The cost of BSL

 In the United States, cities have spent millions of dollars attempting to enforce breed bans and all efforts have failed.


In Dade County Florida,

A breed ban was passed on Pit Bull type dogs in 1988, yet as of 2002 an estimated fifty thousand Pit Bull type dogs populate Dade County. In Saginaw Michigan, a breed ban was repealed several years ago because of the cost of impounding dogs and the legal cost to the city for its defense against dog owners who filed civil action.

In Cincinnati Ohio,

A long standing breed ban was repealed due to cost to the city. Very little of the population of the banned breed was removed from the city due to the impossibility of enforcing such legislation.

The cost of impounding dogs and the cost of legal defense to defend against dog owners who seek civil action is costing tax payers millions of dollars for legislation that does nothing to ensure the safety of the public.

The Cincinnati breed-specific ban was passed in the late 1980s. However, because the city lacked storage space for impounded dogs, the ordinance was not enforced for nearly 10 years.

In 1996, the city contracted with the Hamilton County SPCA to house dogs confiscated as vicious and also as members of the banned breeds. Since then, the city has paid the SPCA to house hundreds of the dogs taken from families, breeders, dog fighters, and drug dealers and held during the disposition of their cases. Interpretation of law has been liberal.

Some dogs that resemble the proscribed breeds have been impounded even though there is no genetic test that identifies breeds or mixes. In early 1998, the chief deputy dog warden identified eight American Bulldogs as American Staffordshire Terrier mixes and took the dogs to the SPCA.

Unlike many other owners whose dogs have been taken under the breed ban, owner Eric Rowe refused to plead guilty to a lesser charge and send his dogs out of the city. Instead, he hired a lawyer, fought the charges, and won.

The American Bulldog trial cost the city thousands of dollars in impoundment fees, pre-trial preparation, and trial time, none of which could recovered because the city lost. Where multiple dogs have been removed from a single address and held for months, the costs reach thousands of dollars of taxpayers money.

In Saginaw, City Attorney Catherine R. Ginster stated

“aside how the ordinance was adopted and it’s enforcement, a major problem exists as to the adequacy in terms of the number of available pens within the Animal Shelter to hold animals for protracted periods. The county does not have the capacity to hold “vicious dogs” for periods beyond which the State law specifies.”

In 2001, Baltimore, Maryland projected

It would cost over 750,000 dollars a year to attempt to enforce legislation directed at specific breeds and voted against breed specific legislation. In Pontiac, Michigan, WAF had filed a lawsuit against the city on December 13, 2001 for passing breed specific legislation without giving public notice, it was repealed. In all reality, breed specific legislation cannot be enforced; and where it has been enacted, it has been proven it could not be enforced.

In Huntsville Alabama in the year 2002

The city spent thousands of taxpayers dollars attempting to euthanasia 4 American Pit Bull Terrier pups, Huntsville appealed to the Alabama Supreme Court claiming Pit Bulls are genetically dangerous, the pups were set free by the Supreme Court. Breed specific legislation does not work and it’s wasted millions of dollars of taxpayers money.



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