Success! Colin the Dog Is Back Home With His Family
By: Frances Donnelly
May 17, 2016
Colin, a soft and loving family pet, was seized from his home in January and faced a death sentence simply for being the wrong breed. Overly simplistic Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) in the UK means that dogs can be taken from their homes and even killed, based solely on their appearance.
Gentle Colin, who is ‘best mates’ with his family’s seven-year-old daughter, has never bitten anyone. He has never been dangerous or violent. Yet Colin was taken away, locked up, and scheduled to be destroyed. His owners were distraught, but they fought back. Working with anti-BSL campaigner Diane Coles, they created a Care2 petition to bring Colin home. More than 69,000 Care2 members signed to support Colin and his family.
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After months of heartache and worry, Colin got his day in court, and was thankfully added to the Index of Exempted Dogs. Now he is finally back home with his loved ones!
This is a great outcome not only for Colin and his owners, but also for anti-BSL campaigners throughout the UK. Too many dogs are being needlessly put to sleep under BSL’s rigid restrictions. Fortunately, petitions like the one Colin’s family created are helping to increase public awareness and concern, which in turn is helping to build the case for updated and fit-for-purpose legislation.
While Colin’s trial under BSL has ended with his being added to the Index of Exempted Dogs, it is only on very strict terms. He must always wear a muzzle in public, even in a car, and his owners must have up-to-date insurance. Any failure to comply will result in Colin being put to sleep. This ruling reflects how rigid BSL is in even the most winnable cases for the gentlest of dogs.
Colin’s story is part of the bigger fight against BSL — a fight for hundreds more dogs like Colin. Anti-BSL campaigners like Diane say it’s now time for the UK to replace breed-specific legislation with more humane and sensible legislation that doesn’t put families and their dogs through cruel incarcerations, stressful court cases and needless deaths. Fellow UK Care2 member Phil has started his own petition urging the the Right Honorable Liz Truss, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to repeal this ineffectual, discriminatory legislation now. His petition is making a deep impression among Care2 members, as more than 107,000 people have signed so far. Thanks to many committed activists all over the world, things are changing, with BSL outlawed in 19 US states, including Massachusetts. Phil’s petition could help bring about many more happy stories in the UK.
Colin, for now, is enjoying life with his family, and they are overjoyed to have their sweet and loving companion back home where he belongs.