stopBSL's Frequently Asked Questions & AnswersUnderstand that this is a page of frequently asked questions found within the group of stopBSL and the answers to those questions which are intended to provide thorough details & reasoning to better explain specific rules and guidelines as well as what our group stands for; understand that none of the contents here is up for debate or discussion. New questions & their answers will be added to this page and other minor updates will be made over time.
Can I join stopBSL & how do I do it?Of course you can join, everyone is welcome to join even if you do not own a dog or create canine artwork. To join stopBSL, click where it says "Join Our Group" at the top of the page and wait patiently for your join request to be accepted by an administrator.
What is "BSL"?BSL, which is the acronym for breed-specific legislation, refers to laws that regulate and restrict what breeds of dog citizens residing within certain municipalities can and cannot own, breed-specific laws are proposed and adopted in failing effort to reduce bites and attacks inflicted by dogs and to increase public safety.
Please see our very own article "An Introduction to Breed-Specific Legislation" by sassawj which introduces and briefly discusses the subject and its major points. You can learn much, much more about breed-specific legislation at the websites www.stopbsl.com & www.understand-a-bull.com.
What breeds are targeted by BSL?Understand that the American Pit Bull Terrier, Rottweiler, German Shepherd Dog and Doberman Pinscher are not the only breeds of dog affected by breed-specific legislation; in fact, the Great Dane, English Mastiff, Chow Chow, Siberian Husky, Fila Brasileiro and Anatolian Shepherd are just a few among the many other breeds of dog often subject to breed-specific laws and other forms of discrimination, this includes mutts with at least one targeted breed found within the dog's ancestry or as easy as guessing the breed mixture by appearance and other characteristics; if you are uncertain about the breed or mix in the artwork you wish to submit to our gallery, our knowledgeable administrators will be more than happy to help better determine what possible breeds could be within the dog's mixed ancestry.
For the most accurate list available on the web of dog breeds commonly targeted by breed restrictions and bans worldwide, please see our List of Targeted Breeds, the breeds are listed in alphabetical order and categorized by country.
Does the quality of my artwork make a difference in whether or not it will be approved?No, we do not base our decisions to approve or decline artwork on quality, however we do feel that members should submit their best artwork only, as we will not allow works-in-progress, sketches or artwork that you have placed in your scraps; simply put, if you have created artwork that you are not proud of, then perhaps you should not submit it to our gallery, but we will not decline submissions based on the quality of the work or the skill of the artist.
Why was my submission declined?If your submission has been declined without an explanation, this is most likely because you have either submitted your artwork to the wrong gallery folder or you have exceeded the daily submission limit. If you have submitted your artwork to the wrong gallery folder, understand that you are welcome re-submit to the correct gallery folder when advised by an administrator.
NOTE: Administrators are not required to provide an explanation upon declining a submission for either of the two above reasons.
If a member cannot take the time to read over the group's rules or submit to the correct gallery folders, then us administrators should not be expected to waste our own personal time explaining why we had to decline your submission. If a submission of yours has been declined without an explanation and you are still unsure what the reason may be even after reading this FAQ entry, you are more than welcome to request one, but please ask politely & treat us with respect and in return we will do the same.
Why does it mean when my submission has "expired"?Some of our folders have strict requirements and criteria that must be met in order for submissions to be accepted here, thus submissions sent to the folders listed below will expire within three days. This will typically happen if an administrator has asked the member to meet those specific requirements for the folder they have submitted to or the administrator has asked any questions concerning the well being of the animals in the photograph, and while awaiting a response from the member this leaves the submission in "limbo" until the member responds; ultimately, whether the submission is approved or declined is held in the member's hands should they decide to answer the questions asked by the administrator. When any submission of yours expires, this will count as a submission to the gallery even though it was not accepted.
Submissions sent to the following folders will expire after three / 3 days:
• Pet Adoption Promotional Artwork
• Photography - Targeted Breeds
• Photography - Other Breeds
• The Champions of StopBSL
• The Rescue Dogs of StopBSL
• In Memory - Rainbow Bridge
It is important for members to respond in a timely manner when questions are asked concerning their submissions, as submissions to these folders will either appear questionable to some degree or clearly do not meet the criteria needed in order to be approved. Submissions to any other folder not listed here will expire after one week; other folders are not subject to the same criteria, however take note that submissions sent to either of the digital + traditional artwork folders may sit in "limbo" for those times when an administrator must ask the member / artist what breed or breed mix is featured in the artwork should we find that we are unable to identify it of dog on our own.
