South Bend, IN May Consider Repealing BSL, Limit Laws

South Bend, IN May Consider Repealing BSL, Limit Laws

The City of South Bend, Indiana, has established a committee to rewrite the city’s animal control laws.  According to media reports and public statements, this could include a possible repeal of the long-standing breed-specific and ownership limit laws.

Those who reside or participate in events in South Bend are encouraged to contact the members of the Common Council and respectfully ask them to restore the rights of responsible dog owners by removing these provisions.  Scroll down for talking points and contact information.


According to reports, the South Bend Common Council is re-examining its animal control laws to find ways to decrease their shelter population and euthanasia rates.  A committee consisting of members of the council and the community has been tasked to develop changes to the laws and present them to the council for consideration in June.

This committee, led by Council Member Valerie Schey, has expressed an interest in possibly repealing their long-standing breed-specific policies and ownership limits as a way to address shelter population concerns.  Current law declares all “American pit bull terriers” and their crossbreeds as dangerous.  It also limits ownership to three total dogs and/or cats, regardless of breed. 

The AKC supports these changes and believes that animal control laws should be based on responsible ownership – regardless of breed or the number of dogs owned. 

Talking Points:

Read AKC’s Issue Analysis “Why Breed-Specific Legislation Doesn’t Work”
View AKC’s Issue Brief “Breed-Specific Legislation”
View AKC’s  Issue Brief “Dog Limit Laws”
View AKC’s handout “Animal Limit Laws: Better Alternatives”

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:
South Bend Common Council
227 W. Jefferson Blvd, Suite 400S
South Bend, Indiana 46601
Phone: (574) 235-9321

Council Member Tim Scott (1st District)

Council Member Henry Davis, Jr. (2nd District)

Council Member Valerie Schey (3rd District, likely sponsor of amendments)

Council Member Dr. Fred Ferlic (4th District)

Council Member Dr. David Varner (5th District)

Council Member Oliver Davis (6th District)

Council Member Derek Dieter (At-Large Member)

Council Member Gavin Ferlic (At-Large Member)

Council Member Karen White (At-Large Member)

AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) will continue to monitor the council’s activities and possible amendments.  For questions or more information, contact AKC GR at (919) 816-3720 or