Anti-Breed-Specific Legislation by State: States with Provisions Against Breed-Discriminatory Legislation

Following is a list of states that prohibit breed-discriminatory legislation, including the provision wording. Note: These aren’t necessarily bans against all forms of BDL.

Table of Contents
1.) Arizona
2.) California
3.) Colorado
4.) Connecticut
5.) Florida
6.) Illinois
7.) Maine
8.) Massachusetts
9.) Minnesota
10.) Nevada
11.) New Jersey
12.) New York
13.) Oklahoma
14.) Pennsylvania
15.) Rhode Island
16.) South Carolina
17.) South Dakota
18.) Texas
19.) Utah
20.) Virginia

Arizona

SENATE BILL 1248: (2016)
Section 1.  Section 9-499.04, Arizona Revised Statutes 
C.  A city or town may regulate the control of dogs if the regulation is not specific to any breed.

11-1005.  Powers and duties of board of supervisors
A.  Each county board of supervisors may:
3. Contract with any city or town to enforce the provisions of any ordinance enacted by such city or town for the control of dogs if the provisions are not specific to any breed.

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California

AGRIC. CODE §31683

31683. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent a city or county from adopting or enforcing its own program for the control of potentially dangerous or vicious dogs that may incorporate all, part, or none of this chapter, or that may punish a violation of this chapter as a misdemeanor or may impose a more restrictive program to control potentially dangerous or vicious dogs. Except as provided in Section 122331 of the Health and Safety Code, no program regulating any dog shall be specific as to breed.

HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE SECTION 122330-122331

(b) Though no specific breed of dog is inherently dangerous or vicious, the growing pet overpopulation and lack of regulation of animal breeding practices necessitates a repeal of the ban on breed-specific solutions and a more immediate alternative to existing laws.

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Colorado

COLO.REB. STAT. ANN. §18-9-204.5(5)(b)

(5) (a) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a municipality from adopting any rule or law for the control of dangerous dogs; except that any such rule or law shall not regulate dangerous dogs in a manner that is specific to breed.

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Connecticut

§7-148 (2013)

(D) (i) Regulate and prohibit the going at large of dogs and other animals in the streets and public places of the municipality and prevent cruelty to animals and all inhuman sports, except that no municipality shall adopt breed-specific dog ordinances;

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Florida

FLA.STAT. ANN §767.14; 510

767.14 Additional local restrictions authorized. — Nothing in this act shall limit any local government from placing further restrictions or additional requirements on owners of dangerous dogs or developing procedures and criteria for the implementation of this act, provided that no such regulation is specific to breed and that the provisions of this act are not lessened by such additional regulations or requirements. This section shall not apply to any local ordinance adopted prior to October 1, 1990.

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Illinois

(510 ILCS 5/15) (from Ch. 8, par. 365) (Eff. 7/12/10)

No dog shall be deemed "vicious" if it is a professionally trained dog for law enforcement or guard duties. Vicious dogs shall not be classified in a manner that is specific as to breed.

510 ILCS 5/24 (from Ch. 8, par. 374) (2009)

Sec. 24. Nothing in this Act shall be held to limit in any manner the power of any municipality or other political subdivision to prohibit animals from running at large, nor shall anything in this Act be construed to, in any manner, limit the power of any municipality or other political subdivision to further control and regulate dogs, cats or other animals in such municipality or other political subdivision provided that no regulation or ordinance is specific to breed. (Source: P.A. 93-548, eff. 8-19-03.)

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Maine

725 Section 3950 (1991)

§3950. Local regulations

Each municipality is empowered to adopt or retain more stringent ordinances, laws or regulations dealing with the subject matter of this chapter, except that municipalities may not adopt breed-specific ordinances, laws or regulations. Any less restrictive municipal ordinances, laws or regulations are invalid and of no force and effect. [1991, c. 779, §40 (AMD).]

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Massachusetts

Part I, Title XX, Chapter 140, Section 157 (2012)

Section 157. (a) Any person may file a complaint in writing to the hearing authority that a dog owned or kept in the city or town is a nuisance dog or a dangerous dog; provided, however, that no dog shall be deemed dangerous: (i) solely based upon growling or barking or solely growling and barking; (ii) based upon the breed of the dog; or (iii) if the dog was reacting to another animal or to a person and the dog’s reaction was not grossly disproportionate to any of the following circumstances:

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Minnesota

MINN. STAT. ANN. §347.51

Subd. 8. Local ordinances.

A statutory or home rule charter city, or a county, may not adopt an ordinance regulating dangerous or potentially dangerous dogs based solely on the specific breed of the dog. Ordinances inconsistent with this subdivision are void.

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Nevada

N.R.S. 202.500 (2013)

3.  A dog may not be found dangerous or vicious:

(a) Based solely on the breed of the dog; or

(b) Because of a defensive act against a person who was committing or attempting to commit a crime or who provoked the dog.

