Poor Lennox was euthanized after being found guilty of being the size of pit bull type dogs but had never bitten or been aggressive, what a travesty! We all must agree to realistic guidelines that will prevent this from happening ever again. The news article below is a step in the right direction, IMO!
By Jeremy Deutsch – Kamloops This Week
Published: February 23, 2011 6:00 PM Updated: February 23, 2011 6:23 PM The Kamloops SPCA is wagging its tail in approval of tougher city bylaws concerning aggressive dogs. The local SPCA said it supports several new rules that will require aggressive dogs to wear electronic microchip identification and a restriction in leash length to two metres. “Any measures like that are good,” said Charleen Halloway, the Kamloops SPCA’s manager, adding the new rules should help in controlling an aggressive dog. “I think it’s great the city is looking at ways to keep the public safe, as well as the dog.” However, she said proper dog training and an owner’s understanding of what potentially triggers the aggression is another important part of the issue that still needs to be addressed. Included in the city’s new bylaw is a restriction to keep aggressive dogs from being in off-leash dog parks and a change in the way the city refers to problem dogs — to “aggressive” from “dangerous.” The city spent six months reviewing its dog responsibility and control bylaw, which was first adopted in 2004. Since the original bylaw was adopted, the city has deemed 17 dogs dangerous — a total of five in 2011 so far — but has never taken the steps to have one destroyed. The city deals with an average of 128 files per year relating to aggressive dogs. As for the SPCA, Halloway noted the shelter deals with very few aggressive-dog calls. Instead, she said many owners contact the organization seeking advice on how to deal with aggressive behaviour before an incident occurs. “People really don’t want those behaviours to continue in their dogs, so they’re seeking out advice on how to manage that,” she said. The number of dangerous dogs in the city represents fewer than one per cent of the 7,517 dogs registered in Kamloops.
A perfect example of why BSL is just BS!
Love and a Six-Foot Leash
Pop quiz: which of the Chickderdoodles is a “pit bull” dog?
C) Chick only
D) Doodlebug only
Here is the ringer: They share zero common breeds as identified by their Wisdom Panel Insights DNA tests.
So . . . are they both pit bulls because they fit the general physical characteristics that many people think of when they think “pit bull” dog? Are neither of them pit bulls because neither is a pure bred American Pit Bull Terrier (whatever that is) or American Staffordshire Terrier? Are they both pit bulls because they have some DNA of at least one breed identified by the broadest definitions of “pit bull” dogs?
And even more confusing: is Chick less of a pit bull after his DNA test, which revealed no SBT or AST? And is Doodlebug more of one? And can two mixed-breed dogs that share zero common breeds
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After senior judges in Northern Ireland ruled that Lennox, a Labrador/American Bulldog, must be destroyed, the dog has gained a new ally in The Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan.
Belfast judgeshanded down the ruling after a two year battle by Lennox’s owners to have the dog released back to the family after he was seized by the City of Belfast in May 2010 and ordered to be destroyed
for being a “pit-bull type” dog.
Lennox had already received the support of several recognized canine behavioral specialists who testified that he wasn’t dangerous. One of these was British dog trainer Victoria Stillwell, star of It’s Me or the Dog. Now the canine, who is sentenced to be euthanized under the Dangerous Dogs Act (DDA), is garnering further support from the dog whisperer himself, Cesar Millan.
The star of the eight season-long television series The Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan
, Tweeted on June 12:
I know about the Lennox situation. Its a decision I truly don’t agree with. My team is working to find a better solution to help #savelennox.
Millan has been working with dangerous dogs and rehabilitating them for years but despite being deemed dangerous by a police dog handler who is a supporter of the DDA, Lennox has never harmed or threatened to harm anybody in the entirety of his seven years. In fact, writes Stillwell in her official report:
Lennox showed a number of deference behaviours including turning his head away, licking his lips, turning his body and walking away, in response to David Ryan’s attempts to frustrate him. This is an impressive trait in any dog and shows a dog using submissive behaviour rather than offensive behaviour to cope in what is a relatively stressful situation.
