We first heard about the plight of Kerser, a dog labeled a “pit bull” and ordered to death by Australia’s Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, in March. Under Victorian dangerous dog laws, so-called “pit bulls” are restricted, must be registered, and must adhere to strict containment requirements.
Thankfully, Kerser has won a temporary reprieve from Victorian Supreme Court Justice Michael Croucher who just ruled the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal must reconsider the case.
The broohaha began in December 2012 when Jade Applebee moved to a new home, did not register Kerser as required by the Monash City Council, and the dog slipped away from Appelebee’s home and into a neighbor’s backyard. The Council seized Kerser, declared he was an American Pitbull Terrier (which the Council defines as a “pit bull”) and therefore a restricted breed, and ordered Kerser to be destroyed.
Ms. Applebee has, for the entirety of this year, been fighting in the courts to get Kerser back, while poor Kerser has been kept from his home in an RSPCA kennel. Isn’t it interesting that these governments supposedly define animal cruelty, codify it in their laws, and yet would rather keep an animal caged and confined in a kennel, than in a loving home?
Cruelty to these animals is not going to bring Ayen Chol back. It’s not even going to make communities safer because the same owners who are irresponsible with their dogs will either ignore breed-specific legislation (BSL) or will simply switch to irresponsibly owning other breeds. Just ask Winnipeg whose dog bite rates shot up after their pit bull ban because the criminals that owned and abused “pit bulls” either ignored the BSL, or simply switched to owning and abusing different breeds.
The RSPCA concluded something similar when they wrote in a letter to the Minister for Agriculture and Food Security regarding Australia’s BSL, that,
“The RSPCA does not believe that BSL is in any way effective in preventing or reducing dog attacks, or in protecting the public from dangerous dogs.”
In fact, most well-researched people don’t believe BSL has any efficacy, so why are cities, states, provinces, territories, and even countries still considering BSL and passing it? Why are they wrenching perfectly loved and happy pets from their adoring owners? Why are these governments — small and large — instituting animal cruelty and treating these animals so very cruelly?
[Photo courtesy of ABC Australia and Jade Applebee]