You’re planning to get a dog.
And you have your eyes set on an adorable Pit Bull.
But wait a minute…
Are you sure that you’re allowed to raise this particular breed in your area?
Let me help you double-check.
Keep reading to discover:
- If Pit Bulls are banned in California.
- 15 states where Pit Bulls are illegal.
- The law that causes some US states to make Pit Bulls illegal.
- And much, much, more…
Table of contents
- 15 states with Pit Bull bans
- People also ask:
15 states with Pit Bull bans
Most states in the US follow Breed Specific Legislation (BSL).
And this causes several dog breeds to be banned from places that have laws under BSL.
These laws don’t always state “Pit Bull” in the wording.
But most often than not, they’re used to get rid of Pit Bulls and other breeds like Rottweilers and Dobermans.
These pooches would be labeled as dangerous.
One of the US states that does this is Iowa.
In fact, over 90 municipalities in Iowa have BSL.
In Council Bluffs, Iowa, it’s illegal to do anything with a Pit Bull, namely:
- Exercise control over.
Those that are already licensed when the ordinance started are exempted.
Another state that bans Pit Bulls is Kentucky.
36 out of the 120 counties in Kentucky prohibit the ownership of Pit Bulls.
Their basis for the ban is to “prevent injury or death to the public”.
Furthermore, they also include a “definitions” section in the city ordinances regarding the ban.
This section is used to clearly define Pit Bull Terriers.
Unfortunately, their definition of the breed is too broad.
The ordinance even states that any Fido that has the same features as an American Pit Bull Terrier or a Staffordshire Bull Terrier is labeled as a Pit Bull.
Even mixed breed dogs that may have a trace of Pit Bull genes aren’t spared from the ordinance.
Ohio already removed the “vicious” label of Pit Bulls in their law.
But there are still many municipalities that won’t allow you from owning one.
In fact, more than 80 municipalities in the state still ban Pit Bulls.
Moreover, a handful of cities in Northeast Ohio ban these dog breeds:
- Pit Bulls.
- German Shepherds.
Plus, some cities also enforce strict rules for breeds they classify as aggressive.
They do this by making these dogs wear muzzles and a special green, glow-in-the-dark collar.
On the other hand, ASPCA helped get lift a Pit Bull ban in the city of Reynoldsburg, Ohio.
So Pit Bulls are now allowed in that part of the state.
Reading tip: Can A Dog Wear A Collar And A Harness? 3 Dangers
The state law of Kansas doesn’t single out Pit Bulls as dangerous dogs.
But many municipal laws and ordinances within the state ban their ownership.
Although there are also exemptions to these laws.
An example is the BSL ordinance in Topeka, Kansas.
Here, transporting Pit Bulls through the city is allowed.
That’s as long as measures are taken to secure public safety.
Anyone who violates these BSL regulations can be fined up to $499 and sentenced to jail for up to 179 days.
The state of Missouri has over 70 municipalities that ban Pit Bulls.
Among them are the cities of Independence, Montgomery, and many areas in St. Louis County.
Independence, Missouri states that keeping, owning, and transporting a Pit Bull is unlawful.
Moreover, violating this rule can result in a fine of $500 and 60 days of jail time.
Not only that, but the Pit Bull in question will be sterilized, impounded, and disposed of.
Aside from banning Pit Bulls, the following breeds are also monitored in Missouri:
- German shepherds.
These breed-specific regulations are supposed to be safety precautions to secure public safety.
But many Pit Bull advocates don’t agree with this.
Because a different thing happened in Florissant, Missouri.
During the city’s breed-specific ban from 2005 to 2015, the number of dog bites did not decrease.
Instead, it doubled despite the ban being in effect and their population declining.
This is in agreement with the results of a study held in Denmark.
Which analyzed the effects of dog-specific legislation on hospital-treated dog bites.
And they found out that the number of dog bites in the area wasn’t affected by the BSL implemented.
AVMA records show that the Wisconsin Court of Appeals is among those that agreed with the restriction ordinance against Pit Bulls.
