Obama Makes Statement Against Breed-Specific Legislation

Last week was an important one for dogs in the White House. Not only did the Obama family welcome Sunny, a 14-month-old† Portuguese Water Dog, but President Obama made a statement against breed-specific legislation.

Here’s the official White House Statement on WhiteHouse.gov:

“We don’t support breed-specific legislation — research shows that bans on certain types of dogs are largely ineffective and often a waste of public resources.

In 2000, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at twenty years of data about dog bites and human fatalities in the United States. They found that fatal attacks represent a very small proportion of dog bite injuries to people and that it’s virtually impossible to calculate bite rates for specific breeds.

The CDC also noted that the types of people who look to exploit dogs aren’t deterred by breed regulations — when their communities establish a ban, these people just seek out new, unregulated breeds. And the simple fact is that dogs of any breed can become dangerous when they’re intentionally or unintentionally raised to be aggressive.

For all those reasons, the CDC officially recommends against breed-specific legislation — which they call inappropriate.

As an alternative to breed-specific policies, the CDC recommends a community-based approach to prevent dog bites. And ultimately, we think that’s a much more promising way to build stronger communities of pets and pet owners.”

Although it is not yet a federal law, Pit Bull lovers nationwide are pleased to see that Obama is opposed to BSL at all government levels. Responsible Pit Bull owners are often misrepresented by the small percentage of irresponsible owners contributing to the negative stigma attached to the breed.

Bay Area Dog Lovers Responsible About Pit Bulls (BADRAP) has been educating the public with their monster myths. In a recent study of 122 dog breeds, by the American Temperament Society (ATTS), Pit Bulls achieved a high passing rate of 83.9, compared to the 77% score of the general dog population.

Next: What you can do to help end BSL

Although BSL currently often indirectly refers to Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixes, the targeted breed appears to change every decade. In the ’70s it was the Dobermans. In the ’80s, the German Shepherds. (That, of course, all changed when German Shepherds became guide dogs and military working dogs.) Then in the ’90s, the bad dogs were the Rottweilers. It’s been the Pit Bulls for the last couple of decades, which only adds to the huge number of Pit Bulls that end up in shelters. Is breed discrimination really any different than human discrimination? It’s basing false premises on the skin color and appearance of a dog, rather than a fair observation of their behavior.

Paws crossed that Obama’s statement against breed-specific legislation is noticed and heard!

What you can do to help end BSL

  • Become educated. The National Pit Bull Awareness Campaign is a nationwide effort to bring positive awareness and attention to the American Pit Bull Terrier.
  • Speak up. When you hear neighbors and friends speak negatively about any breed, gently provide educated statements to help them expand their thinking.
  • Volunteer at your local shelter. Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixes are overcrowding shelters. Help in whatever way you can.

What do you think of Obama’s recent statement? Do you think Pit Bull’s are discriminated against unfairly? Thanks for posting your thoughts in a comment below.

Have you seen the new Adoptable Pets page on Care2? ¬†Please also share with your friends. We’d love your help in finding homes for these adorable animals!

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Olivia S.
Past Member 5 years ago

Good news, thanks

tracy p.
tracy porter5 years ago

breed specific legislation is ridiculous and crazy. Many of the pitbulls rescued from Michael vicks house of horrors are rehomed and loving towards their new families. dogs are better at getting past horrible abuse than people.

Laura T.
Laura T5 years ago

bsl is bull

Angela Roquemore
Angela Roquemore5 years ago

I have met TWO Pit mixes in my life. Both were female, but both were at different stages of life. One was a puppy. She was teething...and if you've ever had a puppy of any breed, you know that teething puppies do the most damage by accident. The other was an older female named Lady A. She was basically a big, overgrown BABY. She was a sweetheart!

Therefore, I agree with the President's statement against the big crock of BS that is BSL.

Virginia Belder
Virginia Belder5 years ago


Kim Brudvig
Kim Brudvig5 years ago

I'm extremely fortunate to come from a country where there is no discrimination against any breed. I've bread and showed Pitbulls (never sold any though) since 1997 and i can’t imagine my life without a Pitbull in it. They are amazing and extremely intelligent animals. Quite a few of them are rescue dogs that we have taken in. We make it our business to educate the general public about the breed. We often do shows at schools and get the children involved with handling the pitties.

Edgar Zuim
Edgar Zuim5 years ago

Good article. Thanks.

Nanette A.
Nanette a5 years ago

I think it has to do with temperament. There are too many back yard breeders and there are too many who breed and breed to make a few bucks at the dogs expense and they don't care about the home they go to or how they are treated. Just like people, some dogs are easy going and some a little more easy to react. You can not put label all breeds as good or bad like people they are all individual with their own personalities.

Carla van der Meer
Carla v5 years ago

It is high time that entire breeds and their people suffer for the bad behavior of a few. My pitbull saved the life of myself and my son and I shudder to think where we would be with these laws in place.

Carrie-Anne Brown

thanks for sharing :)