A WROUGHTON dog called Teddy currently languishes in a pound and faces death.
The two-year-old animal, as you’ll know if you read our story about him the other day, hasn’t actually done anything wrong.
He isn’t accused of barking all day and night and, as far as anybody knows, he hasn’t chewed so much as a slipper, let alone a person. In fact, his owner’s little girl is fond of using him as a pillow.
Teddy’s only crime is that some official or other looked at him and decided he wasn’t an American bulldog but a pitbull – a banned breed under our current dangerous dogs legislation.
As far as I can tell, there are only two possible logical responses to situations like this.
The first is to admit that our dangerous dog legislation makes about as much sense as a bunch of words selected at random from The Big Book of Nonsensical Legalese.
We should say the dangerous dog laws were put in place by politicians eager to be seen to do something, anything, about a problem – but without actually doing anything useful at all.
Unfortunately for public safety and many innocent dogs destroyed in the years since, the something the politicians wanted to be seen doing something about was dangerous dogs savaging people.
Had the politicians been interested in actually tackling the problem, they might have commissioned some research into why the savagings happened.
In fact, they needn’t have even bothered with commissioning research, as the truth was so obvious that it would have been detectable to even the dimmest office assistant – yes, even the one who was only hired because mummy or daddy went to the same public school as the MP in question.
The truth, of course, was that the dangerous dogs were only dangerous because of the owners. Sometimes those owners were well-meaning people who took on boisterous animals they weren’t up to the task of training.
More often the owners were the dregs of the earth, people who took on animals not because they wanted to love, care for and train those animals, but because they were psychologically inadequate.
When a person is so lacking in brainpower that a prawn could beat them at draughts, strutting around with a snarling, untrained, brutalised animal on a lead counts as a sort of prestige.
“Look at me,” they can day, “I may be as thick as congealed mince and several times as useless but I’m dead hard.”
What the politicians should have done was enact laws to prevent such people from owning so much as a hamster, but doing so would have taken research, debate, ingenuity and hard work. Instead, they decided to ban certain types of dog – or any dog that so much as looked like certain types of dog.
There are two net results. One is that any number of good dogs – like Teddy – from loving, decent homes – like Teddy’s – must suffer. Meanwhile, people are still savaged by legal breeds of dog owned by quarter-brained thugs.
Of course, there is another way of looking at this situation. We might apply the logic behind dangerous dog legislation to other aspects of life.
Politicians, for example.
There have been some horrific newspaper stories over the years about politicians lying, thumping people, committing horrific crimes of perversion, fiddling their expenses, flipping their houses, and doing all manner of other dreadful things.
Clearly we should ban politicians.
Yes, I know not all politicians do bad things, but you can’t be too careful.
To the pound with them.