Saturday, February 21, 2009

Calgary sets a standard like no other

I'm pleased to see that our friends in Calgary continue to make terrific progress in the areas of preventing dog bites and educating owners as well as children and utility workers about dog bite prevention.

Here's the story from the Calgary Herald:

Calgary dog attacks fall to lowest level in 25 years

City a leader in reducing canine problems, says top bylaw officer

By Sean Myers, Calgary Herald February 21, 2009

Attacks by aggressive dogs are at the lowest level they've been in 25 years despite a steady population growth and the absence of breed-specific legislation brought in to tackle canine issues in other jurisdictions.
Despite the low numbers, Calgary's top bylaw officer plans to delve deeper into the causes of dog attacks to try to bring the incidents even lower.

The population of Calgary has more than doubled since Bill started working on his program.  The ongoing statistics are depicted graphically at this link.   The impound and kill stats also illustrate  the remarkable achievement by Calgary Animal Services.

The Ontario Liberals were told of Calgary's success and asked to invite Bill Bruce to present at the Committee Hearings in 2005.  Calgary was brought up throughout the hearings by various witnesses yet the government was reluctant to hear what Bill had to say.

I can only assume that's because they didn't want his remarks to be available through Hansard since one of their arguments in court has been that there is no alternative to their ill-considered approach to dog owner management.

Written presentations do not appear in the record so are therefore not available to the public.  In the second snip, watch David Zimmer (Lib - Willowdale and friend of the WSPA) dance around when asked to invite Mr Bruce to present at Committee.

This was rigged from the start just as Bryant and McGuinty's law is completely rigged against dog owners.

February 2:

I will again direct you to Calgary's approach. You received these many months back, and I'm sure you've received them in the course of all these presentations. Their forward thinking has worked for them for many years. Why can't it work here? Bill Bruce has even offered to help set up and teach their approach to us here in Ontario. They have approximately 90,000 licensed dogs in their city, and only five dogs deemed vicious. That's five dogs -- count `em on one hand -- deemed vicious. They are doing something right: zero tolerance for off-leash dogs and unlicensed dogs, and strict requirements and high fines for owners who have proved themselves incapable of being responsible dog owners.


January 24:

