North Carolina bill filed to restrict multiple breeds


A bill has been filed in the North Carolina House of Representatives that would restrict the ownership of several breeds of dogs.

HB 956, a bill to “Regulate Ownership of Aggressive Dog Breeds,” proposes an amendment to North Carolina’s dog laws that would impose restrictions on the following breeds and “dogs that are predominantly of any of the following breeds:”

Presa Canario
wolf hybrid
pit bull, which are defined as Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and American Pit Bull Terrier

The following are the requirements proposed to own one of the targeted dogs:

-Submission to a criminal background check

-Enrollment in “a course of instruction of no less than four hours duration provided by the Humane Society of the United States, or any of the rescue organizations for any of the aggressive dog breeds as defined in subsection (a) of this section that is designed to educate the owners of these dogs about their temperament and about the requirements for responsible ownership of the breed”

-A person must notify their insurance carrier, if any, of compliance with the other provisions

-A person must obtain a special permit from the Department of Insurance

Once again, we have a piece of legislation that fails to outline, in the case of mixed breed dogs, what the standard is to prove a dog is one of the listed breeds or mixes.

Also notable is the lack of definition of what constitutes a “mastiff.”  There are roughly 20 separate breeds that are considered mastiffs.

The question must be raised as to who will be developing a curriculum for these classes people are supposed to take. Who determines exactly what constitutes the requirements for responsible ownership of one breed over another?  Who will pay for developing this program?

In an interview, the bills sponsor Representative Rodney Moore was quoted saying, “It’s just to let people take responsibility for owning those breeds. Because they’re good dogs, all of them. But they have the potential.”

Representative Moore is clearly concerned about both the dogs and his community but this particular piece of legislation is a misdirected attempt at forcing responsibility on some people, while allowing lax care from others. All dog owners need to be held to the same standard. By creating special standards for one breed over another, we alienate good owners and create a false sense of security when it comes to other dogs. A gross disparity in the expected care and control of dogs invariably fails the community as a whole.

The financial impact of breed discriminatory laws is something that cannot be ignored. According to Best Friends Animal Society’s fiscal calculator, the estimated cost of enforcing this type of legislation for pit bulls only would be over $14,000,000 a year.  This does not factor in the cost of enforcing this for all the other dogs listed.

North Carolina Residents: Please reach out now to your Representatives to ask them to oppose HB 956. Also, politely and professionally, reach out to Rep. Rodney Moore and the bill’s co-sponsor, Rep. Larry Pittman, to ask that this bill be withdrawn.

You can find your specific representatives on the states website.

Representative Rodney Moore:

Representative Larry Pittman:


31 responses to “North Carolina bill filed to restrict multiple breeds

  1. It’s not the Breeds it’s the owners! A dog is a dog , ALL dogs could bite they all have teeth no matter how big or small they are!! How can the law/courts/government say what breed of dogs we can and cannot own ??!! What gives them this right??!! Last I checked I pay my bills, I feed and vet my dogs not anyone else !! This is not right what has happened to our freedom ????
    Proud Momma of 5 pitbulls ;)

  2. Inhumane, ineffective and unfair to responsible owners

  3. what is happening to america?

  4. Marie Carden

    I agree with Mary. It’s not the Breeds. It’s the owners. The government is carry the regulation of dog ownership absolutely too far.

  5. This is about ignorance and irresponsibility to true facts. There is no statement to why they want to introduce it. REALLY!!!!

  6. Briget Mennona

    This is wrong, and is getting to borderline hysteria of what is a “safe” breed of dog. It is not up to the dog how it is trained. Maybe if people would stop treating there animals that be so sweet in such a horrible manner we wouldn’t have this problem. So how about we put more focus on the treatment of the animal stop telling people that they cant have a certain pet because of the stupidity of cruel humans!

    • Rational Doglover

      One could say the same about people, so I guess we should not have jails since a person cannot pick his parents.

  7. Sabrina Lane

    I have owned a couple dogs that you have on your list.I feel any person can make any breed mean.I have also known of only love and loyalty from a bully breed. So please as no fault to these breeds don’t make these breeds dissapear they are wonderful smart loyal loving,devoted animals and I for one disagree with this bill it should not be passed.Its the men who breed them to fight an neglect them an abuse them that should be on a bill. PLEASE DONT PASS THIS BILL.

  8. Norma Frazier

    Those of us who own dogs of any of these breeds need to organize a march on Raleigh, and show them exactly how well-behaved our babies are; they need to be introduced to our furry babies up close and personal and let them see just how devastated we would be if some so called “bill” took away our children. After all, all they probably know about these breeds is what the media has portrayed, their ‘people aggression, the ‘pack mentality’
    the ‘dog aggression,’ etc. Like everyone else, mine are healthy, happy, non
    violent members of both my family as well as society.

