Friday, November 5, 2010

Tribute to Ginger

First I would like to direct you to an article written by Ledy VanKavage,the Senior Legislative Attorney for Best Friends Animal Society.
Ledy brings things into focus quite well in this article.

Jon Stewart, Pit Bulls, and Media Hysteria

The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear was a huge success on Saturday. While Jon Stewart was calling out the media for stoking fear, I was safely nestled on the couch with our three adopted pit bulls, Che, Bella Abzug, and Karma. Stewart's words could easily describe the pit bull controversy: "The press can hold its magnifying glass up to our problems or they can use that magnifying glass to light ants on fire." The media hysteria surrounding American Pit Bull Terriers has been lighting them on fire — resulting in the mass euthanasia of these dogs simply because of their appearance. Instead, the media's magnifying glass should focus on the real public safety issue: reckless owners of any dog.

It's not much of a stretch to think Stewart would agree with applying his words to pit bulls. Though animal issues don't come up often on The Daily Show, Jon Stewart is a known animal lover and has two pit bulls of his own — Shamsky and Monkey.

The province of Ontario, under Dalton McGuinty's direction, legislated a ban on 3 purebred breeds (all three are among some of the rarest breeds in Canada/less than 1000 all breeds combined in Ontario) and tossed in "pitbulls" or rather any dog substantially similar to any of the named purebreds.

Some examples of the insane regulations that apply to this legislation are;

  • Every dog owner in the province is at the mercy of the animal control officer/peace officer performing the identifying. You cannot prove the lineage of any mix or non registered dog. You may have the biggest/hairiest dog but if an animal control officer/peace officer deems your dog a "pitbull" it is up to you the owner to prove it is not!
  • That folks is called reverse onus. It is impossible to prove a negative or rather that something is not something else. You and your non registered dog are doomed no matter what you say or do.
  • You may not enter the province with any dog of the 3 named purebreds or any "pitbull". (Refer to breed ID problems or any non registered dog)
  • No dog may be imported into the province; any dogs deemed falling under the legislation that were born after November 29th, 2005 are automatically booked a date to die.
  • No dog deemed to be falling under the legislation may bite any human or domestic animal or menace. There is no definition for either bite or menace in the legislation. As is stood for Ginger's ruling a bite includes a puppy bite/defensive bite/accidental bite/any bite. If a criminal breaks into your home and your dog bites the criminal to protect your property; your dog has less rights than the criminal and receives a date to die! There is no explanation of menace so this is also left up to the interpretation of the court. 
  • Contrary to Liberal spew, this law is 100% based on LOOKS not BEHAVIOR of any dog. The dog does not have to do anything wrong, simply needs to "look" a certain way. This law was NOT based on fact or science. Is it a well written law? Absolutely. It was written by constitutional lawyers and law professors. Is it based on rational or fact? Absolutely 100% NO! 

In Ginger's case, her owners mother was out for a walk with her. It was 2 months exactly after the law took effect. To be safe, since Ginger is a short haired mutt of unknown lineage, they were compliant with the law and she was leashed and muzzled. Another off leash dog named Buddy that is a Border Collie/Shepherd type dog, got into a squabble with Ginger and tore off her muzzle. Ginger received damage under her one eye that is permanent. Consequently the muzzle was taken as evidence by the city be subsequently "lost" before the court date. Ginger retaliated and Buddy's owner got in on the business end of the squabble. She was bitten but did not require hospital attention.

Animal control was called and Toronto Animal Services charged and seized Ginger. The city illegally held Ginger for 3 1/2 years in the pound. Ginger's owner hired a lawyer but the fact the city was illegally impounding Ginger was overlooked.

The case was taken over by Clay Ruby last summer. Ginger was sprung from the pound. Ginger was finally back with her owner after nearly 4 years. Many dogs wouldn't have lived through that experience unscathed, however Ginger picked up where she left off. Her mental and physical scars fell away and in true dog form living in the now, she adjusted quickly to life back with her owner.

