Strategies for Opposing BSL
Fighting Breed Specific Legislation (BSL)
What should you do when you learn of a proposed breed-specific bylaw that you want to fight?
The best thing you can do is to realize that there are others out there who are already informed and want to help.
- Don't waste valuable time re-inventing the wheel.
- Do get involved and work with a network of people who can help you to take action effectively.
- Keep one thing at the centre of your thoughts: your goal is to do what it takes to ensure that breed specific legislation is not passed.
- Offer a better alternative to legislators.
Here are some sample media kits that you can look to if and when BSL affects your area. Take a good look at these packages, and call your local kennel club and breed clubs for contact names of others already involved. There are people who keep track of proposed legislation in most countries, and these should be the people you look to first when you decide to get involved. Remember: act strategically and don't re-invent the wheel!
How to Respond to a Dog Bit Incident in your Community
Quite often BSL goes hand-in-hand with a bite incident in a community. This is an excellent media kit with statistics and guidance when something like this happens in your community. The most excellent advice on this page is: "Do not talk to any reporters until you have some information in front of you to work with." Be prepared, and you better your chances of successfully meeting your goals. There is also good advice about preventing this type of incident.
Sample Letters to Send to your Legislators
Writing letters to your legislators, and encouraging others in your area to do the same, really does help. Here are some form letters that you can use to effectively present your position to politicians. Download one, fill it out, and send it to your legislator. Encourage others in your community to do the same. Remember that -- like it or not -- politicians are elected, and to be effective you need to speak to their political agendas and concerns.
Writing an Effective Letter to the Media
What matters most to politicians are the views and opinions of their constituents. Letters to the Editor are a powerful way to get your message across to politicians and others in your community. This article from a freelance journalists explains how you can write an effective letter to the editor.
California's Non-Breed Specific Dangerous Dog Laws
There are better options than breed-specific laws, and this California law is one of the best. Have a look, and present it to your legislators as a better option to the BSL that they bylaw have proposed.
Better yet, why not take proactive action before BSL comes to your area? There are many things you can do to help before there is a problem. According to Ann Lettis, who has had a longtime involvement in both fighting BSL and educating the public about dogs, the first thing you should do is find out what laws currently exist in your area. Once you have this information, review those laws and suggest positive, effective changes to politicians.