Monday, October 31, 2005

New Proposed bylaw for London toned down

In the London Free Press today:

Pit bull bylaw toned down Mon, October 31, 2005
The proposed version would no longer require owners to buy insurance or post warnings.
JOE BELANGER, Free Press City Hall Reporter

A new version of London's proposed pit bull bylaw would cut licence fees in half and would no longer require owners to buy insurance or post warning signs.
But it's still causing problems for dog lovers.
"It's definitely better, affordable for some people at least," said Beth Sayler, past president of the London Dog Owners Association.
"The fines are still high and I'd like to know how they're going to enforce the bylaw."
The proposed bylaw -- headed to tonight's environment and transportation committee -- is in response to the Ontario government's ban on pit bulls, which came into effect Aug. 29.
City staff say a local bylaw is needed to enforce the new provincial law by ensuring all pit bulls are licensed.
Sayler said she's still concerned that there's no clear definition of a pit bull, because the name is generic and does not refer to a specific breed.
"The way they're doing it, the animal is deemed a pit bull until the owner proves otherwise, so you're basically guilty until proven innocent," said Sayler.
"I'd rather the city and province just go after any aggressive dog, no matter what the breed."
Tears flowed Sept. 12 at an emotionally charged public meeting about the proposed bylaw. But several presenters also pointed out flaws, some of which were fixed in the new draft bylaw to be tabled tonight.
Some pit bull owners said the bylaw -- especially hefty licencing fees and the need for $1 million in liability insurance -- could force them to abandon their dogs.
Committee chairperson Coun. Fred Tranquilli said feedback at the public meeting led to changes in the bylaw.
"I think it's been a good process and it's come to a fair and reasonable bylaw," he said.
"The fees are still higher because they relate specifically to the disproportionate amount of resources consumed by this breed of dog and their owners."
Key changes in the bylaw:
- A licence fee of $50 instead of $130 and an application fee of $10 instead of $25.
- Removal of a requirement to post a warning sign and the purchase $1 million in liability insurance.
- Dogs in outlying areas can be brought into the city for veterinary care provided they are registered with the city.
- Exemption to a sterilization requirement if the dog is physically unfit to be anesthetized for the procedure.
Unchanged is the city's determination to seek court approval for hefty fines, mostly the $500 maximum allowed for tickets issued for bylaw violations.
The city will also adopt a policy to pursue the maximum court sentence -- a $10,000 fine and six months in jail -- under the Dog Owners' Liability Act for owners of dogs that bite a person or domestic animal in the city.
The province imposed the ban after a number of vicious attacks by pit bulls on people and pets.
People who own pit bulls, including those born before Nov. 27, are exempt, provided the dogs are sterilized, leashed and muzzled.

We will know more by the meeting at City Hall this afternoon.


IndyPindy said...

Oh, this breed ban laws are so ridiculous. They worry me, because any law banning so-called "dangerous breeds" could always be expanded to include Siberian Huskies.

Two weeks ago our rescue group was at a Humane Society event, and a German Shepherd rescue dog attacked and seriously wounded a Yorkshire Terrier. Well, two days later a rumor got back to us that a Siberian Husky at that exact event had, you guessed it, attacked and seriously wounded a Yorkshire Terrier. Our dogs were perfectly well behaved that day, there was not a single incident. But we are taking the bad rap for the attack that occurred. It's so infuriating! People don't even know what a "husky" is, they can't tell the difference between a wolf, a Siberian Husky, a German Shepherd Dog and an Alaskan Malamute! I feel your pain and totally agree how ridiculous it is to ban a breed that is not even an official breed. We did fill out the registration on your sidebar!

Amstaffie said...

I hate this BSL... I also have 2 huskies that stay at my parents, and some link, (I'll try to find it again) stated in NC that Siberian Huskies were also considered a dangerous breed, along with pitties, rotties, dobies...

At the kennel where I trained Storm, she was attacked by a German Shephard that bolted out of his kennel, she didn't know what to do! Now does that sound like a vicious pit bull?

Conners said...

I had a husky when I was younger. She was pretty but stupid, but then of course, she was never taught anything for the first year of her life. You guessed it...first time dog owners without a clue. They think a dog learns all these things instictively. grrrr...
Hasn't anyone ever heard about reading a book???
But I'll tell you something about her, she was a doll! Well, except the first nite I brought her home. It was me taking her or they were going to drop her off on a farm road...where they ALWAYS find homes there! NOT! grrrr grrrrr...
But, now I had her and my other dog that I already had and it was time for bed. I totally forgot about hubby coming home. Well when he went to come in the door, he closed it again real fast. She had never met him before like she did me.
My other dog was barking up a stotm at her daddy too, because she thought it was a game, but her tail was wagging.
When I realized what was happening, I had to tell her it was ok...he was a good guy and her new daddy!
I laughed about that for ages and he made me promise if I was going to bring home anymore animals to at least warn him first.
But that was back in the good old days when dogs were mans best friend. When did it change and how did this Ban cancer start in the first place???

Conners said...

OH! and thank you for signing the side bar. Everyone that can, I hope does for the sake of the dogs.
They need the support more than ever now.

JuliaR said...

Well, at least it sounds like someone is listening a little bit on the local level. Maybe the law will eventually change itself at the local level and only be applied to vicious dogs or more appropriately, their owners.

Conners said...

Yes Julia, in our opinion, we won that one. Now for the BIG provincial one. After that, the WORLD!
All it takes is one win to fill you with confidence and what we are going for is against irresponsible ownership of ANY breeds, educating the general public, keeping a record of all dangerous dog attacks and their owners, and of course amendments to the Dog Owners Liability Act.
The more pressure put on the irresponsible dog owner, meaning fining and jailing, the less the criminals will be able to destroy a fine dog and teach it to be vicious. It would also help eliminate the puppy mills, sleezy back yard breeding for greed and altering the genetics of any breed. Leave the breeding to the reputable breeders.
It's a small victory, but the Ontario Pit bull owners are taking this right to the provincial level.