Home » Uncategorized » White House Rejects Prince George’s Breed Specific Dog Law!

White House Rejects Prince George’s Breed Specific Dog Law!

Bo says NO! to BSL, so does his dad.

August 19, 2013: GREENBELT, MARYLAND — From the Top: The White House has issued an official response to dog breed bans exactly like the one in effect in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

This is the Official White House Response to Breed Discriminatory Laws:

“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. You can read more from them here.

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.”

Source: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/response/breed-specific-legislation-bad-idea

We agree!

Prince George’s is a suburb of Washington, D.C. With a population of almost 900,000 people, it is the second largest municipality with a breed ban in the United States. If The White House response was shouted from the roof of the West Wing, Prince George’s County officials would have heard it…we’re THAT close. We ask the County Council to re-examine and repeal this law when they reconvene in September.

17 states now prohibit dog breed specific dangerous dog laws, with proposals in the pipelines for similar laws in other states. Prince George’s County has determined its own 15-year breed ban costs hundreds of thousands of dollars each year with no measurable increase in public safety (Report of the Prince George’s County Vicious Animal Law Task Force, 2005).

Breed-specific measures such as the law in Prince George’s County, Maryland, often declare a particular dog as dangerous simply by its outward physical characteristics. However, a number of studies indicate that, not only does a dog’s breed or appearance not portend behavior, but also that as much as 75% of visual dog identifications of “pit bulls” by animal professionals are WRONG. The consequences of these mis-identifications in Prince George’s County are death or exile as hundreds and hundreds of beloved pets are seized from living rooms, often right out from under the embrace of young children, then killed by Prince George’s County government. Usually for doing absolutely nothing wrong.

boy braids and dog

According to Ledy VanKavage, American Bar Association, Past Committee Chair, “People love their pets, no matter what their appearance. This is America. Responsible pet owners should be allowed to own whatever breed they want. They should not have to live in fear of their pets being seized and killed simply because of their appearance.”



  1. Regina Coburn says:

    THANK YOU. There is no such thing as bad dogs just bad owners – so I suggest we do need a law to stiffen the penalty to dog owners who purposely make a dog mean – maybe 10 years in jail will tell them the USA won’t stand for it.

    • Yes, Regina, we do agree that generic, breed-neutral dangerous dog laws that address a dog’s behavior and an owner’s management of their dog is critical to public safety. Most jurisdictions in the US have that kind of animal control law. If not, they sure need to enact some! We have that very kind of law in Prince George’s County, which is why we do not need any BSL. Thanks for your comment!

  2. Crystal Redwine says:

    Woohoo! Yes!
    Because it’s NOT the dog breeds it’s the owners and how they raise them…. 🙂

  3. Owners not dogs is the problem!

  4. Bren says:

    They should make it global! No BSL anywhere!

  5. karen portwood says:

    Irresponsible pet owners need to be held accountable. The one punished is the dog…….for doing what the owner,more often than not,has created. So sad and the dog is just being obedient to it’s (ignorant)owner. You end up with a very scared,frightened dog that doesn’t understand what’s going on!

  6. Sara says:

    Okay, I love dogs (especially Pits!) as much as the next guy and I think it’s fantastic that the White House is making PG county come around but honestly, there are SOME bad dogs. Saying there aren’t just sounds ignorant. Some people are bad, some dogs are bad, regardless of their appearance. It’s nature.

    • Sara, thanks for your support! The federation believes “Bad” is a judgement. Dogs can cause trouble when they are not effectively managed and supervised. It’s not a matter of “good” or “bad” when it comes to making law and public policy.

    • LondonReader says:

      Sara is correct..there are some bad dogs. I have 3 of them.
      My pibble is bad because he takes my spot on the bed!!
      My Doberman is bad because she takes up the entire couch when she’s sleeping.
      My GSD is bad because he steps on my foot every. single. time. he comes through the door (although, I tell myself that’s his way of saying I love you).

  7. StopBSL says:

    YES, YES, YES! Stop BSL! The only thing BSL has accomplished is killing innocent animals! And that’s not an accomplishment, really. It’s disgusting that people can actually get away with this type of cruel animal behavior. This law is only hurting the animals, not ignorant humans who stand behind it or raise aggressive dogs. There is no evidence that a specific breed is dangerous, there is only evidence that BSL is not effective and that you cannot determine which dog/ breed will be dangerous! Free the sweet, innocent dogs and ban the ignorance. #itsourturn

  8. […] Breed Specific Legislation has been implemented in hundreds of municipalities across the U.S., including Prince George’s County, Maryland, located just a short drive away from the White House. The county has banned pit bulls outright, and according to the Maryland Dog Federation, those found within the county are usually either put down or donated to families in other areas. However, there is strong opposition to the laws, and the same federation reports that 17 states have banned legislation that single out specific types of dogs. […]

  9. […] Breed Specific Legislation has been implemented in hundreds of municipalities opposite a U.S., including Prince George’s County, Maryland, located only a brief expostulate divided from a White House. The county has criminialized array bulls outright, and according to a Maryland Dog Federation, those found within a county are customarily possibly put down or donated to families in other areas. However, there is clever antithesis to a laws, and a same association reports that 17 states have criminialized legislation that singular out specific forms of dogs. […]

  10. […] Indeed, some advocates — like those challenging a ban on pit bulls in Prince George’s County, Md., about 20 miles from the White House — are celebrating. […]

  11. DenaLeigh Ahrens says:

    I agree with many of the statements above…let’s put our money into criminalizing the abuse of animals, including, training dogs to be vicious or to fight. I also made a suggestion on another forum about dogs who are being rehabilitated… Maybe we could make a red/green belly band system for dogs who should not be approached while walking, etc because they are not fully socialized/trained yet or are to hyper, etc. The system would require owners to have their dogs wear a soft cotton belly band with Velcro around the belly in either red, meaning, stop! Don’t approach or green, this pet is safe to pet, touch, etc. I think this would help many of the accidental bites and give dogs who need more room, just that.

    • Interesting. We teach children how to “stop, drop, and roll” in case of fire. We teach children to look both ways before crossing the street. Let’s teach our kids and adults the proper and safe way to interact with the dogs they encounter in their daily lives and not to take such personal liberties with dogs they don’t know.

      • Sara says:

        Best. Commentary. Ever.

        My baby son will grow up learning to respect dogs, cats, raccoons, sharks, squirrels, leaves, doons, etc.

        The root of the problem is humans’ lack of respect for living things. If these ideals are taught from the get go, no reasonable person would ever think of abusing dogs in a way that would hurt them or make them aggressive and ultimately lead to breed specific discrimination.

        Unfortunately, the people currently doing these things will never understand that, as it’s not how they were brought up.

        This movement is a huge step towards educating the younger generation. And isn’t that really our goal? To make our kids (and their generation) better than we are?

  12. […] like a pit bull paid a price no one can put a number on. The Maryland Dog Federation will be calling on the County Council to repeal the ban in Prince George County this […]

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