What gallery folder does my artwork belong in?If you are uncertain about which gallery folder your artwork belongs in, then take a look at the Overview of Gallery Folders which provides a summary of what each gallery folder is used for; on the left hand side in specific gallery folders is a description and a set of rules for that particular folder which must be followed exactly in order for artwork to be accepted there.
How many artworks can I submit to the group's gallery each day?As of June 30, 2013 members are now allowed a maximum of only three submissions to the gallery each day which is the global submission limit; understand that some folders have their own submission limits per week or per month, which is listed on the left hand side of the gallery folder along with that particular folder’s own set of rules, these submission limits can also be found listed on the Overview of Gallery Folders under each folder title.
Can I suggest artwork by other artists to the group’s gallery?No, you may not; the group’s gallery is strictly for member’s artwork only and members need to submit their own artwork, the only exception is that the artwork of our members may be requested into the group’s gallery by any administrator.
Members were once allowed to make suggestions to the Member’s Favorites collection, but unfortunately too many members and even non-members continuously and relentlessly abused this privilege by submitting their own artwork which went against the rules, some of which spamming stopBSL with dozens of submissions sent in all at once, and this all defeated the very purpose of the collection, and when the group settings had a bug and failed at maintaining a submission limit, several other members and non-members flooded our inbox with dozens upon dozens of submissions, a couple times reaching over fifty submissions in total. Now, thanks to them, only administrators are permitted to contribute to the favorites collection
Will you accept my personal journal / blog into the group's gallery?Simple answer - NO!!! If you have a set of text which you truly feel is indeed a piece of art and it belongs in this group, then you need to submit it to your gallery as a deviation categorized under DeviantART's literature section. As stated within the Info, Rules & Guidelines, the only exception to this rule is for journal / blog entries being submitted to the Pet Adoption Promotional Artwork folder in effort to promote adoption of available shelter / rescue pets, promote a rescue organization or animal shelter, or raise money for a rescued animal in need; our administrators will very carefully decide whether or not a journal / blog entry is either accepted or declined.
Why is there cat and other pet photography in the group’s gallery?While our group is strictly for domestic canine art, we also collect photography of other domesticated animals as well but only pets which are currently available for adoption through legitimate rescue organizations and animal shelters, these are submitted to our Pet Adoption Promotional Artwork folder only.
If I do not know the breed of dog in my picture, what folder does it belong in?If you are unsure about the breed / mix of the dog in your photograph, please feel free to contact our staff as we are knowledgeable in dog breeds and can make an educated guess to better help determine what breed of dog is in the photograph by discussing it among each other, then you will know which gallery folder the picture is best suited for.
What is a responsible breeder?A responsible and ethical breeder, often also called a reputable breeder, breeds quality registered purebred dogs for the betterment and preservation of the breed. There are many more important factors that make up a true responsible breeder, you can read about Responsible Breeders vs. Backyard Breeders here.
Unlike an irresponsible, "backyard" breeder which is discussed about below, a responsible and ethical breeder is very dedicated to their breed (or breeds) that they have chosen to raise, such a breeder breeds solely to improve their breed of choice by breeding only the very best specimens that are physically and temperamentally sound, healthy and cleared of any genetic defects, while always keeping the best interest of their breeding stock and the puppies they produce in mind and holding their health and general welfare above all other things, even above recuperating any financial losses from taking on the task of breeding responsibly and ethically as such a breeder does not breed for profit.
We also have an informative blog "What to Know About Reputable vs. Backyard Breeding" put together by one of our fabulous administrators, xxshaelxx; this educational read discusses the important differences between breeders, please take the time to read over this if you want to better understand the qualities that make a responsible, ethical & reputable breeder and what are the red flags to watch out for that are sure signs of an irresponsible or "backyard" breeder.
