Monday, August 29, 2005

Day ONE of Ontario Pit bull Ban

I woke up numb today and walked around in a void feeling uncertainties and afraid to allow Shasta out. Then I went to a dear, sweet friend, Andee's site and what did I see? She posted about our ban and prayed a prayer for Ontario dog owners and asking for our amendments to be won. A prayer so touching and powerful that tears for the first time today flowed down my face as if to wash away my sorrow and fill me with hope.
I don't know how the other cities are going, but shortly after, we here in London, Ontario did receive some good news on our news channel today. Who says God doesn't answer prayers!
Lorna Chamberlain, the London Director of the Humane Society said that she stands firm against the Specific Breed Ban and does not see it as the solution on dog bite preventions. She also said that contrary to public belief, the pit bulls they have at the shelter are NOT being put done, but rather hoping that people will come and adopt them.
They showed adoreable, playful pups that where playing with the hands of a woman. The woman there was applying to adopt one of them. I hope she succeeds and I also hope that by what the London bylaw purposed by Fred Tranquilli doesn't stop the people from adopting them.
In regards to the whole Ontario Ban, Clayton Ruby held his press conference and says he thinks we have a good chance of making amendments to the new law because of the vagueness and too broad.
On the other hand, Michael Bryant does not think his law is too vague and has no worries about anything changing it.
I believe it is the Mayor in Sarnia that disagrees with Bryant and doesn't believe that banning a breed is the way to go to stop vicious dog bites. It seems more people are speaking up. Perhaps they also had to wait until the law came into effect before they could voice their opinions.
Reading the different cities newspapers regarding the ban, Ontario cities are not in sync and this could be a good thing. From mayors, councillers, and city goverment officials voicing their opinions, not only the pet owners or the general public.
How could a law that divided work? I don't think it can. When Michael Bryant said that 90% of the people of Ontario were for the ban, it's plain to see, that it was only 90% of the voices he decided to hear from and not the whole province, which we already knew.
A day of mourning for me has become a day of hope. It was only the votes of the Liberal MPP's that were on the list for the ban. No names of other parties were for it, but then again, the Liberals have the majority of seats.
I did hear that at one point the Conservatives were also considering the ban, but changed their views. I guess that doesn't matter now, as what does matter is us getting the amendments to this law to rectify it into a working law for all Ontarians.
Please pray for us that we get this law amended. Perhaps our challenge could help others in leading the way of ridding the BSL and use better solutions that work.
On a personal note, I took Shasta out for her walk to the park with her muzzle. I saw people look though car windows, but no nasty remarks were made, although many people weren't out that we saw and none nearby.
Shasta (the smarty pants that she is) used her front paws to try to remove the muzzle same as she takes off her sunglasses once we come into the apartment. It was secure enough that she couldn't and I quickly got her mind on something else to make her forget about the muzzle.
Having the training of a mother of two and now the grandkids, I use the same technigues on Shasta as basically she will remain a 3 year old her whole life, so little tricks of the trade really help out. *giggle* A simple wiggling of a stick on the ground was enough to forget about her muzzle.
We weren't out long and it didn't seem like she really felt like being out long neither, but once inside and everything removed, she waited for me to throw her cookie treats into the air for her to catch them. That, plus a lot of praise and hugs and then came the sloppy kisses from her with the big, wet tongue of hers. I didn't tell her 'People Kisses' this time as I was just glad she was happy and although I don't encourage the sloppy kisses, they felt good to me today.
She stood over me in a pinned down position and licked and licked while I rolled on the floor laughing. I could have stopped her had I really wanted to, but watching her joy and her love for me was just what I needed. Perhaps she knew that as she has licked away many tears recently. Even that, she does so delicately when I cry, but this was not delicate, this was a full face tongue bath! LOL
I just read a disturbing article in the Thunder Bay Source. I imagine our minds are so confused from all this that the mood swings will change from one minute to another. Estatic that my dog is alive and saddened by the ignorance of others.
Day One brought on numbness and sadness, to hope, laughter and tears. It's like seize the moment for the next moment is totally different. It's a hard feeling for me to try to explain or understand myself.
UPDATE: My mom just phoned me and told me none of the SPCA's were going to put down any of the pit bulls. They are going for adoption. Is this good news or is this good news?!
Pit bull Ban in Calgary, Alberta unlikely


I wrote our London Mayor, Anne Marie DeCicco in regards to the new purposed bylaw.
All correspondence to this should go directly to Councillor Tranquilli.

Fred W. Tranquilli
453 Regal DriveLondon, Ontario N5Y 1K1
City Hall: (519) 661-2500 Ext. 4885City Hall Fax: (519) 661-5933E-Mail:
Residence: (519) 455-1774

We have another City Hall meeting in mid September, but why not express your concerns to him now.
While fighting to kill Bill 132, one of the organization members made a statement that perhaps we fought too much with facts rather than emotion. I tried hard to keep from sending in emotional emails eplaining how much Shasta meant to me and how she has helped me though so many of my phobias and how she brought life back into me. I tried to stick to facts.
When the dog attack victims spoke, they didn't relay facts. They relayed their heart felt feelings. They expressed their fears. Facts have been repeated over and over again. They've heard all our arguments on hard facts. Perhaps we should draw at the heart strings the way we really feel about our dogs, as individuals, not in general. Show him how this new bylaw will effect us and the devistation it is causing us.
I still want to speak at the meeting, and if anybody in London needs that information, please email me and I will give you the contact name.
I may be wrong, but I plan on appealing with my heart and how this purposed bylaw will effect me personally.
If you feel I am wrong, please let me know and why.
Today, the official day of our ban has started. Today is not like any other. Today countless numbers of dogs across Ontario will be mass murdered out of shear innocence. They never bit or did a vicious act of vilolence.
There is a candle light vigil in Toronto today, held at 8pm. I can't be there in person, but I can be there in spirit. I plan to lite my own candle and mourn this travisty. Not just the Ontario dogs, but the Denver dogs and all the others that are being slaughters for no other reason but for their name of breed or what they look like.
Wherever you live, no matter what country, won't you join in spirit at 8pm your time all across the globe in memberance of how fear and ignorance have dealt a death sentence to so many loving, loyal pets.
On last nights news, it showed pit bulls and other large dogs having their final day of running free unmuzzled and playing. The reporter spoke to several people, but this one young womans reply made me gasp in disbelief.
He asked her if she was frightened that her dog may be next on the list of being banned? Her reply was so nieve. Se said, ' Now that they have banned one breed, I don't think they wuld ban another.' She obviously does not understand the mind of a criminal that will go on to another large muscular dog, which was what she had.
Did we ever think a couple of years ago, they would go after 'our' dogs? But now that it has and is happening, what's to stop them from banning more? Other countries have. Our eyes have been opened. Our hearts broken.
But for today, hug the dogs you have and love and remember those that were loved by someone else and the loss they have suffered and are suffering.
Today, I mourn the loss of Shasta's and others like her, their freedom snatched away from them. Today I mourn the countless others of the fear they will feel... and they will feel fear. Today I mourn the people who's job it is to do the dirty task of putting these dogs down as I know there are many that feel like us. Today, light your candles and pray that history will not continue to repeat itself and we find the way to save the fates of future dogs.
Let your hearts, spirit and prayers be with the dogs today, no matter what your beliefs are.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

What was Fun...Becomes Mourning..

