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Home Defining No-Kill No-Kill Resources Shelter Law


SPECIAL REQUEST! Please Sign This Shelter Abuse Petition!

PROTEST 08/15/05
at the California State Capitol!

 to Stop SB 861

An Effective Letter to the Press

LETTER Campaign to Stop SB 861

Contact Your Assemblyman and Senator here


This article was written prior to the October, 2005 signing of SB861 which is now California law. A movement in California to reverse the law through a referendum failed to raise enough signatures by the deadline in January, 2006. Since then, two lawsuits to defeat the law have been filed and are now pending. For more details on the lawsuits see 2nd paragraph at:   "NO" ON ALL BSL. Also see: BSL Becomes Calif Law!

Please continue to sign our PETITION. It is being used all over the world by advocates to show their officials evidence of the overwhelming opposition to breed-specific legislation and Pit Bull genocide. Use this petition to fight BSL in YOUR city and state!


On 6/29/05 the Assembly Local Government Committee passed Senate Bill 861 by a narrow 4-3 vote. The bill is scheduled to move to the Assembly floor for a general vote by all 80 Assembly Members on August 15th, 2005.

The bill was introduced by Senator Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco) in the aftermath of the mauling death of a 12-year -old boy in San Francisco by his family's Pit Bulls. The original version would have allowed cities and counties to enact any regulation aimed at specific dog breeds, including outlawing Pit Bulls. Current California law does not permit breed-specific ordinances and regulations.

In response to a public outcry, SB 861 was amended 7/05/05, the day of the committee hearing.   The latest version allows cities and counties to enact breed specific mandates that pertain only to spay/neuter and breeding requirements. Cities that implement such restrictions would be required to compile quarterly reports on dog bites and submit them to the State Veterinarian.

Read the amended bill here.

Animal rights proponents argue that the bill is a time bomb, even as amended. California sets the pace for legislation across the country. California is traditionally more liberal than other states.  If California opens the door for breed-specific legislation (BSL), other states will follow and their restrictions on breeds are likely to be much more severe. SB 861 could open a nationwide floodgate for the type of horrors reported in Denver, where owners were given citations to remove their Pit Bulls from the city within 24 hours. 

A number of negative consequences could follow. Who would have foreseen animal control coming into the homes of Denver residents and confiscating family pets solely based on breed, not behavior? Who could have predicted the exclusions written into insurance policies that render homeowners uninsured if they have the 'wrong' kind of pet.  It started with Pit Bulls, then expanded to Chows, Rotweillers, German Shepherds, Dalmatians and others.

BSL encourages pounds to kill Pit Bulls or look-alikes, instead of allowing them to be adopted. The practice is rampant now without BSL.

Rescues across the country are buying into the mass hysteria and refusing to help. The death toll arising from BSL's sanctioning outright discrimination could reach into the hundreds of millions in the following decade.

This bill and others like it may conclusively seal the fate of  Pit Bulls, perhaps the most  discriminated-against animals on earth.

Many dogs that are look-alikes will pay with their lives. Most people can't even identify an American Pit Bull terrier.  Can you?  Take the test.

The bill's positive aspect is that it could bring about forced speutering (spay/neuter) and a moratorium on breeding. However, these mandates should extend to all breeds for the right reason: because millions of companion animals are being killed in 'shelters'  for lack of homes. There is no justification for legislation to target any one breed. 

The following is a possible scenario if BSL ordinances are passed in California:

THE PIT BULL HOLOCAUST BEGINS! There is no grandfather clause in the ban which means EVERY SINGLE Pit Bull in the city limits MUST BE surrendered or confiscated.  The city sent letters to 200 registered Pit Bull owners advising them of the May 9 deadline to get their dogs out. However, another report estimates that there are at least 4,000 or so unregistered Pit Bulls there. It would be absolutely impossible to move them all to safety.

Sound like a sci-fi movie? It's not. This was written by a panic-stricken Pit Bull sympathizer during the Denver Roundup where animal control was literally dragging Pit Bulls out of private houses after the ban became law.

SB 861 is opposed by the American Kennel Club, the California Veterinary Medical Association, The Animal Council, the Sacramento Council of Dog Clubs, and a host of other animal organizations. 

Is it too late for Californians? Is there anything that can be done? Several sites below encourage swift consumer action before the Senate takes its vote. There are many petitions dedicated to the California bill's defeat being circulated.

An interesting read are the comments on the petition to reverse Denver's ban on Pit Bulls. The horror and the dismay of its residents are evident. It foretells what Senator Jackie Speier has in mind for California. 