A justice of the peace granted the city’s application in 2007 to have Ginger destroyed, but Ontario Court Justice Mary Hogan set aside that destruction order last year. Hogan said legislation introduced by the province in 2005, which amended the Dog Owners’ Liability Act and targeted pit bulls, was ambiguously worded. It could be interpreted to mean judges must always order a pit bull destroyed once it has bitten or attacked another person, she said, but it could also be read as requiring judges to first determine whether destruction is necessary for public safety.

The city of Toronto appealed Justice Hogan's decision. The city was granted an appeal. The city brought in the provincial Liberal government to intervene.

The ruling of the court of appeal disagreed with Justice Hogan and overturned her decision.

“Respectfully,” Blair said Thursday, Hogan’s “interpretation … is not tenable, in my view.”
The legislation is clear, he said, that when it comes to pit bulls, one bite or attack, or one menacing act by the dog, requires a court to issue a destruction order.
New evidence is not allowed in court of appeal. As part of the argument, Ruby asked the court to kick the case back down to a municipal level. New evidence could then be brought up and the appeal court did not need to rule in favor of killing a good dog based on the draconian law.

Dog squabbles happen all the time. This in no way indicates a dog is aggressive or a danger to public safety. It is irrational to think dogs must maintain composure no matter the circumstance. This may be likened to someone walking down the street minding their own business (wearing handcuffs *muzzle*) when someone comes up and punches you in the face. The handcuffs fall off now your hands are free. Do you retaliate? Probably. It is nature's way to retaliate in some way to an unwarranted attack.

I got to know Ginger and her owner in the last couple years. Ginger is a sweet and gentle soul. She has been through a lot in her 8 years. She was only 3 years old when she was attacked by Buddy. She has spent most of her life having her life fought for because she was at the wrong place at the wrong time and looked a certain way.

We had a fundraising event this past summer. Ginger and her owner attended the event. It was held in a night club on Queen St. W. There was a band (loud music) and a lot of people milling around. It was dark and loud. Where was Ginger? in the middle of the floor on her back, getting belly rubs!! She has such a balanced temperament. I know a lot of dogs and including my own I don't know of too many that would subject themselves to such a vulnerable position in a loud packed room full of strangers!

Ginger passed her CGN Canine Good Neighbor test in August. She passed with flying colors! I witnessed this with my own two eyes. The CGN test is a CKC certified test performed by a CKC certified evaluator.

There are 12 steps to the CGN test:

1. Accepting a friendly stranger
2. Politely accepts petting
3. Appearance and grooming
4. Out for a walk
5. Walking through a crowd
6. Sit/down on command and stay in place
7. Come when called
8. Praise and interaction
9. Reaction to a passing dog
10. Reaction to distraction
11. Supervised isolation
12. Walking through a door/gate

The last paragraph of the ruling makes me sick to my stomach.

I recognize this decision will be difficult for Mr. Huggins, and the result perhaps
incomprehensible to him. Like pet owners generally, he is undoubtedly very fond of
Ginger and sees her as the friendly dog and docile pet his mother portrayed at trial. The legislature has decided, however – as it is entitled to do – that pit bulls are inherently dangerous animals that pose a risk to public safety by their very presence in public places. The language of s. 4(8) is clear and unambiguous about what is to happen when a pit bull contravenes its provisions, and must be given effect.
“R.A. Blair J.A.”
“I agree D. O’Connor A.C.J.O.”
“I agree Janet Simmons J.A.”
RELEASED: November 4, 2010

I hope one day the heavy gauntlet of justice falls onto those who have contributed to the deaths of thousands of innocent souls. Souls that were killed not based on behavior; which behavior is learned at the hands of a human owner, but simply for looking a certain way. Legislated to die based on absolute propaganda, media hype, myth and bullshit.

Ginger getting her CGN test...

I am sorry sweet girly that Dalton McGuinty and his henchmen,this province and the city of Toronto let you down. I am ashamed to say I am from Ontario. 

