In 2017, Sir Patrick Stewart welcomed a foster Pit Bull named Ginger into his Los Angeles home. After 48 hours in her company, Stewart and his wife, Sunny Ozell, knew that they would become “foster failures” and adopt Ginger as their own. However, when the couple began the process of relocating Ginger to their home in the English countryside, they were blindsided by the harsh realities of the UK’s breed specific restrictions.
In a September 11 Facebook post Ozell wrote:
“It was only then that we learned about the UK’s antiquated and tragic breed-specific legislation that includes “pit bulls”. The legislation itself is opaque, draconian, and truly hard to decipher.”
Stewart and Ozell were forced to make the heartbreaking decision to rehome the dog, rather than “take any risk with Ginger’s life” by moving her to the UK. The couple currently splits their time between New York and England, but recently had the chance to visit with Ginger in Los Angeles where she is undergoing physical therapy after knee surgery.
Once she has recovered, Stewart and Ozell plan to help Ginger find her forever home “with a family who is ready for the best pibble snuggles in the world.” Wags & Walks, the L.A. rescue group that matched Ginger with the couple in March, will assist with her re-homing.
Although Ginger clearly has a bright future ahead, Stewart and Ozell are saddened by what they see as the UK’s outdated, unfair laws against Pit Bulls.
Sir Patrick shared his opinions with the Press Association at London’s Animal Hero Awards on September 7.
“She was a rescue dog in California, but she’s a pit bull and there is this stupid ruling about breed-specific legislation and pit bulls are banned.”
The 77-year-old actor added:
“I understand why it was put in place, but it doesn’t address what the real issues are about the possibility of dangerous dogs. In most cases, and certainly in the case of pit bulls, it is not the dog that is the problem, it is always the owner.”
Stewart has vowed to continue fighting for the rights of dogs like Ginger, saying it is “high-time” the legislation was reexamined and that it should be amended to target the owners rather than the animals.
The couple checks in on Ginger weekly and hopes to remain a part of her life.
“Ginger remains our Angel in Fur: gentle, intelligent, loving, silly, attentive,” Ozell’s Facebook post concludes. “Stay ‘tuned’ for more Ginger updates, and please donate to your local rescue organization, or adopt/foster a shelter dog. You can’t imagine the love it brings into your life.”
H/T to Independent.ie
Featured Image via Facebook/Patrick Stewart