Breed-specific legislation in Australia: a cruel mandate imposes big costs


The City of Monash has spent almost $100,000 defending itself in court cases involving dogs targeted by the breed-specific provisions of Australia’s Domestic Animals Act. Cardinia, a suburb of Melbourne, spent $80,000 on a single case involving a dog that the court later determined should not have been taken. The dog was returned to its […]

Incoherent definitions confound attempts to label dogs as “pit bulls”


Most animal shelters continue to assign breed descriptors to dogs whose origin they do not know[1], even though current university research has shown that breed identification based on visual inspection correlates poorly with DNA breed signature, and that observers will disagree with each other when examining the same dog. These difficulties are only compounded when […]

Florida animal services agency strikes breed labels from kennel cards and website


Evidence has mounted in recent years that guesses as to a dog’s breed or breeds usually do not correspond with breed identification using DNA technology. Different observers, even those engaged in dog-related professions, frequently disagree with each other when looking at the same dog. Animal behavior and ethology studies have demonstrated that we cannot reliably […]

‘What kind of dog is that?’: Dog experts needed to participate in new University of Florida survey regarding visual breed identification


Assisted in part by a grant from the National Canine Research Council, the Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida’s School of Veterinary Medicine is conducting a national survey of dog experts (breeders, trainers, groomers, veterinarians, shelter staff, rescuers, and others). Based upon responses to an online survey, Program Director Dr. Julie Levy […]

Maryland Court of Appeals’ Decision Unfairly Burdens Dog Owners, Landlords, and Shelters


The recent Maryland Court of Appeals decision in Tracey v Solesky modifies the common law in Maryland regarding liability for bites attributed to dogs the Court alternately referred to as “pit bull”, “pit bull mix” or “cross‐bred pit bull mix”. The decision establishes a strict liability standard for persons who own, harbor or control “pit bull,” “pit bull […]