Last night I received a phone call from my Mom and brother. It's a week of camping as a get together at a near by Provincial Park.
Normally, I was be overjoyed getting together and Shasta always has so much fun meeting other campers and their pets as we walk along the dirt roads or the shore line or anywhere in the park. But, this year, I feel down-hearted. This year it will be a week of muzzling for her and no long lead to give her full reign of our campsite. She'll be allowed approximately 1.5 metres. Her freedom snatched from her for no reason other than law.
I will walk her as much as possible so she doesn't feel that lack of freedom completely, but I still don't know how the muzzle will effect her spirit. All her socializing gone just like that. For once, for her sake, I wish we weren't going, but of course I love this get together with my Mom and bro. It's become an annual thing, but I only wish it had of come before everything went into effect.
I'm going to take some white candles and hold my own vigil for all the dogs and pups that will and have lost their lives simply because of what breed they were born to. I also wonder what the research facilities will use them for, but I'm probably better off not knowing as my mind already shows me dreadful pictures.
I'm trying to take the advice of the woman I spoke to in regards to the proposed city bylaw. She had seen Shasta and I on the news and knew Shasta was a sweetheart and heard my concerns as I spoke during the interview. She reminded me is was only a proposal and they can still be faught. Yeah! Like how we faught so hard to kill bill 132? But, I have to remind myself the fight isn't's just beginning. I'm only so sad for all the dogs that are lost along the way that didn't stand a chance before we could start to fight.
I'm angry at the owners that abandoned their dogs or left them on the steps of the Humane Society. You're COWARDS! You didn't even have the decency to find your dogs another home! You don't deserve a pet to love you unconditionally! You certainly didn't love them back! You didn't even take them in yourself because you didn't want to pay the fee of perhaps them having a chance at adoption. No! You simply deserted them. You're nothing more than slime in my eyes and I hope never to meet up with you and find out what you did...because I would report you for desertion and let you get fined. Make you pay after all and not allowed another animal for two years. I WILL report you COWARDS without a second thought...just as you didn't give your dogs a chance.
As I'm camping my thoughts and prayers will be with the dogs. Every time I look at Shasta will remind me of her kind being murdered. Her sad eyes above the muzzle not understanding why she is being punished.
Let NOT one nasty remark be said during our stay there or I will lose it on them. If they think my dog is nasty, I will let them know what nasty is! Nasty is the bigots that don't know diddly squat, but voice their ignorance out loud.
The A** H*LES are the ones that don't say it to your face. They boast loudly their hatred remarks to others. Is that not harassment and slander?
I wonder where my good nature went? My peaceful demeanor? I guess it's mourning all those poor dogs that are perishing and I have a right to be angry. My rights are being pulled from under my feet. Yes, I believe I have a good right to be mad and mourn this travesty!

Owners to Fight Ontario Pit bull Ban

This just came in, in the National Post today.

Owners to fight Ontario pit bull ban

By Gillian Livingston
Canadian Press
Sunday, August 28, 2005

CREDIT: Ottawa Citizen, Pat McGrath
A six-and-a-half-month-old pit bull.

TORONTO -- Canada's first provincewide pit bull ban is already facing a challenge by those who call it arbitrary and say it fails to deal with the real issue of preventing bites by vicious animals.
Pit bull supporters in Ontario insist that banning one breed is unfair and that bad owners who want to train an animal to be aggressive will simply turn to another type of dog.
"The breed-specific legislation is unacceptable,'' said Natalie Kemeny, co-founder of Advocates for the Underdog, a dog rescue group in Windsor, Ont.
"I don't believe it's going to solve the problem in Ontario,'' said Kemeny.
She plans to attend a candlelight vigil at the provincial legislature Sunday in an effort to urge politicians to "punish the deed, not the breed.''
Irate dog owners and breeders have also hired renowned defence lawyer Clayton Ruby to challenge the law, claiming it violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms because it is too vague and unscientific. Ruby is scheduled to hold a press conference at his Toronto office on Monday.
Kemeny said the government needs to crack down on bad owners, because they're responsible for making pit bulls aggressive.
"What's (Attorney General) Michael Bryant going to do when ... these same people that are being irresponsible with this type of dog are now going to move onto the next dog?'' Kemeny asked.
"What's going to happen? Is it going to be someone else's breed that's next?''
Those opposed to the ban commend the government for parts of the new law that boost fines and add jail time for owners of any dog that bites, regardless of breed.
But those who have felt or seen the piercing teeth of a pit bull say the new rules are necessary to make the province's streets safer.
"I've seen enough, I'm glad the law is finally coming into effect,'' Louise Ellis said.
The Toronto woman recalls watching helplessly, 11 years ago, as a pit bull sank its teeth into the face of her then-five-year-old daughter, Lauren.
The pair were walking together when the girl asked the owner of the unleashed dog if it was nice, and if she could pet it. The dog lunged and attacked. It didn't let go until the little girl lost consciousness. It took 300 stitches to close the wounds.
The girl, who is now 16, will forever bear the scars from that mauling. The dog was destroyed.
Ellis calls herself a dog lover and owns an English springer spaniel. But she insisted pit bulls are unlike other dogs because they are bred for their strength.
"There's a big difference between pit bulls and other dogs,'' she said. "When they bite, they sink their teeth in, they rip, they tear, they pull.''
"They don't just nip and go away,'' Ellis said.
The dogs are comparable to a weapon when in the hands of an irresponsible owner, she said.
"I don't believe that they should be bred for people to own in Ontario, or anywhere else for that matter.''
The law allows pit bulls already in the province as of Monday to stay -- deemed "restricted'' animals -- as long as they're sterilized and kept muzzled and leashed in public. There's a 60-day grace period, until Oct. 28, for owners to comply with the law.
Under the law, it is illegal to breed pit bulls or to import them into the province. Puppies born within 90 days -- by Nov. 27 -- will also be considered restricted and can stay in Ontario.
Any pit bull born after that will have to be shipped out of the province, sent to a research facility or destroyed.

© Canadian Press 2005

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Amendment to the Dog Owners' Liability Act (Bill 132) Petition

It's time for as many Ontario residence to get these petitions circulated and gather all the signatures we possibly can. Distribute them to all that will help, such as stores, send them to school with your kids and have students and teachers sign (even put the name and city of the school so they can see it's more than owners of dogs wanting amendments), friends and relatives out of town without access to a computer. The more that get involved gathering signatures the better for us.
Clayton Rudy is holding a press conference on Monday, Aug. 29th in Toronto, on the day the ban takes effect. We can't expect to win if we all don't do our share of what we can.
If you are unable to collect signatures, at least please sign the petition. There is no restriction to age and the only requirement is that you are an Ontario resident signing.
Please print the petition and get it circulating so we can get to the real problem at hand and help make Ontario a safer place to live. We need to start now!

Last Days of Freedom

Arthur George, who already saved two Pit bulls from death is saddened by the fact that we lost with the ban. Steve Barker, Ontario director of the Dog Legislation of Canada wonders if perhaps we weren't emotional enough when fighting against it, rather than reasoning with the government by stating facts.
Here's the story from todays Globe and Mail;

Pit bull restrictions begin on Monday
Owners could face big fine and jail time if their dogs bite or attack anyone

Saturday, August 27, 2005

As the last hours of unbounded freedom tick by for Ontario's pit bulls, Arthur Joseph allows his 10-month old dog Bella to roam in an Etobicoke park without a muzzle.
Mr. Joseph is a 29-year-old mechanic who keeps his head shaved close, wears camouflage combat pants and owns two pit bulls. He's also a sensitive animal lover who is deeply troubled by Ontario's new dog licensing law.
"It just doesn't make sense," Mr. Joseph said. "The ban is not going to accomplish anything. All the ban is going to do is hurt good people who obey the law. All these gangsters who have these dogs and breed them illegally and fight them illegally -- guess what? They do illegal things. They're criminals."
The law, which comes into effect Monday but provides for a 60-day grace period, bans pit bulls born after Nov. 27 and all those brought into the province starting next week. Those dogs can be confiscated and destroyed by municipal licensing officers.
The law contains a grandfather clause to allow dogs such as Bella, and Mr. Joseph's five-month-old male pit bull Jimi, to live out the rest of their days under certain restrictions. These "restricted" dogs must be leashed and muzzled when off their owner's property, and they must be spayed or neutered by Oct. 28. If they have offspring, the puppies must be surrendered to the pound. If they bite, attack or are deemed to pose a threat to the public, their owner could face a fine of up to $10,000 and six months in jail.
The law is designed to protect citizens from violent dogs and is the first of its kind to be passed by a province or state in North America.
The city of Windsor moved on its own to ban pit bulls last October, and it was through Advocates for the Underdog, an agency that rescued pit bulls and smuggled them to other jurisdictions, that Mr. Joseph acquired Bella and Jimi.
He said he couldn't bear the thought of dogs dying needlessly. Although he understands the need for dangerous-dog legislation, he can't see why pit bulls are the only breed to be banned.
"There's lots of dangerous dogs out there that aren't pit bulls," he said, adding that he is a responsible owner whose pit bulls pose no threat.
He believes the pit bull legislation was proposed as a way to win popularity for Attorney-General Michael Bryant. He has read through pages of the committee hearings on the matter earlier this year, and said he's baffled that the Attorney-General concluded a breed-specific ban was the best way to proceed.
"Maybe we weren't emotional enough," said Steve Barker, Ontario director of the Dog Legislation Council of Canada.
While the Attorney-General's office produced harrowing testimony from bite victims, those opposed to the pit bull ban restricted their arguments to facts, he said.
Tomorrow night, he and Mr. Joseph will join a group of fellow dog owners in a candlelight vigil at Queen's Park for the thousands of dogs they predict will be euthanized under the new legislation.
But they haven't conceded yet. On Monday, a coalition of dog groups known as the Banned Aid Coalition will launch a lawsuit aimed at derailing the new law. Civil-rights lawyer Clayton Ruby is taking on the brief and, Mr. Barker said, is going to base his argument on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Mr. Ruby was not available for comment.
"We feel we have no choice but to challenge it legally because we couldn't get through to the government in a logical manner," Mr. Barker said.
For Mr. Joseph, the new law has already meant a major change. He has bought a new house at the edge of Pickering with a large backyard and a high fence that will allow his dogs to run free without muzzles. That way, they won't be singled out on the street and treated as dangerous pariahs. He's already had Bella spayed, and will have Jimi neutered when the dog matures, and he feels only a little regret that they won't be able to reproduce.
"There's people out there that don't like dogs, and this ban is going to make those people happy," he said.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Ont. Pit owners: NOW HEAR THIS!

