Friday, March 28, 2008

Mississauga standard operating procedure for AC

John Stewart has a post on his blog Random Access.
Here is an excerpt from the article:

Ward 6 Councillor Carolyn Parrish finally got her hands on the City's standard operating procedure for its animal control shelter this week. Now she thinks she knows why some officials seemed so reluctant to part with it.
Parrish is incensed by a part of the policy which outlines what will happen in cases where stray dogs are picked up and there is doubt in the minds of officials about whether or not it is a pit bull.
That procedure calls for a "pit bull identification voting card" to be posted on the kennel of the dog in question.
"An e-mail will be sent by the Animal Services Manager regarding the location of the dog and the time span for the vote to all full-time officers and shelter cleaner."
Staff shall vote within five calendar days including the day the card is attached to the kennel.
"All full-time officers and full-time shelter cleaner are eligible to vote. Each staff member is allotted one vote per animal. Once the allotted time has expired, the voting card shall be removed and brought to the animal services manager for a tally of the votes. Should a tie occur, the animal services manager shall have the final and deciding vote.
"If the dog is found NOT to be a pit bull, the dog may be moved up to the adoption room as long as it has met or exceeded all other adoption criteria as specified under the shelter's screening process. This shall include, but is not limited to, the dog's temperament, health condition and age.
If the dog is found to be a pit bull, the dog shall be euthanized in a reasonable time frame."

Read on for the rest of the article...
So I guess this means that if the janitor is in a particularly bad mood on any given day, when a short haired and muscular dog happens into the pound...

WHAT THE HELL NEXT? SPIN THE BOTTLE???  Oh crap.. I better not give anyone any ideas...
h/t Caveat See Caveat's article.. thanks for the heads up

Monday, March 24, 2008

How is your math?

Caveat posted an article about David Zimmer receiving an award from WSPA (World Society for the Protection of Animals).

In December, the AR group WSPA gave the Ontario Liberals an award for their commitment to animal welfare! Zimmer, who was Bryant's right hand man during the enactment of Bill 132 received the award. This award applied to the regulation on roadside zoos, which I personally agree with regulation, however what alarms me is the involvement and possible coaching by AR groups to our provincial government! Have other AR groups have stuck their sticky fingers into the bowl?
Remember this comment from Zimmer during the committee hearing in Barrie, January 27, 2005.

Ms. Holmes is a registered veterinary technician at the Bracebridge Animal Hospital. In an excerpt she asked the question:
Ms. Holmes: And why do we ban -- like I said, this is like trying to ban a particular race or religious group from this province. There are a certain number of dogs that are considered --
Mr. Zimmer: Because they're qualitatively different in the danger when they attack people and/or other animals. They're just qualitatively different.
Ms. Holmes: I have never, ever been attacked by a dog such as a pit bull type of breed. I have been bitten by a chihuahua, but we don't seem to be concerned about those. I've had a chow come at me; we're not concerned about those.
Mr. Zimmer: Did the chihuahua take your leg off?
Ms. Holmes: No, but he did draw blood.
Mr. Zimmer: So does a mosquito.

Caveat had a post back in December when the award was given out. I must have been out Christmas shopping. I don't know why I missed it. I have suspected an AR influence from the beginning since among other red flags, nothing makes sense to me.
Here is a clip from Hansard 2002 with a reference to WSPA. Does this not speak for itself?

Here is an excerpt:
 Radical animal rights groups in Canada certainly will use this new legislation as the basis for legal harassment and unjust prosecutions, and in fact already have stated their intention to do so. The cost of defending an unjust prosecution, even if there eventually is a not guilty verdict, is a burden that ordinary Canadians cannot afford, nor should they be subjected to this burden. The animal rights lobby has argued consistently that legal rights for animals cannot be achieved until animals are no longer considered property under the law. I want to give the House just a few examples that illustrate the true intentions of these groups.
    A lawyer for the World Society for the Protection of Animals, Lesli Bisgould, has been quoted as saying:
In fact, the legal status of animals today is analogous with that of oppressed groups in society over the past century, the right not to be seen as a means to an end, the right not to be property.
What are we (the dog community) going to do about this?
The dog community is going to have to get collectively stronger and stand up tall to end this erosion of dog owners civil rights.
I remember a time when I thought, this can't happen in Canada...
First they came for...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Interesting article in UK K-9 magazine

