Obviously, we don’t like breed specific legislation, or BSL, which lets government bodies regulate, ban, seize, and even destroy dogs solely because they belong to a specific breed — or just look like they do. And it’s not just Pit Bulls who are affected — many breed specific laws include such breeds as Bulldogs, Chow Chows, and even Dalmatians. They’re breed-discriminatory laws, to use a more accurate term. And too often, cities adopt them as a knee-jerk reaction, based on little more than a few vocal proponents.
But undoing those laws is a hard process, involving local heroes who take up the cause on behalf of their pets and refuse to back down.
Last week, Gov. Brian Sandoval signed Assembly Bill 110, which “prevents local governments from adopting or enforcing an ordinance or regulation that deems a dog dangerous or vicious based solely on the breed of the dog,” according to a Best Friends’ press release.
Nevada is the 14th state to pass a law preventing breed discrimination.
The group worked with bill sponsor Assemblyman James Ohrenschall.
“It has always been bad public policy to enact ordinances that target a certain breed of dog without considering that individual dog’s actions,” he said. “I’m proud of sponsoring this legislation because it will help keep our innocent friends from being killed needlessly and senselessly. This bill will help strengthen the bond between humans and our beloved dogs.”
Best Friends brought some popular figures into the campaign. Richard Hunter, owner of Mel, one of the “Victory” dogs rescued and brought to Best Friends from Michael Vick’s 2007 dog fighting bust, testified before the Nevada Senate to show support, according to the release.
Good work, people. The ban on BSL takes effect Oct. 1. Let’s hope more states follow Nevada’s lead. For those looking to get involved, a good place to start is by creating a Change.org petition. Here’s Incred-A-Bull’s petition for the Nevada campaign, to give you a guide.
Via Huffington Post; photos via Best Friends Animal Society