Attention News/Assignment Editors:

Pit bull ban legislation TORONTO, Aug. 26 /CNW/ -

WHAT: On Monday August 29, 2005, the new amendments to the Dog Owners' Liability Act (Bill 132) come into force banning the ownership
of pit bulls in Ontario.
Clayton Ruby will hold a press conference to discuss the constitutional challenge to the amendment to the Dog Owners' Liability Act (Bill 132).

WHERE: Ruby & Edwardh
Barristers and Solicitors
11 Prince Arthur Ave.
Toronto, ON
M5R 1B2

WHEN: Monday August 29, 2005 at 9:30 a.m.

For further information: MANDY MACHIN AT RUBY & EDWARDH (416) 964-9664

Here's a cheer for Clayton Ruby!

'Clayton Ruby, he's our man!
If anyone can save them, Ruby CAN!

Ban will cause Pit bull Slaughter!

Ban will cause pit bull slaughter: activists
CREDIT: AP Photo, Rich Pedroncelli

Gillian Livingston
Canadian Press
August 25, 2005
CREDIT: AP Photo, Rich Pedroncelli

Harley, a four-month-old Bull Terrier mix, gives her owner, Piper, a lick during a rally held in support of the breed held at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif.

CREDIT: AP Photo, Rich Pedroncell
TORONTO -- Animal rescue organizations and humane societies fear that hundreds of pit bulls will be abandoned and then have to be destroyed after Canada's first provincewide pit bull ban comes into effect in Ontario on Monday.
They also fear there will be a "slaughter" of puppies born after Nov. 27, at which point they will be considered illegal in the province.
A slew of pit bulls were abandoned to shelters or simply let loose in Windsor, Ont., as some owners found it too difficult to comply with the city's strict pit bull ban brought in last October, said John Roushorne, general manager of the Windsor-Essex County Humane Society.
Now, as a result of the provincewide ban "we can't take dogs that we identify as being pit or mixed pit as anything other than a euthanasia," Roushorne said.
The shelter's space is limited and there is little prospect of adopting out a pit bull.
"We have no place to put them, I'd have them stacked on top of each other if I wasn't euthanizing them."
About 20 pit bull-type dogs have come to the society every month so far this year -- a significant jump from previous years, Roushorne said, and there's no sign that's abating. Dozens of those dogs had to be euthanized.
The pit bull rescue agency Advocates for the Underdog estimates at least 350 pit bull or pit bull mixes have been destroyed since the Windsor ban was instituted. They warn that's now the fate for many dogs across Ontario.
In recent months, the society and other rescue organizations have been able to find homes outside the province for "the cream of the crop," mainly young, friendly pit bulls. But that's drying up as the provincewide ban looms on the breed the Ontario government has declared "inherently dangerous."
Pit bull rescue organizations outside Ontario will only be able to take so many dogs, said Jennifer Windh, founding director of Barlee's Angel's Rescue Network in Guelph, Ont.
The rest will "go down. They'll be put to sleep," she said.
Attorney General Michael Bryant put the law in place after a public outcry over a spate of horrific and bloody attacks by pit bulls on children, adults and other pets last year.
Humane societies oppose the ban, stressing that outlawing the breed won't stop all dog bites. Society officials say there needs to be stricter penalties for irresponsible owners of all dog breeds, and applaud some of those measures in the new law.
"They could have done that in the first place without forcing us to euthanize all these delightful pit bulls," Roushorne said.
But, now, people are wary of keeping or adopting a dog that has to be leashed and muzzled in public and could draw harassment from people who hate all pit bulls because of the breed's reputation, animal officials say.
Pit bulls already in Ontario as of Monday are "grandfathered." These restricted pit bulls can stay in the province as long as they're sterilized, and leashed and muzzled in public. There's a 60-day grace period -- to Oct. 28 -- for people to comply with the law.
"That dog can continue to live out its days," said Brendan Crawley, a spokesman for the Ministry of the Attorney General.
Crawley said the government doesn't anticipate that people will give up their dogs, since that's not required.
While the law also makes it illegal to breed pit bulls or import them into the province, those that are here already can be adopted.
If a person didn't own a restricted pit bull as of Monday, they can acquire one, either through adoption or through a bequest, but they can't buy one, Crawley said.
Another question is the fate of puppies born after Nov. 27, the last day they will be considered restricted. Pit bull puppies born after this date must be shipped out of the province, sent to a research facility or destroyed, said Crawley.
More pit bulls will be euthanized by animal agencies in the coming months "because you've still got the jerks out there that are breeding these pit bulls," Roushorne said.
"So it's basically going to be a slaughter."
In Winnipeg, more pit bulls ended up at the city's pound after a ban was instituted in 1990. They were euthanized because of a policy not to adopt out dangerous dogs.
Humane societies in other cities such as Toronto and Ottawa haven't and don't expect to see an influx of stray or surrendered pit bulls, officials say.
Owners have been calling in search of information about how to comply with the new law. Others have inquired about how to adopt another pit bull in a bid to rescue them from a dire destiny.
Windsor isn't the only city with concerns. Lorna Chamberlain, executive director of the London Humane Society said people are giving up or leaving their dogs in the street already.
"We're certainly worried about it, however it's already started in humane organizations," she said. "We've seen it mostly with abandonment."
The London Humane Society only euthanizes unhealthy or badly tempered animals and the rest are put up for adoption. But people who want to and are suitable to adopt a pit bull "are few and far between," she said.
Chamberlain said she doesn't know what the future holds for pit bulls the society can't find homes for.
"That's something that the board of directors has to address," she said. "This is not something we've had to address before."
© Canadian Press 2005

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Important Message to All Dog Lovers!

The Ontario Ban goes full swing this Monday. You will see many muzzled dogs that have been socialized their whole lives now looking like Hannible Lector.
I urge you to ask the owner previously if it's allowed to fuss with there dogs. You never know, a few may be wearing a muzzle for reason. But, one you get the and fuss with it to show them they are still loved regardless of the muzzle.
Our poor socialized dogs that enjoy their outings for that reason could develope phobia's unless we dog lovers can help each other out for our dogs sake. I know how Shasta would feel and Pitties really NEED that socialization, probably more than most dogs.
So PLEASE! Go out of your way to spend a few minutes with these dogs. It will help them and you will feel good inside for doing such a considerate act of kindness.

Ontario Pit bull Owners Legal Challenge

I would like to add a remark prior to you clicking on the CBC INDEPTH: Banning the breed: The debate over pit bulls. Anyone familiar with my blog has heard me talk of my dog, Shasta and seen many pictures of her.
What I would like to remind you is, if I put a muzzle on her the same as you will see in the coverage, that would give you the impression that she is vicious. I just wanted to make that point, as muzzles are very deceiving.