For those of you who know me, you know I am not into mushy stuff, but when it comes to sarcasm I'm at the front of the line.
This article in the UK K-9 Magazine was posted by a friend of mine and caught my eye.
I think those of us here in Ontariostan and many parts of the US can relate to this..
If you have ever stopped to think about the lunacy of UK dangerous dog laws you aren’t alone.
If we break them down to their simple (and dumbest) form, and apply them to the dog’s perspective, they go something like this:
1) Thou shalt not be a Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Fila Brasileiro or (God forbid) Dogo Argentino.You may be any number of other breeds who are of equal size, strength or share the same family heritage of these dogs. Just don’t be any of these in particular. Got it?
2) Thou shalt not look like a Pit Bull Terrier, even if your parents are not, in any way Pit Bull Terrier ‘like’ you may not look like one upon punishment of execution. Understand? Do not look Pit Bull like. Ever.
3) If you are going to bite someone, make sure you do it in your own home and not in public. One is an offence under the Dangerous Dogs Act, the other is merely a bit of harmless japery.
4) Your owner, who is responsible for your behaviour and, ultimately, your life is 90% certain NOT to know what is contained in the Dangerous Dogs Act. So I guess it’s down to you.
5) If you pull your owner over or if you collide with your owner because you are a big, stupid lump, and your owner needs to get hospital treatment as a result - that will be recorded as a ‘dog attack’ (bad dog you!)
6) If your owner chooses not to socialise you properly or indeed not to do any training with you at all, be aware that you are STILL expected to obey the laws because it is you who will be subject to the death penalty, not them. In other words, make sure you train yourself well.
7) If you are a large black and tan dog who looks a bit like a Rottweiler, be aware you may require your owner to kit you and indeed them out in water proof clothing for you are going to be spat at in public for a little while. You see, you are known as a ‘devil dog’ now. And the tag is correct. The papers say so. You “should be banned” you know?

8 ) If you are a dog not legally deemed to be ‘dangerous’ or banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act, you are, by definition ’safe’. Which means, unfortunately for you, you won’t hold much appeal for thugs and brain donors and so a life of villainy is not available to you. It goes without saying you can’t and won’t EVER bite anyone or seriously injure anyone, you are legally ‘not dangerous’ and therefore incapable of killing anybody or hurting people badly. You are legally a safe dog.

9) If you happen to be a Rottweiler and your owner collapses whilst out walking you, whatever you do, don’t try and help him or her. If you do, you will be shot dead on the spot.
10) Be aware that your owner may have no dog ownership experience and may have literally no idea whatsoever in how to train you, socialise you, feed you or be aware of any of the laws that apply to you. In which case please learn to feed yourself a proper diet, socialise yourself, study the Dangerous Dogs Act and generally ensure you don’t get up to any naughtiness. There’s a good chap.
Hopefully the dogs who are reading this will take heed. After all, what will happen if the UK moves to adopt a new, improved Dangerous Dogs Act and starts handing down criminal records for canine offenders? Seem ludicrous, far fetched and flat out ridiculous?
Bear convicted for theft of honey
The taste of honey was just too tempting for a bear in Macedonia, which repeatedly raided a beekeeper’s hives.
Now it has a criminal record after a court found it guilty of theft and criminal damage.

But there was an empty dock in the court in the city of Bitola and no handcuffed bear, which was convicted in its absence.
The case was brought by the exasperated beekeeper after a year of trying vainly to protect his beehives.
For a while, he kept the animal away by buying a generator, lighting up the area, and playing thumping Serbian turbo-folk music.
But when the generator ran out of power and the music fell silent, the bear was back and the honey was gone once more.
“It attacked the beehives again,” said beekeeper Zoran Kiseloski.
Because the animal had no owner and belonged to a protected species, the court ordered the state to pay for the damage to the hives - around $3,500 (£1,750; 2,238 euros).
The bear, meanwhile, remains at large - somewhere in Macedonia.
So, look up all you dangerous dogs living in the UK. Criminal convictions could be here to punish you for your bad deeds one day soon. And regardless of how daft and silly that idea sounds, it’s not that far off as daft and silly as the law we have right now. Lord Baker who introduced the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act with support from the Kennel Club, RSPCA and other welfare groups, was not asked to comment on whether he thought giving dogs criminal records was a step in the right direction. At the risk of editorialising, let’s just assume he would.
Author Details
Ryan O'Meara is editor-in-chief of K9 Magazine, the lifestyle magazine for dog lovers. He lives in the East Midlands with his own two dogs, Mia and Chloe. -
See this author's webpage

Rambo's owner in court again

It looks like Rambo is stuck in jail until at least May according to the Mississauga News.
Gabriela Nowakowska's lawyer, Anik Morrow, has presented an interesting angle on the fight for Rambo's life. Here is an excerpt from the article in the Mississauga News...