What is a "backyard breeder" & why are you against them?Many are under the impression that a "backyard" breeder is merely one that breeds dogs at home or in their backyard which is incorrect and is a common misconception because of the terminology. A "backyard breeder" or BYB, also called a "profit breeder" or is just referred to as an irresponsible breeder, is a self-proclaimed breeder that breeds dogs without going about it responsibly or ethically - no matter where the breeding takes place and no matter where the dogs are housed because that is irrelevant - and unlike a responsible and ethical breeder, this type of breeder is known to breed solely for profit or for other purposes which are put above the well-being of their dogs and the puppies they produce, this kind of breeder typically produces only pet-quality dogs, either purebred or mutt, often carrying genetic disorders and inheriting poor, unstable temperaments.
"Backyard" breeders are often the biggest factors in genetic disorders found among dogs especially of purebred ancestry, such irresponsible breeding practices are one of the prime reasons for breed-specific legislation coming into place in multiple ways such as producing puppies from breeding stock with unstable temperaments and aggressive tendencies; alongside with puppy mills, "backyard" breeders are the main contributors to the already overabundance of unwanted dogs left on the streets and in animal shelters all across the nation and even worldwide.
With that being said, stopBSL's stance against such breeding practices is expected to be well understood. Here at stopBSL, we do not condone such irresponsible or "backyard" breeding and wish to discourage it through education and raising awareness.
What is a puppy mill?A puppy mill, also called a commercial kennel, is a large-scale breeding operation that mass produces puppies for profit. Animals used as breeding stock are known to be kept in overcrowded and undersized wired cages, forced to live in deplorable conditions and are often denied basic and necessary veterinary care. Unfortunately, puppy mills are very legal, "wholesale" operations that sell to pet stores for resale are required to be licensed, to adhere to certain, minimal standards of care and be routinely inspected by the United States Department of Agriculture through the Animal Welfare Act but puppy mill operators are seldom punished for not meeting those standards or for blatant animal cruelty.
I am a breeder, can I advertise my puppies for sale by submitting pictures of them to your gallery?No, you may not; if you are advertising your puppies for sale after they have been born, then that is already a red flag to us that you are an irresponsible breeder. If such a breeder is found within our group, they will be confronted and most likely kicked out if they continue to breed irresponsibly.
I have a dog that I need to find a new home for, can I advertise here?Unless the dog in question is a shelter, rescue or foster dog, then you are not welcome to advertise your need to rehome the dog here, that is what your local classified ads and newspaper is for.
I have a question about dogs / health / training / diet / etc, who can I ask?Here at stopBSL, we have a small group of very knowledgeable, well rounded, specially picked administrative staff members who are not just here to moderate the group & keep it running, but they are also here to help out by answering all sorts of canine-related questions, providing any needed advice and to simply assist the group’s members in all ways necessary to the very best of our abilities. If you have questions about anything related to dogs, canines overall or pets in general, please feel free to contact us via note or leave a comment on the front page & we will do our very best to help you out right away!
If stopBSL is so against breeders, why are there photos in the group’s gallery that are of dogs and puppies used for breeding?First, let us say that stopBSL is not against breeding or breeders as a whole, as breeding is absolutely necessary in order to preserve purebred breeds and to improve those breeds’ soundness and health, which is done by only responsible and ethical breeders; however, most breeding that takes place today is done irresponsibly by "backyard" breeders, which is a practice that we strongly oppose here. The vast differences between responsible, ethical breeders and irresponsible, "backyard" breeders are briefly summarized here within our frequently asked questions and better discussed in the blog "What to Know About Reputable vs. Backyard Breeding" put together by one of our fabulous administrators, xxshaelxx.
Here at stopBSL, we carefully look over each and every submission before approving it to our gallery, and as thoroughly discussed under our frequently asked question "Why would the way I care for my dog be any of your business?", if we feel a piece of artwork that has been sent our way may be questionable for any reason, we will not hesitate to ask questions before allowing the artwork into our galley, and this of course includes photography featuring dogs and puppies used in a breeding program.
Members should understand that photography of puppies in our gallery that do not appear to have come from responsible breeding practices are otherwise rescued puppies or are located in animal shelters awaiting adoption.
We make ourselves absolutely sure that any photography that is accepted into our gallery that features dogs used in a breeding program or puppies in a litter at a breeder’s home are or were bred & / or owned by only responsible, ethical breeders, so please feel comfortable and confident in knowing that the cute photograph in our gallery showing a litter of adorable purebred puppies produced by a breeder is most certainly a responsibly bred litter produced by a responsible, ethical breeder that genuinely cares about their breed of choice and the dogs they breed and puppies they produce!
