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Researching Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) Before You Travel

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Do you have a dog who either is a “bully breed” or one who resembles a pit bull-type dog? Do you plan to travel with your dog?

If so, you MUST check on Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) before you and your dog hit the road. These laws — on a city, county or larger level — restrict or even prohibit a particular breed or type of dog based solely on the dog’s perceived breed, not on its history.

This means that, if you have a pit bull-type dog (or one of many other breeds such as Akitas, Dobermans, Rottweilers, American Bulldogs, and others, depending on location), you could be restricted where you travel. In some locations, you’ll be required to muzzle your dog, even though your dog has no bite history. In other destinations, such as Denver, you are prohibited from having a pit bull-type dog and risk your dog’s life by bringing it into the city.

If you have a “bully breed” type dog (and this includes mixed breed dogs with larger heads and necks), we urge you to check the list of cities with BSL before you plan your trip (and certainly if you are considering a move). Understand-A-Bull has an excellent list of cities across the US with BSL in place; click on the state to see a list of cities and details on their BSL. Also, be aware that in Canada, pit bull-type dogs are prohibited in Ontario as well as in many cities (including Winnipeg) in Manitoba. Wikipedia has a list of BSL worldwide as well.

Whether you are traveling with a “bully breed” or not, we urge travelers to remember that we speak with our dollars. There are many great travel destinations that welcome all friendly dogs. Whenever possible, we choose to plan our travels only to those destinations that do not discriminate based solely on appearance.

What resources do YOU use to check BSL before you travel? Please leave a comment below with your favorite resources!

Paris Permenter
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