Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Crackdown on pit bulls

Crackdown on pit bulls
Enforcement of new law has city in proactive mode
Tuesday November 01, 2005
By Ian McCallum

Times-Journal Staff
Enforcement of the provincial ban on pit bull dogs is moving into the “proactive phase,” advises the city’s deputy clerk.Speaking to the Times-Journal on Monday, Rick Beachey stressed Bill 132, which came into effect Aug. 29 and amends the Dog Owners Liability Act, will be enforced and those who fail to properly muzzle and leash their pit bulls “will be taking their chances.
As of Oct. 28, pit bulls owned by an Ontario resident must now be leashed and muzzled while in public and comply with mandatory sterilization requirements.“
Most people are aware of the legislation,” noted Beachey. “We're now into the proactive phase. If the dog is out and its not properly leashed and muzzled we're going to be ticketing. If you're out with your dog and it’s not in compliance, you're taking your chances. The law is going to be enforced.
Under the new legislation, pit bulls include a pit bull and American pit bull terrier, Staffordshire and American Staffordshire bull terrier and any dog that has an appearance and physical characteristics that are substantially similar to those listed above.
And it is up to municipalities to enforce the provincial ban, said Beachey.
We have set aside money for overtime costs ($10,000 this year) because we're now in a position where we have to respond, because of liability concerns, to any reports of pit bull or pit bull type dogs at large any time of the day or night.”
During normal business hours enforcement issues can be dealt with by calling city hall, explained Beachey. At all other times city police will deal with complaints
.“A staff member will be paged out in response to calls, including 911 calls to police.” said Beachey. “Or police could call us out if a dog is spotted that has not been leashed or muzzled so we would pick up the dog and impound it.”
Penalties under the Dog Owners Liability Act include a maximum fine of up to $10,000, imprisonment up to six months or both.
But enforcement of the sterilization requirements is “a concern,” stressed Beachey. “If the dog is properly leashed and muzzled we would take it to be that it has been properly looked after (spayed or neutered). It is a concern. We can't stop a person just for having a pit bull out if they've got it leashed and muzzled.”
Further restrictions will come into effect on Nov. 27, he advised.
Any pit bull or pit bull type of dog born after that date or not owned by an Ontario resident as of Aug. 29 is prohibited.
“They are simply an illegal dog and there are only three ways to deal with them: turn them over to a research facility, euthanize them or they go out of province.”


Faira said...

Too bad those three choices are not for the irresponsibe owners instead of the dogs!I wonder which choice they would like to make for THIER OWN LIFE!

Conners said...

Faira, from what I've been seeing and reading, many owners are NOT abiding by the law and it makes me furious. We've had our 90 day grace, yet some owners are still not complying and I look at their poor dog and TRY to get it through their heads that they are taking such a chance with their dogs.
They think they can get away with it, but they will be the first to scream bloody murder when their dogs are taken from them and they get heavily fined and/or jailed.
They may deserve it, but the dogs can't help it that they have irresponsible owners.
Maybe the law SHOULD be turned around and let the owners be at risk of being put down or sent to a research facility!