In fact, over 60 local Wisconsin communities banned Pit Bulls or labeled them vicious/dangerous.
Once a dog breed is classified as dangerous or vicious, they’re required to be kept in the manner outlined by law.
This can include muzzling the Fido in public.
Warning: Fur parents can be fined or jailed for violations of this law. Moreover, their pooch can also be euthanized as a punishment.
Over 29 municipalities and counties in Mississippi have an ordinance on Pit Bulls. 11 of which totally bans the breed.
In Rankin County, Mississippi, Pit Bulls are considered to be wild animals and a danger to the public.
Hence it’s illegal to own a Pit Bull (purebred or mixed) unless you get a Board of Supervisors’ approved variance.
The following are the requirements to get the variance:
- Property inspection.
- Homeowners liability insurance of $100,000.
- Proof that the homeowner’s insurance company is aware of the dog on the premises.
Also, you can watch this video to know what are the different types of Pit Bull breeds:
Although cities like Jackson and Byram don’t ban any specific breeds, they’re still part of Hinds County.
And Hinds County has an ordinance that bans “wild animals” which includes Pit Bulls.
The following cities in Arkansas ban Pit Bulls:
- Lake City.
- Caddo Valley.
- Mountain Home.
And in Garland County and Hot Springs Village, Pit Bulls are a high-risked breed.
Before, Cabot in Arkansas had a 10-year ban on Pit Bulls.
But in April 2019, the ban was lifted and their residents can now have these pooches.
However, there are some rules that must be followed before you can get a Pit Bull.
The Cabot local government requires you to register your pooch in the city.
Aside from that, you also need to obtain a $150 annual permit.
Lastly, your Pit Bull must be updated on their vaccines and possess a microchip.
Several cities in Louisiana like Morgan City have outright bans on Pit Bulls.
And there are also places that have officially labeled them as dangerous.
Furthermore, there are areas where they have severe restrictions regarding this dog breed.
In 2016, Westwego City officials wanted to toughen the Pit Bull regulations in their city.
Basically, they want to make it harder for people to get Pit Bulls as a pet.
They also prohibited the breeding of Pit Bulls within the city.
Way back in 2015, Georgia tried preventing local governments from banning Pit Bulls.
However, they eventually decided to abandon this idea.
That’s why local authorities continue their safety measures to control the breed.
Here are some of the cities and counties in Georgia that have a ban or restriction on Pit Bulls and other dog breeds:
- East Point.
- La Grange.
- College Park.
- Floyd County.
- Terrell County.
An incident in Jacksonville prompted Alabama to implement stricter rules on dog regulation.
Based on their laws, citizens can be sent to prison if their doggo has seriously injured or killed a person.
Plus, if somebody reports that you have a dangerous pooch, an animal officer can come and look into it.
And if the investigation finds your pup dangerous, the court can impound them
Warning: Once a Fido is found to kill or seriously injured someone in Alabama, they’ll be euthanized.
That’s why it’s no surprise that several cities in this state make having a Pit Bull illegal.
Here are the cities in Alabama that have a Pit Bull and other dog breed ordinance:
|City||Banned Breed||Type of Ordinance|
|Albertville||Pit Bulls||Declared “Dangerous”|
|Center Point||Pit Bulls||Ban|
|Gadsden||Pit Bulls||Declared “Dangerous”|
|Irondale||Pit Bulls and Presa Canario||Ban|
|Jacksonville City||Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, and Wolf-Dogs||Declared “Dangerous”|
|Lanett||Pit Bulls and Presa Canario||Ban|
|Tarrant||Pit bulls, Bull Rottweilers, and Terriers||Declared “Vicious”|
|Weaver||Pit Bulls||Declared “Vicious”|
#12: North Dakota
These 14 North Dakota cities have an ordinance against Pit Bulls:
- Des Lacs.
- Devils Lake.
- Watford City.
Ray, Minot, Glenburn, and Bowman even extended the ban to other breeds they think are dangerous.
