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Is Breed Specific Legislature Cost Effective?

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Drayton Michaels, CTC is the owner of Urban Dawgs Dog Training in Red Banks, NJ. He also holds a Certification in Dog Training and Behavior Counseling from the San Francisco SPCA Academy for Dog Trainers (known as “the Harvard for dog trainers”). 

How cost effective is Breed Specific Legislatures?

Every time Breed Specific Legislature (BSL) has been implemented, it cost millions of dollars to enforce, whether its housing dogs, overtime for animal control officers no matter what it is. Every time you look across BSL when it’s passed, that city, that town, that state spends millions of dollars. So just from a cost level, it’s not effective. So at the end of the day you can, you know, don’t legislate – educate, you know you’re not going to help the problem by banning dogs or restricting dogs too, you know, not leave their property or wear a muzzle, all that’s just going to end up backfiring. So it’s always better to educate than to legislate.

Best Friends’ Breed-specific Legislation and Dog Breed Fiscal Impact Calculator:

How Much Will BSL Cost Your Community

The cost to implement BSL in King County WA (where Truffle the maniac and I reside):

  • Estimated number of pit-bull-terrier-like dogs 33,277
  • Costs Associated with Breed-Discriminatory Legislation Enforcement $1,771,184
  • Kenneling and veterinary care $553,971
  • Euthanizing and disposal $67,271
  • Litigation costs* $394,782
  • DNA testing $310,635
  • Total estimated annual cost $3,097,843

That is 3 million dollars that can easily be put back into community education. Back into schools, back into public parks, back into care for veterans, back to help homeless and feed hungry kids. Instead, it would cost us 3 million dollars to round up amazing dogs.

Here are some quotes from organizations opposing BSL:

“We don’t support breed-specific legislation—research shows that bans on certain types of dogs are largely ineffective and often a waste of public resources. Ultimately, we think that’s a much more promising way to build stronger communities of pets and pet owners.” Obama Administration

“Experts have proven that Breed Specific Legislation does not make communities safer for people or pets. It is costly, ineffective, and undermines the human-canine bond.” (Animal Farm Foundation, 2016).

“The AVSAB’s position is that such legislation—often called breed-specific legislation (BSL)−is ineffective, and can lead to a false sense of community safety as well as welfare concerns for dogs identified (often incorrectly) as belonging to specific breeds.The importance of the reduction of dog bites is critical; however, the AVSAB’s view is that matching pet dogs to appropriate households, adequate early socialization and appropriate training, and owner and community education are most effective in preventing dog bites. Therefore, the AVSAB does support appropriate legislation regarding dangerous dogs, provided that it is education based and not breed specific.(American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, 2014).