Thanks Dalton McGuinty for making this province such a hell hole. I demand you resign your position as premier of this province! You are fired! This province will be years digging out from beneath the hole you have created. I hope you are proud of being the worst premier this province has ever witnessed!Take your right wing, hyper conservative views and shove them up your ass because we the people of this province don't share your fascist views. 


  1. Excellent Work at detailing Ginger's story and the results of the "judgement". While brushing away the tears, I salute your tribute to this wonderful family pet. How many? How many more family pets will have to die before we see justice again in this nightmare we now know as On-Scario? I am feeling like a stranger in a strange land.

  2. Agree this is a very informative report of this terrible story. Your portrayal of Ginger fills in so many blanks, along with the photos. Thank you for every word.

  3. Can this be taken to the Supreme Court of Canada?

  4. I particularily like the last sentence of the blog and say "Here Here!".
    And should we not forget the man that started this all.......Mr. Michael Bryant.
    I hope Ginger and her owner run far away from this province.

  5. This case could be appealed to the SCC however the same rules apply that they only hear less than 10% of all cases appealed to them. It is super expensive and I won't say one way or another but I suspect it is way more money than most people can afford. That will be up to Ginger's owner whether he appeals to the higher court. Unfortunately it still costs to apply with no guarantees to be heard. The Government of this province counted on the fact that this law would wear people down both emotionally and financially. May they rot in hell.

  6. Are they considering fleeing the province?

  7. That's the only thing that they can do is appeal to the supreme court and hope that they do something to strike down this unjust law.

  8. Wow. This is the first time I've understood it clearly. Clear as tears.

  9. If they need a place to go, my pup and I are in Newfoundland now. Instead of dirty looks and accusatory "Is that a pit bull?" queries, I get people stopping me on the street to tell me how beautiful my dog is.

  10. Hey Ginger,
    I know someone with a nice plot of land on the east coast.

  11. I too agree excellent and from the heart. That last paragragh made me sick re-reading the ruling yesterday as well.

  12. I am ashamed to live in this province. It's like being a bad dream that never ends. You keep expecting one of these politicians to stand up and say "None of this makes any sense! What were we thinking?". But they never do, and the bad dream just keeps on going and going and going, getting worse every day.

  13. There are few words left to say. Disgusting, revolting, so absurdly wrong it is ridiculous...

  14. Ginger is welcome in Nova Scotia ANYtime! I am ashamed of the Ontario law makers and am so glad I live in Nova Scotia.

  15. There was a comment above;

    That's the only thing that they can do is appeal to the supreme court and hope that they do something to strike down this unjust law.

    We appealed our case to the SCC. They turned us down. It cost us over $50,000 to file an appeal and we didn't get the money back when they turned us down. That was on top of the already 3/4 of a million we already spent constitutionally challenging this bullshit law! Hence the endless 6 year fundraising blitz which is ongoing by the DLCC! As chair of events for the DLCC I can attest to every painful bump in fundraising for the court challenge. What a tragedy that after all that time and effort, we measly dog owners are at a stalemate after winning a round having major portions of the law struck, losing an appeal where the law was reinstated, then being turned down by SCC. We were willing to go the distance on that case but were thrown under the bus yet again. A new case could be started on different grounds but the constitutional case we launched is dead in the water.

    For the record, the government isn't stupid. They count on the fact people will wear down, run out of money and become financially and emotionally bankrupt.

    Even if Ginger's owner decides to appeal to the SCC they will NOT decide this is wrong and do something about it. That unfortunately isn't how law or justice works. It isn't about the emotional right or wrong but the case law itself. If Ginger's owner decided to appeal and even if the SCC decided to hear it, the law would not disappear. His case could be overturned and it would be a huge notch against the law standing firm since all cases won against a law whittle away at the strength of a law.

    Just thought I'd clear that up.. and for the record, I am still in fightin' form!!!