  9. I don’t see where this is directed at the breed. It is directed at anyone wanting to own one of them! The reality is that these are bully breeds and NOT everyone is equiped to handle their strong personalities and strong builds. This sounds like the direction we need to be going, owners accountability as to whether or not they are capable of handling one of these magnificent creatures! :)

    • S McCoy, the problem with specifying breeds on this legislation is that it implies that these breeds are, in fact, dangerous. This leads to insurance companies not covering them, or charging high premiums, homeowners’ associations and landlords not allowing them, and people having a pre-disposed fear of these dogs just because of their breed.
      If this bill were to require ALL dog owners to have background checks, take animal welfare courses, and license their dogs, I’d support it, because I agree with your sentiment- we should have ways to protect good dogs from bad owners. This bill is NOT the proper way to go about it, though, and will lead to a panic over currently-owned dogs of these breeds as well as make them less adoptable, thereby causing an increase in our state’s already high euthanasia rate.

  10. All dogs have the potential to be aggressive dogs, all dogs have the potential to be used for dog fighting. This will only cause people to be more hesitant in adopting these breeds from shelters and rescues.

    Shall we try again! trust me I’m sure there are much more pressing matters our representatives could be doing.

  11. I do not agree.But they aren’t saying they can’t be owned.They are saying responsible owners.We have a pit bull ban here in Ontario.Canada and even if you are a responsible dog owner.You can’t own one.I think its better to let responsible owners rather than not at all.Here if you owned a pit when the ban went into effect you can still own one.I do he’s a staffy/boxer and the sweetest boy ever with all animals as well.I will always own one,they are the best dogs in my opinion.Live the breed

  12. Please do contact your Representatives- that is the best way to be sure our voices are heard! I’ve also started an online petition which will be emailed to Representatives (and Senators, and the Governor!) at increments of note. We need to let them know that North Carolinians will not stand for breed discrimination!

  13. The issue with this bill is simply the wording. How are they classifying the aggressive breeds and what are the rights given to the owners other then being subjected to added costs and time spent is they dare to adopt or buy one of the breeds listed. I have seen worse damage done by a dalmatian to a child then what most would believe possible. Also why are these dogs listed and not the shepherds, st. bernards, dobermans, and the infamous but lovable goldens who are some of the mouthiest dogs. I worked as a groomer for two years and came into contact with the breeds listed and they were some of the best behaved, the worst were the mean tempered cocker spaniels and shih tzus now those are aggressive breeds but are overlooked due to their size. This bill is simply another way to limit the freedoms and earn more money into the pockets of the state. The only thing that I agree with is that the class sounds like a good idea for any breed being adopted. Please don’t pass such a vague and incorrect bill when all it will do is cause more of these great breeds to not be adopted, due to extra costs and time that people don’t want to put in, and then put down.

  14. This is absurd, join us to follow the latest on this bill

  15. You can stop bad owners by talking to local veterinarians and law enforcement. Insurance companies are just looking for another way to go up on your premiums, They are money making companies. They are not a regulation or policing office. They are regulated themselves and are required to follow regulations. The very few real dog attacks that have occurred in North Carolina, were by strays of mixed breeds running in packs. You can find this information in the NC DA’s office. Don’t pick and choose breeds. With the exception of the wolf mix breeds, all other breeds have at least one hundred years of domestication. A dog is a predator and moves with a family pack. Humans are predators also and a dog sees a human as a pack leader. Therefore, the dog will always look to the human owner for guidance and orders. The problem lies with lack of training on the part of the owners or criminal behavior on the part of the owner. Once again, great help can be received by local law enforcement and local veterinarians. They work on a daily basis closely together.
    Fear never solves anything. Logic and common sense.
    Long time dog owner and APCA supporter.

  16. I think they should restrict who is allowed to breed these and any dogs for that matter. Irresponsible breeders don’t care who they sell their dogs to as long as they get their money. Less breeders, less dogs, less dogs, less problems within the breed. Put a loaded gun in an idiots hand, someones gonna get hurt. Give a powerful dog who needs lots of exercise, and activity to an idiot who does not care, and needs the dog to prove they are tough, someones gonna get hurt. No matter how you look at it, they are animals who live by instinct and how they were raised. Stupid dog owner……… well you get the picture!

  17. @ gesci m….. as an insurance adjuster, i can confirm that insurance companies already address aggressive dog breeds in their policies. most homeowner policies include language that decline coverage for homes that have these types of pets. the list above does not include several breeds that are on the insurance list of aggressive dogs including german shepherds and doberman pinschers (check your homeowner policy – it is in the fine print). the most aggressive dogs i have ever encountered were jack russell terriers.. so if representative moore wants to be accurate, he wlll need to amend his list to include “all dogs”.. (my neighbor allows his dogs to be off leash. his dogs [a pit bull and a dachsund] cross the street and threaten me in my own garage. he is not a responsible pet owner and despite my requests, does nothing to keep his dogs out of my yard — i fear it will come down to me defending myself and my family (pepper spray, wasp spray??)..

