Sunday, November 29, 2009

Bandit's fate up in the air

Bandit, a cross bred dog Tim Trow fought for in 2003 and early 2004, is now in the custody of the OSPCA.

The dog bit his former owners grandson, to the tune of 200 stitches and was turned over to Toronto Humane Society where he has remained since.  The city pound refused to take Bandit so police took him to THS. A battle erupted between Toronto Animal Services and Toronto Humane Society. Tim Trow was fighting for Bandit's life and TAS were trying to end it. Apparently TAS claims there was a mis-communication between police and TAS, otherwise they would have taken custody of the dog initially.

This week when OSPCA officials raided THS, Bandit allegedly lunged and was pepper sprayed.

To read more about Bandit click here.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Toronto Humane Society officials charged with cruelty

Police have arrested the Toronto Humane Society's president, chief veterinarian and three other senior staff members and charged them with animal cruelty, six months after a Globe and Mail investigation revealed widespread troubles at the shelter.

Read the rest

Banning of cropping and docking heats up

From Lee Steeves, CKC Director Zone 1

As you all know, there has been on-going discussion among provincial Veterinary Associations surrounding the procedures of cropping ears and docking tails. In New Brunswick, a ban on these procedures was effected by the NBVMA and has come into effect this year. In Newfoundland, cropping ears has been legislated out of existence ten years ago. PEI and Nova Scotia as well as Saskatchewan have considered provincial bans and I was advised at a meeting with CVMA on Sunday that PEI did put into effect a ban on cropping and docking at their November meeting.

In October, I was alerted that the discussion of cropping and docking would be on the annual meeting agenda of the NSVMA. Immediately, I contacted the President to request the opportunity to speak to the assembly and to present the CKC position. That request was refused by the NSVMA executive stating that this is a closed meeting and that presentations are not accepted. I did write a letter to the NSVMA and requested that it be read at the AGM, outlining the CKC position, the work we are doing with breed clubs and the progress being made by CKC on many initiatives aimed at making Canada one of the most progressive countries in the world in which to own a dog. Again, unfortunately this letter was not read. As in New Brunswick, there were spirited discussions at the AGM. No decision was taken immediately and the Executive Council determined that further dialogue needed to take place with more of the membership - most of whom were not in attendance (the AGM is held on a Saturday afternoon in Halifax so attendance is not a possibility for many veterinarians in the province). After the meeting, understanding that the CKC position had not been put forward, I sent a letter to every Veterinarian in the province of Nova Scotia outlining the points made in the letter sent to NSVMA and asking for their consideration of our position in responding to the Executive Council's request for their input. I have also met with as many practices as possible to personally put forward our position and to hear the views of the vets.

On Sunday, I flew to Ottawa and with the CEO of the CKC presented the CKC
position to the CVMA. In attendance were the CVMA representatives from NS, PEI, NB, Quebec, Ontario and the President from Saskatchewan as well as CVMA staff members. To say we were met with less than a welcoming audience is to understate the day. It was a challenging couple of hours, with no movement on the part of the vets who advised that anything we do short of a full rewrite of our standards to immediately take away cropping and docking is
too little too late. There was some softening of that position from Ontario, a comment that this is not yet on the radar in Quebec as yet and input that Nova Scotia is considering legislating these procedures out of existence.

We all have work to do. These vets are not only speaking of cropping and docking. Several, led by New Brunswick, are openly critical of the CKC's breed standards, feel that breeders are poorly educated with respect to health, genetics and breeding practices to support an animal's welfare and are censorious of breeders - in particular those breeders who breed conformation dogs for show. They are criticizing our standards for individual breeds and are of the opinion that we are not supporting the puppy purchasers with healthy dogs.

I would urge each one of you to have a conversation with your veterinarian as soon as possible. Ask his/her views on purebred dogs and dog breeding, on your own breeding practices from his/her perspective and develop an understanding of where your veterinarian is positioned with respect to your hobby of dog breeding. It is important to all of us that we understand where our vets are positioned with respect to our breeding of dogs, of our particular breeds and our future in dogs.

