"Previous to working in rescue, I had – like most – some personal experiences with bully breed type dogs. And of course I had encountered the general public’s urban legends that had come with their reputation as well.
But after years of working in rescue, I have been able to form an actual experience-based opinion. Long story short? These types of dogs pose no more danger than any other dog.
As someone who now rescues ALL of the bully breeds, having to deal with BSL affects us in every way possible. Based on judgements that never seem to have consistency we are allowed or not allowed to help dogs in need. Shelters never seem to have any clarity on what is or is not a "pit bull type” dog. Therefore the entire process is convoluted from start to finish.
This means on any given day, completely innocent dogs are taken and even killed. Whether identified properly or not, this just shows the legislation has nothing to do with what the supposed issue is: the danger that a dog may pose to public safety.
Beyond the completely faulty system BSL means many other things. For those labelled “illegal” it means using resources to export the dogs out of province to other places where they can be treated like every other dog. This leads to significant costs that could be used more efficiently.
It also does not seem to deter people from breeding, selling and owning these dogs. But what it does do is deter them from training, socializing, registering and even vetting them like they should. As someone who also trains I know how many trainers won't take on training these breeds, making it more difficult to help them. At the end of the day, BSL only stacks the deck against them being well-adjusted dogs."
Thank you to Jeremy of Benevolent Bully Rescue in Ontario, for sharing your story. If you have an experience, story, or reflection about breed-specific legislation, please let us know!
#BSLbytes is a joint initiative of Hugabull Advocacy & Rescue Society and Justice for Bullies.