Breed-specific pet laws, often known as breed-specific legislation (BSL), exist to protect people against traditionally aggressive canine breeds. While any breed has its good dogs and bad dogs, some breeds are considered more dangerous because people sometimes breed them specifically for aggression or fighting purposes. BSL most often applies to pit bull terriers, but can also include rottweilers, doberman pinschers or any mix that contains those breeds.
Municipalities in states all across the U.S. have different BSL in place. Laws can differ from town to town, with some locales banning one breed and the next town banning another. A third town can have no breed-specific laws in place, while a fourth might require thousands of dollars in insurance to own a specific breed. Some states have passed laws that prohibit local towns from enacting any breed-specific laws. This means that a single breed cannot be banned, regardless of previously passed local legislation. Those states are:
- New Jersey
- New York
- Virginia [source: Understand-a-Bull]
You should always check the laws before you leave town, as they change often. You may find that your buddy can accompany you on your trip -- or you might suddenly learn that you have to leave it behind.
Read on to find out about harness laws for your pet's safety.