5 States that Reject Dog Breed Bans


Cheers to our block-headed best friends. October is National Pit Bull Awareness Month, and there is much to celebrate about this misunderstood mutt of a breed.

Although pit bulls have been stereotyped as dangerous, studies by the National Canine Research Council, as well as several other groups, have found breed does not play a factor in dog attacks, but human error, abuse and neglect do. That hasn't stopped municipalities from enacting breed-specific legislation, restricting or banning pits and other bully breeds.

BSL Census is a project that tracks states, provinces and territories with breed-specific legislation. So if you're looking for a welcoming place to travel with your pit bull, or just want to spend time in a more dog-friendly location, here are five of the states without breed-specific legislation.

Utah
As of Jan. 1, 2015, Utah's legislature ruled against any breed-specific legislation in the state. Home to the country's largest sanctuary for homeless animals, Best Friends Animal Society, the state is a dog paradise. Give some bully breeds love by volunteering at Best Friends, or take your own furry friend to one of the state's many dog-friendly areas, including Parley's Nature Park in Salt Lake City or South Ogden Dog Park in Ogden.

Maine
Maine is home to Acadia National Park, one of the best places in the country to have an outdoor adventure with your dog. With 100 miles of dog-friendly hiking trails and 45 miles of carriage roads, plus dog-permitted campgrounds, you and your pit bull are welcome day and night. If your pit prefers lounging on the beach to roughing it in the wild, check out dog-friendly Old Orchard Beach, right on the water.

Minnesota
Minnesota boasts two of 2016's most pet-friendly cities, according to WalletHub.com surveys. St. Paul comes in at No. 26, and Minneapolis is at No. 48 overall. And without breed restrictions, your pit can truly enjoy the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Roam around the 29-acre Elm Creek Reserve Dog Park in Maple Grove, or visit Bryant Lake Regional Dog Park in Eden Prairie, which features dog sledding trails in the winter.

Oklahoma
Pit bull-accepting Oklahoma also is featured on WalletHub's pet-friendly city list, with Oklahoma City at No. 16 and Tulsa at No. 33. Part of what makes Oklahoma City so friendly is Myriad Botanical Gardens Dog Park, a 17-acre botanical garden that offers a 2-acre off-leash dog enclosure. Also be sure to check out the Boathouse District for a dog-friendly water adventure — just don't forget a canine life jacket.

Virginia
Virginia is for pit bull lovers. The state holds three spots on WalletHub's pet-friendly city list, with Chesapeake at No. 43, Virginia Beach at No. 62 and Norfolk at No. 73. In Virginia Beach, soak up some sun with your leashed pit on the beach anytime before Memorial Day and after Labor Day or during certain hours over the summer. Or visit dog-friendly Crabtree Falls in Charlottesville, one of the tallest waterfalls east of the Mississippi River. Well-behaved dogs are allowed off leash on the trail, but it's a good idea to keep all dogs safely leashed.

Mary Daly is a journalist from Chicago. Can we just ban human bullies instead?