Friday, February 29, 2008

Charges dropped in dog owner case

Finally a bit of good news!
Caveat ran a story on a case August 1, 2007.  
I went to court (all 4 dates) and supported the person charged in this case yesterday. We withheld all information previous to the court date. I am going to continue to withhold the name of the person charged, but what I will tell you is this case took place in Barrie, Ontario.
I am pleased to tell you all charges were dropped against this young single mother!
The hell this woman went through in the past 7 months is enough to scare anyone. Luckily this woman got in touch with her vet immediately, who put her in touch with someone in the SBTCC. (Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of Canada) That person in turn, put her in touch with me. We (DLCC) stood beside her every step of the way and offered support and resources. We referred her to a lawyer, who has done some outstanding work with the Sarnia case, this one and others.  Kudos to Christopher Avery.
Some points to consider when mulling this case over in your head.
* The woman's ex-mother in law complained to the city she was in fear of her grandchildren's lives because their mother had 'pitbulls'. The pup was 4 months old (hound cross) and the other was a year and half old JRT mix.
* The ACO officer initially left a card in her door to make an appointment to come and license her dogs. She let him in her apartment thinking he was there to simply get her to tag her dogs (which she was prepared to do). He began taking pictures of her dogs and asked her if she knew anything about the ban. She was puzzled not thinking she owned banned dogs. Her young daughters began to get upset and cry asking if the man was going to take their dogs. He eventually pulled her into the hallway and gave her until 3pm the next afternoon to surrender her dogs for death. The AC officer told the prosecutor yesterday he did not seize the dogs immediately because of the children.
* The AC officer showed up the next day and the dogs were not there. She told him "the dogs are gone". She then told him to charge her or go away and closed the door. The dogs were put in hiding and were never surrendered to AC. If they had been surrendered, they would have dropped the charges, but her dogs would now be dead! She was charged under DOLA 3 weeks later. Had the charges not been dropped, she could have been facing 6 months in jail and/or 10,000.00 fine!
Do you think this couldn't happen to you?
Well think again! This is happening all over Ontario!
Think you are safe cause you don't own a 'pit bull'? Well think again! There have been dogs of all shapes and sizes seized and killed for being accused of being a banned dog in Ontario! Over 2000 dogs have now been killed in Ontario. This number is growing at a rapid rate.  Caveat posted the checklist used in this case.
No one is safe and no one is immune.
We saved the Barrie dogs yesterday, but we lost Munchie this week. Rambo is still pending as are many other dogs sitting in pounds all over the province.
Sounds like some sick game doesn't it? Keeping score of how many we have lost and saved.. Nice game the Fiberals are playing with Ontario dog owners! Very sick indeed!
I am ashamed to live in this province!

Labrador mix named Munchie killed in Toronto

Munchie, the lab mix involved in a high profile case in Toronto, was killed on Monday according to the Toronto Star.

Munchie lab mix
Two young female Ryerson University students were the owners of Munchie.  Here is an excerpt from the story at Caveat:
The case began last September when Munchie escaped his downtown backyard. A scuffle ended with Munchie's quarantine and criminal charges against the man the dog is alleged to have attacked.
Sheila Yeung, one of Munchie's owners, said her neighbour had previously threatened to kill the dog and on that day he attacked the dog with a knife. When the dog broke free of his grasp, it ran into the house, she said.
Yeung, a 21-year-old Ryerson student, said she locked her door only to have the man break in, make threats and hold her at knifepoint. That man currently faces charges including uttering threats, break and enter and threatening with a weapon. None of the allegations has been proven in court.
But the man claims he and his dog were bitten. As a result, Munchie was quarantined and has remained with Animal Services since.
In October, Animal Services classified Munchie as a pit bull, and a threat to the safety of others.
Yeung said the dog is gentle and friendly. Munchie is a mutt who looks like a chocolate Lab, she said.
As of Feb 14, 2008 the court upheld a decision by Toronto Animal Services to have the 4-year-old dog destroyed. Munchie has 30 days to live, pending an appeal. Unfortunately this case cost the students over 15,000.00 in legal costs. An appeal would have been very expensive and difficult to win.  Munchie paid the highest price. He paid with his life.
In my opinion, it sounds as if these girls had a dirt bag neighbour with an axe to grind. He was in jail 9 days before offering up the information he had been allegedly bitten by Munchie. The police said he had a scratch and why would he wait 9 days before offering up this information?
Thank you again Michael Bryant and the Liberal government of Ontario, for providing the opportunity, to people with a vendetta, to put the victim and their dog on the chopping block! I have been actively involved in many cases in Ontario and most of them have a neighbour or family member (usually of the "ex" persuasion) who have lodged a complaint, which resulted in the dog ending up in custody and later dead.
Well known Animal Behaviourist, Cheryl Smith, performed an assessment on Munchie. Here is an excerpt from that assessment:
Even under less optimum conditions, Munchie did not display aggressive behaviour during the entire Assessment.
To read the full report of the assessment go to Munchie's blog.
Caveat was in touch with the owners of Munchie. The girls gave Caveat some details into the case. There are some disturbing details that Caveat wrote in this story. Check it out!
I am outraged at the state of this province! I have been involved in this fight against breed discrimination for the last 5 years, and even though I must say I have "toughened" up, my heart bleeds for the thousands of dogs that have lost their lives to this INSANE law!