"What are you?" Photo from Today's Arthur.
So I needed a photo to illustrate the boundless, staggering ignorance that is BSL [breed specific legislation], and specifically the obscenely boundless, staggering, Orwellian idiocy that is BSL in Ontario, Canada; and sure enough, Google Images turned up a perfect photo — the one above. More about the source of that photo in a minute.
Is the dog in that photo a pit bull? Of course he'd be a pit bull if he'd bitten someone and the media picked up the story, but what if he were a friendly, tail-waggin', obedient stray? Would he be a pit bull then — or a lab mix, or a Heinz 57?
"Perhaps a more scientific approach is warranted: say, reading tea leaves, flipping a coin or spelling out the breed name using a ouija board."The question takes on a certain urgency in Ontario, Canada, where the answer determines whether the dog can be put up for adoption. Excellent behavior and flawless temperament be damned: if the answer is "pit bull," the dog must be killed.
Where is Oprah when you really need her?
Blogger John Stewart of the Mississauga News holds idiocy's feet to the fire:
[Ward 6 Councillor Carolyn] Parrish is incensed by a part of the [animal control shelter] policy which outlines what will happen in cases where stray dogs are picked up and there is doubt in the minds of officials about whether or not it is a pit bull.File under "Evil: banality of." Read all of Stewart's excellent post here, and check out the comments, including this gem by LauraG:
That procedure calls for a "pit bull identification voting card" to be posted on the kennel of the dog in question."All full-time officers and full-time shelter cleaner are eligible to vote. Each staff member is allotted one vote per animal. Once the allotted time has expired, the voting card shall be removed and brought to the animal services manager for a tally of the votes. Should a tie occur, the animal services manager shall have the final and deciding vote.An incredulous Parris says, "a dog's fate is decided by who walks through the room during the days that they are voting and whether they vote yes or no. The caretaker can be the deciding vote. And our manager only gets to vote to break a tie."
"If the dog is found NOT to be a pit bull, the dog may be moved up to the adoption room as long as it has met or exceeded all other adoption criteria as specified under the shelter's screening process. This shall include, but is not limited to, the dog's temperament, health condition and age.
If the dog is found to be a pit bull, the dog shall be euthanized in a reasonable time frame."
Never mind the details of the vote procedure.
The bigger problem here is the absolute inanity of a law that is based on something as flimsy as someone's personal opinion on whether an animal has "substantially similar" characteristics to a pit bull.
What we have here is a reverse beauty pageant with death as the door prize for any perceived loser.
Perhaps a more scientific approach is warranted: say, reading tea leaves, flipping a coin or spelling out the breed name using a ouija board.Oprah!!!
None of these is any more ridiculous than the current "methodology". It would be laughable if it weren't such a tragedy for the dogs and the people who love them.
Now for the good, the beautiful and the true. First, I've added a section of links [in the right sidebar] to some most excellent border collie blogs. The writer/photographers are good, smart, talented people with smart, talented dogs and [in many cases] livestock, which may or may not be smart and talented but is invariably well cared for. I'm so happy these folks are blogging and so happy I've discovered their blogs I could just plotz. Most of these bloggers are also regular posters on the Border Collie Boards, as I am when I'm not bloggin' bloggin' bloggin'.
The photo up above was discovered on a site-featuring-rescue-dogs masquerading as a terrific blog: Today's Arthur. The blogger loves pibbles, loves photography, loves collie/spaniel mix Arthur, of course, and comes up with stuff like this. And this. What's not to love? [Besides the end of spring break, but that's another post.]
Oprah, where are yooooooo...?
Edited to add: Slaps self upside head for neglecting to thank the wonderful Caveat for the John Stewart link.