  16. While I understand everyone is fighting for this unjust law to be repealed, at this point I think it should purely be working on how long Ginger can be kept alive, she is now 8 year young. So if it takes years & years to reach the Superior Court Of Canada, then I say let the games begin. If a few lay people have to be grouped together each utilizing a special talent and file this Application themselves then great, lets band together. The reason I say this is because in the interim we can hope Ginger gets to live her life and pass from old age BEFORE she ever see the Application denied

  17. In the original constitutional case (Ontario Attorney General vs. Catherine Cochrane), the Ontario Court of Appeals handed down their decision (against us) on October 24, 2008.

    We appealed to the Supreme Court around the end of March, 2009.

    On June 11, 2009, the Supreme Court decided not to hear the case.

    So total time from actual appeal to decision was less than three months.

    It also cost us $50,000 just to file the appeal! And we didn't get any of that back when they refused to hear the case.

  18. Can the dog be sent to live out of province if in order to save her life?

  19. What a great post, thank you so much for wording so properly what so many Canadians feel right now.

  20. To clarify the question whether Ginger can be shipped out of province; that was not offered as a remedy by the court. The order is for destruction therefore that will be the only legal choice. There could possibly be a charge of obstruction of justice if the order is not carried through but that would be a choice on behalf of the city of Toronto. That is hypothetically speaking of course. I doubt very much Ginger's owner had had time to make any decisions as of yet? Not sure.. I know if it were me, I would be in shock and panic right about now. My heart bleeds for them.

  21. what would happen if someone stole her?

  22. Sick fukking pricks in gov't that contributed to this are no different than hitler and what he did to the jews. Ignorance and stupidity are at every single level of society, its so scary to think a piece of shit like this is in a position to make blind ignorant decisions like that without remorse. I hope someone he loves dies in a car accident..

    I really do!

  23. Blair, O'Connor and Simmons should be ashamed of themselves for supporting unfounded, unjust legislation that makes responsible pet owners into second class citizens.

    I expect justice from the courts. Not parroting political lies.

    McGuinty Lie-berals have no shame or remorse. No conscience whatsoever.

  24. I'd also like to point out that two people who should understand unfounded and unjust discrimination voted for this law.

    Kathleen Wynne and George Smitherman, as "out" homosexuals, should be ashamed of themselves for voting to legislate people into second-class citizenship.

    If they're capable of conscience and shame, that is.

  25. Gee, just how did the City of Toronto lose legal evidence???

    How convenient. I thought that might happen.

  26. It's really amazing how Wynne and Smitherman complain about discrimination and profiling yet elect to VOTE it in for others. This ban, and it's terrible consquences, captures in it every race, sex and age range. Maybe it is their way of "getting back" at so many members of the public on a grander scale? Surely they can't be as stupid and ignorant on THIS issue as they pretend to be. Smitherman KNEW that all the CREDIBLE experts were against BSL. As per Kathleen? I believe SHE is holding onto the power she was given at any cost and to heck with anyone else. All those that voted for the ban have seriously comprised their integity by legalizing this 21st witch hunt for the sake of pandering to media hype. Look up the study done called "Panic Policy Making; Breed Bans in Canada and the United States" for proof of same.

  27. There are protests planned this Friday in Ottawa, Toronto and Calgary, as well as one on Saturday in Montreal.

    Here's the facebook event page for Ottawa - it links to the sister events as well, for those of you outside Ottawa.

    The Ottawa event will be held in front of McGuinty's office! Come out and support Ginger!

  28. Even if it is considered obstruction of justice, I certainly hope Ginger's owner flees this hell-hole of a province with her. This is outrageous and absoutely disgusting. Dolt-on McLiar and the rest of the LIEBERALS need to go NOW!!!!!

  29. I would definately "dogsit" permanantly if he is interested. Message me if he would like to talk. I would hate for the dog to be destroyed when she can live a happy, healthy life somewhere else!

  30. Does anyone know if Bill Bruce was successful in getting Ginger to Calgary?

  31. Not sure if the owner has made any decisions yet.