On July 11, a family pet named Lennox was euthanized in Belfast, Ireland, because of breed specific legislation. Lennox had no history of aggression, but was targeted solely because he was deemed a Pit Bull type dog. His story gained huge amounts of attention from animal lovers around the world, but in the end, even the appeals of celebrity dog trainer Victoria Stillwell and First Minister Peter Robinson were unsuccessful in saving Lennox. You
can read more about his story here.
The reason I want you to know about Lennox is because breed specific legislation is happening here in America too. I want you to know because the concept of which breed is most dangerous is constantly changing - Chows, German Shepherds, Dobermans; it could be your town next, it could be your dog next. I want you to know because I meet plenty kind-hearted people who erroneously believe that pit bulls are inherently more dangerous and that breed bans are the answer, even though the evidence does not bear this out.
It's no surprise that folks are terrified; incidents involving pit bulls are severely and routinely over reported in the media, (230 national mentions of 1 serious pit bull attack vs 2 local mentions of a fatal attack on an infant by a mixed breed dog.) And it happens again and again, like in these incidents 2007 and 2008.
And no, Pit Bulls don't have a locking jaw. They don't even bite with as much pressure as German Shepherds and Rottweilers. Pit Bulls are not inherently more dangerous than any other large dog.
In fact, although most banned breeds are big dogs, research shows that larger dogs are less likely to behave aggressively than smaller dogs.
Moreover, the evidence shows that Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Pit Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Rottweilers and Dobermans are no more likely to show inappropriate aggressive behavior than are Golden Retrievers. The evidence also shows that cities with breed bans are no safer than cities without. See the examples of Miami and Soiux City.
Scientists calculate that a community would need to completely remove more than 100,000 dogs of a targeted breed in order to prevent a single hospitalization resulting from a dog bite. Completely remove? By what means? Euthanasia? Relocation? Seems excessive, no?
So please, know that breed specific legislation is not the answer. Pit Bulls are not inherently dangerous. If we want to prevent dog bites, we need early socialization, education, and enforced penalties on irresponsible owners. We need to judge the deed and not the breed.
If we want to prevent beloved family pets from being forcibly removed from their homes and euthanized, we need to stand firmly against breed specific legislation.
Posts made after 2/1/2013 written by Kelly. Most older articles written by Cathy. She accepts sole responsibility for typos and bad grammarisms.