My dog is a "Puggle" / "Goldendoodle" / "Chiwienie" / etc, why do you have a problem with that?As previously said, we accept artwork of both purebred and mutt / mixed breed because we do not discriminate here at stopBSL, but we will not under any circumstances tolerate irresponsible breeding, this obviously includes intentionally breeding & producing mutts and giving them designer labels to profit from, which is entirely prohibited within our group as stated within the Info, Rules & Guidelines. By calling your mixed breed by a designer name, you are indirectly supporting irresponsible breeding, whether you mean to and know it or not, and by doing so it is very likely that you bought into the "hybrid hype" and purchased one of these dogs from an irresponsible breeder or pet store which is strongly discouraged within our group. If you submit artwork of a mixed breed which you have called by a designer label, then your artwork may be declined. Take notice that this does not mean we have ill feelings towards mixed breed dogs or the individual dogs in question, so please do not assume that.
Please understand that calling a dog a "mixed breed" or a "mutt" is not in any way a derogatory or demeaning term, but both are merely used to describe a dog of mixed breed ancestry, no matter if the dog is the offspring of two different purebred dogs or the result of several generations of mix breeding, it is a mixed breed / mutt and there is absolutely nothing wrong with calling a dog as such.
Please do not become offended or feel insulted if an administrator brings up the topic with you concerning any submissions you have sent in containing a mixed breed with a designer label; we will happily discuss the matter with you, kindly request you to remove any content within the artist's comments / title of your deviation that refers to the dog as such, and then we will gladly approve your submissions afterwards.
You may disagree with this, and that is perfectly fine, we respect your opinion and you should respect ours as well, so please do not try arguing with our administrators over this issue.
Can I submit artwork of wolves & / or wolfdogs?It is clearly stated on the front page and within the Info, Rules & Guidelines that this group is strictly for domestic canine artwork only and we do not accept artwork of any wild canines, wolfdogs or other wild canine x domestic canine hybrids / mixes; this does not mean we dislike / hate or have anything against said animals, this just means that if you have wild canine artwork then you need to find a different canine-related group to which you can submit your artwork.
In any case, while wolfdogs are often subject to breed-specific laws and other forms of discrimination, we do not wish to encourage the breeding, selling and ownership of wolves / wolfdogs, this is mainly due to the large amount of people who own / want to own a wolf or wolfdog for all the wrong reasons, which we do not want to encourage. So under no circumstances whatsoever will we accept artwork that includes a wolf or wolfdog (or wild canines or hybrids in general) anywhere in the art.
Please also understand that the majority of so-called "wolfdogs" are actually just typical domesticated dogs. Just about every photography submission we receive that is meant to be featuring a "wolfdog" is actually of a regular dog being misrepresented, but we still simply cannot accept such photographs because the "wofldog" owners are directly contributing to misrepresentation, and by accepting such submissions it makes us apart of the problem.
And because of the number of "wolf owners" that have expressed their disapproval of this FAQ entry and our decision to prohibit wolf and wolfdog art, we want to make it very cleat that this stance has absolutely nothing to do with us being "uneducated" or "ignorant"; if this entry is carefully read and understood, you can see that we are far from either of those two accusations and our stance is a very educated one at that which was made with the best intentions as a group of caring animal lovers. If you still disagree and still feel "discriminated against" because we still will not allow photographs of your wolfdog even after writing to us a novel about how "stupid" this rule is and how us administrators "know nothing", then please see the FAQ entry towards the end which gives you easy-to-understand instructions on how to leave.
With all that being said, this rule does not apply to breeds such as the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog or the Saarloos Wolfdog; although these started out as wolf x dog mixes in the very beginning they are now established purebred breeds of domestic dog that only appear very wolf-like as intended and otherwise do not have any recent wolf ancestry nor possess the undesired behavior characteristics of a wolf.
Again, please understand that this is strictly a domestic canine group and artwork of any canines but that is not allowed.
Why would the way I care for my dog be any of your business?If you post it on the internet, it is no longer just your business, but everyone’s business now that it is available on the web for all to see. As stated within the Info, Rules & Guidelines, if we feel you are submitting artwork that may be questionable to some degree, we are not going to hesitate to ask questions before allowing the artwork into our galley, & we of course will expect thoroughly detailed answers in response to our questions otherwise we will decline the submission & continue to decline any related submissions until you discuss the matter with us.