"The person charged is Nowakowska, but the item seized is the dog," she said. "We will be asking for a visitation order on the item seized. The item is depreciating and losing its intrinsic value," because the bond between Rambo and its young owner is being disrupted. 

The toll this ordeal must be taking on both Nowakowska and Rambo is heartbreaking to say the least. Being separated from his owner at such a critical time in the young dog's development is crucial, however will it be possible to rehabilitate the dog once he is sprung out of jail?
What lasting effects do you think this may have on the dog?
The angle described above is an interesting one and not an angle that has been discussed in any other cases we have seen. What is your opinion on the Rambo case? 

Calgary has stats posted on thier website

Calgary and comprehensive, effective animal bylaws belong in the same sentence. We have been shouting from the rooftops about the Calgary model for years now. 
The city of Calgary now has statistics posted on their website.  The stats are in graph form and very easy to read.
The proof is in the pudding. For those who can't quite get their head wrapped around the transformation from a bylaw into a practical, common sense plan; anyone can plainly see the results have paid off. Kudos to Calgary for implementing a long term plan and successfully achieving an environment that makes pet owners, non pet owners and pets equally happy!
h/t caveat

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

PETa kills more animals than Michael Vick

The New York Times interviewed both PETA and Best Friends Animal Society (a sanctuary in Utah which took a number of Michael Vick's dogs).
An excerpt from the article; quotes both sides:
Ingrid Newkirk, the founder and chief executive of PETA, called Best Friends “an expensive Camelot.”
“These are celebrity dogs,” she said this week in a telephone interview. “That isn’t a good use of money, it isn’t the best uses of time. The Vick dogs are the least likely candidates for success. It’s just a much more exciting story that comes with money attached to it.”
The founder of Best Friends, Michael Mountain, said PETA, for all its high-profile advocacy, is boxed in by an outdated philosophy.
“I don’t think PETA’s argument is with us, I think it’s with themselves,” he said from Utah in a telephone interview. “It’s really difficult as an animal-rights, animal-protection, animal-whatever-you-want-to-call-it organization to explain away the fact that pretty much all the animals you rescue, you kill. It doesn’t make logical sense; it doesn’t make emotional sense.”
Since when is PETA worried about expenses? The billions of dollars they take in from the half wits who support their execution of thousands of adoptable pets, is money much better spent on what? The expense agenda from PETA indicates:
-money spent on rehabilitating animals to prepare them for a chance to have a good loving home is pointless because PETA do not believe in finding animals homes. In PETA's philosophy, animals are better off dead, which is exactly the 'gift' they give the animals in their custody.
-money would be much better spent on media campaigns targeting reputable breeders and spewing the rhetoric of mandatory spay/neuter laws, breed specific laws and other self serving issues.
The question was asked; will both sides (animal rights groups and animal welfare groups) ever be able to work together. Well, I am one to never say never, but in this case I will make an exception to my rule.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Remember the famous ticking time bomb line?

The Ottawa Sun had an article title this weekend stating;
Quebec pit bull dumping ground Ontario laws turn la belle province into dog pound of last resort
In an excerpt;
"Ever since the breed-specific legislation came down (in 2005), Quebec right away had this huge influx of pit bulls and pit bull mixes," said Ashley Adam, who is a canine trainer and behaviourist.
This leaves me scratching my head wondering if our former AG was actually trying to cause some serious harm to fellow Canadians? or rather Canadienne's? Now if a shape of dog can be a 'ticking time bomb', attack without provocation or warning, cause more harm than any other dog on earth then why on earth would a responsible government send these Tasmanian devils to other provinces?
What the hell was Bryant thinking?


Monday, March 3, 2008

What to do if animal control come knocking

In light of cases in and around this great province of Ontariostan, a friend sent me a link to some advice for dog owners/breeders who may have an animal control officer at their door.
Here is the complete text. The link to the page is above, just click on link. This advice is from the US however it gives dog owners/breeders good advice anywhere and you should always check with a lawyer when in doubt. You can never be too careful when it comes to the lives of your pets.

by George J. Eigenhauser Jr.