Read more about BSL and Pit Bull and facts and perspectives here:
This is the law about to pass as amended on July 5, 2005
The bill language at each stage, the bill status, the bill location and analysis
Sacramento Dog Council Letter Urging Members to Oppose SB861
Sacramento Dog Council Offers Update on SB 861
Letters to Legislators to Stop SB861
Ban the Breed, Not the Deed! Arguments Against SB 861
Pit  Bull Rescue Bad Rap Discusses the Amended Version of SB861
Petition against California's SB 861
The Denver Witchhunt - How Bad BSL Can Get - Citing a vet's view
How BSL Affects Pit Bulls
Denver's Petition to Save Pit Bulls
Pit Bull- Dangerous Breed? Best Friends Sanctuary
What's to Be Done About the Pit Bull Problem?
BSL Perspective- includes a BSL IQ test and Facts List
Can You Find the Pit Bull? Try to Identify One!
BSL Update Alert Page
American Dog Owner's Legislative Alert Page
Hysterical Times - A Canadian Attorney Slams His Country's New Breed Ban

Positive Pit Bull press:
From the Pit Bulls: We Are So Sorry - 297 pictures of Pit Bulls apologizing
Our Pictorial Tribute to Pit Bulls: Why They Are "Scary"
Pit Bull Fact vs Legend
SF SPCA Gives Pit Bulls Respect
Remember Pete?
Helen Keller Had a Pit Bull- Putting Things In Perspective
Pit Bull Heroes
Pit Bull Positive Press
A Slide-Show Dedicated to the Devoted Family Pit Bull




California's Existing Non-Breed Dangerous Dog Law

An Argument Against SB 861
First BSL

On the Lighter Side
Why Pit Pulls Are Really Scary!

How Bad Is Denver?

Bay Area Doglovers Responsible About
 Pit Bulls:

"While overbreeding of pit bulls is a current reality, spay/neuter mandates that focus an ALL BREEDS is the fair and rational approach to our canine overpopulation problems".


National Animal Control Association
"Dangerous and/or vicious animals should be labeled as such as a result of their actions or behavior and not because of their breed...Any animal may exhibit aggressive behavior regardless of breed. Accurately identifying a specific animal's lineage for prosecution purposes may be extremely difficult."


Real Pit Bull
"This is BSL in disguise. Contact your CA. government and tell them NO, SB 861 is NOT the answer!!!"


The insurance industry is cheering this on. In fact - they are probably the biggest contributors the political campaigns of legislators that support anti-dog legislation and policy.

You can be denied coverage and lose your homeowner’s insurance if your dog is on this list:

Akita, Alaskan Malamutes, American Pit Bull Terrier, APBT, American Staffordshire Terrier, AmStaff, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Boxers, Bullmastiffs, Chow Chows, Collies, Dalmations, Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, Mastiffs, Great Danes, Rottweilers, Saint Bernards, Shiba Inus, Siberian Huskies, Staffordshire Bull Terriers


Humane Society of the United States
"The HSUS opposes legislation aimed at eradicating or strictly regulating dogs based solely on their breed..."

Furry Friends Foundation
"No matter who you are: a parent attempting to protect your children, an animal guardian hoping for a chance to live in peace with your companion animal, or a taxpayer tired of your money being wasted on ineffective laws, you need to become involved with this issue because Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) will NOT achieve your intended results.
In fact, BSL will not accomplish anything at all!"

International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants
"The IAABC strongly opposes any legislation specifically designed to target or discriminate against dogs based solely on their breed or appearance. Dogs can become dangerous as a result of faulty socialization, inappropriate training, poor living conditions and other factors having nothing to do with their breed. The IAABC believes that the objectives behind breed specific legislation can be met more effectively through rigorous enforcement and, where necessary, the strengthening of
existing laws."


Nathan Winograd
"I am not a fan of mandatory spay/neuter. Specifically to SB 861, I worry about how the different localities will implement the measure, define the breed, whether it will include impound and killing provisions, whether there will be low cost and free services for people who cannot otherwise afford them, etc.

"Legislation like this always seems to hold the answers for people, and it never works out that way".


"Most already know the contents and possible ramifications on SB 861, however now the California State Insurance Commissioner has publicly indicated that there is the possibility that if this passes and areas adopt mandatory S/N of any specific breeds... owners of those particular breeds will be refused homeowner insurance...Even if this isn't your state, you should write a letter of opposition.  In a blink of an eye, it could be your city and you will be asking everyone to help you battle the BSL". 


American Kennel Association
"The American Kennel Club  strongly opposes any legislation that determines a dog to be 'dangerous' based on specific breeds or phenotypic classes of dogs."


"California, act today to oppose SB861 to allow breed specific laws. The problem...cannot be remedied by a breed specific "quick-fix." (Acknowledging the amended version.)"


Pit Bull Rescue Central
"PBRC does not support any form of breed specific legislation (BSL) which targets specific breeds for restrictions or bans."


Jackie Speier, Author of SB 861
"We got 1,400 calls and e-mails,'' Speier said Friday. "Ninety percent are against the bill.''


Association of
Pet Dog Trainers

"The APDT opposes any law that deems a dog as dangerous or vicious based on appearance, breed or phenotype. Canine temperaments are widely varied, and behavior cannot be predicted by physical features such as head shape, coat length, muscle to bone ratio, etc. The only predictor of behavior is behavior."

American Dog Owners Association
"The American Dog Owners Association opposes legislation that discriminates against specific breeds or phenotype classes of dogs, or creates restrictions that in fact make a law breed specific."

No-Kill NOW!  P.O. Box 217,  Etiwanda, CA 91739-0217
Home Defining No-Kill No-Kill Resources Shelter Law


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