Ledy brings things into focus quite well in this article.
Jon Stewart, Pit Bulls, and Media Hysteria
The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear was a huge success on Saturday. While Jon Stewart was calling out the media for stoking fear, I was safely nestled on the couch with our three adopted pit bulls, Che, Bella Abzug, and Karma. Stewart's words could easily describe the pit bull controversy: "The press can hold its magnifying glass up to our problems or they can use that magnifying glass to light ants on fire." The media hysteria surrounding American Pit Bull Terriers has been lighting them on fire — resulting in the mass euthanasia of these dogs simply because of their appearance. Instead, the media's magnifying glass should focus on the real public safety issue: reckless owners of any dog.It's not much of a stretch to think Stewart would agree with applying his words to pit bulls. Though animal issues don't come up often on The Daily Show, Jon Stewart is a known animal lover and has two pit bulls of his own — Shamsky and Monkey.
The province of Ontario, under Dalton McGuinty's direction, legislated a ban on 3 purebred breeds (all three are among some of the rarest breeds in Canada/less than 1000 all breeds combined in Ontario) and tossed in "pitbulls" or rather any dog substantially similar to any of the named purebreds.
Some examples of the insane regulations that apply to this legislation are;
- Every dog owner in the province is at the mercy of the animal control officer/peace officer performing the identifying. You cannot prove the lineage of any mix or non registered dog. You may have the biggest/hairiest dog but if an animal control officer/peace officer deems your dog a "pitbull" it is up to you the owner to prove it is not!
- That folks is called reverse onus. It is impossible to prove a negative or rather that something is not something else. You and your non registered dog are doomed no matter what you say or do.
- You may not enter the province with any dog of the 3 named purebreds or any "pitbull". (Refer to breed ID problems or any non registered dog)
- No dog may be imported into the province; any dogs deemed falling under the legislation that were born after November 29th, 2005 are automatically booked a date to die.
- No dog deemed to be falling under the legislation may bite any human or domestic animal or menace. There is no definition for either bite or menace in the legislation. As is stood for Ginger's ruling a bite includes a puppy bite/defensive bite/accidental bite/any bite. If a criminal breaks into your home and your dog bites the criminal to protect your property; your dog has less rights than the criminal and receives a date to die! There is no explanation of menace so this is also left up to the interpretation of the court.
- Contrary to Liberal spew, this law is 100% based on LOOKS not BEHAVIOR of any dog. The dog does not have to do anything wrong, simply needs to "look" a certain way. This law was NOT based on fact or science. Is it a well written law? Absolutely. It was written by constitutional lawyers and law professors. Is it based on rational or fact? Absolutely 100% NO!
In Ginger's case, her owners mother was out for a walk with her. It was 2 months exactly after the law took effect. To be safe, since Ginger is a short haired mutt of unknown lineage, they were compliant with the law and she was leashed and muzzled. Another off leash dog named Buddy that is a Border Collie/Shepherd type dog, got into a squabble with Ginger and tore off her muzzle. Ginger received damage under her one eye that is permanent. Consequently the muzzle was taken as evidence by the city be subsequently "lost" before the court date. Ginger retaliated and Buddy's owner got in on the business end of the squabble. She was bitten but did not require hospital attention.
Animal control was called and Toronto Animal Services charged and seized Ginger. The city illegally held Ginger for 3 1/2 years in the pound. Ginger's owner hired a lawyer but the fact the city was illegally impounding Ginger was overlooked.
The case was taken over by Clay Ruby last summer. Ginger was sprung from the pound. Ginger was finally back with her owner after nearly 4 years. Many dogs wouldn't have lived through that experience unscathed, however Ginger picked up where she left off. Her mental and physical scars fell away and in true dog form living in the now, she adjusted quickly to life back with her owner.
