Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Lennox, BSL and the United States

I have been following with interest the case of Lennox, the dog in Belfast, Ireland who was removed from his home for being a suspected banned breed (pitbull) even though he had never had any complaints lodged against him for any reason.
The foreign press and to a large degree, the press in the United States have many comment boards burning up with people who are outraged about this act. There are offers from trainers who would bring the dog back to the United States to save his life. I believe Lennox should be returned to his family in Ireland. I believe that is where he belongs. I don't believe that will happen.
In the United States, breed specific legislation is alive and well. Why everyone is up in arms about Lennox when the same thing happens on a daily basis in this, the land of the free country is beyond my scope of understanding.
The two largest cities in the country which come to mind are Miami, in my beloved state of Florida and in Denver. The issue is finally being addressed in Miami in August, where this antiquated law may be overturned. It is against the law in Florida to destroy a dog simply based on breed. Miami's law was already in place when the state enacted the law against BSL, so was allowed to keep their BSL ordinance under a grandfather clause.
The mass exodus from Denver happened several years ago when Denver decided they could come to your house, remove your pet and destroy it. All the animal lovers in Denver were scrambling to save as many as possible. The photo at the top of the page was a photo taken in Denver and smuggled out. An estimated 1,500 dogs were destroyed simply on the way they looked.
My question this morning is, if one dog, Lennox, can inspire so much passion against BSL in this country, where are these folks for the dogs of our country? Do they believe this only happens overseas? Is the media not covering what they need to be covering?
Dogs will bite. No doubt about it. A Jack Russell  Terrier which chewed a little girl's face off in South Florida a couple of months ago was euthanized for the attack. The poor child is on her 5th surgery to try and correct the damage done by the dog. Does this mean all JRTs will do this? Absolutely not.
The saying has always been for dog lovers: "Punish the Deed. Not the Breed". That holds true as much today is it did twenty years ago when these archaic laws first began being passed.

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