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Lennox: The Sadness That Is BSL

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Lennox the pit bullBreed Specific Legislation (BSL) has claimed the life of another, Lennox, a pit bull type dog in Belfast Ireland.  Lennox was seized two years ago from a home that loved and cared for him because he looked like a pit bull dog.

The laws in the area prohibited pit bulls, and because Lennox had that “look” he was taken.  Laws state that type of dog is a danger to society, even though no one in Lennox’s family, or even his neighborhood had ever reported any problems with him and aggression.  His family made sure he was current on shots and even had him  microchipped.

The family tried repeatedly to get him released, even appealing to the courts, with no success.  The campaign to free Lennox took on a worldwide focus after reports that the high court had rejected appeals and he was sentenced to death.

Those caring for Lennox while he was being held indicated he was very unpredictable and therefore a menace to society.  In contrast, certified animal behaviorists visited him and saw no signs of aggression.  Lennox was in a foreign environment, with people he didn’t know and I imagine he was quite afraid.  A behaviorist would know the signs of fear and would be able to react appropriately, thus no aggression.

Victoria Stilwell, well-known behaviorist and star of It’s Me Or The Dog on Animal Planet, offered to rehome Lennox to the US in order to save him, but the Belfast City Council would not be swayed.  In a radio interview I listened to this morning, a council member stated they were doing what the law required, in essence, we didn’t write the law, we just enforced it.

What’s even sadder about this is that Lennox’s family was not permitted to visit him to say good-bye, they weren’t allowed to see his body after he was euthanized, they’ll just receive his ashes after he’s cremated.

I don’t know what point the Belfast City Council was trying to make by denying the family access to Lennox in his last hours.  If members of the council are caring pet owners, they would know how difficult it is to put a pet to sleep, and even more so in this situation.

Breed Specific Legislation is just another form of profiling………not all pit bulls are bad, not by a long shot! ANY dog, of ANY breed can be a menace to society if not socialized and cared for properly.

I heard something today that I really like……judge by deed, not by breed.  This is right on target, each dog should be judged individually, not just based on what breed he is, or “appears” to be.

Rest well, Lennox.  Hopefully your life, and sad death, will spur reduction, even abolishment of breed specific legislation!

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