dogs, not specific breeds, making the owners responsible. The BSL at that time was not passed in New Jersey. ~ Dee Fell

We can continue to educate the public although many will still single out our breed! I think as a compromise to make certain people feel better, our dogs should be registered somehow and mandatory microchip that holds owners responsible for their dog. I think this would also help cut down on our less desirable pit bull owners. ~ Joanna Sheldon Jackson

I usually point out two obvious things: 1) BSL is wrong not only because it punishes based on looks not action, but allows every other dog owner off the hook for irresponsible ownership and dog bites. I’ve seen bites by retrievers and Labradors too. 2) Take a dog away from a bad owner, they go get another dog. You’re not solving the problem. In my home town, I had it easy. Everyone knew my loving sweet pit bull breed, and my 4 pound Yorkshire Terrier that would take your face off given the chance. We were a poster family for why you can’t judge a dog by its breed. ~ Tess Purvis

Find out where the ban originates. Start a blog dedicated to the origination point, then flood the internet with so much content it affects the originators ability to rank in search engines. Anytime someone searches them the content generated pushed them so far down in search engines the only information listed is the information about how they connect to the ban. This works great for specific entities, individuals, and public figures. ~ Raquel Elle Bell

Get more people involved, people are good at saying they’ll fight it and then they don’t show up. There is strength in numbers. ~ Julie Johnson Cox

Sadly all the legislators in Maryland understand is money so animal advocates, insurance companies, real estate board, etc. had to point out how expensive it is to prove a dog was or wasn’t a certain breed. Same with a spay/neuter bill. We had to show they could save 9 million dollars to get their attention. If they can look like they’re saving money and it helps them get re-elected they jump on board because it makes them look good. Other than that they don’t give a crap. ~ Lynn Hopkins

I read about building a “dog resume” for your dog. Include every class, certification, etc. ~ Sherry Springer Mitchell

Education, legislation banning BSL – get to know local politicians and get them the correct information, never give up fighting for your dogs. ~ Martha Kennedy

Educate the public on how much money goes into such a ridiculous law, never give up your pit bull, maybe pack walks. Socialize your pit bulls with the community; they are good at bestowing love upon anyone they meet. ~ Brittany Ladd

As a military spouse, it is always a panicky time when we are moving with our pit bull. The easiest place to find a spot to live is on base housing, but most have a restriction on pit bulls. I wish they would institute a policy that allows “aggressive” dog owners to go through a CGC class to get their certification then they’d be allowed on. I know it is not ideal, but I feel like it’s a compromise that could work at least in the case for military housing. ~ Caitlin Kardell-Axe

Educate, educate, educate! Look back to when pit bulls were called “nanny dogs” for their protective, loving nature! Look at who’s raising them, and how! ~ Arlene Applebaum

Why kill peaceful dogs/animals? That is the question! Education is needed to the people spreading fear to other uneducated people. Stop the witch hunt on our “family” members! ~ Angela Dye

Get to know your local aldermen, and be on good communicating terms with them. We found out about the proposed BSL in our town early because the alderman came to tell us about it. We were able to successfully defeat BSL in Stoughton, Wisconsin by going to the meetings, supporting the enforcement of laws already on the books, by giving out copies of non-BSL “dangerous dog” laws that other communities had, and by maintaining a calm and professional demeanor. ~ Jane O’Malley

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