Honest Advice for Addressing BSL-Attitudes
I received the below email the other day and thought that the response I gave for it was great advice that could be shared for other people facing breed specific legislation and attitudes in their neighborhoods.
Nikki: I work with Jocelyn and she needs some advice regarding a friend’s dog.
Their HOA is trying to kick their “pitbull” out of the neighborhood.
This is so awful to hear. There are a few options that they can opt into, but the first step is to schedule a hearing/meeting with the HOA. Try to get a date a month or two out.
While prepping for the meeting, get a breed designation test. Chewy.com has a really inexpensive one. This consists of a cheek swab. Most square headed bully breeds are not necessarily full-bred pitbulls. Also, try to get a concise description of the HOAs objection to the dog. Is it just the breed, or is it actually barking/aggressive?
Secondly, depending on whether or not the HOA/neighborhood is located in Broward County or Dade County, a 'good citizen designation' can make a world of difference. This is training that makes the dog completely nonreactive to stimuli; other dogs, children, etc. This designation training is also one step away from getting the dog designated as a therapy dog, which is allowed everywhere, regardless of breed. A quick google for good citizen dog training will get a lot of results, but if a referral is needed, POPOP uses Rush K-9 Rescue. $500 is typical pricing for this training. It is amazing to have anyway. You'll be able to bring the dog anywhere... They're featured on our website www.POPOPitbulls.com under our 'PARTNERS' tab. We also have a Facebook page.
If funds are an issue, POPOP is happy to help raise donations to assist in the training. We actually have an anti BSL (breed specific legislation) shirt campaign going on right now. We are raising funds to stop breed intolerance JUST like this. If Jocelyn is willing to help us spread the word, we can certainly give some of the funds raised to help her pup. https://www.bonfire.com/popo-pitbulls/ .
If worse comes to worse, POPO Pitbulls is happy to take the animal and retrain it for later donation to an injured vet, a correctional facility, or as a protection dog for a victim of sexual abuse.
POPO PITBULLS | Bonfire
Finally, depending on the county, the law may be on her side. Having an attorney attend the meeting can assist in the removal of emotion from the equation, which can occasionally help logic prevail.There are tons of aimal law attorneys who engage in pro bono work such as this.
HOAs have a set of bylaws they must abide by, just like Condo associations; lets get our hands on that rule book and see what we can find out.
No matter what she chooses, we have her back. I hope this helps! Feel free to reach back out if any other information is needed!
Founder, PoPo Pitbulls, Inc.