Saturday, September 30, 2006

Dangerous Dogs?

A fantastic interview on Channel 10 News regarding misinformed media. Watch the video on Dangerous Dogs?.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Pit bull attacked by a bear

In the Ottawa comes this tid bit of B.S. journalism that adds to the hype and hatred of the bullie breeds. Jeff Morroson just HAD to add his final remark to get his two cents worth in.


A Pennsylvanian man let his pit bull outside to play recently and it was viciously attacked by a black bear.

The dog's owner, Jay Thompson, said the 2-year-old pit bull suffered a shattered left femur, a dislocated hip, and is being treated in a nearby animal hospital.

Thompson knew something was awry when he let the dog out and it headed across the street, barking and growling. A bear had been spotted earlier in the neighbourhood.

The Habitat for Hounds organization has pledged $100 toward the dog's medical bills, which are $1,000.

Now don't get me wrong here folks, I love most dogs, but it is ironic that with all the pit bull attacks on humans, one of these killer pets finally met its match.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Keep your dog warm and comfy

What a fantastic way to keep your best friend(s) warm and comfy and help out with the legal defense fund too. I can't wait until Shasta's comes in.

T-Shirts for your Dogs!!!


Louise from has kindly created a doggy t-shirt for the DLCC and $5.00 from each shirt will be going to the legal challenge fund!

The t-shirts come in navy blue and pink and are available in 3 different sizes, 2X, 3X, and 4X.

T-shirts are readily available at All Creatures Great & Small, (Cobourg and Peterborough), Critter Jungle (Ottawa).

T shirts are also available on line at

Phone orders are also accepted at 1-800-747-7135.

The price for each t-shirt is $25.00.

Pictures are attached!!!

This is perfect timing as the weather is getting cooler and we all know that bullies need a bit of extra warmth in the fall and winter!!

These shirts were specifically fitted for larger dogs so they fit the bully breeds really well.

Check them out and remember to tell your doggy friends about them too!!

2nd Annual K9 Fun Day!






RALLY-O FUN MATCH novice to advanced (fee)


Canine Massage 10 min for $10.00 AND MORE!

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 15 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM


5776 11th Line New Tecumseth (near Beeton, On)

Map to K9 Fun Day


Hwy #27 north of Hwy #8811th Line West

Follow the Signs

*Pre-book CGN testing by contacting:

Or Call Lori (705) 435-3481

Canadian Kennel Club certificate test – conducted by a CKC CGN Evaluator

100% of all funds raised at K-9 Fun Day go to the legal defense fund!

Calling all Dog Owners

Here's an easy way to help out in the legal defence fund.

The founder of is asking all dog owners to donate $1 to the legal defence fund (Banned Aid).

2007 Beautiful Staffies and their Ladies Calendar

2007 Beautiful Staffies and their Ladies Calendar

Don't forget to order your calendar!
Visit to order your calendar now.
The holidays coming and for a $20 donation to the legal fund you can have a unique gift to give out to friends and family.

Stop Discriminating Against Pit Bulls

Again in The Huntville Forrester comes more comments from Jack van der Meer's letter against the Pit bull puppies.

Stop Discriminating Against Pit Bulls
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Re: Pit bull pups deserve a chance, letter to the editor, September 20.

Thank you Christie for speaking up on behalf of the Huntsville Animal Shelter and for all animals. Thank you to the Huntsville Animal Shelter for taking over the responsibility of the many irresponsible ones that abandon and abuse their dogs. Thank you.

I know of many rescuers that specialize in adopting out pit bulls and I can tell with confidence that the only problem they ever had with any dog is that the adoption was not compatiblewith , for example, the lifestyle of the owner. None of these dogs have ever made the headlines. Mr. van der Meer needs a dose of reality. But if ever you are looking for a pit bull expert, here he is.

It is estimated that approximately less than two per cent of dogs of any breed are ever involved in a biting or mauling incident. Most bites are not serious enough to even report. The fact is, all dogs have teeth and can bite, as Christie explained. It really gets me when some ‘expert’ comes along and downplays the years of experience and knowledge of those who deal with dogs every day. It is very disrespectful.

Many people base their opinions of pit bulls through media reports and particularly on a report from the Centre for Disease Control. They made a report many years ago focusing on pit bulls (not even mentioning purebreds) that they have verbally and in writing admitted was grossly inaccurate.

In Ontario there are fewer than 100,000 purebred dogs that have been listed under Bill 132. The bill was cleverly crafted to include as many dogs as possible. Ontario’s pit bull ban is nothing more than racial profiling, as well as a means of stripping a minority of their rights.

