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“The Perfect Animal Rights Legislative Defense!” says TheDogPress of this American Dog Breeders Assoc. letter to MO Mayor and City Council re BSL.


ADBA’s President has graciously give permission to any legislative group to use this letter as a sample communication tool when opposing any animal rights legislation. 


Polite, professional, and powerful, the ADBA letter opens workable solutions for misguided (by animal rights advocates) or under-informed state and local government agencies.  Presented with such irrefutable facts and figures, what politician would want to face the repercussions of having failed to represent the best interests of his constituents?  If they reject open discourse, one can only assume those in power are representing only their own careers and connections…


Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) or any other unfair imposition upon the rights of voters can no longer be tolerated if quality purebred dogs are to be preserved.


We thank Mr. Greenwood and ADBA for truly representing dog owners!



October 8, 2010 

Honorable Mayor and City Council
City of Kirksville, Mo.

Re: Proposed Breed Specific Legislation (OPPOSE)

Mayor Todd Kuhns

Councilmember Richard Detweiler

Councilmember Carolyn Chrisman
Councilmember Tony Fajkus


Honorable Mayor and City Councilpersons,

Concerned dog owners and citizens of the City of Kirksville have recently contacted the American Dog Breeders Association Inc. (ADBA) regarding a pending ordinance that will dramatically affect their ability to own and enjoy their dogs.

We are respectfully writing to you on their behalf.

The American Dog Breeders Association is an all breed registry established in 1909 to promote the study, breeding, exhibiting, and advancement of purebred dogs. The American Dog Breeders Association supports the adoption of reasonable, enforceable, non-discriminatory laws to govern the ownership of dogs.

We understand that the City of Kirksville is considering an ordinance that will allow the banning or restricting of breeds of dogs or Breed Specific Legislation (BSL). The ADBA believes that dog owners should be responsible for their dogs and that law should impose appropriate penalties on irresponsible owners. Communities must establish a well-defined procedure for dealing with dogs proven to be dangerous which includes, if necessary, the destruction of such animals. In order to be effective, such legislation should not be breed-specific.

BSL has been ruled unconstitutional in court venues across the United States on grounds ranging from vagueness, to an infringement of property rights, to equal treatment, equal protection under the law, to lack of due process. In cities where such legislation is permitted, enforcement of a breed-related law is difficult because of inability to accurately identify breeds, unfair negative impact on model citizens and equally model mannerly dogs, and lack of attention to the real issue of dog owner responsibility.


BSL is costly to implement and costly to enforce.

Administrative Costs

Prince George’s County: The Most Thorough Assessment of BSL to Date. 


In 2003, Prince George’s County, Maryland, authorized a task force to examine the results of a 1996 pit bull ban in the county. The task force findings were shocking. They estimated that

  • The cost to the county to confiscate and euthanize a single pit bull was around $68,000.

  • In the fiscal year 2001-2002, expenditures due to pit bull confiscations totaled $560,000. Income from pit bull registrations during that same period totaled only $35,000. Therefore, the county spent over half a million dollars enforcing their ban.

  • The county had lost an un-measurable amount of both direct and indirect revenue due to the “dramatic reduction” in number of dog shows and exhibitions held in the county.

Perhaps over half a million dollars a year is an acceptable expense to ensure public safety.

But was Prince George’s County’s ban actually doing what it was supposed to? Was the community making a sound investment?

Apparently not. The task force found that:

  • The “public safety benefit is un-measurable.”

  • Across the board, dog bites had decreased among all breeds at about the same rate. The ban did not appear to have had any noticeable effect on public safety.

  • What’s more, the task force expressed concern that the ban might actually be having a negative effect on public safety; animal control facilities and workers were stretched thin because they constantly had to respond to “pit bull” complaints and the housing of “alleged pit bulls”. The task force felt that this had a negative effect on animal control’s ability to respond to other types of violations.

Actual and Estimated Expenses in Other Locations

The Prince George’s County task force findings are typical of findings in many other locations.

  • In 2008, Omaha proposed BSL that would cost over half a million dollars to enforce.

  • The U.K.’s Dangerous Dog Act, which includes a ban on certain breeds of dogs, is estimated to have cost well over $14 million to enforce between the years 1991 and 1996 (no more recent numbers are available). It has come under fire lately as dog bites (committed by non-targeted dogs) rise despite the ban.

