Sunday, May 25, 2008

A heartfelt story of strife from a Canadian dog owner

Several months ago my husband and I had one huge dream dashed into the ground when we found out we could not purchase a home that we fell in love with, in Nova Scotia, due to the fact our dogs were banned. At that point I started to really read through the average dog bylaw which re-enforced with me just how vulnerable dog owners really are, due to the fact any dog could be termed "vicious" based upon breed, which would leave the owner one hell of a battle on their hands trying to defend their dog(s).

I also realized that many communities have dog limits and ways of stopping one from getting a kennel license. It has really hit me hard that in a so called "free" country I was going to be limited on where I could move to based on my breed of dog.

With deep sadness and new eyes I have really started to watch the "average pet owner" and ask a few questions, and the reality is there are so many people who believe a dog is "just a dog". I live in a small hamlet and most of the dogs here live outside and are fed crap food, I have no idea why most of these people even have dogs. What is the point of having an animal that never leaves your backyard? I have taken quite a few drives in various communities to see the very same thing.

The reality is the average person really does care about their dogs and are responsible owners, but we are the ones who are paying the price for the average attitude of "it's just a dog" from the average dog owner. How often do we have to say "punish the deed, not the breed". How many monkeys have opinions about our dogs that think our breeds are affecting what happens to them?

Oh yes the animal rights groups are doing a grand job indeed, because they know there are way too many dog owners who are in zombie mode, because "their dogs are not affected" (for now). Well WAKE UP ZOMBIES when the breeds that are being targeted right now are gone, do you really think your breeds are safe? Do you think those of us who have lost our dogs are going to stand up and fight for you, hell misery loves company and pay back is a bitch.

When you think of the money that is being spent showing dogs all over this country. The kind of income some owners are raking in and the big fancy jobs plus the threat of legal challenges, it really is kind of funny that all that money and power cannot stop REGISTERED dogs from being banned. The CKC has no power or, influence to overturn breed bans or, to stop communities from limiting the number of dogs one can have, maybe they will wake up when litter registrations hit an all time low and the cash cow dries up.

I have been really questioned myself as to why I am paying membership into a club that has not stopped my breed from being banned or, restricted in certain communities, in this so called free country. One does not need to be a member of the CKC to show their dogs nor, do they need the club when there are groups like Canuck dogs that inform you of which shows and doggy events are all over this country. A friend of mine told me that if I quit the CKC that I would lose my "Perm. reg'd" status, that really made me laugh as the word "Permanent" does not mean what it says.

Yes folks I am upset have been for several months, you have no idea what it is like to be so excited about a move that you have wanted for so very long, to find out you can't. Then to see the area of the world you so wanted to live in, having breed bans pop up left, right and centre.

I have had Rottweilers for over 19 yrs and have not been as fearful for my breed as I have been for the last few years. How many breeds need to be targeted before people will finally wake up and fight for dog ownership, before owning a dog becomes a thing of the past?
Loraine Jesse

Thanks Loraine for your story. There are more people than you would think who have gone through, and are going through a similar experience. We as dog owners cannot freely travel or relocate to certain other areas of our country because of the irrational and nonsensical legislation some communities vote in. Some have relocated without checking local bylaws before moving and found themselves in a position of having to either give up their dog or move out of the area. This happened in New Brunswick with a family who moved there for a job transfer. Their Rottweiler 'Shire' was in her families opinion well worth fighting for. They ended up in court.

Loraine told me in further conversation, she at one time lived in Calgary. She wasn't keen on living in Calgary, but here is what she had to say about the canine bylaws in Calgary.

I loved the dog bylaws in Calgary, which worked and re-inforced responsible dog ownership. If your dogs barked, you got fined, if they ran at large you got fined, if they bit someone you got fined big time. You don't have any breed specific laws, or limits on the number of dogs you may have. What you do have are rules and regulations that have to be obeyed or, you will be fined and or, eventually lose your dog (s), so they really do promote responsible dog ownership.

You are absolutely right on the money Loraine. Calgary has a comprehensive, logical and effective canine control bylaw that does not target responsible dog or cat owners. They have high compliance and they enforce the bylaw. The Calgary canine control bylaw targets the small sector of irresponsible/incompetent owners.  
As a pet owner, Calgary is the best city in North America to live in. I must agree with you, I don't find Calgary appealing to live in either. As someone who is originally from Saskatchewan, the prairies are too cold in the winter and Nova Scotia is more appealing (in my eyes anyway). No offence to those on the prairies, but the best thing about life is being able to choose. Where we live, what we do for a living, who we choose to have as friends, what breed of dog we want to own... oh wait a minute. 

Back to the grind of getting the ban repealed...

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