Mr. Miller: Mr. Chair, I have the director of animal and bylaw services for the city of Calgary, Mr. Bill Bruce, who would like to appear before the committee, but because he's employed by the city of Calgary and doesn't want to be seen to be interfering in the affairs of Ontario, he needs to be formally invited by the committee to be able to come before the committee. I would like the committee to invite him to come before it. He has significant experience in animal control. The city of Calgary has seen some significant reductions in animal bites. They've had a 70% reduction in dog bites since they brought in their animal control bylaws, and that has happened while the number of dogs in Calgary has doubled. Mr. Bill Bruce would certainly be a very valuable person to lend his experience to the committee, so I would move that the committee invite him to appear before us.
The Chair: Mr. Miller has moved that Mr. Bill Bruce, the director of animal and bylaw services for the city of Calgary, appear before the committee. Is there any discussion on the motion?
Mr. Zimmer: These matters were taken up by the subcommittee, were they not?
The Chair: They were.
Mr. Zimmer: There was a witness list.
The Chair: There was.
Mr. Zimmer: Presumably this was raised then.
The Chair: It was not.
Mr. Kormos: I don't know the background of how this gentleman was brought to Mr. Miller's attention, at least, but the fact is that here's a director of animal and bylaw services for the city of Calgary. Reference has been made already to the city of Winnipeg. I trust that other municipalities that have advocated -- and fairly enough, because they've implemented breed-specific bans -- will be called upon.
I don't know what the position is of this gentleman from Calgary, but it seems to me that if the committee is interested in getting the broadest range of information available to it -- gosh, we've got e-mails from people in other British colonies, Australia, Great Britain. People are well aware -- this has attracted attention internationally. If there's expertise available, why would we possibly shut the door on it? If these people are prepared to assist the committee, let's go; let her rip. Let's have these people in front of us. Quite frankly, whether they're from Calgary or not doesn't offend me. It's of even greater interest because obviously you've got a different provincial jurisdiction. I encourage people to support Mr. Miller's motion.
Mr. Miller: I would just like to support that by asking why we would not try to learn from the jurisdictions that have had the most success, and Calgary has had significant success. They've reduced dog bites by 70%. Here we have the director of animal and bylaw services willing to come before the committee, but he needs a formal invite to be able to come because he doesn't want to be seen to be interfering with the affairs of Ontario. They've had very significant success with an animal control bylaw that's not breed-specific, and I think we can learn from that.
If the end goal is to have the most successful legislation and to improve this legislation, I believe we should be inviting Mr. Bruce to come before this committee. I would ask for the committee's support in inviting Mr. Bruce to come and lend his expertise to the committee.
The Chair: Shall I now put the question?
Mr. Zimmer: This matter of the witness list should have been -- if you wanted to make arrangements to raise this matter, it should have been raised before the subcommittee. This committee has set aside four days for hearings. There is an extensive witness list for each of the four days. Each of the witnesses has been allocated a time frame of approximately 10 minutes. The difficulty now with entertaining last-minute changes to the witness list is, where do we fit them in, and if we say yes to Mr. Miller's request, what should we do with other requests that might come up from any other members on the committee? There has to be some end to the process.
Mr. Kormos: The issue seems to be the reluctance of this municipal official to make a submission to this committee without invitation. Why doesn't the committee invite him to make a written submission? Surely that can't be offensive to anybody. It doesn't occupy any time of the committee, but it --
Mr. Zimmer: I'm going to agree. I think that's a reasonable way to proceed.
Mr. Kormos: In that case, you can interrupt.
Mr. Zimmer: That way, we'll get the relevant evidence before the committee and we'll preserve the integrity of the witness list for the remaining four days.
The Chair: Mr. Kormos has the floor.
Mr. Kormos: But he needs an invitation to make a submission so that he doesn't --
Ms. Monique M. Smith (Nipissing): Written submission.
Mr. Kormos: Well, God bless.
Mr. Zimmer: Yes.
Mr. Kormos: That's what I said already -- so that he doesn't appear to be overriding his jurisdiction.
Mr. Zimmer: We're with you on this one, Mr. Kormos.
Mr. Kormos: You're on track now.
The Chair: Mr. Kormos, are you proposing an amendment to the motion?
Mr. Kormos: Mr. Miller may want to. I don't want to cut his grass.
Mr. Miller: I understand you're going to vote against this if we don't amend it. I'm getting that feeling. Is that correct? The thing is, you have more members on that side than we do on this side.
Mr. Zimmer: My argument here is that we've got a very tight witness list. It's been planned, 10 minutes per witness over four days, and it's unfair now to re-jig the witness list.
Mr. Kormos's proposal to accommodate this witness, or accommodate your wish to have him send in a written submission at our invitation, satisfies your purpose and preserves the integrity of the witness list.
Mr. McMeekin: I'll build on that. I suspect your political acumen is probably correct, Mr. Miller. I think the rationale for argument from this side is where do you draw the line? New Brunswick's looked at it. The provincial government in Australia has looked at breed bans. There are a number of cities. To have one isolated person in particular who has indicated a desire to make a presentation -- I don't normally speak to amendments before they're made, but I think on the surface, because we opened this up, there are at least a dozen people I'd like to see invited. I think the concept of the written brief, as Mr. Kormos has suggested and my colleague Mr. Zimmer has affirmed -- and hopefully you, sir, might look at -- is a good way to go.
Mr. Miller: I would certainly like to reiterate that I believe we can learn from Calgary's animal control bylaw; I would be prepared to modify my motion to invite Mr. Bill Bruce to make a written submission to this committee so that we may learn from the city of Calgary.
The Chair: Mr. Miller has amended his motion to read that Mr. Bill Bruce of the city of Calgary be invited to submit a written brief to the committee. Is there any further discussion? Shall I put the question?
All those in favour? Opposed?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The aftermath: How could anyone still support HSUS?

I am in tears...

In the few years of fighting this evil battle I have grown a much thicker skin. In my mind that is not a good thing; however one must "toughen" up to be able to function in this business of fighting for the right to own pets. How incredibly sad it has come to this.

There are still many people out there that shake their head when I say "right to own pets". Many have still not popped their head out of the sand long enough to see the real agenda of animal liberation groups.

Yesbiscuit has an excellent post containing John Goodwin's response to the NC dog slaughter.

Lassie Get Help has another excellent post! It is a must read.
It is entitled "Worse Than Vick".

Bad Rap also gives another slant.
The post is called "Numb".

There are links at the bottom of the posts giving other links to information. Please crosspost to every single person you know. HSUS is still being supported, along with all their wicked, evil, twisted step sister organizations that all belong to the animal liberation family. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wilkes County NC, dog slaughter

Everyone is talking about the 127 puppies and adult "pitbulls" killed in Wilkes County, NC. In reading the blog Yesbiscuit, the slaughter was carried out today under a court order.

Caveat has a post about this atrocity today. Be sure to follow the links from the caveat article to get the background story.

HSUS must be out'ed. Caveat is dead right! There is NO humane in HSUS.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Once upon a time...


