Irish Councillor Slammed on Social Media For “Dangerous Breeds” Po
Martin Luther King Jr. once said “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” The story of Councillor Alan Tobin’s most recent Facebook post is possibly one of the greatest examples of this. And all around the world, pet parents collectively facepalmed:
Recently, Meath Fine Gael (Ireland) Councillor Alan Tobin posted a Facebook update about posters he commissioned for dog parks. The posters have ten dog breeds that are deemed “dangerous” in Ireland, however what really got people up in arms was the Councillor’s statement that accompanied the Facebook. It stated: “As a dog owner I’m absolutely delighted that signs I’ve asked for, with pictures, showing the dangerous breeds of dogs have been erected over the past week. It still amazes me that some people think these dogs are ideal family pets.”
The post went viral, collecting over 35,000 shares and a similar number of reaction, most of them upset over the fact that the Councillor deemed all of these breeds unfit to be part of a family.
One of the most-liked comments on this post was by Maeve O’Donoghue, with over 23,500 likes at the time. “What an un-educated statement to make… mind you I’m not surprised considering Fine Gael are completely ignorant when it comes to animal welfare in Ireland,” the comment read. “Good luck to you because you just made a HUGE mistake posting such a stupid comment.”
Many Facebook users also responded to the Councillor’s photo by posting pictures of their own “dangerous” dogs, including adorable pooches in sweaters with their jaws agape… to yawn. Another one is of a German Shepherd on high alert… to receive hugs from his favorite tiny human girl.
Others have rebutted that it is mostly the small dogs that are usually the ankle-biters who bark and growl at the other dogs and humans and the so-called “dangerous” breed of dog usually just ignores them.
But I guess we can’t expect too much from Councillor Tobin. After all, we’re talking about the country that condemned a dog to die not because it did anything wrong, but because of its linage. The Dangerous Dogs Act was amended in England, Scotland and Wales in 1997 to remove the mandatory death sentence for any dogs identified as pitbulls, however Northern Ireland dragged its heels, finally amending policy in 2011 that well-behaved pitbulls could narrowly escape the unjust law. There have been numerous controversies surrounding Ireland’s harsh stance on Pitbulls. One that comes to mind is Lennox, a therapy dog who was taken from his home and deemed a pitbull based on a tape measure. No DNA testing needed – a dog warden measured the length of his legs and the width of his muzzle, and concluded Lennox was indeed a pitbull (which is a description of a mixed breed dog, not an actual purebred).
The 1992 Control of Dogs Regulation imposes extra rules for these breeds, which are stated on the Councillor’s new signs: American pit bull terrier, English bull terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Bull Mastiff, Dobermann Pinscher, German Shepherd, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Rottweiler, Japanese Akita, Japanese Tosa and Bandog. Under this law, these dogs must be kept on a short leash and lead by a person over 16 years old, wear a collar bearing their owner’s name and address at all times and wear a muzzle whenever they are in public.
As a Councillor in the spotlight with thousands of followers and plenty of people to advise him, you would think he would conduct some research before making such an eye-rolling remark about these breeds and then making multiple signs about it. The law is the law, yes, but the fact that he stated these dogs shouldn’t be family pets is ridiculous. It’s all about how you raise them, Councillor Tobin, and if any dog bites, take a look at the owner before condemning an entire breed (or breed description, as it were).
What do you think about Councillor Tobin’s signs – let us know in the comments below!
More by Diana Faria