Many of you know me personally and know that I am not an alarmist nor am I a
believer in escalating an issue. At this time, I am deeply concerned for our relationship with the veterinary community. There are changes that we will need to make and we at the Board table are aware of that. Nothing stays constant in any part of our lives. We will over the next year be offering opportunities for breeder education and accreditation through a program that we have been working on at the Board table for a decade. We will be offering a medical registry and have already provided to you an outreach program that you and your kennel club are able to present in your community. We will support responsible dog ownership week and will continue to work at forming partnerships with those organizations with similar views, values and positions. But it is now important that you as a breeder, owner or pet enthusiast move forward as well, taking advantage of these tools we are providing and developing a better sense of those that we are working with - the dog owning public, puppy purchasers and our vets.

I look forward to hearing from many of you letting me know how these conversations go, which vets are supportive of you as a breeder and where you think we might go form here.

Lee Steeves
CKC Director Zone 1

Friday, November 20, 2009

Barbara Amiel gets "it"!

There was a good article in MacLean's mag this week entitled Dogs Are Victims In A Scary War.


Here in Canada and America, dogs are victims in a different sort of war, that of statism versus individual liberty. Under various acts and bylaws, our local and provincial authorities have the power to confiscate, ban, “put down” or mutilate dogs arbitrarily, often without regard to individual behaviour. Entire breeds like the Staffordshire terrier have been banned or forcibly castrated according to local bylaws as if they were some lethal virus. Let some authority decide a dog looks “like a pit bull,” and off they go in the name of public safety under draconian legislation such as Bill 132—produced by Ontario’s former attorney general, Michael Bryant, that sterling symbol of public safety himself. The dreaded animal control officer can turn up unannounced on a doorstep after a neighbour’s complaint about barking (which becomes “menacing behaviour” and subject to penalties including confiscation of the dog), or a patrol officer’s view that a Labrador is really a pit bull.

Dogs have become a tool in controlling our lifestyle. Every dog large or small (except the basenjii) barks. Every dog can potentially nip or bite. Future restrictions on all breeds will inevitably evolve. Statism metastasizes. So please God, help man’s best friend. Man and governments won’t.

Be sure to read the rest! Excellent article. Thanks Barbara!

Dalton McGuinty can't admit he is dead wrong

This week, NDP MPP for Highpark/Parkdale, Cheri DiNovo introduced a private members Bill 222 to the Ontario Legislature to repeal the breed ban. 

First of all, I would like to thank Cheri Dinovo for introducing this Bill. 

Since August 29, 2005 those of us living in this deteriorating province have experienced life changing years of our lives. We have been through 2 rounds of court, and turned down by the Supreme Court of Canada to hear our case. We have raised over $750,000.00 by fundraising (selling t shirts in the streets) to pay for our lawyer's fees. We have been placed in a predicament of legislated discrimination where any disgruntled neighbor has the opportunity to have your dog seized and killed because of the dog's shape or look.  We are fighting an almighty beast (the Ontario government) with the power to impose any ban, law or guideline they feel is in the "best interest" of the people of Ontario. That same beast has unlimited access to taxpayer dollars; therefore court challenges only threaten credibility not personal pocketbook or sleep. 

I cannot begin to describe to you the effect this ban has had on my life.

I am not the same person. I have lost 2 very loved dogs (old age). Losing them was extra hard knowing their place in the family couldn't be filled by others like them. I have spent 5 years giving every extra dollar I had to "our legal fund" and volunteered my time to do over 200 events in effort to raise enough money to keep us in court. I have witnessed more unthinkable situations than any person cares to. That in itself has hardened me as a human. I had to harden or I would have been left either shutting down or laying in a heap of emotion. I have witnessed people having their dogs ripped out of their homes because they dared own a short haired mutt.  

A couple examples, a young single mom lost both her dogs, one a puppy, because someone in her apartment building called animal control to say she owned "pitbulls". 

Another, her dog escaped out the front door Christmas day when guests were arriving. AC picked up her short haired mutt and took him to the pound. He was under a year old and just a goofy pup, but someone at AC deemed him a "pitbull" so the next year was spent in court only to loose her dog in the end.  

Another was a young couple out for a walk with their two leashed boxer cross pups when AC pulled up and ordered them to relinquish custody of their pups since they were "pitbulls" and illegal in Ontario.  In the end AC backed off since the young couple hired a lawyer. The young couple were left with a lawyer's fee and a fear of walking their dogs in public.

