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Problems With Enforcing Breed Specific Legislation

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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 easy is it to enforce BSL?

You’re just, you’re not even addressing the problem because a lot of dogs are just not going to end up with the muzzle and animal control guys are not going to be out at 6 O’clock in the morning when you are walking your dog or 8 O’clock at night or whenever you are. It’s just like speeding, you might speed every now then because you know you’re not going to get caught. So what good is it? It would be much better to take every registered dog in that city and send people one sheet. And say here’s what you need to look out for, so you have a nice safe dog.


How much will it cost to enforce BSL?

According to Best Friends’ Breed-specific Legislation and Dog Breed Fiscal Impact Calculator, just to police dog owners (not take them in, or anything else), Washington state would look at about $6,167,201 to do that! How are we going to pay for that? Where is this money coming from?

Who is going to be enforcing BSL?

The animal control in your town is already so busy with intake of animals. They have a full plate of things to do. When are they supposed to drive around to make sure your dog is muzzled? How many people can they follow up with on claims that “they saw a dog without a muzzle”? We already have issues with enforcing things as simple as leash laws, adding another thing to execute will just overburden our economy and our public service workers.

So if we cannot come up with an extra 6 million in Washington state alone, that money will have to be taken out of other programs.

“When animal control resources are used to regulate or ban a certain breed, the focus is shifted away from effective enforcement of laws that have the best chances of making communities safer: dog license laws, leash laws, anti-animal fighting laws, anti-tethering laws, laws facilitating spaying and neutering and laws that require all owners to control their dogs, regardless of breed. Additionally, guardians of banned breeds may be deterred from seeking routine veterinary care, which can lead to outbreaks of rabies and other diseases that endanger communities.” ASPCA