Pit bull owners to launch legal challenge against banLast Updated Thu, 25 Aug 2005 07:40:01 EDT
CBC News
On the eve of a law that will ban pit bulls, Ontario breeders are fighting back. They will launch a legal challenge Monday which claims the ban violates breeders' constitutional rights.
Supporters, including the American Staffordshire Club of Canada, say that Ontario's law is so vague and unscientific that it will affect many animals that shouldn't be banned.
Banning the breed: The debate over pit bulls
The law forbids Staffordshire bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, American pit bull terriers and any other dog with "an appearance and physical characteristics substantially similar to any of those dogs."
Last year, Ontario's attorney general Michael Bryant introduced the ban after a spate of vicious attacks on children, adults and pets by pit bulls.
In a widely-reported case, Toronto police fired more than a dozen bullets into two pit bulls that had turned on the man who was walking them as a favour for a friend. In another in London, Ont., a woman and her seven-year-old son watched in horror as a pit bull latched onto her husband's arm as he tried to keep the family puppy out of the dog's reach.
Bryant called the dogs "ticking time bombs."
The ban will make it illegal to breed pit bulls in Ontario or bring the dogs into the province. Dogs already in Ontario will be allowed to stay as long as they are sterilized, leashed and muzzled in public.
Registered purebreds will be exempt from sterilization as long as they continue to participate in authorized dog shows.
Puppies born after Nov. 27 must be shipped out of the province, given to a research facility or destroyed.
While some breeders are fighting the ban, others are leaving the province.
"It means I'm going to be moving out of Ontario," said Ann Mathews. Mathews has been breeding purebred American Staffordshire terriers for seven years. "It means I'll be leaving my three grandchildren, my five children and moving to a province that isn't so arrogant and isn't so stupid about the laws."
Steve Barker, Ontario director of the Dog Legislation Council of Canada, is also fighting the ban. He said that pit bulls make up only five to 10 per cent of the dog population and are only responsible for a similar share of dog bites.
"They're not particularly biting any more than any other dog, not even necessarily any worse than any other dog," Barker said. However, pit bulls get the bad press.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Group Challenges Ontario Pit bull Ban & London Update News Staff
Ontario's pit bull ban will begin Monday, but a group of dog owners is launching a legal challenge, saying the ban infringes on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The group, which includes the American Staffordshire Club of Canada, also contends that the ban is too vague and will focus on dogs that should not be targeted.
The ban will affect four breeds of pit bulls:
pit bull terriers
American pit bull terriers
Staffordshire bull terriers
American Staffordshire terriers
dogs that are similar in appearances to those breeds.
Current pit bull owners will have to sterilize their dogs, and keep them muzzled and leashed in public. Owners will have 60 days to comply with the ban.
"We've been ostracized for owning our breed of choice, we've been persecuted for owning our breed of choice, and I think people are tired of it,'' American Staffordshire Club of Canada president Cathy Prothro told The Canadian Press.
"Dog people just aren't going to sit down and take it anymore.''
The group claims the ban violates Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which protects an individual's personal legal rights from the actions of the government. The group says the ban will deny their liberty.
Advocates of the ban say pit bulls are dangerous animals that are responsible for serious injuries every year.
The dogs are currently banned in several other Ontario cities, including Kitchener-Waterloo and Windsor.

On another note regarding the London Proposed Pit bull bylaw, it is proposing that all pit bulls will be removed from multiple dwelling, if passed. Meaning, you can either send your dog elsewhere, move or have it put down.
To many, such as myself, to rent a house is way beyond my means. I phoned to get some information regarding this, and as if luck were on my side, the woman I was talking to saw us on tv and fell in love with Shasta. She told me there would be another meeting mid September where we can fight against this bylaw.
At the neeting, the reason for the high costs were because one of our council members, Fred Tranquilli (must be related to Michael Bryant in some way *my attempt of a joke but I'm not laughing*) says Pit bull owners should bare the costs because it would be unfair to other tax payers. He also noted that owners should just get rid of their dogs and get a different breed. No compassion to the fact that owners LOVE their dogs and it's NOT just as easy a solution as that.

Ontario Residence don't Sit Well with Dictatorship!

I have the full 20 pages relating to the unfair Proposed Pit bull By-law for London, Ontario, which would be too long for me to put on my blog. Rather, I have put it on my web site on the Ontario Pit bull Ban page.
I hope you come over to read it.
We may be doing the fighting right now, but hopefully with this information I am giving you, my hopes are to give you ammunition to help you fight your bans.
We are altogether for a common cause, so this is not about us, this is about EVERYONE world wide that loves dogs and especially those on the banned list. Together we unite 'FOR THE DOGS!'

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Province Faces Lawsuit Over Pit Bull Ban

Oh YES folks! Now people are getting mad and not going to sit around crying about it when if it's a fight the province wants... it's a fight they will get!
This is the Breeders that are angry now and they are taking the Ontario Government to court!

Legal challenge launched vs. pit bull ban
Province Faces Lawsuit Over Pit Bull Ban
I say all the power
to them!

London, Ontario City Meeting PIT BULLS

Soon as I hear there was a City Hall meeting today, which I thought was at 4PM, I quickly grabbed Shasta's leash, baggies and my bike. We had to bike pretty far...well, considering I was concerned for Shasta as she was running and I wanted her to pace herself knowing it was a long way.
Since everyday has been warm, I decided to take a light sweater just incase...I should have taken something a lot warmer as the meeting didn't start until 7PM, so it was a long, COLD wait.
While I was waiting a reporter approached me and asked why I was there. I told him I was opposed to the specific breed ban and how London is making it virtually impossible to own a pit bull even by abiding to all the laws the Province of Ontario laid out.
We talked a little off camera and then I was more relaxed and felt more free to talk. I explained about my disabilities and how Shasta had succeeded to get me out of my of my phobia's...explaing that I was housebound, but taking Shasta for short walks, that slowley became longer and then the biking and told him where we had biked from.
I explained that people such as I was multiple disabilities and only a set income shouldn't be penalized for the breed of dogs we have, nor anyone else as long as they are RESPONSIBLE owners. I didn't set out to get a PIT BULL, it just happened and we bonded and she's my trusted and most wonderful companion that doesn't have a mean bone in her body.
He also took a lot of video of me playing with Shasta and then camera ham Shasta, decided she wanted a close up head shot to the camera. She was GREAT!!! No doubt about it. I'm glad we went as she showed the best of a pittie. Even a squirrel went by and she just sat and watched it to everyones amazement.
Since I didn't get to hear the meeting, I did get some information from the others.
This is just a 'bit' of it and I will post more as I learn more.
Here's the pertinent stuff from the 177 page agenda!! Unfortunately, you can't access the Environment & Transportation Committee agenda at at this time, as the agenda is not coming here's what I can tell you. Hang on to your hats!!It's agenda item # 20, page 98. Try to view later.....
*States that London has about 756 licensed pbs. No estimates on unlicensed.
*States that major advantage of passing a pit bull dog bylaw is to provide dor a licensing system (money grab ) for pit bulls that the DOLA does not provide...
*PB licences would only be issued from the date of the passing of the bylaw until Dec. 31, 05; leaves 3 months for owner to get a grandfathered PB licence for the 2006 yr. After that, no more issuing except annual renewal of 2006 licence and any owners of pbs that do not have a pb licence MUST REMOVE THE PB FROM THE CITY OR HAVE IT DESTROYED!!
*No such tag, not allowed in town! At around the 16 year from now mark, no more pbs will exist in London or be allowed in the city. (can you say extermination?);
*No pbs in off leash area(s);
*must post pb property warning signs;
*$1,000,000 in insurance to be purchased;
*No pbs in multiple unit dwellings: too much insurance for landlord; this makes it possible that many pb owners may be required to move or have their dogs destroyed so city decided not to include such a strict provisin in the bylaw as it's "more desirable" to have the money from licences! and to account for the pbs! Mentions that it can be challenged in charter of rights too! Bless the city for this part: "the owner has the right to move with the dog (either out of London or to a non-multiple dwelling in London), to have the pb destroyed or to transfer ownership of the pb to someone who does not live in a multiple dwelling. Furthermore, the owner would have until Dec. 31/05 in order to move, should he or she chose to keep and licence the dog."
*goes on about muzzling;*enforcement: London bylaw used along with DOLA. For instance, searching for and seizing pbs is left to DOLA. There are 2 ways to lay charges:
1) issuing a Part 1 ticket;
2) laying a Part 3 information.Part 1: used at time of offence; defendant can plead guilty and pay fine w/no court. States disadvantage is that the max fine is only $500.
Part3: defendant must go to court and can't pay out of court; max fine is $5000.00; can seek probation order. Disadvantage: cumbersom administratively . Anticipate serious or repeat offences and orders to destroy would then be sought.List of ticketable offenses:
1) own non grandfathered pb: $500;
2) transfer a grandfthrd pb not by gift or bequest: $500;
3) allow pb run at lg: $500;
4) " " " " in off leash area: $500;
5) fail to renew pb lic: $200;
6) fail to attach tag to pb: $200;
7) fail to ensure pb has muzzle: $500;
8) fail to secure pb w/leash: $500;
9) fail to purchase warning sign: $200;
10) fail to post warning sigh: $300;
11) fail to apply to Licence Agent for chng in ownership of pb: $500;
12) fail to ensure pb has microchip: $300;
13) fail to ensure sterilization of pb: 500;
14) fail to provide Lic agent w/new address, phne #: $200;
15) " " " " w/name address, phone# of person to whom giving possession of pb: $200;
16) " " notify " " immediately if pb running at large: $500;
17) " " " notify " " " " " bitten/attacked: $500;
18) fail to remove/destroy pb: $500
The rest of the document, is ammendments to DOLA, definitions of Who's who and what powers they have, what dwellings are running at large, tags, control of pbs, apps for licence guidelines, when destroying dog is called for, fees, sterilization, muzzling etc excemptions, general provisions blah blah overwhelming and surreal!
Well that's a bit of 177 pages of agenda.
On a positive note, I didn't just sit there and do nothing. I was collecting signatures galour to fight against the Ontario Governments new law as of Aug. 29th. It can't be fought until it is actually law and then we fight for the new amendments.
If we can change the amendments to the Ontario Law, then that should also dismiss what London council is proposing.
If you are from another city, province or country, I think it wise to see what we are going through, just incase you happen to get targeted somewhere down the road. At least this gives you insite of what is possible and if we can change this, then you know the route to take, or something simular.
My goal is not just for Shasta or my city or my province. My goal is to give information of our goings on to possibly help you if it comes around to you.
Please read the comments in the prior post as my replies relate to this post. Thank you.