Once upon a time in a land far away, there lived a cruel Lord who decreed that all short haired, muscular dogs be banished from the fiefdom. All the children were heart-broken and cried when their beloved family pets were either sent away or destroyed. They would never know the comfort in a wet, sloppy kiss, gaze into gentle dark eyes, or experience the unconditional love given by these delightful, goofy creatures and the world became a sad, lonely place.

Does this sound like a nightmare-ish fairy-tale??  The heartbreaking reality of it is that even when you do wake up, this nightmare isn’t going to go away. All AmStaff, American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier and all substantially similar dog owners are living this nightmare every day that the breed ban is in effect.

As I was growing up and became an adult, I was proud to be an Ontarian. But when the Liberals allowed this law to be pushed so quickly through parliament and didn’t pay any heed to the many, many knowledgeable people who spoke up against the breed ban; people who represented respectable, well known groups and who knew what they were talking about, I was no longer proud to be an Ontarian. I am now giving serious consideration to moving out of this province when I retire and moving to somewhere where I am free to enjoy my breed of choice without the stigma that comes with having to muzzle my dogs in public and the outright fear that an ACO officer could come and take my dogs away.

But, as discouraging as the breed ban is, it is so encouraging that after four long years’ dog owners from all walks of life are joining in the fight to reverse this ludicrous legislation and helping to contribute to the legal challenge! I’ve cried so many tears over the futility of this breed ban, but when the donations started coming in so suddenly my tears were tears of joy and hope.

I don’t know what the outcome of the next step in the legal challenge will be, but I do know that thousands of voices will be much louder than a few hundred. The puppy that I bought to be a therapy dog until McGunity Liberals quashed that plan will turn 5 years old this week.

Hopefully, before another year passes, I will be free to  walk my dogs in public without fear.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Mississauga repeat?

Would you not think Mississauga animal control would have learned a lesson in how to waste tax payers money, undue stress, anxiety and shame from the Rambo case? Well apparently not!

You would think MPP Bob Delaney would have filled them in by now that there is NO SUCH THING as a 'pitbull'; since he chaired the committee hearings and listened so intently >tongue placed firmly in cheek<.

Delaney certainly could have given Mississauga AC a direct quote from their lead counsel in court Robert Charney who announced to the amusement of spectators in a packed courtroom on June 28, "There is no such thing as a 'pit bull'!" He also said that the intent of the ill-conceived law was to "prevent 'pit bull' bites - not dog bites in general" and later added "It is the purebreds we want, we only threw in the substantially similar clause in case someone had a purebred and lied". Possibly he is throwing the Mississauga animal control under the bus along with Ontario dog owners.

Here is an excerpt from the article in the Mississauga News:

Danny Truong was charged with owning a prohibited animal just before Christmas last year after he took his 10-month-old puppy Bowser to be neutered at a veterinary clinic on Nov. 25.
The 21-year-old said he was shocked three weeks later when City animal services officers came knocking at his home near Square One, charging him under the Dog Owners' Liability Act. Truong said the officers told him that the veterinary clinic had made a complaint.

Danny feels he is being discriminated against based on his dog's appearance. Could this be a pattern of profiling? Is it possible people are being targeted based on race, neighborhood or other demographic based on the shape of dog they own?

Truong said he received Bowser as a gift from his niece and was told by the lady selling the pup that he was a Rottweiler-Boxer mix.

In a quote from Selma Mulvey, dog owners have no way of knowing whether or not they are breaking the law because the legislation is vague.

Vague? Ya think?
That bit of sarcasm was directed firmly at the incompetent Fiberal government, not the messenger..

Let's recap a sampling of some of the types of dogs that are being snagged by Mississauga AC.




Here is a picture of a purebred American Pit Bull Terrier

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

American Staffordshire Terrier

So, let's break it down folks. Nice and slow so we don't loose anyone in the translation.

All together now, {clearing throat} repeat after me...


Vague doesn't even begin to describe what the poor targeted mutts are. Mutts would be the key word in this whole equation. I don't see any similarities of any of the targeted dogs to any of the purebreds and yes I have had my regular eye exam recently. I strongly encourage you to click on the "mutt" link. That Wikipedia page is littered (no pun intended) with "pitbulls"!

The usage of the word mutt is not used in a derogatory sense. I have utmost respect for all dogs regardless of lineage. In fact, I feel a dog is a dog is a dog is a DOG. Big, small, short, tall, long hair, short hair, long tail, short tail, curly tail, whippy tail.. Regardless of color or breed, all dog owners deserve to be treated equal under the law. Dog owners have rights; or at least we did until McGuinty began his ban-o-thon. We intend to get them back!

