FAQ

What is BSL/BDL?

Since BSL Census is focused on this very issue, we have a dedicated page for this information. You can find out more about BSL/BDL here.

What are all these abbreviations I see on the site?

Like almost everything these days, the most common terms have been abbreviated. Below you can see what the most common abbreviations refer to:

  • BSL: Breed Specific Legislation
  • BDL: Breed Discriminatory Legislation
  • APBT: American Pit Bull Terrier
  • HB: House Bill
  • SB: Senate Bill

What is a Grandfather Clause?

A Grandfather Clause is a law that allows municipal level laws to continue to be enforced since they existed prior to any state level legislation. In the case of BSL, the state failed to make a law retroactive to apply to previous municipal level laws, or the state level law explicitly allows municipal laws to remain in effect.

What is a Homerule Exception?

A Homerule Exception is where a municipality is allowed to pass and enforce laws whether there is a state level law or not. Some states allow municipalities to self govern outside of state laws. This means that even if there is legislation in a state that prohibits BSL, a Homerule applicable municipality may pass and enforce a law that bans or restricts ownership of any breed of their choosing.

How is your information gathered?

Unlike other BSL lists on the internet, we gather and verify every single case of BSL in the United States and Canada. This way we are able to provide the public with the most accurate and detailed database of BSL. When we verify, we also obtain copies of all cases of BSL for the public to access. To find out more about this project and the huge scale, please visit out About page.

What if I find and error in the database?

Because of the sheer scale of this project, and because it is a working project, we may have municipalities listed that do not currently have BSL or have a different form of BSL than we have listed. We count not only on our own research in investigating each case of BSL, we also rely on the public to provide us with updated information as well so that we can keep the database as accurate as possible. We encourage you to contact us through our Contact page if you find any errors in our database. Because this is also a working project in an ever changing field, we also encourage you to view our Disclaimer.

How do I report a case of BSL?

This project is mammoth and we can only work as fast as we can with our small group of researchers, so we rely heavily on the public to provide us with information that we may not have listed yet, or have incorrect information for. This project is a community effort that benefits us all, and through collaboration we are able to provide everyone with needed information regarding BSL. To report a case of BSL, or an update, please visit our Contact page or use the link at the bottom of every page.

When will you have information for Canada?

The scope of this project is quite large so Canada will be updated as soon as we are able to obtain lists of cases of BSL in Canada. We are working closely with a group of advocates in Canada, Ontario Pit Bull Co-Op, to obtain the information needed. If you have information for BSL in Canada, please visit our Contact page to submit that information to that we may add it to the database.

Where can I find updates about this project?

There are two ways to stay up to date on additions and updates to the database at BSL Census. One is to follow the associated Facebook pages for the organizations building the database; Pit Bull Advocates of the United States, StopBSL, Ontario Pit Bull Co-Op. The second it to visit our Updates page, which is regularly updated anytime additions are made to the database. We don’t currently have plans to have a newsletter with updates, but to receive alerts about potential BSL, please visit StopBSL and sign up for their alerts newsletter to stay on top of the latest happenings on BSL.

My apartment/subdivision/condo building/etc. bans my breed but you don't have my city listed on your site...

What you are referring to is something that is considered Private Law. Legislation doesn’t cover private property, where owners can institute their own rules and guidelines residents may have to adhere to. Therefore it is not considered BSL.

What breeds are targeted by BSL?

The bad part of BSL is that it can be directed at any breed of dog. The most common breeds targeted are Pit Bull type dogs and the “Bully Breeds.” We have listed the most commonly targeted breeds on our BSL page.

Why can't I click on a city/municipality and pull up the information associated with that case of BSL?

Since this is an ongoing project, you might not be able to pull up specific information for a municipality just yet. This can be for one of two reason. One, we may not have been able to verify it just yet, in which case it will also state that the information is not verified. Two, it could be because we have verified the information but have not yet been able to obtain a copy of the law for our records or have not been able to upload it to the database just yet. In either case, we will still provide you with the most accurate list possible with whether or not a place has BSL and whether it has been verified as of yet.

Do you still have questions?

If you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have. We want to make the easiest to use BSL database out there, and with your input, we can do that! Please visit our Contact page for further questions.

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