Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Post-show blues

Last night's BBC1 Documentary was a depressing affair. 
Did it tell anyone anything they didn't already know? Did it move anything further on? What were your feelings after watching the show? 
I was disappointed they didn't uncover some more of the facts about the dog that killed the little boy 'looked after' by his Granny. Took me a few seconds on Google to discover that Pit Bulls were being bred in that house, that two of his three dogs had fought - one to the death. One of the two left was heavily pregnant with 11 pups and their owner had just left to join the army leaving Gran in charge of his pack.
Not aware of the DDA? Come on. 
Not aware that these dogs could turn - after one had killed it's companion? I think that puts this 'surprise' unforeseeable attack into a completely different context and puts their proposed muzzle-every-dog all-the-time solution into the crazy deluded bin. 
We saw a lovely dog dying, people crying about the child they had lost, people and dogs living in terrible conditions, people not coping with life generally and having their innocent dogs taken away to be killed. All in all a very depressing film with not much conclusion apart from society is in a mess. If we were to revisit the same houses and look at every other aspects of those lives we could probably further depress ourselves. 
Reminded me of the Big Fat Gypsy Wedding school of documentary - where we take a sneaky look in and see how different some people's lives are. But we're looking in this case at miserable lives made all the more upsetting when the only creature that loves them unconditionally is ripped from their midst by a bunch of storm troopers because a neighbour has told the police it's a Pit Bull not because it's being bad, or is being neglected. 
The only dog that had actually bitten anyone was released to the owner with seemingly no behaviour advice - someone who didn't much seem to want it back. 
What a wonderful nation we have, what a great legal system and who would do the job of snatching these usually innocent dogs off the streets just to kill them because the tape measure says they're dangerous? 
And are the dogs better off dead than returned to homes that neglect their needs? All seems like madness. 
You need to stop folk breeding these dog - have the neighbours phone in litters rather than pit bulls - and ban casual breeding. That Great Dane cross that was obviously unwell... and giving away Am Bulldog Great Dane crosses... gulp. Why are people doing it? 
Can we stop this at source and stop casual breeding?

6 comments:

Winnie said...

Well said, Beverley.
I can only hope that if nothing else the programme does add weight to the argument that the DDA / BSL doesn't work and needs replacing with emphasis on the owners - of all breeds. But I was certainly left with a feeling of hopelessness and the thought that society is in such a bad state how can we ever hope to turn round the welfare issues facing dogs in the UK? I guess this morning we have to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves down and keep trying to make small steps forward,one at a time.
Thanks for all you are doing.

dalriach said...

I also found this programme disappointing. The message that the law on dangerous dogs doesnt work and urgently needs replacing, was somewhat lost in emotive stuff about the awful conditions in which some of these dogs (and owners) were living, the criminal activities of some of the owners, and the dogs who were not obviously aggressive being put down because of their appearance rather than their behaviour. The programme didnt offer any proposals about HOW the law should be changed, or any clues to whether some breeds of dogs are inherently more likely to be dangerously aggressive or how far their behaviour is caused by their owners and circumstances. I would have liked to see some reputable specialists in dog behaviour giving their views on breeding and genetics v socialisation and environment in producing aggression

Anonymous said...

But as Designer dogs are now prized above well bred/considered ones with pedigrees and breeders who know the temprements of thier dogs for generations (ofetn 30, 40 or 50 yeears worth) can society now blame others who look to breed these dogs for status/fighting/protection and defend the hybred vigour of such crosses?

Anonymous said...

normal rubbish representaion of dogs that we have come to expect on the BBC, its about time there was someone in that organisation who actually knows something about dogs and who the best people/organisations are to talk about them in balanced fair and sensible manner, just hope they dont use that production company again as they messed the subject up big time!

Kirstin said...

I thought the program did show how ridiculous the law was, the police certainly thought the law wasn't correct.. although they didn't show a whole lot of their opinion.

I felt so sorry for Tyson, who was such a lovely dog, and his only crime was being "square" on the measurement scale and having an owner that kept him in squalor & who had already been banned from owning dogs for life after previous dog mistreatment. How can anyone live in a house with two day old dog poo on the floor?!!

The current dog law doesn't work, clearly the people on this film proved this, they didn't know how to look after themselves let alone a dog.

They should bring back licensing which you are only issued with once your home and family have been vetted, initial vet visits undertaken for jabs etc and a good citizenship/puppy training course passed.

The license wouldn't even need to have a cost involved, if you were only issued it once the above steps had been undertaken, and all licensed dogs should have to have a collar with licence number attached by law and be microchipped. That way responsible dog owners that would automatically go through all these steps aren't penalised.

It wouldn't put an end to people being bitten, but neither does the current legistaltion. Making it harder for low life scum and clueless people to own dogs has to go some way to improving things though. In the long run it hopefully would lead to a better quality of life for dogs and may even help reduce the amount of illegal puppy farms.

Of course it would also cost money to implement so unlikely to be enforced, and of course these types of people always find a way to beat the system.

I felt so sorry for the dog that was kept in filth in a shed in the garden, and had never even been walked, the poor dog is probably going to be put to sleep after knowing no quality of life and no love. No wonder she was trying to escape the garden.

Also the dogs in the dangerous dogs kennels, that were so afraid, how poorly they must have bene treated by humans to leave them so fearful. Dogs love us unconditionally, it breaks my heart to see them treated so terribly and then be labelled "dangerous" because the tape measure says so :(

Blackshuck said...

Huge respect to the police officers involved. What a difficult and horrible job. Having just watched the prog. I still have to process my feelings on the owners involved, but its clear that more education - and restriction on owning dogs - is required. It felt like the dogs were often just the scapegoat in a catalogue of societal disasters culminating in dysfunctional families surviving inadequately rather than living.