(he is an attorney at law licensed in the State of California since 1979 and practices in the areas of civil litigation and estate planning)

ANTI-DOG ENFORCEMENT - What Every Dog Owner Needs to Know

Dog owners and ethical breeders are increasingly being targeted. Disgruntled neighbors may retaliate against dog owners and may other reasons drive complaints, and anti-dog enforcement action, which many times may be conducted illegally.

The following text outlines methods of inquiry and enforcement which may be used by local officials in attempts to enforce ordinances in your community and suggested techniques of response. These techniques are entirely legal and based upon the rights of citizens as stated by the U.S. Constitution.

No breeder wants to have Animal Control come knocking on the door...but if they do, it will help if you know what your options are.

Remember, Animal Control is law enforcement. They are bound by the same Constitution as any other government agency. To protect yourself, you need to know your rights. These vary slightly one jurisdiction to another, but some general principles apply. One rule applies everywhere: never physically resist an officer.

When Animal Control is At Your Door:

1. Do not let them in, no matter how much they ask. Animal Control generally cannot enter your home without a warrant, or your permission. While regular police can enter in emergency situations when human life is at risk (i.e. they hear gunshots and a scream inside), there are few, if any, situations in which Animal Control can enter your home without a warrant. Simply tell them they may not come in.

2. If you let them in, anything they find in "plain sight" can be used against you. In some circumstances Animal Control officers, unable to find a legitimate reason to make an arrest, have reported building or zoning violations. This may include caging you attached to a wall without a building permit, that extra outlet in the puppy room, having more pets than allowed by zoning, even extension cords in violation of fire codes! No matter how clean your kennel, if they want to find a violation, they will.

3. Do not talk to them from an open doorway. Step outside an close (and lock if possible) the door behind you. This is necessary because:

A) Anything they see through the open door is "plain sight" and may be the basis for an arrest, or probable cause for a search warrant.

B) If they make an arrest or even feel threatened they are usually permitted to search for weapons in your immediate area. Do you keep a baseball bat inside the door for your protection? Even if you don't, once they step inside to look, they are in your home and may continue to search.

C) It is hard not to be intimidated by someone in authority. Some animal control is even done by local police, who carry guns. It is easy for them to get "in your face", causing you to back up into the home. Once you go in, it will be interpreted as an invitation to follow.

4. If they claim to have a warrant, demand to see it. In general, a search warrant must be signed by a judge. A warrant to search your home for dogs does not include an inventory of your jewelry box. A warrant to search your kennel in the garage or in the barn does not include a search of your home.

5. In some locations dog owners may have obtained special "breeder permits" that stipulate that Animal Control has your permission to enter at any time. If you have signed such a permit they still cannot enter against your wishes, since you can revoke the permission at any time. However, if you refuse permission it may allow them to cancel your breeder permit, so you have to weigh the consequences.

6. Warning - anyone in lawful possession of the premises may be able to give permission for a search. Make sure your roommate, babysitter, dog-sitter, housekeeper and other know that they should not let animal control into your home or on your property (i.e. backyard, garage, etc.).

How to Handle Questions:

1. Don’t answer any questions beyond identifying yourself for the officer. Anything you say to the officer in your defense cannot be used in court (hearsay). Anything you say that is harmful to you will be used in court (confessions are not considered hearsay). You cannot win, except by remaining silent.

2. Be polite but firm. Do not argue, bad-mouth, curse, threaten or try to intimidate the officer.

3. Do not lie to an officer, ever. However, it is NOT a lie to exercise your right to remain silent.

4. Keep your hands in plain sight. People have been shot by police when common objects, such as a wallet, were mistaken for a gun.

5. Do not touch the officer in any way. Do not physically resist an officer, no matter how unlawful his or her actions.

6. Don't try to tell your side of the story, it cannot help.

7. Do not threaten the officer that you plan to file a complaint for their actions.

8. If the questioning persists, demand to speak to a lawyer first. Repeat as necessary.

Gathering the Facts:

1. Get the name and badge number of each officer involved. If he/she does not volunteer this information, ask.

2. Ask the name of the agency they represent. Different agencies have different enforcement responsibilities.

3. Ask why they are there. Request the factual basis of the complaint and the identity of the complainant.

4. If they have other people with them (Humane Society, press, etc.) get the names and organizations for all present.

5. Note the names (and addresses) of any witnesses to the encounter.

6. If you are physically injured by an officer, you should take photographs of the injuries immediately, but do not fore-go proper medical treatment first.

7. Write down all of the information, as well as the date and time of the incident immediately, while details are fresh in your mind.

