Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Breed Specific Legislation

As you may have noticed, if you read my blog, I do not support Breed Specific Legislation. I don't recall that I have mentioned it specifically on my blog in the past though.

Koira, my beloved little girl, is a dog who would easily be labeled a "pit bull type" by most people. I will not argue with this label. I will, however, object strongly if told that what my dog looks like makes her inherently dangerous to people and all living things.

Apparently in the dog world, there is a story going around about a dog in Ireland named Lennox who, due to BSL in Great Britain, has been taken from his family, held for 11 months without them being allowed to visit him, and is now slated to be destroyed. Lennox has no history of aggressive behavior*. This is all, apparently, happening because he appears to be a "pit bull type" dog.

*I don't know this dog, these people, or all the details of this story. I am simply relating what I have read about this story, which may be lacking in some relevant facts. What I object to is the classification of a dog as aggressive based solely on its appearance, which I cannot say for sure is or is not the case here. 

Wow, you mean he has four paws and a tail? Seriously, people, any dog, any time, can be labeled as one of the "bad breeds" or a mix there of. You may not own a pit bull, so don't care about BSL. It doesn't affect your breed. Well, thats what pit bull owners said 30 years ago when it was German Shepherds and Rottweilers that had the bad reputation. And, when, 10, 20, 30 years down the road your breed is added to the list of dangerous dogs (or, doG forbid, cities, counties, states, and countries start banning all dogs, no matter the breed) you will wish you stepped up earlier to say something.

BSL doesn't work. Period. Stricter penalties for dogs who show aggression, regardless of breed or appearance, and stricter penalties for those people who misuse and abuse dogs, are the only two ways to reduce the risk dogs pose to society.

But really, you are about 1000 times more likely to die of a car crash, heart disease, or cancer than a dog attack. For that matter, you are 5x more likely to be killed by a strike of lightening than by a dog attack.

In any case, should you feel the need to speak out, here is what you can do:

1. A petition is being signed in hopes of overturning Lennox's death sentence. You can find a link to it, and other details of this particular case at http://frugaldougaldog.blogspot.com/2011/03/save-lennox.html.

2. Keep an eye on your own local, county, city, and state legislature. Bills come up regularly that will restrict dog ownership, and many of them deal with BSL. Make sure your representatives know where you stand on this issue.

3. Make sure your dog is providing a great example of a well balanced, safe dog. Take your well socialized, balanced, friendly dog with you to dog friendly events and locations, to help show the public how friendly, calm, and nice dogs can be.


  1. As someone living in Ontario, where BSL is province-wide, I agree with you 110%. It DOESN'T work, it's disgusting, and all it does is promote an even worse mentality toward the breed in question.

    Racial profiling isn't tolerated for humans, and shouldn't be for dogs, either.

  2. Ugh, that's ridiculous. BSL doesn't make any sense. :(

    I was watching Pitbulls and Parolees yesterday and they rescued this little boy puppy pit who 'ate his owner.' Turns out he belonged to a homeless man who died and the puppy was trapped and had to eat something. Sad situation. When they showed that baby boy puppy I thought he was a doll, so sweet, wouldn't hurt a fly. But now he's got a bad reputation. Fortunately the rescue people loved him and understood him. :)