You may already be outraged about Irish politician Alan Tobin’s Facebook post, in which he applauds and takes credit for some new signs – with pictures – of so-called “dangerous breeds of dogs.”
The dogs on Tobin’s sign include American Pit Bull Terriers, Bull Mastiffs, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, German Shepherds, Japanese Akitas, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Doberman Pinschers, English Bull Terriers, and Japanese Tosas. Under Irish law, they must be muzzled and otherwise restrained in public.
That law is much criticized, considering both peer-reviewed and purr-reviewed evidence shows that breed-specific laws are nonsense and that Ireland’s breed-specific dog laws seem to have led to a decrease in public safety.
Plus, of course, there are millions upon millions of Pit Bulls, Bull Mastiffs, German Shepherds, Akitas, Ridgebacks, Dobermans, Bull Terriers, and Tosas living happily, quietly, peacefully, adorably – albeit occasionally fartily – in family homes.
But not according to Tobin.
“It still amazes me that some people think these dogs are ideal family pets,” he wrote on his Facebook page (which seems to be set to the lowest possible privacy settings, just FYI).
Now, when we say this Facebook post provoked a buttload of fantastic reactions, we are being quite literal.
We saw one very funny photo showing a blockhead pooping right onto one of Tobin’s campaign signs, for example — but just try to find it a second time, would you? It’s been buried in a rather astonishing 250 thousand comments.
Comments that are overwhelmingly, scathingly critical of Tobin’s take on Pit Bulls and the other “dangerous dogs” pictured on that sign he’s so proud of.
More than that, thousands upon thousands of folks have been posting photos of their own beloved dogs, who belong to breeds on that terrible sign.
The photos are, of course, just wonderful.
Like seriously heartwarming and adorable.
Plus, there’s a petition, asking for Tobin to resign. It’s been signed by more than 8,000 people and counting.
Páraic ÓSúilleabháin – author of the study cited above, showing that Ireland’s breed-specific laws correspond with an increase in dog bites – said to the Irish Examiner he hopes that the conversation surrounding Tobin-gate (Tobin-sign?) will lead to breed-neutral laws promoting responsible dog ownership.
“For the last 20 years countries have been getting rid of breed-specific restriction in favor of what I have mentioned above. We are behind international best practice on this,” he said (correctly).
“In my mind it’s the exact same as racism in society. There is simply no place for it,” Barry Talt, who started the anti-Tobin petition, tells BarkPost. “Dogs should be judged individually.”
Of course, we did not need more proof that Tobin is wrong, given ample personal experience plus the studies we mentioned above.
It has, however, been very useful to see this massive public reaction. Because if there is an upside to Tobin’s offensive Facebook post – and, bear with us here – it’s in the passionate, enormous response.
A response which sure seems to indicate that it’s beyond time for laws that discriminate against dogs by breed to be put down, once and for all.
Really, how many more signs do we need?
Featured image via Alan Tobin