8. If you rights are violated, file a complaint with the appropriate body.

If You Are Arrested:

1. Remain silent. Answer no questions until you have consulted with a lawyer.

2. Don't "explain" anything. You will have time for explanations after you have talked to a lawyer.

3. Within a reasonable time they must allow you to make a phone call to get a lawyer or arrange bail. They are not allowed to listen to your phone call to your attorney, but they may "monitor" the rooms for "your protection". Do not say anything you do not want them to overhear; save that until after you are out on bail.

Telephone Inquiries or Threats:

You may receive telephone inquiries concerning the number of dogs you own and whether any dogs or puppies are for sale. Other questions may also be asked.

Your response should be to inquire "Are you interested in a puppy?". If the answer is "yes", ask that person for his/her name, address and phone number. Suggest that you or a responsible breeder will contact that person at a more convenient time for you.

If the answer is friendly and genuinely inquisitive, invite the person to look at your puppies.

If the question asked is "What is the price of each puppy?", simply say that puppies of this type are being sold for between "X" and "Y" dollars. Never say that you are selling them.

If the question asked is "Are these your puppies?", you should ask, "Why do you want to know?".

If you conversation indicates that the person is representing the county clerk's office or allegedly representing an official body, ask the caller for:

-Full name, title and phone number
-Agency's full name and full address
-Their supervisor's full name and phone number
-Nature of the inquiry (what it is about)
-Why the inquiry is being made
-How your name and phone number were obtained
-Ask that all future questions from that agency be submitted in writing

Preventative Measures:

1. Always keep you kennel clean and take good care of your animals.

2. Consider a P.O. Box or other address for business cards and advertisements. Keep descriptions of your location general (i.e. Southern California, rather than the name of the city where you live). The internet can provide anonymity for initial contacts. You can even buy a "remote prefix" to get a number from a nearby community forwarded to your phone or to a voice mail. Avoid local newspaper classifieds, they are often monitored.

3. Screen any potential puppy buyers carefully. Always be alert that they may be Animal Control or even Animal Rights working under cover.

4. Don't allow strangers into your home until you have screened them.

5. Be fair and honest in all of your dealings, and be on good terms with your neighbors. Most animal control contacts are complaint-driven. Some complaints may arise as harassment by people with unrelated grievances against you. It may be a disgruntled dog buyer or a cranky neighbor who doesn't like you parking in front of his house.

6. Anything about you that can be observed in "plain sight" from the street or sidewalk can become probably cause for a warrant. Even areas on your property open to visitors can be dangerous. Be aware of which areas of your home are visible from the outside and plan accordingly.

7. If you are confronted by Animal Control and turn them away, assume they will be back. Use the time available to make sure everything is clean and presentable. If you are over the limit on the number of pets, find friends who can provide temporary shelter for your dogs.

Whatever you do, stay calm and keep your wits about you.

Just say "no", no matter what threats or promises of leniency they make.

When in doubt, say nothing and speak to a lawyer afterward.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

More BS on bite stats in Ontario

The Toronto Sun had a pathetic article today. Lassie Get Help, a well worth the read blog, has a good article in response to the Sun article.
The second article in The Toronto Sun was better. The girls from the "Pit Bull Co-op" had some good comments.
Gotta wonder at the timing of such an article within a week of killing Munchie? Is there some twisted logic going on here? Maybe a feeble attempt at justification?
Does anyone else smell guilt?

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Outrage over Munchie's death

Here is an excerpt from Social Mange blog:
The owners of Munchie, Sheila Yeung and Angela Feng, were working on Munchie's appeal and its financing when Toronto Animal Services killed Munchie. They weren't even told that Munchie had been killed; a reporter told them when he called them for their reaction.
Get the whole story from this link.
I simply can't believe the insensitivity and lack of compassion. It appears that Toronto Animal Services notified the media without notifying Munchie's owners that he had been killed! Munchie's owners didn't find out their dog was gone until 3 days after the fact! I simply cannot imagine. My heart goes out to Sheila and Angela.
What we are asking everyone to do is write the editors of local and national papers and let them know what you think of this injustice, this outrage. Make sure you send to only one at a time so your letter doesn't go into a spam filter, and that your full name, address and phone number are on the letter.

Editor, Toronto Star - lettertoed @ (without the spaces)
Editor, National Post - letters @ (without the spaces)
Editor, Globe & Mail - Letters @ (without the spaces)
Editor, Toronto Sun - torsun.editor @ (without the spaces)

In addition please email Mayor Miller to let him know your feelings.
mayor_miller @ (without the spaces)