Are Pit bulls Legal In San Francisco?

Many people believe San Francisco has a city ban on pit bulls, but that’s not correct. However, there are strict regulations around owning a pit bull that you should be aware of if you live in or are considering moving to San Francisco.

The Current Status of Pit bulls in San Francisco

San Francisco City and County Pit bull Ordinance states:

“No person may own, keep, or harbor any dog within the City and County of San Francisco that the person in possession knew, or should have known, was a pit bull that has not been spayed or neutered…”

There are some exceptions to this rule:

  • The owner is contending that the dog is, in fact, a pit bull breed
  • The pit bull is a puppy under eight weeks of age
  • Spaying or neutering has a high likelihood of causing severe bodily harm or death due to physical abnormality
  • The pit bull has just been relocated to San Francisco and has been present for less than thirty days
  • The owner intends to breed the pit bull and has obtained the proper license to do so 
  • The pit bull is a show dog with the appropriate credentials

While some people view pit bulls as dangerous animals, others see them as loyal and loving family members. San Francisco dog bite attorney Matthew Quinlan says, “Owning a pit bull in San Francisco requires some responsibility, but it is possible to do so legally. The owner must always keep the dog on a leash in public places. It’s also a good idea to carry liability insurance for the dog.” 

How to Own a Pit bull in San Francisco

Pit bulls are among the most popular dog breeds in the United States, making great pets. But if you live in San Francisco, there are some things you need to know before you can own one of these dogs.

The first thing you need to do is find a place to live that allows pit bulls. While this may seem complicated, it’s not as hard as it sounds. Plenty of apartments and houses in San Francisco allow pit bulls.

Once you’ve found a place to live, the next step is to get your pit bull registered with the city. This simple process requires filling out some paperwork and paying a fee. Once your dog is registered, you’ll be able to take them anywhere in the city without any problems.

Where in the U.S. are pit bulls banned?

The perception that pit bulls are more dangerous than other dog breeds often stems from anecdotal evidence and media reports of pit bull attacks. However, there is little scientific evidence to support this claim. In fact, some studies have found that pit bulls are no more likely to be involved in aggressive incidents than other dogs.

Despite the lack of evidence supporting their efficacy, pit bull bans are widespread in some communities. Public fears and misconceptions about the breed drive these bans.

There are over 900 cities in the U.S. where pit bulls are banned. Most being in Iowa, Kansas, and Ohio.

Some of the most notable bans exist in Denver, Colorado; Miami, Florida; and Aurora, Illinois. In addition, some smaller municipalities have also enacted bans on pit bulls.

Cities in Wisconsin that have banned pit bulls include La Crosse, Menasha, and Waukesha. All three of these cities have ordinances that prohibit the ownership of pit bulls within city limits. So, if you own a pit bull in one of these cities, you are technically breaking the law.

Many cities in Arkansas have banned pit bulls, but one city stands out. Little Rock has the most comprehensive breed-specific ban in Arkansas, with their list of prohibited breeds including but not limited to American Pit bull Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, and American Staffordshire Terriers.

Several cities in Mississippi have banned pit bulls, including:

  • Batesville
  • Clinton
  • Greenwood
  • Gulfport
  • Jackson
  • Meridian
  • Natchez
  • Starkville

If you live in a city with a pit bull ban, it is crucial to be aware of the restrictions. Failure to comply can result in significant fines or your pet’s seizure.

The History of Pit bulls in San Francisco

Pit bulls have been a part of San Francisco for over 100 years. They were initially brought to the city by immigrants from Ireland and England who used them as working dogs. Over the years, they’ve become a beloved part of the city’s culture and stand as symbols of strength and resilience.

Despite their reputation as being aggressive, pit bulls are very gentle and loving dogs. They make great companions and are loyal to their owners. Unfortunately, they often get a bad rap due to media portrayal and public misconceptions.

Why do people think the ban is true?

There are a few reasons why people think that this ban is valid. One reason is because of the aggressive nature of pit bulls. Some train pit bulls as fighting dogs, so they tend to be more aggressive than other breeds of dogs. 

Another reason is because of the media coverage of attacks by pit bulls. In recent years, there have been several highly publicized attacks by pit bulls, which has led to more calls for a ban on the breed.

Whatever the case, be a responsible dog owner and follow the ordinances to minimize your risk of fines.