Sunday, February 27, 2011

Fantastic news from Scotland

German Shepherd pulling on leashDogs will now be judged on their behaviour rather than their breed

'Dog asbos' come into force in Scotland

New legislation has come into force in Scotland to close a loophole in the Dangerous Dogs Act.
The Control of Dogs (Scotland) Act aims to judge dogs on their behaviour, not breed, and gives powers to impose penalties on irresponsible owners.
ht Melissa for sending me the link.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Police must develop a training plan for dealing with dogs while on calls

I have heard of countless instances where police are called only to end in dogs shot and killed. Police of course say the dog was "acting aggressively" which may or may not be the whole truth. There was an instance in Cambridge in the past few months where the dogs were of course reported to be "pitbulls" and they were actually Fila's but the kicker was; they were puppies and also shot in the rear end. If dogs are shot in the rear end, they are running away from you not toward you.

There was a case not too far from where I live that happened a few winters ago. A man who was wheelchair bound was out with his Rottweiler when his wheelchair tipped over. Police came and the dog was being protective of his owner but was not loose. He was tied to the wheelchair, however police shot the dog dead in front of his owner who laid in the snow saying the dog was acting aggressively toward them.

There is another case that I read about this week in Regina. The person was having an epileptic seizure. The EMS were called who in turn called the police because the dog was being protective of the home. The guy was upstairs and the humane society was called but too far away. The police shot the dog dead firing 4 bullets and missing several times. Not only did the guy suffer a seizure but also lost his dog.

From CTV Regina Feb 18/11
A Regina man whose dog was shot by police trying to save the man in a medical emergency says he wishes the officer had another option besides killing his pet.
Cory Thompson suffered an epileptic seizure at his Regina home on Wednesday. Emergency responders initially weren't able to reach Thompson, who was in an upstairs room, because his American Staffordshire Terrier was blocking the top of the stairway.
"One of our officers attempted to enter the home when the dog approached quite aggressively," said Regina police spokeswoman Lara Guzik.
"The officer fired at the dog. There were four shots fired in total."
Not all of the shots hit the dog. The front entrance way to Thompson's house has bullet holes in the door, carpet, and floor. At least one bullet went through the floor and into the basement, hitting the television. Thompson says he wishes the police had another option beyond gunfire.
"If they would have had the proper net or rope and pole, they could have roped her and pulled her to where they had to pull her and tended to me," Thompson said.
Regina police have another option. They can phone the Humane Society to come handle overly protective dogs, but it isn't always feasible in medical emergencies.
"It depends on where our animal protection officers are," said Don Simons of the Regina Humane Society.
"Our officer was across town...that's why police felt they needed something quicker."
Police say the shooting incident will be reviewed.

I wish police who care about animals and are on the inside would push for and implement training for officers to learn how to deal with potentially threatening dogs. Carrying rope in cruisers and knowing how to contain a dog would save some lives and heartache.

I know that currently the only officers who know anything about dogs are those in the canine unit and they are not called out on routine calls. Many officers are afraid of dogs. Training and education would go a long way since half of all households own at least one dog. I assume dealing with dogs is an everyday occurrence for officers. Not all of them would be threatening however if you think about it, the officers are entering their territory if it is on the owners property, the dogs may be fearful or already in a heightened state due to circumstances. The most mild tempered dog at that moment he/she comes in contact with an officer may be appearing or be aggressive.

The heartache following the aftermath of your family member being shot is painful to think about. We all put ourselves there and think "what if it were me or my dogs?".

The thought is horrifying.

Side note..
I doubt the dog shown is an American Stafforshire Terrier. Very cute dog but AST's are rare in Saskatchewan too! Just a stickler for the facts is all... When AST's are identified as the breed, which we see often, it appears they are common and they are not. It is insane that a super rare breed was banned in Ontario having them commonly identified doesn't contribute to the truth. Sometimes fearful or ignorant people see a dog that they think looks like the notorious "pitbull" which is a slang term for a shape of dog. That can cause the finger to be on the trigger as well.. just sayin'..

FYI there are less than 30 AST's in Ontario. Most people have never met one!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Bill Bruce was in Vancouver discussing Calgary's model...

The printed a great article which is well worth posting..

Dog Licensing 


Calgary revolutionized its approach to animal control. On a recent visit, Bill Bruce explained how Vancouver might do the same.