Questionable artwork would include, but is not limited to, for example, a photograph of a young puppy that appears to have been removed from its dam & littermates and placed in a new home at too young of an age / too soon, or a photograph of a pregnant dog regardless of who she belongs to, or perhaps a photograph of your dog which appears to be very overweight / obese; naturally, these three examples would peak our curiosity and concern. Regarding the first example about the young puppy, this would lead us to asking why the puppy was removed from its dam & litter mates and placed in a new home at such a young age. Regarding the second example about the pregnant bitch, this would lead us to asking why the dog in this photograph is pregnant and if you or the dog’s owner is a breeder, we would then request of you to explain to us about the breeding practices involved and to provide further information to help us better determine whether or not we will allow the submission to be accepted into the gallery. And as for the last example, this would lead us to ask why the dog in the photograph is so out of shape, if the owner of the dog is aware of the its poor state of health and we would ask if the owner is doing anything in order to help the dog lose the excess weight, improve its health and prolong its life.
Understand that because at stopBSL we wish to discourage irresponsible pet ownership and irresponsible / unethical / "backyard" breeding, we cannot allow artwork into our gallery that in any way depicts or encourages either of these areas of being irresponsible or careless with pets; to combat this issue we closely monitor what is sent to our gallery, and we are now enforcing harsher regulations & are taking rather extreme measures in order to prevent irresponsible breeders from contributing artwork to our gallery that showcases their irresponsible & greedy ways of breeding dogs.
In some instances, with dog owners who may not realize how irresponsible their actions are or how unethical their breeding practices may be, this can give us the opportunity to hopefully educate those who also share a passion for dogs and animals but are lacking in knowledge and resources in certain areas which prevent them from providing better, more quality care for their animals, and with our advice and assistance we can give them a brighter future as a more responsible dog owner or breeder. Our goal at stopBSL is not only to promote & encourage responsible pet ownership and ethical breeding as well as adoption & rescue, but to educate and provide helpful resources to dog owners and should we find a small window of opportunity for us to help or assist someone in any way, we will take it and try our very best to make a difference.
As a note, understand that if you have submitted any artwork to us that appears to be questionable for whatever reason, the submission process may take quite a while for the decision to be finalized and for the artwork to appear in the group’s gallery, this is because we will not make the decision to approve the submission until after we have discussed the matter & all has been resolved, so please be patient!
Understand that we do not waste our time with members who do not respond to our administrators concerning submissions that may be questionable to some degree as explained throughout this entire section, should a member fail to respond to any questions from an administrator after a certain length of time even despite the member's recent activity on DeviantART, we reserve the right to decline the submission without warning and will continue to decline said member's submissions should they be in any relation to the initial submission that inclined us to ask questions.
Please do not feel singled out, picked on or the victim of a personal attack, this is just our standard protocol, so please do not become offended should we begin asking questions concerning a recent submission of yours. Understand that you are not necessarily obligated to answer our questions or share with us any information about you as a dog owner or breeder; but if you wish to continue submitting your artwork to our gallery, then you will need to comply with our requests.
It is important for all members to remain mature, rational, cooperative and levelheaded and treat our administrators with kindness and respect when discussing such and all other matters with us, and in return we will do the same for you. We do hope to resolve every individual issue in a civil and adult-like manner, however, if your behavior proves to be anything but that and if you cannot possibly treat our administrators with the respect they deserve, then we are not going to continue wasting anymore of our time with you or your submissions.
What is the "Rare Breed of the Month"?Our "!RARE! Breed of the Month" is a monthly article we submit to our group blog that features a rare purebred breed of dog including its history & origin, purpose, appearance and temperament with photographs to compliment the articles. With our BotM features, many of our members are introduced to new, unheard of breeds that they may have never known of until now. In early February 2011 was when the administrators here first discussed this brilliant idea, this has been a fun & educational monthly activity that our members have responded positively to once the idea was executed then in April 2011 & we have continued to do this each month ever since.
As of January 2012, in celebration of starting a new year with our !RARE! Breed of the Month features, we have also begun including a mini-feature which showcases a breed of dog found to be subject to breed-specific legislation, these mini-features, referred to as the Targeted Breed of the Month, each include a short introduction to the breed and as a brief summary we provide some quick facts such as the breed's country of origin, size, coat colors & its functionality.
