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Saturday, March 8, 2008

Support Massachusetts’ Anti-Breed-Specific Legislation!

Breed-specific legislation (BSL) generally refers to any type of regulation, legislation or municipal ordinance that designates certain dog breed types as dangerous or illegal. Breed-specific legislation is designed to restrict or regulate the ownership of certain breeds of dogs.

Many states, counties and municipal governments look to BSL as an answer to reduce dog attacks. Some states, such as Ohio, classify certain breeds as inherently dangerous in their state codes. The statutes often place severe restrictions on dog owners of a particular breed or ban the breed outright.

However, studies have shown that it is not the breeds themselves that are dangerous, but situations that are creating dangerous dogs. Dogs that have attacked or bitten humans generally are:

  • Dogs that have been obtained for negative functions, such as fighting or guarding
  • Dogs that owners have failed to humanely care for, control and properly train
  • Dogs that are left unsupervised with children
  • Dogs that have not been spayed/neutered

Instead of unfairly penalizing a specific breed, this bill:

  • Affirmatively states that any dog, regardless of breed or type, may be classified as a dangerous dog
  • Establishes clear guidelines for when dogs are classified as “dangerous” based on quantifiable past actions
  • Creates clear exemptions for dogs who attack a person in response to a willful trespass or other injury, have been teased, tormented or abused by a person, or have responded to a person committing or attempting to commit a crime
  • Provides a system for a potentially dangerous dog to have the designation removed

Please join American Humane in supporting this important bill by contacting your representative and senators!

This action alert is for residents of the following states only: Massachusetts

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