BSL-Is it your problem?

Written by Michelle Blackowl-Chavez For Atomic Dogg magazine

I have been talking and talking about BSL and MSN issues for what seems like forever. Even with all of the websites and emails being sent out there are still a large amount of folks that still don’t know what any of the plethora of acronyms even stand for. Here are the 2 main components; BSL, Breed specific Legislation and MSN, Mandatory Spay or Neuter.

The outlook, as of today across the nation, and in many cases the world does not look too promising for our breed. I personally have found myself becoming discouraged on how things have been going around the country in regards to this fight against bills and other proposed legislation. Everyday I get a ton of updates about towns or counties ready to impose MSN/BSL or vicious dog laws aimed at our breed. It doesn’t matter what you want to call your dogs, an APBT, a Pit bull, an American Staffordshire Terrier or an American Bully because in the eyes and mind of Joe Public they are all the same!

The public reads the editorial pages and see the local news stories, “Pit bull ring bust in 5 states over 350 pit bulls seized” and “4 year old in serious condition after pitbull attack”. When I read these stories I think of my dogs, and wonder how people can be so cruel and stupid. Yep, I said it “stupid!” Part of being an owner of a Bully breed is the responsibility to the breed as a whole, and if you own this breed you should know what you are doing when it comes to raising them. I still believe that everyone needs to step up and be responsible dog owners, and part of that is getting out there and promoting a positive image to the general public! If you see something that isn’t right; DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

Do you think that the problems we have with BSL/MSN are our dog’s fault? This is a “PEOPLE” problem and “PEOPLE” need to be held responsible for their actions. A dog needs to be raised, loved, and trained on how to act. It is the dog owner’s responsibility to provide a loving home, food, shelter, and teach them right from wrong. Kind of sounds like how you raise kids, huh? That’s because it is the same thing! I myself have had dogs get out and run loose. One time and best believe I did what I had to to make sure this never happened again! The kids had left the gate open slightly and a couple of the dogs had a field day! It did cost us some money, because one of our dogs decided to not like a dog down the street. Being responsible dog owners, we paid for the entire vet bill. Now, what did we do next? We made sure they would never get out again, by making sure that the gates had extra locks. Our kennels are set up professionally and are double fenced. If that was not enough we had the entire surrounding yard fenced as well (not that any of them want to leave the big yard, but just in case!).

How many of the cases you read or hear about have taken those extra steps in caring for their dogs? We have the bully shows now and the popularity of the shows and the dogs is sweeping around the entire country. When we take our dogs out we need to make sure that we are doing everything in our power to present a positive image of our breed and ourselves as responsible dog owners. We have come a long way since those first BBQ’s in the parks and the entire community is learning more and more all the time. We see plenty of newbies, you know them, they are the ones with no crates, no water and are just excited to be at a show, showing off their dogs.

Remember the next time you see some one new to the breed that may not know as much as you do, to take the time to show them something new. We all started somewhere none of us were the experts we are today. This is how we can hopefully keep our breed, by extending some education and teaching responsible dog ownership to those who are the future of our breed. Because if we don’t, the outcome may be there is no future for our breed!