Caveat has more info too. Check it out..

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Montreal suburb Cote St. Luc contemplating breed ban

I am really starting to look like a Pug with banging my head off my desk and all.

When can we begin to insert logic and science where emotion and hysteria now reside? Why, when faced with a question of what to do; when the heat ramps up over dog 'incidents' (as they refer to them as in the article) the old news, passe, outdated and incorrect method of breed bans are considered an option?

The City of Côte St. Luc will be introducing a new bylaw to "regulate" the ownership of certain dog breeds that have acquired a reputation for aggressive behaviour.
During city council's January public meeting last week, the announcement for an impending new bylaw "concerning dogs" was among a series of notices tabled with measures to control graffiti and air guns.

Ok, now first of all, there is NO SUCH THING as an "aggressive breed" since aggression is a learned behaviour and cannot be bred "in" to a breed.
Will someone plueeeze explain to me why it is different or somehow "ok" if any other so called "friendly" breed/mix rip someone to shreds but I don't see any others than the usual targets added in. What about breed id"s? There is NO SUCH THING as a 'pitbull' folks! It is a short haired mutt that are being targeted and identified as such.

The American Staffordshire Terrier is always added in along with of course the American Pit Bull Terrier and Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Now, population wise, there are roughly 30  purebred American Staffordshire Terriers in the whole province of Ontario. I have one, the last one brought in before the ban took effect in August 2005. I am a member of the American Staffordshire Terrier Club of Canada, of which we have 16 members across Canada.

From the dog and litter registration numbers for the year 2008 the numbers of dogs registered for Canada by breed (these are CKC numbers) were as follows:
The numbers did not vary much over the 2006, 2007 and 2008 yrs.

Labrador Retriever       6495
Golden Retriever          4102
if you add all the "retrievers" together since clumping breeds together seems to be a popular thing to do the number is 11247 just for the year 2008.

Boxer                        1130
German Shepherd Dog  3254
Shetland Sheepdog      1798
if you were to add all the "shepherds" together the number is 3918 and that does not include other registries beyond the CKC. There are many other breeds listed by other registries.

The number for American Staffordshire Terriers (remember this is Canada, they are only prohibited in Ontario therefore it is legal to breed them in the rest of Canada)
American Staffordshire Terrier    11
Staffordshire Bull Terrier            64
I do not have the number for the American Pit Bull Terrier since they are not CKC registered. We estimate there are roughly 1500 registered dogs with all three breeds combined in the whole province of Ontario! That is not recent, but dogs that are purebred that are alive born before Nov 29, 2005 that are registered purebreds as the named 3 recognized breeds.

It is not rare at all to see short haired, whippy tailed, muscular, blocky headed dogs on the streets of anywhere Canada. I see them all the time. Nearly every time I go out in my town where I live I am guaranteed to see at least one walking along happily beside its owner. I will also guarantee you, I am the only person in the whole town where I live and surrounding area that owns an American Staffordshire Terrier. The closest person geographically to me that owns one, is over an hour drive away. I know this because I know nearly all the people in Ontario that own a purebred AST.

So where do you think all these "mutts" with s
hort haired, whippy tailed, muscular, blocky headed dogs on the streets of anywhere Canada come from? If you think they originate from any of the 3 named breeds included in the ban in Ontario, you are out to lunch! I guarantee you, the other people who own the purebred AST's are like me, in that they do not whore their dogs out to mate with other breeds or mixes of dogs resulting in crosses of American Staffordshire Terriers.
If you cruise the shelter sites and see the breed id's on the available dogs, you will spot many American Staffordshire Terrier crosses. The dogs are 100% absolutely MISIDENTIFIED! Now I suck at math, but do the math people.

Would it not make sense that Boxers and Labs, for instance, are quite popular dogs. Have you ever seen a Boxer/Lab mix? You likely do not know. If you have, you likely won't know because unless you were present for the breeding and in a controlled experiment where the bitch was kept isolated for the remainder of her estrus cycle and no other gentlemen callers came knockin' you still cannot prove the lineage. With that in mind, both parents would need to be registered with a registry such as the CKC or you could not prove the breed of the parents either. Looks don't cut it when your dogs life is on the line. All is fun and games when you are playing guess the breed at the shelter.

Pause... put thinking cap on.. pull it tight down around your ears.

Why are we banning American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers? Why would one contemplate banning anything really? Is it not a better strategy to educate people and enforce existing laws? There are already licensing and animal control laws in place, that include leash laws.

Let me take a wild guess.. because it is the trendy think to do! Because Ontario did it? Because it appears to "look proactive with the ignorant public"?