  • Baltimore, Maryland estimated (in 2001) that it cost over $750,000 a year to enforce their breed specific legislation, and they were still unable to enforce the law effectively.

  • Even small cities and communities can spend tens of thousands of dollars annually to uphold their BSL.

All this money spent without any evidence, anywhere, that BSL actually increases public safety.


Sources and Resources:

Prince George’s County Task Force Report (PDF) -  Note: This file is very large and will take some time to download.


The report can also be accessed in HTML format at Financial and Social Implications of Breed Specific Legislation (PDF) from The Dog Legislation Council of Canada

The Fiscal Impact calculator ( and associated study is part of Best Friends Animal Society's nationwide campaign: "Pit Bulls: Saving America's Dog," The online calculator, designed for city, county and other governmental entities, allows anyone to estimate by state, county or town the costs for implementing and enforcing a breed-specific law. For more information on this campaign visit:

The estimated annual cost for the City of Batesville will be $23,510.00

Great web site for information on BSL

Don't Miss Information Links...

Dog Bites: Problems and Solutions A Policy Paper by author Janis Bradley Courtesy of Animal Farm Foundation

Pit Bull Education Packet - 2nd Edition: The book has been updated and added quite a bit to the BSL section. This was designed to educate legislators about the breed and BSL, complete with sample laws. It's also being used to educate a new owner.

There are two copies available for free to the public. They also have high resolution copies available, you may contact if you are interested in the high resolution book.

Positive Pit Bull Press Packet - Without Sample Laws - Document is 46 pages and about 2MB in size.
Positive Pit Bull Press Packet - With Sample Laws - Document is 67 pages and about 2.4MB in size.

  1. CDC Report Facts: This contains quotes from the CDC and Doctors involved in the infamous fatal attack report showing the report is inaccurate and that BSL is NOT the answer!

  2. Setting the Record Straight!: Pointing out inaccuracies in news reports and providing the correct Information.

Governments, cities and communities that have repealed or rejected BSL because it was found to be (1) ineffective (2) difficult to enforce and (3) too costly:


Govt. of the Netherlands -
Govt. of Italy
State of Montana
State of Oregon
State of Hawaii
Oak Harbor, WA
Hot Springs, AR
Clinton, IA
Livonia, MI
Dandridge, TN
Royal Oak, MI
Independence, KY
South Charleston, SC
Jonesville, NC
Fremont county, ID
Belton, MO
Brighton, CO
Ferndale, WA
Sandy, UT

Watsonville, CA
Grand Island, NE
Sarpy County, NE
Bourbonnais, IL
Detroit, MIit, MI
East Point, MI
Redford, MI
Beloit, KS
Alguna, WA
Hudsonville, MI
Baltimore, MD
Saginaw, MI
Comanche, IA
Farmington, IL
Horry County, SC
Tacoma, WA
Maryville, IL
Anderson, SC
Del City, OK
Topeka, KS


For these and other reasons, breed-specific legislation is opposed by the American Dog Breeders Association, United Kennel Club, American Kennel Club, the American Veterinary Medical Association, National Animal Control Association, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and a host of other respected national animal organizations who recognize the inequities and inherent problems of such law.

As you consider new legislation, the American Dog Breeders Association and your constituent dog owners respectfully request that your body consider the documents that I have included links for with this letter which includes model laws.

These model laws are far more reasonable than breed specific dog legislation that assumes that all dogs of a given breed, or appearance poses a threat to society, and that all of the owners of those dogs are negligent, careless, or irresponsible.

They are far more reasonable than dangerous dog ordinances that assume that the dog, rather than it's owner is the culpable party, and confers the animal a criminal designation, and penalties, while allowing the owner to obtain another animal with which to be irresponsible. These model regulations are written to control human behaviors. I have attached for your convenience information that covers to many of the points I have addressed.

Please respond to this letter, as we would like to relay your position on this matter to your constituents.

We know your time is limited and valuable and appreciate your attention. We look forward to working with you as this issue progresses.


Hank Greenwood

Hank Greenwood
President /CEO/ Chairman of the Board
American Dog Breeders Association
Salt Lake City, Utah


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