Monday, August 22, 2005


I didn't post today (yesterday actually as it's now about 4 am but I could sleep once I read this). It will be in todays newspaper.
Today...yesterday...whatever, I decided I needed a much needed break from all this BSL, pardon my french and I don't normally swear, but it's BULL SHIT LEGISLATION! Lord forgive me but I'm awe struck!
I wrote a post awhile ago saying that in North Bay, they were putting the dog licences up from $10 to $50 and wondered if we already pay $25 what they would raise ours to, if they so desired.
Under the proposed bylaw for London, pit bull owners would have to:
- Pay a licence fee of $130 annually, compared to the current $25.
- Pay $25 for a warning sign at the entrance to their property.
- Pay a first-time administration fee of $25.
- Provide proof their pit bull is microchipped and sterilized.
- Purchase $1 million in liability insurance.

I'm still in shock as I write this and the next best thing to tears. I'm NOT going to take this without a fight and if you think I've been fighting before, I'll be fighting harder and stronger than ever!
This is the article in the London Free Press. I'll let you read it as I better TRY to get some sleep no matter how many sleeping pills I need to take, because tomorrow is going to be a VERY busy day for me phoning and emailing my mayor, the MPP's and whoever else it takes.
I'm already of a set permanant disability pension and just making it on what I get. Now if this goes through, they are saying the disabled can't afford certain dogs? I also pay each year for both my cats for their tags and neither go outside. This is nothing more than a money grabbing skeme.
I WILL NOT LOSE SHASTA!!! They'd have to kill me first!
UPDATE: Microchipping costs approvimately $65.00 which does not include an examination. My vet also has information and brochures that he will put together for me for the insurance to check out the prices, for just INCASE!

Saturday, August 20, 2005


What minor irritations drive you crazy?
Just this morning, I was taking out my garbage to the large garbage bins at the end of my yard (more like a small field). Most often, I don’t even bother to throw on sandals as the grass feels nice under my feet, and besides that, I love the freedom of going barefoot.
Well, this morning I came across one of my utmost disgusts of minor irritations.
I was still in my pj’s and as I was walking trying to lift and half drag the two bags of garbage, when all of a sudden, ‘squish’ right between the toes. Dog poop! *DRAT*, fresh, icky dog poop at the bottom of my clean foot and smushed right up and through my toes, along with the aroma that cleared my sinus.
Already having problems trying to tote the bags, but stepping on a gross heap with hands full, what’s a woman to do? Naturally, I try the scrap and wipe technique, but the nasty stuff is still between my toes and the thought of what I’m wearing on my foot does not set well with me.
I’m closer to the garbage bins than I am to my apartment. Do I continue to the garbage bins or drop everything and heal walk back to wash the gooey stuff off?
Frustrated and now becoming very irritated at irresponsible owners that allow their dogs the freedom to do their business where ever they please without the slightest inkling of thinking to go bag it and throw it where it belongs…which is NOT on my foot and in between my toes, I continue to heel it to the garbage bins as quick as possible, then like hop-a-long Cassidy, do the same awkward strut home.
Once in the apartment, I have to tread very carefully not to allow my foot to lower and get the sh*t on the rug. Sit on the edge of the bathtub with shower massager in hand and start showering it off before wanting to touch my foot to use soap. I wait until all the brown clumps have totally gone down the drain prior to a total wash and fuming that my foot had been violated!
I think about everything that is going on. The irresponsible owner verses the responsible ones. It’s law that all dogs are leashed, unless in a leash free park, or your fenced in private property. It is also a by-law that you stoop and scoop or you could get fined if caught. Both law and by-law I abide to without a second thought and it’s not uncommon for you to go through jean pockets, purse, back packs, etc. and find baggies in all of them.
I think to myself how the responsible owner gets targeted; yet the inconsiderate ones are the ones doing all the screaming. To top off this sh*tty story, there was a big wet spot on my patio, but I didn’t pay it any notice until I let Shasta out.
As soon as I saw her sniffing at the spot and MY PATIO CHAIR, I knew my patio and chair was the victim of a male dog at large. GRRRRR…
I’ve also noticed since that new neighbour moved in, that I am scooping more than Shasta’s poop up. She used to let him roam free, until I told her that I was told by the Property Management they wanted all dogs leashed no matter how well trained. She right away assumed and commented it was because Shasta was a Pit bull. *PUFF* another brick falls out of the wall! Hey Lady! This has nothing to do with breed! It’s law!
Someone must have come to her and complained because now I see he is on a long lead when out…that is…when it’s day and people can see. I also told her one time when Jake came to see Shasta, and him not fixed, she might get a little irritated if he continues to try to smell her butt. She simply replied, ‘She’ll let him know!’ so I quickly added, plus I’m picking up his piles of pooh along with Shasta’s, to which she didn’t reply. This is the same woman that our first meeting was calling Shasta a weapon. What is she trying to prove? If Shasta gives her dog a nip, does she call Humane Society for a vicious dog attempt? I’ve never seen Shasta react or nip anyone or anything, but keep smelling her butt and who knows. I sure as heck would!Talking to her is like talking to a dim light bulb. Best thing I could do is talk to the office and let them know what’s going on. Which reminds me, I better go and wash that chair. It’s where I like to sit when Shasta and I are just getting a breath of fresh air at night.

Friday, August 19, 2005


I’m getting so paranoid over little things that I might have over looked before. I’m still vibrating inside as I’m writing this.
About 5 minutes ago, I received a phone call from a neighbour in the building across from me. He was accusing me of allowing my dog to bark all day and him working nights. I told him I was a responsible dog owner and would not allow my dog to continue barking, if she was a barker, but she isn’t unless you come either to my patio door or front door.
He said he had seen my, ‘Beware of Dog’ sign on my door and if this barking continued, he was calling the Humane Society on me. No reassurance that it wasn’t Shasta was like talking to deaf ears.
Only minutes later, the dog started barking again. Because I’m so afraid that Shasta will be taken from me due to any kind of misunderstanding, I phoned the man back and thought luckily he hadn’t blocked him name and number when he phoned me.
I asked him if the dog that was barking right now, was the dog he was hearing? He apologized to me for accusing me as he said he didn’t quite know which apartment it was in my building, but that the barking was coming from the third floor. To me it sounds like the third floor and over further to the end of the building, but he thinks it sounds more over me.
I don’t want any owner to get in trouble, but this dog does bark A LOT! Perhaps they are working. I have no idea. All I know is that everyone knows I have a dog and most are familiar with her, but there are others that when disturbed, automatically assume it’s got to be Shasta. Reason being, she is out in the public all the time.
Even thinking about the Humane Society coming here has put me in a panic, even though Shasta is right here by my side napping and the dog is still barking.
This new ‘unclear’ law has got me sitting on the edge of my seat when the slightest little thing happens.
Just as I was starting this post, my next-door neighbour knocked on my door and my heart started thumping. Well, wasn’t I surprised as he brought over his one day old daughter to see Shasta and me? At first I was going to put Shasta in the other room thinking he might be overly protective daddy, but he told me it was ok.
She was comical. She sat and stared at the baby, but the whole while her tail was wagging and her great big smile with her nose sniffing from a short distance. She didn’t try to lick the baby which was what I was concerned of.
When I was holding the baby, he didn’t jump up on me, but rather looked at me like, ‘Can we keep it Mommy?’ After our short visit when I returned the baby back to her daddy, it was as if Shasta knew the baby belonged to him. Usually she greets him with a lick, but not this time. She knew he was carrying something delicate and she showed her joy, but in a calm manner.
I still say she would have made a perfect Therapy Dog, as she’s a natural even before any training. To think that I have to feel like I’m walking on raw eggs all the time without breaking any is crazy. I wonder if others are feeling as I do?
I’m glad for Shasta’s sake, which dog was and is still barking just to prove I wasn’t her. Whatever type of dog it is, I don’t really know, but do know it’s not a Pit bull type. The owners would get a complaint notice from the Humane Society as ask them to keep it quiet. Unlike Shasta and I, who would probably get a black mark against us and in TEN MORE DAYS, no more warnings.
I already live with a condition, Chronic Anxiety and that’s the reason I try very hard to keep laid back about many things rather than worry, but because of the new law I’m going to be a nervous wreck. I thought fighting for what I believe in a worthy cause, but fighting to prove Shasta is innocent in the simplest occurrences is just plain UNFAIR! Not only are the dogs targeted, but also the owners.When the man at the forum called all Pit bull owners thugs…well, let’s just say, I’m really feeling like I am a low-life in the governments eyes. I don’t care about that, but I DO care about Shasta!

