Ending Breed Restrictions

Information and resources for ending exclusionary legislation and policies motivated by discrimination.

BSL Legal Action Fund
Visual Breed I.D. and Behavior
Breed-Specific Legislation
Housing Policies
How-Tos
Advocacy Library

The Social Impact of Breed Restrictions

They’re exclusionary and discriminatory

Public and private policies that ban or restrict dog ownership based on a dog’s known breed or appearance have a deep impact on individuals and on society at large. What is often misguidingly called “canine discrimination” is not about dogs at all. All breed-specific policies and laws can be traced to racism, classism, and ableism. Using myths, stereotypes, guesswork, and bad data, people use dogs as a scapegoat to deny others access to housing, public spaces, and to push them out of communities altogether. 

Studies show that these laws and policies do not keep communities safe, rather they deny individual dog owners equal opportunity, pit neighbor against neighbor, and often result in family pets being forcibly removed from their homes.

Looks don’t equal behavior

Breed restrictions most often rely on breed stereotypes and visual breed identifcation. But, the canine genome tells us that how a dog looks has nothing to do with how a dog behaves.

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Housing

Excluding my dog is excluding me. Join our Dogs, People, and Housing Insurance Project and take action to end insurance breed restrictions.

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Get the facts

In our advocacy libary, we’ve gathered scientific research, opinion statements, and legal documents citing the factual reasons why breed restrictions don’t make any sense.

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Advocacy 101

How to challenge local breed-specific legislation

1. Read the entire ordinance. Read it thoroughly and take notes
2. Identify the year the ordinance was enacted
3. Identify the people who voted for or against the legislation
4. Identify any prominent citizens (retired council members, prominent business owners) who were involved
5. Figure out WHY the BSL was introduced. Breed-specific legislation is either prompted by an incident or it is contagious, meaning a neighboring town passed a similar law.
6. Determine if your town/county also has a general dangerous dog law and/or leash law.
7. Are any council members who supported BSL still on the council?
8. Is the same mayor still in office?
9. Is the same dog warden/sheriff/police chief still in place?
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How-Tos

Excluding My Dog Is Excluding Me

Help us end exclusionary breed restrictions in housing insurance.