As of 2014, stopBSL administrators have decided to discontinue the Targeted Breed of the Month mini-features that we have added onto our !RARE! Breed of the Month for the last two years, but we will still be featuring the !RARE! Breed of the Month per usual and as long as there are rare dog breeds out there all around the world, then there will always be a new rare breed featured for every month!
Our Collection of !RARE! BotM Features allows members to view what breeds of dog we have previously featured.
Is your group affiliated with www.stopbsl.com?No. We are not the same as www.stopbsl.com, we are our own small, individual group of almost more than thirteen-hundred canine lovers, enthusiasts and advocates on an online art community and in no way are we in relation to or affiliated with this website; however, www.stopbsl.com is an extremely educational website loaded with information on breed-specific legislation and is otherwise a website that we like to use as one of our main resources.
Is this group for animal rights or welfare? We are an anti-BSL & pro-canine group! But we do lean more towards promoting animal welfare overall. Simply put, animal welfare is the respect for animals, the humane treatment and effort towards improving the treatment of animals, and as well as us as humans, being responsible for their care; animal rights is an extremist philosophy of total animal liberation which means abolishing all forms of "animal exploitation" such as medical research, preserving species in captivity, using animals as resources, keeping / breeding companion animals / pets and all other forms of coexistence & interaction between animal & human - just to name a few examples! We are for animal welfare, but through your own research you are free to decide which philosophy you wish to live by and ensue as an animal lover.
& what is the difference between the two?
Will you sign my anti-BSL petition & pass it along / promote it?
Please understand that online petitions alone are often not enough to counter breed-specific legislation proposals or abolishing legislation that has already been adopted and implemented; those involved with proposing breed-specific laws and the legislators responsible for passing them do not look for nor care about signatures from citizens from hundreds or thousands of miles away or in other countries; instead, it is the residents - of that city / township wherein the laws are to be passed - that can effectively speak out against the proposal for legislation. If breed-specific laws may soon be passed in your city, you need to contact your state senator and members of congress expressing your disapproval of breed-specific legislation in a polite and civil manner, you need to join city council meetings concerning the issue and voice your opposition and back up your stance with facts proving the ineffectiveness of breed restrictions and bans - you must speak up and encourage other residents of your city to do the very same!
Please visit www.understand-a-bull.com for more effective tools and tactics which can be used to help the fight against breed-specific legislation.
Members are free to post links to petitions on our front page at the very bottom in the comments section, but please do not expect a difference to be made if you have not bothered to take any further steps in protesting the legislation
Can I become a co-founder or a contributor for stopBSL?The administrators of stopBSL are specially picked because of their knowledge & understanding of dogs / breeds, having much experience working with / handling dogs as well as possessing knowledge in various other aspects that make up our group's foci, such as responsible pet ownership, ethical breeding, rescue & adoption, and dog training & behavior. While we are not looking to add any more co-founders, if you wish to be apart of our team of contributors who can devote some time to constructing accurate & factual educational articles on the many aspects of being a good dog owner, so if you believe that you can help out stopBSL with your knowledge on dogs, feel free to contact the founder or one of the co-founders expressing why you would make a good, reliable administrator and how you can help make a difference in our group.
I was a member, but I have been kicked / banned; can I please re-join the group?Whether you are allowed to come back to stopBSL is greatly dependent upon what it was you did that lead to your removal from the group and the severity of the situation. If you really want to join stopBSL again, you will need to either contact the group or personally contact one of the head administrators to state your case and express why you should be given a second chance as a member; the decision to either approve or reject your request to re-join will be thoroughly discussed among the head administrators and you will be notified when we have made that final decision
How do I leave stopBSL?Aw, we hate to see you abandon our group, but if you must leave us you will find your icon at the top of stopBSL’s profile page under the group’s icon, this is where you click for the drop-down menu to appear and select the option "Leave the Group" - we are sorry to see you go, but we hope you at least enjoyed your stay here with us.
If you decide to leave stopBSL, then you are expected to remove all traces of your artwork from our gallery; please do not leave this time wasting task up to the administrators to take care of as it is your full responsibility to delete your artwork from our group as our gallery is strictly for member use only.