At one point, photographs leaked from the facility where Lennox is being held, showed the dog licking and interacting with Alexandra Lightfoot. Lightfoot is a dog warden who testified that Lennox had been aggressive since his seizure.
Lennox’s owners, the Barnes family, were devastated that the judge upheld the decision of two lower courts to euthanize their pet. Caroline Barnes’ legal team appeared before the Court of Appeal earlier this month seeking to compel the County Court judge who confirmed the destruction order to state a case on points of law. The application was dismissed.
After the verdict, the Save Lennox Campaign posted on their Save Lennox Facebook page:
We would like to thank everyone for the countless messages that we have received in the last 24 hours during what is a very difficult time for our family and for the support we have had from so many since Lennox was seized in 2010.
The past two years have been extremely distressing for many reasons and we appreciate that this has been a very emotive case for dog lovers worldwide who have spoken out against the failings of Breed Specific Legislation.
We take some comfort in the knowledge that we are not the only ones to be devastated by the recent ruling. We are in talks with our legal team and will make another statement in due course.
Of two petitions supporting Lennox’s bid for freedom, one has garnered over 150,000 signatures, and the other almost 19,000 signatures since it was established less than two weeks ago.
With Lennox running out of time, any solution Millan can offer would be a welcome one. According to the Barnes family, although Lennox has not yet been euthanized, the family’s request to see the dog has been denied.
One of my best friends, Marina Kanavaki, sent me this link: http://our-compass.org/2012/06/13/please-write-to-save-lennox-sample-letter/
I hadn’t heard about this but apparently one of our furry brothers has been put on death row in Belfast and has been there for two years, just because they say he looks like a pitbull. They measured him and from those measurements they have ascertained that he is a dangerous dog and should be destroyed.
The dog in question, Lennox, has never attacked anyone, has never shown aggression and is not even a pitbull, he’s a labrador/american bulldog cross and he is a family pet; a pet that is so loved by his family, they are prepared to pay thousands of pounds in court fees to bring him home.
A petition to spare his life has been signed by many thousands around the world yet it is ignored by the courts. Here is the latest from the Belfast…
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) nor the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) have never issued a report or press release naming the types of dogs most likely to bite. Therefore it seems breed bans are a “knee-jerk reaction” to what experts say is not the cause of the problem. The AVMA report published from the research collected by the AVMA Task Force on Canine Aggression states:
“There are several reasons why it is not possible to calculate a bite rate for a breed or to compare rates between breeds. First, the breed of the biting dog may not be accurately recorded, and mixed-breed dogs are commonly described as if they were purebreds. Second, the actual number of bites that occur in a community is not known, especially if they did not result in serious injury. Third, the number of dogs of a particular breed or combination of breeds in a community is not known, because it is rare for all dogs in a community to be licensed, and existing licensing data is then incomplete.”
A Miniature Poodle bites a child and the media coverage is non-existent. A Pit Bull bites a child and the media sensationalizes the incident to a nearly hysterical level intensifying fear completely out of proportion!
Breed specific legislation (BSL) quickly followed and in some places banning ownership of the breed entirely. “Breed bans” unjustly discriminate against every member of the breed while ignoring the actual problem, which is the lack of responsible ownership! The majority of pit bulls and other “banned breeds” are much loved members of families – playful and well-behaved companions.
Any dog can become dangerous when owned by an irresponsible owner. In California a two-month-old baby was killed by a 5lb Pomeranian! It is always the parents duty to keep their child(ren) safe and to educate their child(ren) how to behave around dogs. Yet 70% of reported dog bites happen to children 12 and under, and the dog is blamed!
Since the implementation of “breed bans” many countries have repealed the legislation after realizing that it did not lower the incidents of dog bites or attacks. In the United Kingdom, one of the first adopters of BSL in 1991 with the strictest rules reported that in 2008 dog attacks had increased by 50% in the previous decade!