  18. Pingback: North Carolina HB956 assigned to committee | Stop BSL

  19. I agree that dogs are dogs and they have teeth to bite BUT each breed has different nature and temperament. Just look and watch the news including Judge Judy show on how many pit bulls have bitten other people and their owners as well. Lets just accept the truth that pit bulls are one of the aggressive type of breed of dogs. I personally vote for this bill to pass to protect people and the owners themselves.thank you.

  20. make dog owners responsible for their pets. punish them hard if their pets run loose in the neighborhood. punish the owner not the dog if their dog bites somebody. (depends on the situation !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) do something about that. punish the bad and irresponsible owners for a change

  21. Just Me In NC

    I was against this, but after reading the bill, I think it’s a good idea. We always hear about the wrong people getting these dogs and training them to be the worst way. This bill will help prevent those people from getting these dogs, because only those who truly care will go through all of this to keep a dog of this breed. It doesn’t completely outlaw the dogs. It outlaws just anyone from having them, and isn’t the goal to keep these dogs from irresponsible owners? A responsible pet owner will go through the necessary routes to own a dog of such breed, and it will be easier to prosecute those who are irresponsible. All too often, the dog pays the price. It’s time the irresponsible owners pay the price, and sometimes things have to come down to this, because nothing else seems to work.

  22. When is this going to stop. ALL breeds have a potential to be so call aggressive. It all depends on the owner. You can make the meanist lab but the sweetist pit bull. Stop making these breeds look like monster for they are not. I had a pit, a chow and been around a mastiff. No problem the best breed ever. Very smart loyal and protects family. Too bad mine past but I would never give up on these breeds!

  23. Regina Morse

    I am the owner of 3 APT and I will move out of NC if I have to before I will allow anyone tell me what kind of dog I may and may not have. I will take my dog and put him in any circumstance to prove his personality. This bill just goes to show the ignorance of Representative Rodney Moore. It is the same mind set of the people who want to take my gun away because there is potential of it going off and killing someone but hasn’t figured out a way to keep guns out of the hands of the criminals.
    Put restrictions on me and my dogs because I am a law abiding citizens. Mr Moore maybe you should spend more time educating yourself on the difference between a criminal and a law abiding voting citizen. Maybe you, Representative Moore, should educate yourself a little more. Your time might better spent in introducing laws that will make it a felony to abuse animals. A real law that can be useful to prosecute the criminals instead of me and my dogs.

  24. Norma Frazier

    I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again…..Punish the owners of the dogs who don’t know how to raise and own dogs responsibly, not the breeds themselves. I currently own two American Bulldogs, and have owned in the past three Chows, a Rottie, and several American Pit Bull Terriers, several German Shepherds, and also worked around several Mastiffs, Boxers, Doberman Pinscers, among others. I have never had a problem with any of these breeds. It’s like the current “gun control” ban. If you take the guns away from law-abiding citizens, only criminals will have guns. Thus, if you make it so cost prohibitive that law-abiding citizens can’t afford to have their
    “babies,” then only criminals will have these dogs, and they will continue to both breed and fight them. Find another way to punish the unscrupulous owners; don’t punish those who are responsible about their pets.

  25. Pingback: North Carolina bill to restrict multiple breeds is nixed | Stop BSL

  26. Regina Morse

    Pit Bull breeds have become famous for their roles as soldiers, police dogs, search and rescue dogs, actors, television personalities, seeing eye dogs, and celebrity pets. Historically, the Bull Terrier mix Nipper and Petey from the Little Rascals are the most well known. Lesser known, but still historically notable pit bulls include Helen Keller’s dog “Sir Thomas”,[81] Buster Brown’s dog “Tige”,[82] Horatio Jackson’s dog “Bud”,[83][84] President Theodore Roosevelt’s Pit Bull terrier “Pete”, “Jack Brutus” who served for Company K, the First Connecticut Volunteer Infantry during the civil war,[85] and Sir Walter Scott’s “Wasp”.[86]

    Modernly significant pit bulls are: Weela, who helped save 32 people, 29 dogs, 3 horses, and 1 cat;[87] Popsicle, a five-month-old puppy originally found nearly dead in a freezer, who grew to become one of the nation’s most important police dogs;[88] Norton, who was placed in the Purina Animal Hall of Fame after he rescued his owner from a severe reaction to a spider bite;[89] Titan, who rescued his owner’s wife, who would have died from an aneurysm, and D-Boy, who took three bullets to save his family from an intruder with a gun

  27. Regina Morse

    Are Pit Bulls Dangerous to People?
    Despite the fact that pit bulls were bred to fight with each other, early breeders took pride in producing dogs that were trustworthy and friendly to people. Handlers bathed their opponent’s dog before a match, stood in the pits with the battling dogs and often pulled them apart to end a fight. Any dog who behaved aggressively toward a person was culled, or killed, to avoid passing on such an undesirable trait. Pit bulls typically lived in their owner’s homes, where they earned the nickname “nursemaid’s dog” because they were so reliable with young children.