An excerpt from the mayor:
In an interview, mayor Anthony Housefather said Côte St. Luc will be referring to certain specific breeds in its bylaw.

"We will be targeting breeds," he said, "because we believe that there have been sufficient incidents in communities surrounding us that we've read about to warrant a concern.

Whoa! Knowing what we now know now with how many of the purebreds exist in Canada... where is the proof? Is it possible that 4 (yes 4) of the rarest breeds in Canada are responsible for "sufficient" incidents in Cote St. Luc?
The number 4 comes from Bull Terriers also being suggested to their list.

The group's definition of a Pit Bull included Pit Bulls, Terriers, Staffordshires, Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers, or "a dog that has an appearance and physical characteristics that are substantially similar to any of the aforementioned dogs."

To give you a bit of history, Michael Bryant (former AG of Ontario who so proudly spouts his responsibility for banning "pitbulls" in Ontario) was overheard laughing and spouting he didn't include Bull Terriers cause Don Cherry owns one.
Newsflash, Don owns a purebred American Stafforshire Terrier and has for years. He at one time owned Bull Terriers but switched long before the ban in Ontario was a twinkle in Michael Bryant and Dalton McGuinty's eye.

Ok, back to the numbers..
Bull Terrier registration 2008      155
Still quite rare... my thinking cap is getting really tight now. How about yours?

Quote from Mayor Housefeather:
"There are municipalities across North America that have pro-actively adopted this bylaw and we feel that there are certain breeds that really need to be regulated. And we also noted that it would be unfair to simply ban those breeds."

If I may respectfully correct you,  targeting breeds, dogs or dog owners period is UNFAIR. Not only is it unfair it is discrimination! How about dealing with the more developed brain (so we think); dog owners? Wow, what an epiphany. Again, Calgary gives a model that has been in place for 2 decades and has high compliance of licensing and low rate of  "incidence".

"Some people already have dogs of that breed or people may really desire to own one," he added. "But we don't feel it's unfair on public property to say that those types of dogs need to be muzzled. And the question is what breeds those will be and council will determine that."

Well, either you have rocket scientists for councilors, or you are dead wrong. Nobody, not a purebred dog judge, animal control officer, scientist or anyone for that matter can identify a cross bred dog period. The purebreds are so rare, you may not even have one in within your city limits! Who are you targeting and what breed of dog again? The picture seems to be getting a little clearer now..

Last summer, a group of dog owners who are regular users of the City of Côte St. Luc's dog run asked council to take measures that would ban Pit Bulls from the run. Raising the issue during a meeting of council in July, Barry Klar said he was speaking on behalf of a delegation of dog owners who frequented the Mackle Road dog run.

"We the undersigned are in favour of creating a ban in which Pit Bulls will be prohibited from frequenting the dog park located on Mackle Road in Côte St. Luc," he said, reading the preamble from a petition gathered by the dog owners.

The group's definition of a Pit Bull included Pit Bulls, Terriers, Staffordshires, Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers, or "a dog that has an appearance and physical characteristics that are substantially similar to any of the aforementioned dogs."

Klar said a pit bull ban was necessary at the Côte St. Luc dog run because "we have many small dogs" and "many small children who frequent the dog run and it's a concern for all of us and we're very fearful of a tragedy."

Wait, wait wait.... I think someone has finally hit the nail on its ugly head! FEAR is at the root of this! Oh my dogness, I think I have had an epiphany. Fear is something that has been nurtured for many years, in fact since the beginnings of man. It is a survival instinct hyper developed in some humans. Fear of dog, fear of big dogs, fear of black dogs, fear of young thugs, fear of people who look different, fear of falling, fear of succeeding, fear of dying, fear of terrorists, fear of God, jeepers.. name one thing not feared, of course exaserbated by the pro-fear mongering main stream media ahhhhhhhhh my head is exploding.

>Sigh<, I am sorry for your fear, but for dogs sake can we please try to follow some logical examples which are plainly laid out for you. The road to success is paved with gold. Jurisdictions only need to make a commitment to do the right thing. Implement a plan that works and targets those owners who are irresponsible. It is unnecessary and unfair to target people who are guilty by association. Hmmm sound familiar (Homeland Security)? Dogs are living, breathing, thinking, feeling animals. They are more alike as dogs than they are different by breed. They cannot be compared to some benign object or be lumped together by breed or lack thereof any more than people can be lumped together by race or compared to loose cannons. (my benign object of choice)

The last line of the article is:
Since 1990, the City of Winnipeg, Man. has had a by-law banning Pit Bulls.

Oy, talk about failure. You may as well invest all your money with Merril Lynch or Nortel.