Going Back Some...but Excellent Points Made!

This is an older newpaper column from back in April or May of this year. There were a few things that I had overlooked in it prior that I thought I would point out now.

The Ontario Attorney General's office has issued a two and one-half page letter supporting to contain the rationale for Bill 132. After sweeping away the rhetoric, I find that there is no reason or fact given to support the breed specific legislation. There is only the statement that, based on the testimony to the Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly, it is Michael Bryant's opinion that breed specific legislation is necessary.
I find that opinion odd. Analysis of the testimony on Bill 132 proves:
• Well over 70 per cent of the presenters opposed breed specific legislation;
• Fifty expert canine organizations opposed breed specific legislation;

• Donna Trempe, who lost her child Courtney to a dog attack and was the only presenter to have suffered a fatality caused by a dog attack, called for all-breed dangerous dog legislation;
• Less than five per cent of dog bites are attributable to "pit bull" breeds or types of dogs;
• Twenty-three children have been killed in Canada since 1983 by 59 dogs of 12 different breeds, none of which were "pit bulls;

• Bites and attacks are most frequently inflicted by sexually intact dogs, usually males.
Considering the facts, expert advice and the experience of other jurisdictions where breed specific legislation has failed, how does Mr. Bryant come to the conclusion that breed specific legislation is necessary?
The letter claims "frequency" of attacks. How can this statement be made when over 95 per cent of bites and attacks are by non-pit breeds?
The letter claims "severity" of attacks. How can this statement be made when since 1983 there have been 24 deaths caused by dog attacks, of which only one was by a pit-type dog and that was provoked by severe abuse?
This letter states that the lack of definition within Bill 132 must be resolved by the courts.
So, the Attorney General's failure to promulgate clear and workable legislation is now to be remedied by court battles over definitions of terms within the legislation, yet another cost to be borne by taxpayers.
California and Calgary have successful legislation with clear definitions. Why did the Ontario government not pass well-defined legislation to avoid court battles and additional costs to taxpayers?
Bill 132 perpetuates hysteria; the witch hunts have already begun. A police officer in a small Ontario community reportedly threatened to shoot a pit-type dog in its own fenced backyard because it was barking. A dog behaving as almost any dog will, barking at a stranger approaching its territory, can be shot in its own home under Bill 132. Are dog owners to live under the threat of legislated vigilantism, unable to put their dogs out in their own secure fenced yards or in their own homes?
The United Kingdom, after 14 years of breed specific legislation, has admitted its failure and is unwinding the legislation. The United States has at least 12 states where breed specific legislation is prohibited by law. Did the Ontario government not ask these jurisdictions why?
Municipalities have called on the Ontario government for funding to enforce Bill 132, and the majority Liberal government has said there's no money. In contrast, the City of Calgary, Alberta has very successful all-breed dangerous dog legislation. Calgary has a sterling record of public safety because of its zero-tolerance attitude towards dog licensing and by-law enforcement. Its animal control department is self-sustaining. Why was the self-sustaining Calgary model not used?
Why did the majority Liberal government spurn the common sense recommendations from presenters and other political parties?
These recommendations included mandatory spay/neuter of "pet" animals, strict enforcement of leash and licensing laws, bite prevention education for children and adults, strict enforcement to reduce backyard breeding, stricter laws governing breeders and trainers, providing funding to municipalities for dangerous dog control, and a province-wide dog bite registry.
I ask the Ontario government to define a "pit bull terrier." Is a dog owner to assume that if his or her dog has short hair and a large head, it's a "pit bull" under Bill 132?
I ask why Bill 132 condemns a "pit bull" to death if it defends itself or its owner against an unprovoked attack. There are no extenuating circumstances for a "pit bull". Considering that 95 per cent of bites and attacks are by other breeds, that situation is certain to occur more than once.
I ask why Bill 132 forces all seized dogs to be surrendered to pounds without any requirement that the pounds keep the dogs until any charges against an owner are resolved, either by conviction or acquittal.
Since regulations governing pounds provide that a pound has to keep a dog for only three days before killing it or selling it to a research laboratory, how many falsely-accused people will lose their dogs before their court date is even set?
I ask why Bill 132 seems to conflict with the animal fighting provisions of the Criminal Code by stating that it is illegal to train "pit bulls" for fighting. Does this mean that in Ontario, one may train any other breed for fighting?
I ask why Bill 132 grants rights to corporations that it takes away from individuals.
I ask why the Attorney General has not publicly condemned the assaults on dog owners, many of them women, which have resulted in injuries, some severe, to the owners and their dogs. None of the "pit bulls" savaged their owners' attackers. Does the Attorney General condone mindless vigilantism?
Pit bull will pay with its life
When Bill 132 is in force, responsible dog owners will suffer under unfair and unfounded restrictions and live in fear that their beloved dog may be seized and destroyed for the slightest misstep on their part. Under Bill 132, a "pit bull" pays with its life for any transgression on the part of its owner. The way Bill 132 is written, your dog can be seized and killed if you don't muzzle your "pit bull" before running out of a burning house.
A bite or attack by a dog of any breed is serious. The responsibility for preventing a dog bite by a dog of any breed rests solely on the dog's owner.
History proves that targeting the responsible owners of particular breeds does not serve public safety.
Criminals, who by definition do not obey laws, only continue to hide their "pit bulls" or turn to other breeds for their purposes. Irresponsible owners will dispose of their "pit bulls" through pounds, shelters or rescues or by just letting the dogs loose in the street, unwilling to do what is required to maintain a "pit bull". These same criminal and irresponsible owners will only acquire and mistreat or neglect dogs of other breeds, continuing to create vicious dogs. Responsible "pit bull" owners will labour under the unfair and unduly harsh restrictions, and attempt to keep their beloved dogs safe. In closing, I ask people to contact their MPPs and demand that the government repeal the ineffective, unworkable and ultimately expensive breed-specific portion of Bill 132, and promulgate clearly defined and easily enforced all-breed dangerous dog legislation that will be effective, workable and best serve public safety.
By Dianne Singer

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Shasta sings the Blues


Petu tries to comfort Shasta...

Thank you for taking it off Mommy.
But what did I do???

