Where We Stand on Important Issues
We want all of our donors and volunteers to know where we stand on important issues in the rescue community. You may not agree with everything listed below, and that is to be expected. Animal rescue, and pit bull rescue in particular, is a passionate subject, with passionate supporters and detractors. If you disagree with any of our position statements, we encourage you to contact us, and (respectfully) disagree. Be sure to back up your position with credible research. We are always open to new ideas, and we like to stay current. We will respond as quickly and as thoroughly as we can.
Breed Specific Legislation
BBR fully supports reasonable, non-breed specific, dangerous dog laws; laws that will protect responsible owner’s rights and promote a safe community for all residents. BBR does not support any form of breed specific legislation (BSL), which targets specific breed(s) for restrictions or bans. We know that BSL is ineffective, costly to residents and unfair to responsible dog owners.
BBR recommends that dog owners use proper containment to prevent dogs from running at large, including: sufficient fencing, crate, dog run and/or kennel at home, and proper use of leash and collar outside of the home. Dogs may be allowed to run unleashed in a fenced enclosure under supervision, but BBR believes that that use of “shock” collars, electric fences, and “invisible” fences as containment methods are inhumane. BBR also believes that prong collars are not effective training devices, and should not be used. Retractable leashes are also discouraged, because they do not allow enough control and are prone to failure. BBR recommends that owners crate all family dogs when left unsupervised indoors.
BBR does not support the subjection of animals to cosmetic surgery, such as ear-cropping and tail-docking, which are unrelated to their health and well-being.
BBR recognizes that, due to their predisposition to skin allergies, the majority of bully breed dogs do best with a grain free diet. BBR also recommends daily joint supplements beneficial for any medium or large breed dog.
Dog aggression (that is, aggression shown by dogs towards other dogs) is a complicated matter. Dogs can exhibit zero dog aggression, dog aggression only in certain situations, a high level of dog aggression, or dog aggression that falls somewhere in between all these points. BBR encourages pit bull owners to understand that their dogs may not get along with all other dogs, and that there are multiple levels of dog tolerance. Many dogs are great with other dogs and enjoy the company of fellow canines. Some dogs are selective, and do well only with dogs of the opposite sex, dogs with which they were raised, dogs of a certain size, or dogs with a certain energy level. Others cannot accept any other dogs. All of this should suggest that dogs are individuals and should be treated as such. We believe it is the owner’s responsibility to keep their own dog and other dogs safe. This means taking precautions such as not letting dogs run loose and separating dogs from other animals when not able to supervise them.
Dogs and Children
Raising toddlers and dogs together can be safe and wonderful for both. However, BBR encourages parents to be alert at all times. NEVER trust a young child alone with a dog or puppy, EVER. We encourage people to think of a dog as a pair of pointy scissors. If you leave the room, take the kid or the dog with you or put the dog in its crate, exercise pen, behind a baby gate or some other place where he cannot leave and the kids cannot go. Never put the dog in the position of needing to correct the kids.
BBR is strongly opposed to the sale of dogs through pet stores and similar outlets (i.e. puppy mills and indiscriminate breeders). Investigations have exposed cruel and inhumane conditions in many such establishments; including overcrowding, filth, inadequate shelter, and lack of food, water, and veterinary care. We believe that irresponsible “backyard” breeders serve to increase the number of unwanted dogs that overwhelm animal shelters. Because backyard breeders choose profit over animal welfare, their animals typically do not receive proper veterinary care. Animals may seem healthy at first but later show issues like congenital eye and hip defects, parasites or even the deadly Parvovirus.
BBR remains a strong opponent of all forms of animal fighting and exploitation, and we support law enforcement and prosecutorial activities intended to reduce this widespread inhumane practice. BBR will not label dogs as 'bait' or 'fighting' animals without substantial evidence and/or witnesses. The mere presence of fight wounds does not indicate that a dog was used as ‘bait’ or as a ‘fighting dog
While BBR recommends to bully breed owners that they do not bring their dogs to off-leash dog parks, we believe that it should be up to each individual responsible owner to decide whether a dog park is right for their dog, regardless of breed.
BBR energetically promotes the adoption of all dogs accepted into our rescue. However, we acknowledge that some animals may demonstrate dangerous behavior during foster care, or after adoption. When presented with a dog that is not potentially a good candidate for future adoption, BBR either will encourage humane euthanasia of the dog, or, if reasonable, will take legal possession of the dog in order to facilitate humane euthanasia. BBR strongly supports the use of the most humane methods available, such as euthanasia by injection, attended to by trained personnel.
*Note that animals are not euthanized for spatial reasons and there is no time limit in which an animal must be adopted.
BBR believes that human aggression is not normal behavior for a bully breed dog, and renders the dog unadoptable. Aggression towards humans is a completely separate behavior than aggression towards other dogs. Pit bulls were bred to be very gentle with people and to obey their owners. Human aggression can be a result of genetic instability or extreme abuse. BBR will not accept into the rescue, or assist with rehoming a dog that exhibits human aggression. We will reclaim dogs from BBR adopters if the dog begins to present with abnormal human aggression.
BBR encourages the identification of all pets through collars with tags and permanent identification methods (i.e. microchips).
BBR believe that bully breeds deserve to be a member of the family, and we require our fosters and adopters to allow their dogs to live inside the house. Fosters and adopters should allow dogs to play outside only under close supervision.
BBR believes that the no-kill movement treats the symptoms of pet overpopulation, rather than seeking to eliminate the root cause – irresponsible pet ownership and lack of affordable spay/neuter services. We believe that no-kill shelters may allow unsuitable and dangerous animals to be released to the public. Animals in these ‘no kill’ shelters may pile up and live horrible lives in tiny cages for long periods of time. Some of these places turn into hoarding situations.
BBR does not accept owner surrenders. Owners must take responsibility for finding a suitable home for a dog that they are no longer able to care for. Owners who are surrendering their dogs with behavior issues for adoption should seek assistance for a temperament evaluation or a referral by contacting their local shelter or dog trainer. Dogs that demonstrate aggression towards humans or significant aggression towards other animals should not be placed for adoption. Dogs with known bite histories should not be placed for adoption.
BBR believes spaying and neutering are the most effective ways of overcoming the bully breed overpopulation crisis. We support mandatory spay/neuter procedures prior to adoption. With the advice of a veterinarian, we support early-age (pre-pubertal) sterilizations. We will not allow pregnant females to go full-term when late term spay resources are available.
BBR does not have a central facility in which to keep stray dogs – even those rescued by Good Samaritans. We recommend that strays be turned in to local animal shelters. While this is not an ideal option, they will be safe from starvation, the elements and injury.
BBR supports the use of positive training methods, and discourages punishment as a means to teach a dog how to behave correctly. Dog training allows animal owners to learn about the behavior of their pet and how to positively affect changes. We recommend basic obedience training based on positive reinforcement rather than on punishment.