Finally, pit bulls (if that is what they are to be known as) have been dubbed ‘nanny dogs’ for the past 150 years. They were called that because they were, and still are, particularly good with children. Those who focus their attention on dog discrimination need to take a really hard look in the mirror.

Linda CareyHuntsville
Reader Comments (Post Yours)

Sep 27, 2006 at 2:23 PM
As long as people believe that breed specific legislation is discrimination against dogs, we will continue to project this illusion. Lets be perfectly clear. Breed specific legislation (BSL) discriminates against dog owners based solely upon the physical appearance of the dog that he or she chooses to own. The dog owner is the true focus of BSL. The dog is the property of it's owner. The dog is the unwitting pawn that is used by government to restrict dog ownership by breed upon the human citizen owner. All laws are written for human beings. We are the only sapient creatures who can read, understand, apply, and function to any law that has ever been, or will ever be enacted. Let us utilise our great intellect, and put a halt to the taking of our most ancient, and traditional property.

All law both in Canada, and the USA is based upon tradition, and upon English Common Law. The human tradition of dog ownership is lost in the dim reaches of time, but can be archaeologically traced back well over thirty-five THOUSAND years!!! Let us hold tightly to our human traditions lest they be ripped from us one tradition at a time, until we are slaves of an over-burgeoning government that not only controls our animal ownership, but also our diet, our wardrobe apparel, our very existence.

Cherie Graves, chairwoman

Responsible Dog Owners of the Western States

Tuesday, September 26, 2006




Twice the size of Texas.

Three times the size of Germany.

Five times the size of the United Kingdom.

Home to a breed-specific legislative ban covering the largest geo-political area in the world.

A ban that discriminates not by action or deed, but by physical appearance.

A ban that targets not only "pitbulls", American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers and Staffordshire Bull Terriers", but haunts *ANY* pure-or-crossbred canine bearing a substantial physical resemblance to one of the aforementioned. The 2004 brainchild of the province's Attorney General, Michael Bryant, the now-infamous Bill 132 was conceived as a vote-grabbing safety measure; a poorly designed and ill-appointed law geared to target the public's visceral fear of dog attacks. Implemented in August of 2005, retribution against innocent canines and their owners was swift.

Walking your pet without a muzzle now means risking seizure without warrant. Visitors and residents alike travelling without certified documentation face the spectre of breed (mis)-identification looming around every corner.

Pets showing natural protective tendencies within the boundaries of their home turf may now be turned in on the suspicion of being 'menacing'. This last is particularly frightening; simple barking at passers-by can be interpreted as 'threatening behaviour' by control officers with no training in either animal behaviour or breed identification. Failure to pass muster on any of the above can and will result in a one-way trip to the official's choice of humane society, pound or research facility. There are few second chances.

This ban has raised both the conscience and ire of dog lovers from British Columbia to Prince Edward Island . It's not just a 'pit-bull' issue. It's a Rottweiler issue, a Doberman issue. It's about Boxers and Bullmastiffs, Bull Terriers, Neapolitan Mastiffs and Boston Terriers, Great Danes and Vizslas... are you surprised? These are but a handful of breeds that have come under scrutiny and endured public censure following the implementation and subsequent over-broad interpretation of A.G. Bryant's Bill.

From the beginning, concerned groups and individuals questioned the feasibility of a legal challenge - a challenge directed at the violation of constitutional rights, yet still allowing for the punishment of those who willfully put animals and people in harm's way. Prominent trial and constitutional lawyer Clayton Ruby was immediately retained.

With the help of the American Staffordshire Terrier Club of Canada, the Golden Horseshoe American Pit Bull Terrier Club, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of Canada and Advocates for the Underdog, a coalition was formed including the Dog Legislation Council of Canada and aptly named "Banned-Aid". This group was to play a prominent role in the ensuing months, bringing the plight of Ontario's dogs to those who otherwise might never have considered the gravity of the situation. Their determination paid off; the spring of 2006 saw a trial date set, and on May 15th, 16th and 18th, Justice T. Herman heard final arguments from both sides in Ontario's Superior Court.

The battle, however, is not quite over. Government-initiated delays have resulted in the near-doubling of our legal fees, which have long passed initial "guesstimates" and are closing in on the 1/2 million mark. In this we are running out of time. Generous time allowances by Clayton Ruby's offices have merely slowed the inevitable, that being we *MUST* come up with $ 100,000 in two weeks' time for this case to continue.