Demands for Muzzles Can't be Kept up by Suppliers


Seems the rush of getting muzzles for your pittie as been so over-whelming that the suppliers have not been able to keep up to the demands of making enough muzzles to send to the retailers in London, Ontario. I can't speak for the other cities, but would imagine it is the same.
Cindy and I went from pets store to pet store with Shasta yesterday, trying to find her a muzzle. All they have is muzzles for small dogs, as they are not in demand and have plenty of them.
I finally signed up to several of the better stores to phone me when they receive new stock as they have waiting lists. In the meantime, I did buy her a comfort muzzle, just so I have one ( and it's legal) to tide me over until I can get her a proper one.
In the stores, she was so obedient and friendly, that all agreed that it was a crazy law for me to have to muzzle such a sweet tempered dog. She socialized with people and other dogs and always remained calm, friendly and obedient. She won the hearts of everyone she met. I felt so proud as she gathered attention without even trying. She just has one of those personalities that people and animals are attracted to.
I'm not keen on the muzzle I got her, as, as soon as it says to take caution and to be fully superised while wearing the muzzle, it makes me wonder why. But, as I said before, this will give me time to get one that I will feel will be more secure, but without all the restrictive devices that you would get for an aggressive dog.
In some ways, this is very simular as her gentle leader (halti), only it goes around the neck and the snout. She will be able to pant, breath and drink with it, and the sales clerk suggested that during our bike riding adventures, that I loosen the snout part a little looser for her safety.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Off The Chain, DVD

Experience the Horrific Underground World of Pit Bull Fighting When the First Tell-All Exposè Is Unleashed on DVD: "OFF THE CHAIN"
For the First Time Ever, Viewers Get Access to Exclusive Interviews With Professional "Dog Men" Who Reveal Their Secrets of the Trade; Available August 30, 2005 From Ardustry Home Entertainment

WOODLAND HILLS, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 08/15/2005 -- Few animals have received as much fame and notoriety as the American Pit Bull Terrier. A popular breed, the Pit Bull earned early fame as the beloved "Pete the Pup" in the "Little Rascals." But gradually, Pit Bulls have been getting a bad reputation. Because of the popularity of illegal dogfighting and the actions of irresponsible owners and those who seek aggressive dogs, pit bulls have been stereotyped as a dangerous, vicious breed. In fact, the Pit Bull Terrier is now banned in over 200 American counties -- and it is estimated that three million Pit Bulls are euthanized each year. The Canadian province of Ontario has banned the breed completely, and Australia is now pushing legislation to ban the breed from the entire continent. What has happened in recent times to change this dog's iconic image from "best friend" into "public enemy?"
On August 30, 2005, Ardustry Home Entertainment will debut the eye opening and heart-wrenching documentary: "OFF THE CHAIN" debuting on DVD for $19.98 SRP. "OFF THE CHAIN" will give you a close look at the underworld of Pit Bull Fighting, the horrific sport that has transformed the Pit Bull's new status in pop culture into an urban symbol for violence, aggression and gang-life. Travel to the back alleys and dark corners of the inner city and as far as the backwoods and other rural communities to unleash the truth behind Pit Bull Fighting. Beginning with a history of the American Pit Bull Terrier, "OFF THE CHAIN" explores the evolution of the breed and gives viewers a disturbing look into the minds of the dog owners and trainers who participate in the gruesome world of Pit Bull Fighting.
"This film goes inside the belly of the beast, and the beast isn't the pit bull terrier, it's man. This is the ultimate betrayal of man's best friend. The director exposes the fastest growing crime in America -- dog fighting. "OFF THE CHAIN" is a horrifying glimpse into the world where the special relationship between man and dog has been perverted. It will grab you and shake you, and hopefully it will stir you into action. " -- Eric L. Sakach,
Director, The Humane Society of the United States
The first documentary of its kind; director Bobby J. Brown spent three years infiltrating the underground subculture of dogfighting. Gaining the trust of well established "dog men" who allowed him to film behind their veil of secrecy, these trainers reveal the secrets of this illicit game and explain their love for their dogs, that is, if they win.
Featuring representatives from both sides of the law including social activist Tom Hayden, The Humane Society of the United States experts Eric Sakach and Stephanie Shain, animal control and police officers, Pit Bull Rescue Central, and dogfighters and trainers, Gip and Tucson, "OFF THE CHAIN" gives viewers a first-hand look at the impact of this frightening subculture.
The Humane Society of the United States will also be supporting the DVD release of "OFF THE CHAIN" by sending information about the DVD to their members as well as featuring "OFF THE CHAIN" on their website.
"OFF THE CHAIN" shows you what goes on behind closed doors in the Pit Bull Fighting arena including footage of dog training, police raids, and hidden camera footage of bloody dog fights. The DVD plays against the backdrop of the original song, "Off the Chain," written exclusively for the documentary by internationally acclaimed rap artist Prodigal Sunn, as well as the music video for the song. The DVD also highlights other positive portrayals of the breed including interviews with proud owners of Pit Bull Terriers, an original "Our Gang" episode featuring "Pete" and an original "Betty Boop" cartoon featuring "Pudgy." "OFF THE CHAIN" was produced by Troy Garity, Richard Velazquez and David Roma.
Mariakay Chakos
Sue Procko Public Relations

Monday, August 15, 2005

Education is Key, not Specific Breed Bans

This was posted in the Monterey Herald this morning;

Education is the key, not breed-specific bansDr. Suzy Hochgesang Happy Tails
Q: Are certain breeds of dogs so inherently dangerous that they should be banned altogether?
A: The trend for communities to ban specific breeds of dogs has been growing worldwide for several years.
Ontario, Canada, passed a ban against pit bulls earlier this year, becoming the first North American province or state to impose such a ban. In May, pet owners in Caraway, Ark., were told that they had 10 days to get rid of their dogs, after the City Council passed an ordinance banning pit bulls, Dobermans, and Rottweilers from being kept in the city. Caraway now joins about 200 cities and towns throughout the United States that restrict or prohibit ownership of certain breeds of dogs.
Large, powerful dogs are frequently targeted, including Akitas, chows, Dalmatians, Dobermans, German shepherds, Great Danes, pit bulls, Rottweilers and mixes of these breeds. San Francisco is among the U.S. jurisdictions currently considering breed-related bans, and Denver is in the process of cracking down on its pit bull prohibition after a court upheld the ban last month.
Laws prohibiting certain breeds of dogs are often passed after a fatal dog attack in a community. City officials want to protect the public from future incidents. However, statistics have shown that banning ownership of specific breeds has generally failed to make the public any safer from dog attacks. The United Kingdom has prohibited the sale and breeding of pit bulls since 1991 with no impact on the number of dog attacks.
If the past is prologue, none of the bans currently being enforced or considered in the U.S. will have the desired effect. The reason that breed-related bans fail to keep the public safer is because they fail to target the real problem: irresponsible pet owners.
Communities should steer clear of breed-specific bans and should instead focus on protecting the public by aggressively enforcing dangerous dog ordinances and educating dog owners about their responsibilities.
Although fatal attacks by pit bulls or any other breed are nothing short of devastating, they are actually quite rare. Data in a report published in the September 2000 issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association revealed that, during the past 20 years, at least 25 breeds of dogs have been responsible for 238 human fatalities. Pit bulls and Rottweilers were incriminated in 66 and 39 fatalities, respectively, over the 20-year period.
However, other purebred and mixed-breed dogs, including Dachshunds, golden retrievers, Labrador retrievers and a Yorkshire terrier, were responsible for the remaining 133 fatalities. Therefore, although fatal human attacks may appear to be a breed-related problem, dogs of other breeds may bite and cause fatalities at higher rates. Dogs of any breed can become dangerous when bred or trained to be aggressive.
This study also concluded that fatal attacks represent only about 0.002 percent of all dog-bite injuries, and therefore should not be the driving force behind public policies on dangerous dogs. Injuries from dog bites are a much larger problem, approaching approximately 1 million per year, with thousands involving serious wounds.
The factors that affect a dog's propensity to bite are no more specific to a pit bull than they are to a poodle. According to a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, male dogs are six times more likely to bite than female dogs, and intact dogs are almost three times more likely to bite than neutered or spayed dogs.
This study also showed that besides gender and reproductive status, a dog's propensity toward biting might result from factors such as the extent of socialization and training, quality of ownership, health of the animal and the bite victim's behavior toward the dog.
The size of the dog-bite problem, which incriminates almost every breed of dogs, shows that banning pit bulls is not only an unwarranted solution, but also an inadequate solution. Since all breeds of dogs can be potentially dangerous, local ordinances that ban one certain breed are "under inclusive." Instead, we need better enforcement of dangerous-dog ordinances against all breeds and more education to encourage responsible dog ownership.
Both the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Kennel Club have made public statements opposing breed-specific laws. Instead, they believe that dog owners are responsible for their pet's behavior. The AKC says appropriate laws should penalize irresponsible owners instead of unfairly singling out specific breeds. Their slogan: "Deeds, not breeds, should be addressed."
Some cities are following suit. Madison, Wis., recently enacted a dangerous-dog ordinance, in which the focus is on a dog's behavior rather than its breed. Madison grants local authorities the power to declare any dog, regardless of breed, dangerous based on its behavior. The dog's owner then has the right to appeal. If the dog is finally determined to be dangerous, it can be impounded or destroyed.
In 2001, Chicago passed an ordinance in which the city may fine irresponsible owners of any breed of dog. These penalties range from a fine for allowing a dog to run unsecured to the possibility of jail time for the owner of a dog that attacks someone.
Lawmakers supporting breed-related bans are taking a short cut around the drafting of effective laws by prohibiting ownership of specific breeds instead of defining unacceptable animal and owner behavior. Gun laws don't stop people from having guns when they shouldn't. Drug laws don't stop the sale and use of drugs. That's why education is so important.
People need to be educated about the characteristics of different breeds so they are able to select an appropriate pet for their life situation. By educating dog owners about pet care and responsibility, they will realize the effect of neutering on a dog's aggressive tendencies as well as the importance of proper socialization and training.
If lawmakers continue to take the easy way out by enacting breed-specific bans, they will indict the responsible owners of many well-trained, well-socialized dogs of all breeds and will likely do little to target the irresponsible owners who breed and train their dogs to be aggressive.
Ask 'Doc Suzy' Dr. Suzy Hochgesang is a veterinarian at Aguajito Veterinary Hospital in Monterey. Send questions to her at 1221 10th St., Monterey 93940 or e-mail
© 2005 Monterey County Herald and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Let's Work Together rathar than Fight about it!

