Breed Specific Legislation, frequently referred to as "BSL", is legislation meant to target, restrict and eliminate particular breeds of dogs. Ontario's Breed Specific Legislation targets "pit bull type dogs", which are defined as:

  • A pit bull terrier

  • A Staffordshire bull terrier

  • An American Staffordshire terrier

  • An American pit bull terrier

  • A dog that has an appearance and physical characteristics substantially similar to any of those dogs.

 Sadly, these 21 dogs are considered to be "pit bull type dogs" that have had the misfortune of being born into a province where their very existence can be a death sentence. 

Has Breed Specific Legislation affected this case?

Yes. In Ontario it is illegal for any private rescue, organization or individual to own or house any dog affected by the legislation. Because of this, if the application to euthanize the dogs is withdrawn and the dogs are able to receive rehabilitative care, they will need to be transferred out of Ontario and into a jurisdiction not affected by Breed Specific Legislation. Our rehabilitation plan involves transferring the dogs to the Dogs Playing for Life National Canine Centre for Advanced Behaviour Support, based out of the North Florida Animal Rescue. 

Logistical issues aside, we believe that breed is what has prevented the Ontario Provincial Government from helping these dogs, and could also have been a factor in the Ontario SPCA's decision to seek permission to euthanize the dogs rather than releasing them to rescue.