I’m sorry but I’m getting a little pissed off here.

Last Wednesday Lennox, a black mixed breed dog, become the latest victim of breed specific legislation (BSL). This time the location is Northern Ireland, however, the story is the same in way too many places and is affecting so many other great dogs that are being condemned based on discrimination alone.

Can someone please tell me how BSL exists in today’s day and age? Hasn’t the human race evolved just a little bit by now? I was under the impression that we lived in a world of innocent until proven guilty, but that’s obviously not the case.

When I first heard of dogs being banned on the basis of breed alone, I thought it was a misprint or a fictional tale. But the story of dogs being pulled from homes, taken away from their loving families because they happen to be pit bulls is really happening. When I read the stories of great, well-behaved dogs being put to death because they were guilty of being a pit bull in Denver, CO shocked and disgusted me.

This kind of horrific act is nothing new though. You might remember a certain misguided man with a stubby mustache in Germany who not too long ago decided to “euthanize” people based on appearance alone. I think we can all agree that was a pretty bad idea.

Are breed bans on dogs that different?

Sure, there are some who will say that was different because that was humans and we’re only talking about dogs here, but ask any dog owner and you’ll see that dogs are considered part of the family in most homes and not mere possessions.

I love my dog like one of my kids. She’s loyal, loving, friendly, and she’s a pit bull. And according to some people out there that makes her a threat to humanity. This is of course nothing more than racism – which in the case of dogs is called breedism. It’s no different, and as is all racism, it’s born and fueled by ignorance.

The thing that really gets me in the Lennox case – and just about all BSL situations – is that these decisions are being made by politicians and employees of the government – NOT qualified dog behaviorists. How is it that every dog behavior specialist I’ve ever heard or read is against breed bans? Wouldn’t you agree that these are the true experts on dog behavior?

So many of the people who are making these life and death decisions can’t even accurately identify what a pit bull is or looks like and I would venture to guess that the bureaucrats passing these laws have probably never even met one face to face.

This was so obviously evident in the Lennox case. Dog aggression specialist Jim Crosby, wrote about the details in a recent blog post, which tells how expert opinions were ignored in favor of less qualified government employees.

Forget that the banning a dog based on breed instead of temperament and training is just plain wrong for a second, and see the simple fact is that they actually do nothing to impact dog bites.

Why Breed Bans Don’t Work

  1. Breeds are being misidentified and incorrectly labeled by the appointed “professionals.”
  2. Bite statistics are not accurate because they are only using reported bite data and many people who get bit by their own dog don’t report it.
  3. The media only reports on “newsworthy” incidents and love to sensationalize bully breeds as villains affecting public perception.
  4.  If you look deeper into the statistical data, the problem dogs are often not the ones with the most bites. This from the Human Society of the United States: “To simply pull numbers of attacks does not give an accurate representation of a breed necessarily. For example, by reviewing a study that states there have been five attacks by golden retrievers in a community and 10 attacks by pit bulls in that same community it would appear that pit bulls are more dangerous. However, if you look at the dog populations in that community and learn that there are 50 golden retrievers present and 500 pit bulls, then the pit bulls are actually the safer breed statistically.”
  5. In places that have breed bans dog bites have not gone down.

Looking at the facts I can’t see any reason to think that breed bans will have any real effect. Lots of people get killed by cars every year – should we ban them too? Of course not. We should educate and train people how to use them responsibly.

How about doing that with pit bulls (and all bully breeds)? Instead of banning all dogs just because some irresponsible and unqualified people neglected or abused their dogs, how about we do a better job educating and selecting the people who have these dogs? There are other things that can be done to restrict unqualified people from getting a pit bull and making sure those who do get one train and treat them appropriately.

This can’t go on. We’re a little more civilized and evolved for this kind of extremist foolery. This is not a pit bull issue, this is a dog issue. This might not stop with bully breeds – your dog could be next on the list.

Dear Lennox,

We’re sorry for what our fellow humans have done to you. You did no wrong, you committed no crime. We promise to do whatever we can to make sure this doesn’t happen to any more of your doggie brothers and sisters. You, like all the other senseless casualties of breed discrimination will always be remembered and cherished.

Be at peace. We love you, miss you and you will live forever in our hearts.

This image courtesy the I’m Not a Monster Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ImNotaMonster

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