In light of what happened to Lennox last week in Belfast, Northern Ireland, I'm following along with many of my fellow bloggers, including Sleeps With Dogs and my buddy Z on LiveJournal. I posted about Lennox before, and if you want to read somebody more versed and more experienced, this is Jim Crosby's very articulate post on how he feels the case was "handled", and his breakdown of a video of Lennox's behavioral evaluation.
Lennox was not killed because he was a dangerous or vicious dog. Lennox was killed because he looked like a "pit bull", which is a dog banned in Northern Ireland as a result of the Dangerous Dogs Act. Shit like this happens in our country as well, people. In Denver, Colorado, for instance. Maryland is making gestures towards it. At least one county in Florida has it. Ohio had it and, thankfully, dropped it.
Breed Specific Legislation does not reduce dog bite incidents. Breed Specific Legislation kills dogs.
The only way, I feel, to reduce dog bite incidents and dog attacks is to educate people about dogs. That's everybody. Educate dog owners on how to properly raise, train, and socialize their dogs. Educate the general public on the basics of dog behavior and how one should or should not behave around a dog. Start with little kids, as they're learning about the world. Include it in school, with canine guest speakers and visitors. You can't force people to learn, unfortunately, but you can try to educate. You can try to be informative, and friendly, and prove them wrong by example, with responsible dog ownership.
What happened to Lennox could happen to any dog. It could happen to a Doberman. It could happen to a German Shepherd. It could happen to a Rottweiler. It could happen to a Boxer. I am, without equivocation, against Breed Specific Legislation, and feel it needs to be stopped.