I have a friend who came home from work and let her 2 dogs out into her own fenced backyard. She did not check the backyard before opening her back door (but who does?) but without her knowledge, the neighbors cat had jumped the fence into her yard. Her dogs killed the cat in her own backyard. The neighbor witnessed this happening and immediately called AC. Since there are no provisions in the law to stipulate your own property is not included, her purebred banned dogs killed a domestic animal therefore were slotted for seizure and death. She quit her job, sold her house and now resides elsewhere in Canada with her two dogs. Somewhere where she doesn't have to worry her dogs will be targeted based on how they look.

I could go on and on and on. I have gone to court to support many of these Ontario dog owners. I have given them moral and emotional support. Helped them seek lawyers and understand their so called rights. (Or lack thereof).

I have lost five years of my life and there is no end in sight. I see ordinary situations as potentially deadly (literally) for my dog. The stress of protecting my obedience trained, CGN (Canine Good Neighbor CKC certification) certified, Rally Obedience competitor dog is as absurd as it gets. Your motto as a dog owner becomes trust no-one, never walk your dog in public and keep your neighbors in check. Divulge no information and keep your lawyer's number handy at all times. Know who works animal control in your area, and how actively they enforce the ban. Everything you once knew as a responsible dog owner is now the opposite. 

I watched an interview recently, with Dalton McGuinty. It was posted on You Tube from Animal House Radio.

First off, before you get into watching this interview with McGuinty, here are some quick facts.

1. It is impossible to "breed" any dog for aggression. This is science, not opinion. Aggression is a learned behaviour not a genetic inherited trait.

2. A "pitbull" is NOT a breed. It is a slang term for a cross bred dog. The 3 purebred breeds banned are all very rare breeds with roughly 1000 dogs in the whole province all three breeds combined! It is highly UNLIKELY there is any genetic code from ANY of the purebred breeds named in the ban flowing in the DNA of the short haired mutts targeted by this law. Popular breeds are what is found in popular mutt mixes such as Labrador Retrievers, Boxers, German Shepherd Dogs, Golden Retrievers etc.

3. There were 4 days of committee hearings held prior to the law being passed. 80% of the presentations were AGAINST THE BAN. There were no canine experts presenting who were pro ban. There were 45 experts and a long list of individuals presenting AGAINST THE BAN; but McGuinty still maintains they listened to the experts!

4. Public safety has not been improved. The government did not put in place a bite registry, as was requested. There have been deaths attributed to dog bites since the inception of the ban but none were dogs falling under the ban. How were these victims protected by McGuinty's "public safety"? Or the scores of people bitten by dogs not falling under the vague description laid out in DOLA? Dalton McGuinty, Michael Bryant, Chris Bentley and Bob Delaney have all been quoted as saying the aim was to protect the public from "pitbull" bites not dog bites! Remember there is no such thing as a "pitbull". In court counsel for the Attorney General's office, Robert Charney was quoted saying "OK, there is no such thing as a 'pitbull'!"

5. McGuinty refuses to admit they were wrong. There would be respect for those who admit they were wrong even if they possibly had public safety at heart in the beginning.

An article in Inside Toronto this week:
DiNovo said she was inspired to take action since she participated in a DLCC event this past summer. She is the owner of British Bull Terrier. At issue, said DiNovo, is the fact that the pit bull is a mish-mash of breeds. It is described as an animal with a broad snout, muscular, short chest and short coat and long tail. This definition is similar to 40 per cent of all dogs.
"If you took away the tail, you'd be describing most of the politicians at Queen's Park," quipped DiNovo.
The law should cover the "deed not the breed," she said.
"It's a badly drafted piece of legislation," said DiNovo.

Addressing the media Wednesday at Queen's Park, the premier said he wasn't open to lifting the ban. Asked whether or not he thought Ontarians are crying out for a repeal, he replied, "not to my knowledge."
"It's about public safety. We got the best advice we could and put in place legislation we think upholds public safety," said McGuinty. Nevertheless, DiNovo remains positive that the ban will be overturned. 

"There's always a good chance," she said citing the NDP's success in raising the minimum wage to $10 as an example. "The government will bow to pressure."
Besides, an election year is fast approaching in 2011.
Despite the fact that statistics show that in the four years since the ban has been in effect fatal dog attacks have been on the rise in Ontario, but incidences are extremely rare, DiNovo pointed out. And, none of the reported cases of attacks have involved pit bulls. DiNovo said she would like Ontario to follow in the footsteps of jurisdictions like the Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden where breed specific legislation has been revoked - for the simple reason that it has not alleviated the problem of dog attacks.
"All breed specific bans do is harm owners and dogs," she said. "It's kind of a grudge law. Yes, we should have violent dog legislation, but we should go after the dog, no breed specific stuff."


