Seven facts about BSL in Texas
- In Texas, a dog can be declared dangerous under state law without harming — or even touching – a person or animal. The idea that Texas has a “free bite” rule is a myth.
- When a dog is declared dangerous in Texas, the dog is almost always euthanized because the requirements for keeping a dangerous dog are too costly and difficult for most people to meet.
- Cities and counties in Texas may pass more stringent laws (including leash laws and fencing requirements), provided that the laws apply to everyone equally.
- None of the five most populous states in the U.S. allow local governments to ban or restrict ownership of dogs based on breed (California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois).
- If a dog causes serious injury, the owner may face felony prosecution, not only under the penal code but under the 2007 Attack by Dog statute in the Texas Health and Safety Code. Civil penalties may also apply.
- Allowing local governments to regulate dogs based solely on breed would harm tourism and limit economic freedom. People expect to be able to take their property with them, so long as they do not bother anyone else. This is consistent with other factors of daily life in Texas that are uniform at the state level such as the penal code, drinking age, open container and drunk driving laws, traffic laws and firearms laws.
- If breed-specific legislation effectively improved public safety, then governments would not be rescinding breed-specific laws from the 1990s. In late-2010, two of the nations’ oldest “pit bull” laws, in Toledo , Ohio and Topeka , Kansas , were unanimously voted away by their City Councils. The laws were replaced with ordinances holding all dog owners accountable, because the breed-specific laws caused cost overruns, shelter overcrowding, lawsuits, and squandered animal control resources without improving public safety. Delta, British Columbia has also rescinded a 20-year old “pit bull” law, and England is considering doing the same.
100% of all dog attacks are caused by human beings: At least one, usually several, factors are at work: Poor breeding, immature owner, no socialization, no training, poor veterinary care, abuse, improper confinement, poor parental supervision.
We support laws that hold all pet owners accountable for their actions. Laws that focus only on dogs with short hair, stocky build, etc., focus on appearance and not actions.