Success! Coco the Puppy Gets to Come Home
On July 3 of this year, little Thomas watched his best friend, a puppy named Coco, get taken away from him.
Thomas and his mom Stacey live in Merseyside, in the north west of England, where they were out walking Coco when police noticed the dog, which is a Dogue de Bordeaux cross American bulldog.
For Thomas and Stacey, Coco was an adorable puppy, but for Merseyside police Coco was a dangerous threat.
Later that day, the police came to Stacey’s front door; even though they didn’t have a warrant, they informed her that her dog had characteristics of a pit bull and that they were taking the animal away.
Both mom and child were devastated by this, and when Diane Coles heard about it, she decided to create a Care2 petition, directed at the Merseyside Police Force and DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs). Coles demanded that Coco be allowed to come home to her loving family.
The petition garnered almost 3,000 signatures worldwide from Care2 members, angry at the suffering inflicted on a poor innocent dog and her family.
And it worked! Thanks to all the activists who signed up to support Coco, the puppy is now home with her loving family.
Check out this adorable video, and you’ll see how much Thomas loves his puppy friend:
As the petition now reads, “I really do hope that this government and DEFRA are getting the message – Breed Specific Legislation has NEVER and WILL NEVER work!”
Congratulations to Coles and to Stacey and Thomas!
What is Breed Specific Legislation?
Sadly, many people in the U.K. have had their dogs seized recently, mostly for being “pit bull type.”
Breed-specific legislation, or BSL, refers to laws that pertain to only certain breeds. In the U.K., the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act (DDA) states that residents may not own pit bull terriers, Japanese Tosas, Dogo Argentinos and Fila Brasileiros, as well as any crossbreeds that look like pit bulls.
BSL also exists in more than 700 U.S. cities, also targeting pit bulls and breeds that look similar.
BSL is unfair because it affects responsible owners and well-behaved dogs, just because of their appearance. The police who knocked on Stacey’s door had no specific knowledge of her dog. They just decided that Coco had some traits of a pit bull, so she must be dangerous.
As Care2’s Laura Goldman writes here, BSL has been referred to as “breedism” because of its similarity to racism in people.
BSL Is Both Ineffective And Unfair
It has proven to be both ineffective and unfair, and is opposed by every major animal welfare organization in the U.S., as well as President Obama.
It is also opposed by the U.K.’s Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). Earlier this year, on the 25th anniversary of the DDA, the RSPCA released a report exposing the “ineffectiveness, flaws and negative impact of the breed-specific law.”
At Care2, we have reported on numerous instances of families being torn apart by BSL legislation.
Last year,Marley the pit bull was removed from her home in Derby, England, just one week before Christmas, even though she was a loving dog who showed no signs of aggression. It took seven months for Marley to be returned to her family.
And earlier this year, Diggy the Dog was separated from his dad from BSL laws. Three months later, he was returned after 110,000 people signed a Care2 petition. Two veterinarians had declared that Diggy was an American bulldog, not a pit bull, which meant he would get to stay in his loving home.
Coco, Marley and Diggy are the lucky ones. Numerous other dogs have been taken away never to be seen again.
If you live in a city with an ordinance that bans certain breeds, urge your local officials to remove these ordinances with a Care2 petition. They really do make a difference.
Photo Credit: Stacey Bosanquet