Dog Bite Victims' Group Releases FAQ about Breed-Specific Legislation to Help Inform City Officials and Advocates
The new FAQ provides examples of municipalities with breed-specific ordinances that produced strong results, highlights public support of pit bull ordinances by reviewing the results of two recent elections, explains the three most common types of ordinances and dismantles a variety of myths.
View: Breed-Specific Legislation FAQ by DogsBite.org
The new FAQ answers the top questions about breed-specific legislation, including, the effectiveness of these ordinances, which breeds are involved and the three the most common types of ordinances. The FAQ also explains the history of breed-specific laws and how long they have been targeting fighting dogs -- since the late 1800s in the U.S. The FAQ also highlights the public support for breed-specific pit bull ordinances by reviewing the results of two recent elections.
In 2012, Miami-Dade County became the first municipality to place their longstanding pit bull ban on a countywide ballot during a primary election (August). By a wide margin, 63% to 37%, county voters favored keeping their pit bull ban. In 2014, Aurora, Colorado became the first city to place their 9-year old pit bull ban on a ballot during a general election (November). Again, by a wide margin, 64% to 36%, Aurora voters chose to keep their pit bull ban, according to election results.
To emphasize which breeds of dogs are included in these ordinances, the nonprofit analyzed the 860 cities with BSL in the online document, "Estimated U.S. Cities, Counties, States and Military Facilities with Breed-Specific Laws." Pit bulls were named in 100% of these ordinances; rottweilers followed in distant second, named in 7%. Wolf hybrids, often subject to state-level regulation, and presa canarios, a pit bull-mastiff derivative, were each named in 3%, the nonprofit found.(1)
The FAQ explains the most common types of breed-specific laws, including, a breed ban, automatic labeling and mandatory pit bull sterilization. The FAQ provides examples of cities with each ordinance type and their successful results in reducing pit bull attacks and pit bull-related shelter issues. The FAQ also discusses constitutional issues and why well-written ordinances have an outstanding success rate in appellate courts when faced with constitutional challenges.
The new FAQ also dismantles several false myths, including the alleged high cost of enforcing a pit bull ordinance. The FAQ compares the actual cost of enforcement to the exaggerated costs generated by an online calculator funded by a pit bull advocacy group. The side-by-side results are stark. The FAQ shows that the actual cost of a popular U.S. county (Miami-Dade, Florida) to enforce a pit bull ban in 2012 was just 1.5% ($46,140) of the calculator's $3 million estimate.(2,3,4)
View: Pit Bulls Are Identifiable Meme Campaign
The timing of the breed-specific legislation FAQ comes just a week after the nonprofit released a meme campaign that unwinds the myth that pit bulls cannot be properly identified. The nonprofit created the Pit Bulls Are Identifiable Meme Campaign for advocates to share on Facebook, Twitter, other social media networks and commenting platforms. Paired with the FAQ, the two pieces provide excellent tools for the public, advocates and city officials who support breed-specific laws.
The nonprofit's hashtags are #SupportBSL and #PitBullsAreIdentifiable
DogsBite.org is a national dog bite victims' group dedicated to reducing serious dog attacks. Through our work, we hope to protect both people and pets from future attacks. Our website, www.dogsbite.org, was launched in October 2007 and contains a wide collection of data to help policymakers and citizens learn about dangerous dogs. Our research focuses on pit bull type dogs. Due to selective breeding practices that emphasize aggression and tenacity, this class of dogs negatively impacts communities the most. Our website hosts important dog bite studies, U.S. dog bite fatalities and other key bibliographies. In the Legislating Dogs portion of our site, we offer examples of breed-specific laws (state-by-state) and documentation of the constitutionality of these laws. The Victim Realities section provides a glance into the unforgettable histories victims leave behind and much more. DogsBite.org operates out of Austin, Texas and can be contacted via: 512-650-8510 or email@example.com. Research contributions and active website participation stems from individuals that span the United States of America and across the world.
(1)Estimated U.S. Cities, Counties, States and Military Facilities with Breed-Specific Laws by DogsBite.org, updated Dec. 3, 2014 (Accessed: Sept. 2, 2015 https://www.scribd.com/doc/56495216/Estimated-U-S-Cities-Counties-States-and-Military-Facilities-with-Breed-Specific-Pit-Bull-Laws)
(2)The BSL Fiscal Impact Calculator, released in May 2009, was commissioned by Best Friends Animal Society and funded by the National Canine Research Council (Accessed: Sept. 1, 2015 http://www.prweb.com/releases/pit_bulls/legislation/prweb2475504.htm) (Accessed: Sept. 1, 2015 http://bestfriends.guerrillaeconomics.net/)
(3)Miami-Dade Legislative Item, File Number 120173. Straw Ballot Pit Bull Dogs, Committee Meeting 2/14/2012 (Accessed: Sept. 1, 2015 http://bit.ly/miamidadefl)
(4)FY 2011-12 Adopted Budget and Multi-Year Capital Plan, by Miami-Dade County Animal Services Department (Accessed: Sept. 1, 2015 http://www.miamidade.gov/budget/FY2011-12/adopted/volume2/animal-services.pdf).