I peruse the animal-related news from time to time, looking for things I think more people should know about. For some reason, a story about a poor dog in Belfast eluded me until this morning. Perhaps because the dog is in another country, it's not covered here. Perhaps because the dog looks like a pit bull, no one really cares. I think more of us should care. Something must be done.
A good recap of the story can be found here. For those of you who don't have the stomach to read such a story, here's a recap. This therapy dog, who never showed any signs of aggression, was seized by authorities two years ago because he "met type." While he is not a pit bull (a banned breed), he met the measurements for a pit and was declared dangerous, even though he'd not done anything to deserve that reputation. Since that time, he's been held in an undisclosed location, and next week, he may lose his life.
In the past, I wondered about breed-specific legislation. Like many owners of small dogs, the big guys sometimes worry me. And, reading sensational stories on the news about pit mixes seems to fan the flames, making us fearful types even more likely to believe that all pits are loaded guns, just waiting to go off.
The sad case of Lennox should make us think again.
When breed bans go into place, dogs like Lennox can lose their lives for no reason at all. Families can be torn apart. A significant amount of suffering and trauma is the result. It's hard to tell a pit from a non-pit (as this story demonstrates). Heck, even I thought he was a pit, and I pride myself on knowing quite a bit about dogs!
The Lennox Campaign website, found here, has some good ideas about what people can do, right now, to help this poor dog get reunited with his family. I urge all of you to do what you can to help.
And then, I urge all of you to speak out against breed bans. Now that we know what will happen when these bans become law, we should all stand up and keep them from taking hold in our own communities.