The animal charity posted the tragic video of Bailey, a “gentle and kind” dog who came into their care. The RSPCA was forced to put him to sleep due to Breed Specific Legislation (BSL), which labels certain types of dogs as “dangerous” due to their appearance. The video shows Bailey playing with staff from the charity hours before he was euthanised in February 2017.
RSPCA chief veterinary officer Caroline Allen said: “Bailey was a lovely, friendly, happy dog. He was gentle and kind, playful and fun-loving.
“In any other circumstances we’d have helped him get better, sent him to one of our rehoming centres and found him a wonderful family to spend the rest of his life with.
“But Bailey’s life was tragically and unfairly cut short due to BSL.”
Bailey was one of 81 dogs the RSPCA was forced to put down in 2017 due to the law, despite many of the pooches being suitable for rehoming.
The Dangerous Dogs Act makes it illegal to own dogs which are banned breeds.
Dr Sam Gaines, RSPCA dog welfare expert and lead author on the Breed Specific Legislation: A Dog’s Dinner report, said: “Bailey’s story is heartbreaking and, sadly, it’s one I hear all too often.
“These are dogs who have shown no signs of aggressive behaviour and given no indications that they would be unsuitable for rehoming.
“They pose no risk to public safety but are labelled ‘dangerous’ simply because they look a certain way.
“They’ve scored a certain number of ticks on a check list and that has sealed their fate.
“BSL is an outdated, ineffective and unjust piece of legislation that urgently needs replacing.
“We need to change this law not only to save the lives of thousands more dogs like Bailey, but also to better protect public safety.”
Last month, the Government refused to commit to changing the legislation which labels four types of dogs – the Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasileiro – as dangerous.
The RSPCA has been campaigning for a more effective law to replace it since 2016.
Sign the RSPCA’s petition to end BSL here.