Guest author Caveat wrote this educational and informative response to Liberal candidate Yasir Naqvi Ottawa Centre.
Mr Naqvi sent along the canned reponse prepared for all candidates by Big Daddy Dalton. Heaven forbid a candidate should actually voice their own opinion! I decided to respond to Mr Naqvi because that's the kind of person I am.
Yasir and Bella!
Dear Mr Naqvi,
Thank you very much for responding to the Dog Legislation Council of Canada's survey on a topic important to informed dog owners with a form letter prepared for all candidates by Dalton McGuinty. For your information, he did the same thing last time and it was just as risible.
While I understand that Mr McGuinty runs a tight ship (a ship from which the largest of the rats have already exited), I would expect a more thoughtful response, especially from a fellow dog owner such as yourself. I fully realize this is difficult, since Mr McGuinty has a policy which forbids boat-rocking of any kind. This includes speaking on behalf of constituents rather than supporting Mr McGuinty's interests. Ah, the hollow shell we call democracy these days is but a shadow of its former self.
But I digress.
Thanks for sending along a picture of you with your dog, Bella. It always pleases me when we receive these pictures because it gives me a chance to educate. Education is what I'm all about, and I'm not even a member of a union. I do it for nothing. Go figure.
Anyway, I note that you seem to own a 'husky' type of dog, either purebred or of mixed, and therefore unknowable, ancestry. You must be unaware of the fact that the number one dog in Canada for fatalities, including fatalities involving children, is the 'husky' type. It was 24 dead at last count, dating back to 1983 only. In comparison, there has been one fatality reliably attributed to a 'pit bull' type, occurring in 1995 in Toronto.
Now, obviously, packs of slavering 'huskies' aren't running through the streets bent on mayhem, randomly attacking passers-by.
No, these fatalities, like all dog bite-related fatalities and in fact all dog attacks, can be traced to human error. It's the conditions under which dogs are kept and how they are managed that leads to bites and attacks.
There's no such thing as a 'husky'. It's a slang term for a shape of randomly bred dog - a mutt, if you will - a dog of mixed, and therefore unknowable, ancestry.
Much like a 'pit bull'.
Now, stop me if you already know this: There's no such thing as a 'pit bull'. It's a slang term for a shape of randomly bred dog - a mutt, if you will - a dog of mixed, and therefore unknowable, ancestry.
You look like an intelligent person, if a bit keen for my liking, considering what you are representing.
Tell me how a mixed breed dog of who-knows-what ancestry can possibly exhibit 'breed' characteristics.
Tell me how a mixed breed dog can be identified by someone who has been bitten and is likely not a dog person, by a newsie, by an animal services person, by anybody, anywhere, when all dogs are alike genetically, be they the most highly prized purebreds or the lowliest pariahs in the street.
Tell me why three purebred dogs have been banned in Ontario when 1) they are so rare that most people will never see one and b) there has never been a reported bite by a member of any of those three breeds.
It is interesting the way Mr McGuinty and his minions like to cherry-pick. He's managed to scrape up two supposed 'pit bull' attacks over the past four years. Bravo! This just goes to prove to those of us who think rationally that per usual, so-called 'pit bulls' are as safe as all other dogs, mainly because they ARE just dogs: Short-haired mutts that people love just as much as I love my Griffons or you love your 'husky', Bella.
Contrary to the mythology promulgated on both sides of the issue, one cannot breed dogs to be aggressive, to like humans and not like dogs, to be a good 'family' dog or any of the rest of it. Dogs can only be conditioned to be so. You cannot breed for behaviour, you can only transer physiological characteristics that might make certain behaviours easier to shape. That is what the science says and trust me, I've been delving into it deeply since the summer of 2004 when this disgusting witch hunt began. As my esteemed colleague says: "If we can breed dogs for behaviour, then why aren't we breeding them to heel?".
It would be interesting to read through a list of all the dog-on-dog attacks that have taken place over the past seven years but I know full well that information will remain closeted, just like the information we requested regarding how much money the government has wasted on its useless, discriminatory "pit bull" ban. I know how much we spent going through the courts so I expect they blew at least ten times that amount, based on past behaviour by this government. You know, 'the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour' and all that jazz.
Here's a fact for you: 99.9% of all dogs will never bite anybody.
My objections to the legislation have little to do with dogs, much as I care for them, and a lot to do with dog owners' rights.
Here are a couple of cases for you to consider:
- A middled-aged accountant in Brampton had his front door kicked in and his unoffending dog abducted because Animal Services were on a vendetta against perceived 'pit bulls' in that city. The same thing happened to a woman in her 70s up the street. Both dogs were at the pound for three months, were identified by AS's own vet as not 'pit bulls' and were released back to the owner in not such great shape. Guess who won't be voting Liberal in this election?
- A young Vietnamese man in Mississauga took his dog to be neutered at a new clinic and was ratted out to Animal Services for owning a "pit bull" that was too young to be in Ontario. Two years of pain and thousands of dollars later, the court found his dog was NOT a "pit bull" but a Boxer cross as he had stated from the beginning. Guess who won't be voting Liberal this time?
I could go on and on, I am contacted daily by people, usually young men from visible minorities or those who have low incomes, to help them save their beloved dogs from this horrendous situation in Ontario.
Mr McGuinty, in the face of overwhelming opposition by experts, dog owners and members of the general public, went ahead with this legislation which has failed (and largely been repealed), everywhere it has been tried. The Committee process was perverted and turned into an Inquisition - go figure. He whipped the vote, as he likes to do, because even members of his own caucus were uncomfortable with the idea of legislated discriminatinon, a two-tiered justice system.
In Ontario, we now have warrantless entry into a residence on a pretext, warrantless search and seizure in public, restrictions on mobility, reverse onus - in this case a defendant must prove an impossible negative, that their dog is NOT a 'breed' that doesn't exisit - discrimination based on the physical appearance of otherwise universally legal property, overbreadth and vagueness to the point of creating a reign of terror among dog owners in this province.
That is what you support when you parrot Mr McGuinty's campfire tales for the weak of mind.
As a Canadian, I believe that legislation should govern behaviour, not physical appearance.
Here's a tip for you: If you have to have your dog in a strangle-hold in order to have her picture taken, she needs much more exercise and some good obedience training. A 'husky' type is built to be an endurance breed so a walk around the block isn't going to be enough. You might consider a treadmil, although the animal rights/liberation crew that lobbied Mr Zimmer so successfully might brand you a dog-fighter if you own one, so be careful. Bring it in at night.
I hope I have given you something to think about and I thank you again for your response to our survey. It made my day.
Somebody else who won't be voting 'Liberal'