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New Jersey

N.J. STAT. ANN. § 4:19-36

The provisions of this act shall supersede any law, ordinance, or regulation concerning vicious or potentially dangerous dogs, any specific breed of dog, or any other type of dog inconsistent with this act enacted by any municipality, county, or county or local board of health.

CREDIT(S): L.1989, c. 307, § 21, eff. Jan. 12, 1990.

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New York

New York Ag & Markets S. 107.5

(5.) Nothing contained in this article shall prevent a municipality from adopting its own program for the control of dangerous dogs; provided, however, that no such program shall be less stringent than this article, and no such program shall regulate such dogs in a manner that is specific as to breed. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision one of this section, this subdivision and sections one hundred twenty-three, one hundred twenty-three-a and one hundred twenty-three-b of this article shall apply to all municipalities including cities of two million or more.

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Oklahoma

OKLA.STAT.ANN. tit.4, §46(B)

B. Potentially dangerous or dangerous dogs may be regulated through local, municipal and county authorities, provided the regulations are not breed specific. Nothing in this act shall prohibit such local governments from enforcing penalties for violation of such local laws.

CREDIT(S): 1982, Dec. 7, P.L. 784, No. 225, art. V-A, § 507-A, added 1990, May 31, P.L. 213, No. 46, § 2, effective in 60 days. Amended 2008, Oct. 9, P.L. 1450, No. 119, § 16.1, effective in 60 days [Dec. 8, 2008].

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Pennsylvania

PA.CONS. STAT. ANN. § 459-507-A(c)

(c) Local ordinances. Those provisions of local ordinances relating to dangerous dogs are hereby abrogated. A local ordinance otherwise dealing with dogs may not prohibit or otherwise limit a specific breed of dog.

(d) Insurance coverage discrimination. No liability policy or surety bond issued pursuant to this act or any other act may prohibit coverage from any specific breed of dog.

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Rhode Island

§4-13-43 and §4-13.1-16 (2013)

§ 4-13-43. Prohibition of breed specific regulation

No city or town may enact any rule, regulation or ordinance specific to any breed of dog or cat in the exercise of its power to further control and regulate dogs, cats or other animals as authorized by this chapter.

CREDIT(S): P.L. 2013, ch. 450, § 1, eff. July 16, 2013.

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South Carolina

47-3-710(c)

(C) An animal is not a "dangerous animal" solely by virtue of its breed or species.

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South Dakota

Chapter 40-34 (Enacted March 14, 2014; 18th state to pass BDL)

No local government, as defined in § 6-1-12, may enact, maintain, or enforce any ordinance, policy, resolution, or other enactment that is specific as to the breed or perceived breed of a dog. This section does not impair the right of any local government unit to enact, maintain, or enforce any form of regulation that applies to all dogs.

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Texas

TEX.HEALTH & SAFETY CODE ANN. §822.047

Sec. 822.047. LOCAL REGULATION OF DANGEROUS DOGS. A county or municipality may place additional requirements or restrictions on dangerous dogs if the requirements or restrictions:

(1) are not specific to one breed or several breeds of dogs; and

(2) are more stringent than restrictions provided by this subchapter.

Added by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 916, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1991.

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Utah

Chapter 23, 18-2-1, Utah Code Annotated 1953

(Signed April 2, 2014; effective January 1, 2015; 19th state to pass BDL)

10-8-65.Dogs -- License and tax -- Destruction, sale, or other disposal.

Subject to Section 18-2-1, a municipality may license, tax, regulate, or prohibit the keeping of dogs, and authorize the destruction, sale, or other disposal of the same when at large contrary to ordinance.

18-2-1. Regulation of dogs by a municipality.

(1) A municipality may not adopt or enforce a breed-specific rule, regulation, policy, or ordinance regarding dogs.

(2) Any breed-specific rule, regulation, policy, or ordinance regarding dogs is void.

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Virginia

VA.CODE ANN. §3.2-6540(C)

C. No canine or canine crossbreed shall be found to be a dangerous dog solely because it is a particular breed, nor is the ownership of a particular breed of canine or canine crossbreed prohibited. No animal shall be found to be a dangerous dog if the threat, injury, or damage was sustained by a person who was (i) committing, at the time, a crime upon the premises occupied by the animal's owner or custodian; (ii) committing, at the time, a willful trespass upon the premises occupied by the animal's owner or custodian; or (iii) provoking, tormenting, or physically abusing the animal, or can be shown to have repeatedly provoked, tormented, abused, or assaulted the animal at other times. No police dog that was engaged in the performance of its duties as such at the time of the acts complained of shall be found to be a dangerous dog. No animal that, at the time of the acts complained of, was responding to pain or injury, or was protecting itself, its kennel, its offspring, a person, or its owner's or custodian's property, shall be found to be a dangerous dog.

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