This is Lennox. A beloved family dog seized and destroyed for a crime he couldn’t help. Yesterday, at 7am GMT, the Belfast City Council had Lennox put to sleep because he looked like a Pit Bull. And sadly, Lennox’s story is not unique. Northern Ireland (as well as the rest of Great Britain) passed a Dangerous Dog Act in 1991 which banned all “pit bull type” dogs (except Staffordshire Terriers and Bull Terriers) from residing in their country. If these dogs are found they are taken from their families and put to sleep…period. No evaluations no nothing.
Lennox had a family. A little girl he lovingly played with and watched over. But he was taken from them, jailed for two years and ultimately executed.
This is BSL (Breed Specific Legislation) and this is what it does…cause pain. Pain to the dog who is confused as to why he is being taken away and put into a cold, hard kennel. Pain to the families who love these dogs that are members of their family. All because someone decided that all Pit Bulls are dangerous and a threat; and that even dogs that look like a Pit Bull must be dangerous as well. If governments were treating people in this manner it would be called racial genocide. But these aren’t people; they are dogs who rely on the people who love them to give them a voice and to stand up and say that this is wrong.
BSL is a worldwide problem. Holland only repealed their Dangerous Dog Act in 2008. Many counties in the US have similar legislation in tact. Denver is notoriously *in*famous for its anti-pit bull stance and Dade county in Florida will soon be voting wether they should repeal their BSL.
The silver lining to the tragedy of Lennox is that he has given a face to what BSL can do and how wrong it really is. Hopefully now the governments that have these unjust laws in place will take a look at Lennox’s story and see that it is wrong to judge a dog solely based on breed and looks…every dog deserves a chance at a happy life with a loving family.
As the proud mommy of an AmStaff (The purebred version of a Pittie; most dogs labeled Pit Bulls are actually mixed breeds but usually have some AmStaff in them.) I’ve seen my dog subject to discrimination all the time. It was near impossible to find an airline to fly Rooney from The Netherlands to The US when we moved home, and not a week goes by that someone doesn’t throw him a sideways glance or go out of their way to move out of his reach. Little do those people know that he is a *for the most part* well behaved dog who loves nothing more than to meet new people. If my dog was dangerous I certainly wouldn’t allow him around my three month old, who he loves to snuggle with, or take him over to my Mom’s house where she has a 12 pound Westie, that likes to beat up on Rooney and show him who’s boss.
My favorite Pro Pittie website, Stubby Dog, has made a touching video tribute to Lennox. Take a minute to watch…and try not to cry.<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/45592924″>For Lennox</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user11859114″>StubbyDog</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>