When I wrote my post requesting Pit Pic's, I received one reply that obviously didn't understand my request. It was from a breeder from Montreal, Quebec. They were letting me know that they had Staffies if I was interested and sent me pictures of the Sire and Dame of the lot with information. Naturally I wrote them back explaining I was not requesting a dog, as I was already in a ban zone and that it was pictures of family pets I was asking for.
I was rather shocked and taken back by the mail. Here we have so many pitties in need of good homes and with the problem of the BSL...yet, in m same country and only two provinces down (a 24 hour car drive away), they are continueing to breed.
Don't get me wrong! I have nothing but good to say about reputable breeders and that is not my point at all. My point is that in the midst of what is going on, would the breeders (as I know with some it is their livlihood), but would they not be more cautious as to who they are attempting to see their pups to? Would they not already have potential buyers ready prior to the breeding? Or just because of all that is going on, would they not slow down or stop their breeding for the purposes that the pit population is already at threat? To give the unfortunate pits a chance to find a good home, rather than bringing purposefully, more pitties into this world?
I could tell by the email by the way it was written, that english was not their first language...but I'm sure the french newspapers are writing articles on the bans in other provinces too.
We are also talking about a breeder who should make it his business to be aware of these situations, if the pups are in his best interest...or is it just that...a business. If that is the case, that breeder is not being responsible in my opinion. He may have excellent stock, but with his lack or ignorance of knowledge of his surrounding provinces and in the states, I personally don't think his priorities are sincere.
Another point I would like to make is forums. A friend sent me to a forum that had a debate going on whether to ban put bulls or not.
I read through the whole thing, and believe me, it took hours. What I noticed by reading was there were the for or against. Everyone giving their opinions of why or why not. As it continued, the same points on both sides continued to repeat themselves. I think the purpose for a forum would be better spent at trying to find resolutions to a problem, rather than repeating oneself.
If instead of fighting against each other, which only leads to anger and disputes, try putting your brains together to find answers that could help solve problems.
It made me think about my own blog and homepage. My fighting for a right of pitties and against the BSL. Yes, I am still against the BSL, but rather than giving you my viewpoints as you already know where I stand, finding a resolve that would illiminate the problem and make everyone feel safer. Banging our heads together is no better than putting two pit bulls together to make them fight. It's WRONG! So what are some intelligent suggestions how we can make a difference and hopefully a resolve?

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Perry Sound Residents may get Liceance Increases for Dangerous Dogs

*sigh* Just as you think you are adjusting nicely (I didn't say happily) to what we can expect to the Ontario Pit bull Ban, when you hear there may be more surprises in store. This is in the town of Perry Sound, where they are thinking of putting of the fee's for our (now called) Dangerous Dogs, dog liceanse fee's up. Where normally they pay $10.00 (WOW! That cheap compared to where I live!) for a non-dangerous dog, up to $50 for a dangerous dog. $75.00 if not altered by August 29th.
I can only imagine how high those fees will be in the bigger cities such as where I live as we already pay (I'm guessing again), but about $25 for an altered dog.
On one hand, it sounds like we will be able to adopt the pitties from the Humane Society, but at this rate, between what the adoption fee's are and then the shots and tags...well let's just say, your wallet pretty much determines if you can rescue a pittie or not.
Hopefully this doesn't catch on and they are still having talks about it.
To follow this story click here.
There's another site I found throught the same site, called The Best of the Perry Sound Area, which a beautiful little town with a gorgeous area. It's called the Northern Playground with all the summer activities and summer excitement.
In there is a search of all the Pit bull issues going on. Just sounded funny to find them on a page that is advertising the BEST of their area. Take a look!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Preparing for August 29th...

As you can see, I live on a bottom floor apartment of a three story walk up. To me it feels the closest to living in a home or a condo that I'm used to and half the time, forget I have apartments over me.
With this new law coming into effect August 29th, Pit bulls must be muzzled and leashed when in public, but as far as home, the law says if you have an enclosure (such as fence, etc), your dog does not need to be muzzled or leashed. Included was that you did not require a muzzle if your neighbours agree that they don't feel it necessary for their safety.
Shasta, is not a dog that likes to be outside for long periods of time unless of course, she is out with me. I do take her out for her long walks and bike rides, but if she needs a quick piddle, she lets me know and I put her on her runner. It holds up to 100 pounds and I don't let it out to it's full capacity out of respect to my neighbours.
The new neighbour I posted about when she first moved in, came over to tell me she was wrong about Shasta and appologised for her remarks to me. She said she has been watching Shasta and how she responds when there are people or even animals walking by.
Her biggest amazement is how the squirrels that I feed will sit hunched up munching on their peanuts as if Shasta wasn't even there. She see's that Shasta is totally bonded to me and watches my every move. Even if I take the garbage to the big bins at the side of the driveway, she will sit with her eyes glued to me.
She also watched how Shasta and my grandchildren, ages 2 and 6 interact together. She told me that I was right and that Shasta did not possess a mean bone in her body. We won another one on to our side!

Oh, incase you're wondering why there is no grass, it's NOT because of Shasta! I boo-booed. LOL I thought if I shoveled the snow through the winter down to about 1 inch deep, it would be easier for me to find her poops if it was too blizzardy to go out. Well when the thaw started, rather than grass, it turned into nothing but a mud pit. WHAT A MESS! Just thought I'd clear that up.
So back to this neighbour issue, I went to my next door neighbour directly to the right of me and asked her. She definately didn't see why Shasta should have to be muzzled, but I told her I was required by law to ask her. That's two now that agree on not muzzling her when outside.
I only have one more neighbour left to ask and he is directly to the left of me. He personally loves Shasta and thinks when she greets him, it's because he's 'special'. I don't want to burst his bubble by telling him she loves everyone the same, so I let him believe how he likes. LOL I don't 'think' their will be a problem with him, but I'm not going to assume neither. I'll wait until I get a definate response from him before I totally breath easier.
Remember, if ever someone tried to cause me trouble, these are the same people I would send them to, to tell them how they perceived Shasta. If all else fails, then I would have to try to save up to invest in a run that would run along my side of the property. Only they are extremely expensive to my budget, but on an up-note, she wouldn't even need her lead on and it could be her own personal playground with toys, etc.
Another part of the new law that I liked was that the pitties that are in the humane Society will still be allowed to be adopted out providing the new owners are ready to fullfil the requirements. That should save a lot of pitties from the fate of death.
While Michael Bryant may have started this whole thing, it looks like DOLA got involved and between some of the Dog organizations, such as The CKC, AKC, and some others got to add some ammendments to the law. The government was also dead set against Show Dogs, but that has been changed also, but with restrictions.

I'm hoping with time and with the ammendments we are fighting for, to get rid of the BSL in the law and just have a Dangerous Dog Act with the requirements we are stipulating.
I did notice in the Q&A, when asked what the owners of the dogs should do if harrassed or endangered in public, it didn't really give an answer, other than call the police. Sometimes as you are being beaten to a pulp, that isn't an option. So there are still a lot of unclear issues. You can check it out yourself at the bottom of my Ontario Pit bull Ban page and read the whole law as it stands.


All of my neighbours have all agreed they do not feel it necessary to muzzle (they find it rediculas actually) Shasta when out on her lead outside. I am now safe to the requirements as I did what was required of me.