Police have likely scarred this dog and her family forever.
Breed-Specific Legislation (BSL) is a hotly-debated topic, but the fact of the matter is that it hurts many humans and their perfectly-trained dogs. If you’re not sure what BSL is, it’s when a city, county, state, or even country bans or restricts certain types of dogs based on their appearance or resemblance to a “dangerous” breed.
That’s what the Armer family was up against when the police came to take away their beloved mixed-breed dog, Darla, because she looked like a pit bull.
Maddison Armer, a 7-year-old girl with autism that lives in England, knew what the police came for and decided to lock herself in the bathroom, along with her best friend Darla. Maddison did all she could to keep them safe in the bathroom, but police eventually got the door open and pried Darla from Maddison’s hands.
England’s Dangerous Dogs Act says that any dog that looks like a pit bull can be lawfully seized and euthanized by their county. In just the last three years, 5,000 dogs have been euthanized across England and Wales due to this law.
While it’s already problematic that the entire breed and its look-alikes are unrightfully banned, what’s worse is that Darla isn’t even mixed with pit bull. She’s a Shar-Pei and Staffordshire bull terrier, but her looks alone could have her sentenced to death.
Maddison’s mother, Jenny Armer, wrote on Facebook:
“Darla has never bit, nipped or even growled at anyone or anything. Her nature is very soft and loving. She has been taken for the fact that she looks like a banned breed.”
Darla is currently in an undisclosed location pending an investigation into their case, which is more than most dogs and their humans get under BSL. Most of the time, a dog’s lineage or their temperament are not evaluated at all and they are instead, quite literally, at face value.
Jenny explained to The Mirror that their options are limited, but that they aren’t giving up:
“They told me I could sign a disclaimer to have her put to sleep or I could fight the decision in the court. I have to fight it because she is Maddison’s best friend. She helps keep her calm. If Maddison is having problems, Darla comes and gets me.”
You can help get Darla back home with her family and best friend by signing this petition. Public outcry has worked in the past to get dogs on the exemption list for this breed-specific legislation, and getting Darla back means the world to this family.
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