And although Kenmare doesn’t ban Pit Bulls, they got a mandatory Pit Bull licensing ordinance.
Registration and licensing require proof of a $300,000 liability insurance.
In Selmer, Tennesse, it’s illegal to possess, sell, or harbor a Pit Bull.
If ever you’re caught having one, local authorities may seize and impound your Fido.
Also, you need to pay a $50 fine.
Furthermore, Dyer also has an ordinance banning Pit Bulls.
But if you already have a Pit Bull before the ordinance was passed, you can keep them.
However, you must muzzle and properly confine your pooch.
Aside from that, you should also maintain a $100,000 liability insurance.
Here are other cities in Tennessee that ban Pit Bulls:
- South Pittsburg.
- Hardeman County.
Miami Dade County is the only county in Florida that bans Pit Bulls and their related breeds.
And the ban has been on for more than 30 years.
But recently, a proposed bill is being forwarded to the Florida Legislature.
This bill aims to end the laws banning specific breeds of dogs in Florida like the Pit Bull.
The bill prohibits generalizing a whole breed as dangerous.
Instead, all dogs must be judged by their behavior.
If this bill is approved, then Florida can join the few states which have no bans on Pit Bulls.
Some towns in Indiana have ordinances preventing their residents to have a Pit Bull.
In Kirklin, Pit Bulls aren’t the only banned dog breed.
But it’s also illegal to possess Rottweilers, Chow Chows, and mixed breeds.
Pit Bulls are also banned in Benton County.
And the town of Schererville bans Pit Bulls from dog parks.
To put a stop to the banning of certain breeds in Indiana, its lawmakers submitted Senate Bill No. 18.
If approved, local governments can’t ban Pit Bulls and other dog breeds anymore.
Editor’s pick: Pitbull Chihuahua Mix: 21 Pitchi Facts, Traits & Pics
People also ask:
Are Pit Bulls illegal in California?
Pit Bulls are legal in California.
The only breed-specific legislation in the state is a Pit Bull sterilization ordinance.
This means that all Pit Bulls or any doggo mixed with a Pit Bull breed need to be spayed or neutered.
They made the ordinance in response to the following problems:
- A high number of Pit Bull bites.
- Increased rates of Pit Bull euthanasia.
- Pit bulls occupy 45% or more of animal shelter space.
San Francisco was the first city to order the Pit Bull sterilization law in 2005.
And the result was a strong decrease in the 3 problem areas they pointed out.
Other cities and counties in California have followed San Francisco’s example.
So far, there were no complaints about the regulation from the people.
Fun fact: Before the San Francisco ordinance, California issued a preemption law first. It disallowed local officials from making any breed-specific legislation.
Are Pit Bulls illegal in Denver?
Pit Bulls aren’t illegal in Denver.
Because after 30 years, the city finally lifted the law that banned Pit Bull ownership.
Therefore, Denver residents can now have this particular Fido as a pet.
That’s as long as they secure a Breed-Restricted Permit from Denver Animal Protection.
According to Denver’s official website, a 30-45 minute assessment and a total of $55 fee are needed to get a permit.
Aside from that, the Breed-Restricted Permit must be renewed annually for 3 years.
And the renewal costs $30 per year.
Are Pit Bulls illegal in Texas?
In Texas, Pit Bulls aren’t illegal.
However, there are places in Texas where this breed is being restricted namely:
- Forest Hill.
Both Magnolia and Forest Hill presume Pit Bulls as “dangerous” animals.
While Garland orders Pit Bulls, American Bulldogs, and their crossbreeds to be caged.
Lastly, Childress doesn’t allow Pit Bulls, Chow Chows, and other dogs they deem “dangerous” to be adopted out.
But are these laws which label certain dog breeds as “vicious” or “dangerous” effective?
According to a study from Michigan State University College of Law, they’re not.
Because these laws don’t effectively control the behavior of any dog breed or dog parent.
At most, they can only bring comfort to those that had an unpleasant experience with Pit Bulls.
Furthermore, these types of regulations are more prone to improper enforcement.