Target: Claire Sugden, Minister of Justice for Northern Ireland
Goal: Remove flawed legislation that allows dogs to be taken from their owners and destroyed simply because of their appearance.
A sweet dog may be put down simply because he resembles a pit bull, despite his owners assuring authorities that he is not and that he is far from dangerous. Described as a “gentle giant,” Hank was seized by police and county officials in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on suspicion of being the banned breed. His owners have explained that Hank is not a pit bull and is a Staffie-Labrador crossbreed. Moreover, he is a sweet dog who is playful and affectionate, acts like a puppy, and is slightly scared of cats. Indeed, a dog-training expert who assessed Hank also confirmed that the dog was in no way aggressive.
Despite this, Hank risks being killed because of an absurd and outdated law. Several experts, politicians, and members of the general public oppose breed-specific legislation, rightly noting that it does not fulfill its purpose of preventing dog bites. Instead, it results in the murder of countless gentle and innocent dogs as well as the grief of their loving owners. The legislation has been branded “unhelpful and counter-productive” and it is high time it is abolished altogether to prevent dogs like Hank being unnecessarily killed.
Sign this petition urging authorities to return Hank to his owners and remove breed-specific legislation to ensure no other innocent dogs suffer the same ordeal.
Dear Mrs. Sugden,
An innocent dog is facing euthanasia simply because he resembles a pit bull, despite his owners assurances that he is a Staffie-Labrador mix. Described as a “gentle giant,” Hank the dog was seized from his owners by police and county officials and now risks being needlessly destroyed. According to his owners he is a playful and affectionate dog and behaviorists who have assessed him have found Hank to show no signs of aggression.
It is high time archaic, breed-specific legislation was removed from Northern Ireland, as studies prove that it is a useless and counter-productive way of dealing with dog attacks. Instead, authorities should be monitoring dog ownership, breeders, animal abusers, and dog-fighting operations. Please ensure Hank is urgently returned to his anxious owners and take steps to dismantle the law that puts him and other innocent dogs at unnecessary risk of being killed.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Leonard Collins and Joanne Meadows