Pit Bulls are illegal in Great Britain, so when a trained police dog was labeled a Pit Bull, it was put to death. The dog, Tyson, was being trained for police work at the Avon and Sommerset Police Department after being rescued from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) when Dog Legislation Officers determined the dog had the characteristics of a pit bull. Tyson was returned to the RSPCA shelter and was put to death. In a statement released by the Avon and Sommerset Police Department, officials explained how Tyson’s death was received by his trainers.
“The outcome has devastated both police dog handlers and RSPCA staff who cared for and trained Tyson over a number of months.”
Tyson was put down solely because he looked like a pit bull, even though resources had already been used in his training to be a police dog. The RSPCA followed the law, even though they disagreed with the ruling. The RSPCA statement from the Philly.com article explains their position.
The RSPCA added that the Breed Standard Laws “punishes certain types of dogs for the way they look and fails to consider a dog’s individual behavior when determining whether or not they are dangerous.
“As a result, dogs whose behavior poses no risk are branded ‘dangerous’ just because of their appearance.”
The pit bull breed is known to be a mix of other breeds, and the dogs have certain unique characteristics including body length, head size, and markings. According to the article published on Philly.com, Miami, Florida uses a check list of 47 items to determine if a dog is, in fact, a pit bull.
Great Britain first passed the Dangerous Dog Act in 1991, which outlawed pit bulls in the U.K. and Wales.
This news comes on the heels of positive pit bull news this week after a pit bull named Ace saved a deaf boy from a fire in Indianapolis, Indiana by licking the boys face until he woke. This, coupled with another positive story from last fall in which a pit bull alerted a mother when a four-year-old boy fell unconscious after a drop in blood sugar levels, help prove that pit bulls are only as mean and vicious as they are raised to be.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) calls the breed “affectionate, loyal and gentle with children,” and explains that pit bulls suffer from a reputation as being a “macho dog.”
Whatever the reason, an innocent dog–one being trained to do good–was put to death just because it looked like a pit bull. That is the biggest crime of all.
[Image Courtesy of telegraph.co.uk]