After repealing their BSL many countries now implement responsible pet ownership models. Education is the answer; pet owners must be required to prove their ability to provide the necessary training and control for dogs with aggressive tendencies.
Never leave a small child alone with any pet. Teaching children proper ways to approach and behave around dogs is the most effective way to lower dog bite incidents.
National Companion Animal Coalition/La coalition nationale sur les animaux de compagnie
This document reflects expertise from the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, the Canadian Kennel Club and the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council of Canada. They are members of the National Companion Animal Coalition (NCAC), which was created in 1996 to promote responsible pet ownership and enhance the health and well being of companion animals.
The National Companion Animal Coalition does not support breed-specific bans as an effective tool to protect the public from vicious or dangerous dogs.
There are several reasons why breed-specific bans are problematic:
• There is no objective method of establishing lineage of cross bred dogs or dogs which are not registered with a national kennel club. In addition, many municipalities do not have access to qualified persons that could accurately perform breed identification.
• Dangerous dogs may exist in every breed and breed cross.
• Dangerous temperament and behaviour are products of many factors other than just breed.
• This type of ban will result in exclusion of some dangerous dogs, and inclusion of dogs that are not dangerous.
• The incidence of dog bites has not been shown to be reduced by restricting the ownership of certain dog breeds.
The NCAC recognizes that dangerous dogs are a product of one or more of the following:
• Inappropriate breed choice for owner lifestyle.
• Lack of appropriate training and socialization.
• Genetic makeup as a result of inappropriate breeding practices or intentional breeding for aggressive traits.
• Lack of proper exercise and interaction with other people and animals.
• Failure to spay/neuter.
The NCAC’s recommendations to municipalities regarding dangerous or vicious dogs are to use:
• Significant fines for owners of dogs that are involved in a bite incident.
• Well-established guidelines for professional temperament assessment of a dog as dangerous or vicious. Banning of specific breeds is not recommended because of the difficulty in identifying the genetic origin of many dogs.
• A protocol to deal with dogs that have been professionally assessed as dangerous or vicious (eg. euthanasia or confinement).
• Significant incentives for owners to spay/neuter, socialize, and train their pets.
• Confinement laws such as: leash laws, running at large laws, property confinement laws, use of muzzles.
• Public awareness and education programs promoting responsible pet ownership.
The NCAC supports responsible pet ownership by encouraging owners to:
• Choose an appropriate breed/breed cross for the owner’s lifestyle and ability to provide for the needs of their dog.
• Enroll themselves and their dogs in basic training and obedience classes.
• Provide physical exercise and mental stimulation appropriate to the selected breed.
• Provide proper food, water and shelter.
• Provide proper veterinary care.
• Spay/neuter their pets.
The Cumberland County Animal Control Board is recommending that authorities limit the adoption of dog breeds that one county official described as attack animals.
Dr. John Lauby, Animal Control Director said the Board is suggesting that county residents be banned from adopting Rottweilers, American Staffordshire terriers, pit bulls, chow-chows, Presa Canarios or any mix of those breeds.
County Commissioner Charles Evans, who serves on the Animal Control Board, said the issue is about the safety of residents.
“We’re looking at a list of animals used as attack animals,” Evans said. “It has been suggested that something needs to be done about those.”
Dogs that aren’t adopted are put down.
If these breeds aren’t adopted out, Evans said he wants to know more about what their fate would be.
“I really want to understand what would be done with these types of animals,” Evans said.
They could be turned over to breed-specific rescue groups, Lauby said, but those operating locally are at full capacity. Another option is to try to network nationwide with groups in communities that are looking for dogs to put up for adoption.
The last option is euthanasia, Lauby said.
Animal advocates maintain that it’s not a particular breed of dog that presents a danger,the problem is irresponsible owners who do not properly train these breeds.
Email the Mayor and council to let them know your opinion of the proposed “Breed Ban”.
Mayor Anthony G. Chavonne
Dr. John Lauby
Director of Animal Services
Kenneth S. Edge
Dr. Jeannette M. Council
Billy R. King