Breed Specific Legislation, Dogs locked in cars, sponsorship and dissertation

Pet of the day Lexi thanks to Zoe Sills
Pet of the day Lexi thanks to Zoe Sills
Lexi is today’s pet of the day thanks to Zoe Sills (@Zoezebra)! Manically digging on the beach!

Got my first official diary sponsor for tommorow’s post! It was a perfect fit for the topic I have planned so I am very happy.

My dissertation is coming along, I’ve been waiting for some feedback from my supervisor this afternoon and have not heard anything, however hopefully should hear something tommorow. Its getting very exciting being so close and I am actually pretty proud of what I’ve done so far! I’ve always had amazing support for my search for materials for my survey which I will be launching soon (help me and take part here: http://www.sogosurvey.com/k/SsRRVWsRsPsPsP), Azzore Veterinary definately deserve a mention.

Earlier today I had the mispleasure of someone bring to my attention the death of 2 police dogs that had been locked in the police vehicle (http://www.kens5.com/news/Two-Bexar-County-K-9s-reported-dead-163866306.html?clmob=y&&clmob=y&). Personally I know that many police dog handlers consider their dogs to be family, and that they will do anything for their dogs so this is nothing against them. However I am absolutely disgusted that any police officer in any country would make such a mistake when they are responsible for policing the public leaving dogs locked in cars. It is not just a mistake in the USA, it has happened in the UK too. In fact the same UK police dog handler killed 3 different dogs on 2 seperate occasions by leaving them locked in hot vehicles (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-15280409) in 2011 and earlier in 2004. It takes just 20 minutes for a dog to die locked in a hot car even with the windows open, don’t risk losing your companion. Dogs cool themselves down by panting, if the air is hot they simply cannot cool themselves down.

Sometimes when I see something on twitter I start thinking that 140 characters isn’t enough for what I have to say. I’ve written about the Dangerous Dogs Act previously, and legislation banning certain breeds which give some good background. Over the past month there have been a succession of dogs being campaigned to be saved from legislation like this around the world. Lennox, Wicca, Bailey, Mylo and others. In each of these cases the social media campaigns have been against the councils and authorities that have seized the dogs. Its going round in circles, dog siezed, people shout about it on social media, dog put to sleep and attention moves to the next dog.

Lets forget about these heartless robots blindly following the rules, and actually campaign in a way to make a difference. Take your voice and use it against the people responsible for making (and changing) the laws responsible for these rules. Write to your MP (http://www.writetothem.com/), write to the Prime Minister at Number 10, the President, senators and whoever else you need to make the change for this legislation to be deed not breed, to specify the qualifications needed to assess a dog (I was reading a paper on how the AVMA needs to develop a psychological assessment framework).

Personally I believe that we do need some legislation there, especially when it comes to breeds that have been bred for the specific genetic traits of jaw size, strength, muscle as they are physically dangerous. The legislation shouldn’t be to eradicate them, but to control who can own them. Dogs are naturally pack animals and need a leader that understands them, can train them, and is responsible (and dominant) enough to ensure that they are not a danger. This not only improves the dogs welfare by ensuring they have a great owner and their needs are exceeded, it also demonstrates the owners commitment to that dog. I know its controvesal, however if we say that breed (and therefore genetics) results in bad dogs it is not that much of step to apply that same thinking to humans or any other animal. This is the 21st century, we now understand more about animal consciousness, welfare, genetics and behaviour then ever before and yet we are relying on legislation written over 21 years ago!

And the last thing, I absolutely hate the word destroyed. It is used to dehumanise a living breathing conscious dog into just a object. When someone tries to do this correct them, the term destroyed has no place when it comes to life.

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