A justice of the peace granted the city’s application in 2007 to have Ginger destroyed, but Ontario Court Justice Mary Hogan set aside that destruction order last year. Hogan said legislation introduced by the province in 2005, which amended the Dog Owners’ Liability Act and targeted pit bulls, was ambiguously worded. It could be interpreted to mean judges must always order a pit bull destroyed once it has bitten or attacked another person, she said, but it could also be read as requiring judges to first determine whether destruction is necessary for public safety.
The city of Toronto appealed Justice Hogan's decision. The city was granted an appeal. The city brought in the provincial Liberal government to intervene.
The ruling of the court of appeal disagreed with Justice Hogan and overturned her decision.
“Respectfully,” Blair said Thursday, Hogan’s “interpretation … is not tenable, in my view.”New evidence is not allowed in court of appeal. As part of the argument, Ruby asked the court to kick the case back down to a municipal level. New evidence could then be brought up and the appeal court did not need to rule in favor of killing a good dog based on the draconian law.
The legislation is clear, he said, that when it comes to pit bulls, one bite or attack, or one menacing act by the dog, requires a court to issue a destruction order.
Dog squabbles happen all the time. This in no way indicates a dog is aggressive or a danger to public safety. It is irrational to think dogs must maintain composure no matter the circumstance. This may be likened to someone walking down the street minding their own business (wearing handcuffs *muzzle*) when someone comes up and punches you in the face. The handcuffs fall off now your hands are free. Do you retaliate? Probably. It is nature's way to retaliate in some way to an unwarranted attack.
We had a fundraising event this past summer. Ginger and her owner attended the event. It was held in a night club on Queen St. W. There was a band (loud music) and a lot of people milling around. It was dark and loud. Where was Ginger? in the middle of the floor on her back, getting belly rubs!! She has such a balanced temperament. I know a lot of dogs and including my own I don't know of too many that would subject themselves to such a vulnerable position in a loud packed room full of strangers!
Ginger passed her CGN Canine Good Neighbor test in August. She passed with flying colors! I witnessed this with my own two eyes. The CGN test is a CKC certified test performed by a CKC certified evaluator.
There are 12 steps to the CGN test:
1. Accepting a friendly stranger
2. Politely accepts petting
3. Appearance and grooming
4. Out for a walk
5. Walking through a crowd
6. Sit/down on command and stay in place
7. Come when called
8. Praise and interaction
9. Reaction to a passing dog
10. Reaction to distraction
11. Supervised isolation
12. Walking through a door/gate
The last paragraph of the ruling makes me sick to my stomach.
I recognize this decision will be difficult for Mr. Huggins, and the result perhaps
incomprehensible to him. Like pet owners generally, he is undoubtedly very fond of
Ginger and sees her as the friendly dog and docile pet his mother portrayed at trial. The legislature has decided, however – as it is entitled to do – that pit bulls are inherently dangerous animals that pose a risk to public safety by their very presence in public places. The language of s. 4(8) is clear and unambiguous about what is to happen when a pit bull contravenes its provisions, and must be given effect.
“R.A. Blair J.A.”
“I agree D. O’Connor A.C.J.O.”
“I agree Janet Simmons J.A.”
RELEASED: November 4, 2010
I hope one day the heavy gauntlet of justice falls onto those who have contributed to the deaths of thousands of innocent souls. Souls that were killed not based on behavior; which behavior is learned at the hands of a human owner, but simply for looking a certain way. Legislated to die based on absolute propaganda, media hype, myth and bullshit.
Ginger getting her CGN test...
I am sorry sweet girly that Dalton McGuinty and his henchmen,this province and the city of Toronto let you down. I am ashamed to say I am from Ontario.
Thanks Dalton McGuinty for making this province such a hell hole. I demand you resign your position as premier of this province! You are fired! This province will be years digging out from beneath the hole you have created. I hope you are proud of being the worst premier this province has ever witnessed!Take your right wing, hyper conservative views and shove them up your ass because we the people of this province don't share your fascist views.