I guess if McGuinty actually read letters and email sent to him, he would know the extent of the outcry to repeal the ban. We have held countless vigils and protests on the front lawn of Queen's Park. I have written scores of letters and email myself never to hear a reply back from the premier. Once I received a form letter that rambled on about his broken record of consultation with experts and public safety. I used it as kindling...

McGunity is leaving behind a legacy of the worst government in the history of Ontario. He has solidified the stereotype of political corruption and disregard for ordinary citizen of this province. He has thrown entire groups of people under the bus, ruined lives and murdered over 5000 good innocent dogs for nothing other than how they look and he damn well knows it. His nannying has scarred this province and it will take decades or more to clean up the mess and heal from the damage he has done.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

"Liberal" Ontario?


A single mother licensing her mongrel dog during a door-to-door campaign has her pet identified as a 'pit bull' on the spot. The dog is slated for destruction.
A show dog of a restricted breed escapes the yard for a few minutes. Animal Control arrives demanding evidence that the dog has been entered in a sanctioned show during the past year. Otherwise, the dog will be killed for being intact.
A woman is walking her restricted dog in compliance with the law. Someone shouts from a car that "all 'pit bulls' and their owners should be shot" then throws a bottle at her. It misses - this time.
A dog is being walked with a muzzle as the law mandates. An off-lead dog attacks her, tearing the muzzle off. She doesn't fight back. Animal Control arrives and seizes the victimized dog for being unmuzzled in a public place. The dog languishes in isolation at the pound for months awaiting 'trial'.


If these stories - all of them true - and many others like them upset you, blame the McGuinty Liberals. Anti-dog sentiment in Ontario is a direct result of their irresponsible campaign against both mongrel and purebred dogs.

Key portions of the law were struck down as unconstitutional at the Ontario Superior Court level. In the appeal, we lost the ground we gained in a decision to uphold and restore the law to its original meaning. The Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear our appeal. 

Bill 222 a Private Members Bill was introduced November 18, 2009 by NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo, Highpark/Parkdale MPP. The Bill was met with applause from quite a few Liberal MPP's. McGuinty was not present in the house that day. The Bill passed first reading! The second reading is not slotted until fall 2010. 

Write your MPP's and engage them on this issue. Let them know how you feel. Let them know the impact this has had on your life. Educate them. 

The next provincial election in Ontario is October 2011. We must get rid of the Liberal's. Begin conversation with your MPP now. Educate yourself who is running in your riding and find out which candidate had the best chance to win against the Liberal. Offer to help with the campaign. 

Dog bites have increased in Ontario since the 'breed' ban was enacted. There have been 3 fatalities since the enactment of the ban. None of the dogs were so called "pitbulls".

Licensing is still at 10% compliance. Leashing is not enforced. We have no provincial bite database. Animal services divisions remain understaffed and under-equipped.

Every informed dog owner in this province knew the ban wouldn't work because it hasn't worked anywhere else!

Bans have been repealed in many jurisdictions worldwide based on the ineffectiveness. Holland and Italy to name two. 


We MUST ENSURE THAT THE NEXT GOVERNMENT formed in Ontario is willing to work with the experts to produce legislation that has been proven effective. THAT GOVERNMENT WILL NOT BE THE McGUINTY LIBERALS.

We NEED EVERYONE to contact their local riding association to volunteer some time on the next campaign. TELL ALL your friends and family they must vote and spell out for them why the Liberals must be rejected.

Get involved or you cannot count on your right to own your breed of choice. Visit these sites to
learn how you can help to Reject the McGuinty Liberals.

Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario:

New Democratic Party of Ontario

Green Party of Ontario

Everyone must VOTE! First time voters must register to vote! Voter turnout is urgent. Cross party lines if you must! Think carefully about “watered down vote”. Think about split votes and how they can allow the Liberals to slide up the middle.

The SITUATION IS URGENT! ALL DOG OWNERS ARE UNDER ATTACK with warrantless entry, unreasonable search and seizure, reverse onus and more already in place for ALL breeds, not just so-called 'pit bulls'. It's not about 'pit bulls' - it never was.