Asked to recall his worst day on the job, Bill Bruce, director of Calgary's Animal & Bylaw Services, doesn't hesitate. "It was five years ago, a hot summer. The shelter was overrun with cats. We had more coming in and nowhere to put them. I asked my staff to choose 16 animals to euthanize. To make a trained vet tech choose which animals will live and which will die, that's a horrible thing to ask. I promised my staff it would never happen again."
Bruce was at a dog-training facility in East Vancouver, explaining how he'd turned Calgary into a model-the model-of canine control. He'd used three simple principles: educate people on the benefits of dog licensing; remove barriers; and reward compliance. Calgary now has 108,500 licensed dogs out of a canine population of 122,325-over 90 percent compliance, one of the highest figures in North America. In 10 years, dog bites have become statistically insignificant even as that city has grown. Dog aggression and property damage incidents are more than half what they were in 1999. As a result, Bruce-an unassuming fellow who embodies the dog-training mantra of "calm, assertive energy"-is in demand as a speaker worldwide.
The audience in East Van, which included animal control workers from across Metro Vancouver, listened intently as he explained how he'd addressed Calgary's cat issue.
Bruce fast-tracked a cat licensing program he had in development. It led to 10,000 licences being issued in the first few months ($10 if the cat was spayed or neutered, $30 if not) and 20,000 in the first year. Today, Calgary has 49,500 licensed cats, which equates to 50 percent compliance (he knows because he conducts an annual census). The resulting revenue funds the state-of-the art Animal Services Centre Clinic, which, in turn, not only increases business efficiencies (for treating adoptable animals), but also subsidizes a no-cost spay-and-neuter policy for low-income Calgarians.
Calgary Animal Services has an annual budget of $5.4 million, generated not through tax dollars but through licence and penalty revenues. Bruce's program developed over years of asking the right questions before proposing solutions, enacting rigorous measurement and accountability standards, and-most importantly-regulating "the right end of the leash."
"One of the first things I did when I started this job was visit a lot of shelters," said Bruce, the son of a police officer, who grew up with German shepherds in the house. "Even though many of the shelter dogs were stressed or scared, if you asked them to sit, they'd sit. These were someone's pets. In North America we do not have a problem with pet overpopulation, stray animals, nuisance or vicious animals-we have a problem with responsible ownership. Virtually every animal that ends up in a shelter or on the street is there because a human relationship failed them."
A city's dog population is generally about 10 percent of the human population, so Vancouver has about 60,000 dogs. Only about 21,200 are licensed, which leaves millions in revenue on the table. The city's animal control budget is $1.7 million; about half comes from fees, the other half from tax dollars. Cats are unlicensed, and there are no specific bylaws governing cat ownership or behaviour. (Chickens, yes; cats, no.)
Metro Vancouver comprises 17 cities and district municipalities, each with its own approach to services and bylaws. In this mishmash of regulations, one of the most polarizing issues is breed-specific legislation, by which "vicious animals" are defined by breed or, even more controversially, mere resemblance to a breed. "Bull breeds," such as American pit bull terriers and Staffordshire terriers, are heavily restricted in some municipalities. These restrictions were generally knee-jerk reactions to media-bred hysteria or the result of political "defender of safety" posturing. About half the Metro Van districts-including West Vancouver, Richmond, and Burnaby-have breed-specific legislation. Vancouver did, too, until it was struck down in 2005; and Delta did until November, when council voted to replace it with non-breed-specific definitions of "vicious dogs." (In the document circulated prior to the Delta vote, Calgary's practices were repeatedly cited.)
"Is the issue really the breed," Bruce asked, "or is it aggressive canine behaviour? Once you think in those terms, you can find common ground with the people it affects and create fewer behavioural incidents.
"Breed bans don't work-it's been proven time and again. Ontario conducted a five-year study and its ban hasn't significantly affected dog-bite incidents. When you point fingers at a breed, you force people to take sides. And you alienate responsible owners."
Almost every credible body, including the BC SPCA, opposes breed-specific legislation. Yet New West, one of the most regulated municipalities, lists five variations of Staffordshire or pit bull terrier (which, many experts say, isn't even a recognized breed), as well as five obscure ones (including Argentinian dogo).
"It's useless," volunteered an animal control officer from New West. "Pit bulls are not the problem. We see more problems with German shepherds and rottweilers." Bruce, who keeps detailed statistics (and makes them available at, added that most dog bites in Calgary are caused by small dogs, and that most deaths in Canada have been attributed to husky-type breeds.
Tom Hammel, Bruce's counterpart in Vancouver, called the presentation "inspiring" and "the right way to go." Despite a budget cutback in 2010, Hammel is determined to implement some of Bruce's strategies. He will stress licensing compliance, hoping to become self-funding. "Animal services touches every citizen. Their tax dollars support it, whether they have a dog or not. And our main mission is to protect people from dogs." Or, rather, from dog owners? Hammel chuckled: "Right."
When Bruce, who's about to celebrate 30 years of city service, was asked to name the best day of his career, he paused. "When I hear positive adoption stories. When our aggressive animal reports are down. When our return-to-owner rates are up. When I walk through our kennels and they're half empty because the animals went home. I've had many good days."

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Put your hands where we can see them and back away from Ontario!

A story on CTV today says;

Premier Dalton McGuinty says there's still room in his election platform for new ideas, even though the Liberals haven't ticked everything off their lengthy to-do list.
God bloody help us all.. have they not banned everything we consume, how we drive, what we drink even what shape of dog we can own! If they still have "to-do" items as they refer to, rather fall off the edge, right wing bullshit agenda is what I call it; this province is in even more trouble over the course of the next 8 months. 

Like I said in the title, "Put your hands where we can see them and back away from Ontario McGuinty!"

We've had more than enough of your "to-to" list. Your to-do list has thrown Ontario into a have not province, police state, discriminatory, scary place to live. You are officially dismissed without chance of parole for at least the next 50 years..