Wednesday, June 27, 2012

How BSL Propagates and the Fight for Lennox

In the 1988 film, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit", Jessica Rabbit quips, "I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way."

Today we're in a similar situation. It's called BSL and it's no joke.

BSL, or Breed Specific Legislation, is comprised of local laws targeting specific breeds of dogs. By and large the breeds covered are Pitbulls and American Staffordshire Terrier-like canines. The penalty for being born into these breeds and finding your way to a jurisdiction that supports BSL is deportation, but more than likely death.

In case it's not clear, this is about discriminating based upon breed and assumed predispositions of some breeds to act in a particular way. It does not take into account that many dogs of these breeds are perfectly normal loving dogs in environments that you'd expect any dog to thrive. What drives people to come up with such ill-advised laws is that there are breeds that are going to cause more damage if they are not properly trained and socialized and they get into a situation where they are forced to mix it up.

Neglected, untrained, and abused dogs are not only on the streets as strays, but also tied up for hours or days on end in backyards in the world, and these don't even include those dogs trained to fight for their lives. Any dog in a bad situation is going to do what it needs to do to protect itself.

I've personally only seen smaller dogs get nervous and act out aggressively without warning.

My experience with larger dogs is different.

Yes, they can be aggressive towards one another, but in the few cases where I've witnessed it first hand it was because of food aggression or being overly competitive while playing. This is not to say that larger dogs are not likely to do something unexpected, but in all of the cases, the well cared for (including being trained and learning confidence) dog is going to get along much better than the skittish more protected/isolated dog regardless of size. My experience with owners of large dogs is they're less likely to put up with bad behavior out of concern with members of their community. More than a couple owners of smaller dogs think it's "cute" that their little dogs have "big" attitudes. What they don't understand is that the dog's attitude is that it's scared and needs to act out to protect itself or get attention. Those are not happy dogs. 

That's my opinion folks. Dogs are as unique as people and both are responsible for how they act in public.

Enter Lennox. A 7 year old dog who "LOOKS LIKE" a pitbull according to his detractors.

Looks like? That's the case against him?

Yes. According to Lennox's owner, who has DNA proof that he's not a pitbull, Lennox was taken into custody and is on death row because of his looks by the Belfast City Council.


Even if he is what they say he is, a "pitbull-like dog", this is a ridiculous situation given that the owners have done everything asked of them by the government to register Lennox and provided him with a perfectly healthy and happy living situation for years. It's been two years since they've been allowed to see him.

BSL is an illogical way at dealing with problem dogs and that it's being used against a dog that neither exhibited any of the behaviors that these laws are allegedly set up to prevent is preposterous. 

Support Lennox by reaching out to his jailers at the Belfast City Council and letting them know what you think about this at:
Email: dogwardens@belfastcity.gov.uk or complaints@belfastcity.gov.uk
Phone: (+44) 028 9027 0270

Also go to his family's website for him at www.savelennox.co.uk

1 comment:

  1. Sadly, Lennox was euthanized today for the way he looked. The Belfast City refused Victoria Stillwell's request to take the dog and rehome it in the US stating that this wouldn't serve the public good. They had also stated that "experts" had deemed the dog that DNA was not a pitbull breed, was indeed one.

    I'm not only sad for Lennox and his family, but for the pitiful souls of the Council who went out of their way to make a point. Your ignorance and turning a blind eye to requests to save this dog that had hurt no one and who you deemed "dangerous" will not be forgotten.

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