Sunday, January 15, 2012
Seized in Holland
Dogs are seized, of any breed, that are perceived as dangerous. If your Jack Russel or Yorkshire terrier jumps up to a person to greet, you risk your dog will be seized, as jumping up can be explained as dangerous behavior. Pounds are filled with dogs of any breed. Many have done nothing more than jumping up on people.
To prevent euthanization people can file a request to let their dog undergo a "Good Citizen" test. Most don't even bother, but for those that fight on to have their dog returned, an unpleasant surprise awaits. The dogs are kept in isolation, visits are not allowed, deprived of any contact or sunlight, and they have to wait for months, in some cases more than a year, to undergo the test. Needless to say how traumatized the dogs become, with almost no chance whatsoever to pass the test.
The Dutch "Workgroup for Assistance of Seized Dogs" tries to change all of this. They educate and inform the public, but also does an effort to help municipalities and counties to change their rule set and become aware of the unfair chance they give to the dogs and their owners. The workgoup's aim is that all seized dogs should undergo a fair test, and not be kept in the pound. And every dog should have the opportunity to get a second chance, and to be rehabilitated and socialized, before being tested.
Together with Martin Gaus (the Dutch Victoria Stillwell) the workgroup also steps in to help individual owners and dogs. With the socialization training they provide, many dogs have been rehabilitated and are living happy with their owners again, or are re-homed. The famous pit bull Ruby, that was sentenced to death 4 times, was one of these dogs.
The next video is showing how they rehabilitated Boran the Rottweiler. Boran was seized after a minor bite incident. He was kept in isolation for months and became completely traumatized. He failed the "Good Citizen" test as a result. After the workgroup was allowed to step in and provided training for Boran, he passed the test and could return to his owners.
Not all dogs make it. Some become so traumatized, their spirit never returns. Although the Dutch should be proud they repealed their breed specific legislation and stopped the discrimination of pit bull type dogs, they still have a long way to go towards a society that treats it's dogs fair. The workgroup is making a big effort to become that change for the dogs in Holland.