The importance of being present to rebut this new motion cannot be overestimated. Lacking an opposing legal presence gives government lawyers carte blanche while countering from our side greatly increases the chances of any further introductions being struck down as frivolous. Ruby strongly believes this attempt to be a last-gasp 'smoke screen' effort by our opposition, carefully orchestrated to bring us to our financial knees. We cannot let this happen. If we have come this far, it is in large part due to the faith of our members, friends and allies - individuals who possess the same gritty determination hallmarking the breeds this Bill seeks to eliminate forever.

We are so very, very close. For the latest updates and news briefs, we urge you to visit the Dog Legislation Council of Canada website at:

If you believe - as we do - that victory is a mere leash-length away, then please help by donating to the Ontario Legal Challenge of Bill 132 through the following agents:
Banned-Aid Coalition -

Send a cheque or money order payable to Banned Aid to:
Cathy Prothro
National Secretary/Treasurer - Banned Aid Coalition
351 Pleasant Street
Dartmouth NS B2Y 3S4
Mark a cheque "Banned Aid - In Trust' on the memo line; make payable to "Ruby and Edwardh" and send to:
Ruby and Edwardh
11 Prince Arthur Avenue
Toronto, ON M5R 1B2

No donation is too small, no suggestion unimportant. Each and every contribution is humbly appreciated - indeed, more than can be possibly expressed. We know the dogs this saves would thank you if they could.

Banned Aid Coalition
351 Pleasant Street
Dartmouth NS B2S 3Y4

Monday, September 25, 2006

Pit bull ban punishes dogs for bad owners

In comes another compelling arguement of Pit bull Ban (breed bans) punishes dogs because of bad owners.

Pit Bull Ban Punishes Dogs for Bad Owners
Monday, September 25, 2006
By Radley Balko

This is Rufus. Last February, Rufus was named best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club.

With his football-shaped head, muscular haunches, and powerful jaws, Rufus might, under the right circumstances, look pretty intimidating. He's harmless, of course, as are the vast majority of bull terriers with responsible owners.

Unfortunately, there are a growing number of cities in North American that want nothing to do with Rufus. In addition to several smaller towns, Kansas City, Mo., recently followed the lead of Denver, Colo., and Ontario, Canada, in instituting a ban on "pit bulls."

Any animal meeting the "pit bull" description found in the city will either be turned over to shelters outside the city or, more likely, euthanized.

These types of breed-specific prohibitions are a bad idea for a variety of reasons, but the most glaring is that the most common target of these laws — the "pit bull" — isn't really a breed at all but rather a generic name given to dogs with with features we've come to associate with a certain type of dog with certain aggressive characteristics. The "pit bull" very generally refers to the American Staffordshire Terrier breed, but can include a number of breeds with similar features, including bull terriers like Rufus, and just about any mutt with traces of bulldog, mastiff, or bloodhound crossed with any breed of terrier.

Test yourself — see if you can find the pit bull on this page.

When she was a puppy, I was repeatedly warned that one of my own dogs might be mistaken for a pit bull should I move to an area where they're banned. She's the sweetest, most harmless dog I've ever known, unless you happen to be a rug or a pair of shoes. I once came home to finder her curled up in the cable guys' lap.

The New Yorker's Malcolm Gladwell has written about research showing that pit bull-ish dogs don't deserve their reputation. Gladwell found a study from a research group in Georgia that has so far tested more than 25,000, measuring stability, shyness, aggressiveness, and friendliness in interaction with people. Gladwell writes, "Eighty-four per cent of the pit bulls that have been given the test have passed, which ranks pit bulls ahead of beagles, Airedales, bearded collies, and all but one variety of dachshund."

The president of the group said pit bulls even test unusually well with children.

Dogs commonly called pit-bulls do have unusually strong jaws, a characteristic commonly cited by advocates of eradicating the dogs. The American Staffordshire Terrier is also unusually smart, driven, and determined — all of which make it a challenging dog to own, particularly for new dog owners. But there are many breeds of dog that can deliver a nasty bite when provoked. And herding dogs are even more difficult to own and train than so-called pit-bulls, particularly for people with children (they sometimes nip at the heels of children in an effort to corral them).

The attention directed at pit bulls seems to be more due to their trendiness and their popularity with disreputable owners, not to any unique aggressiveness in the dogs' genetics. Just a few years ago, the tough-guy dog du jour was the equally powerful Rottweiler. Dobermans and German Shepherds have also done their time in the spotlight as the pariah breed.

The problem then is with the owners, not with the dogs. Ban pit bulls, and the riffraff that breeds and trains them for nefarious purposes will simply move on to another breed.

The law in Kansas City, however, is particularly dumb — though it does aptly show just how misguided the thinking among public officials on this issue can be.

Apparently, the city has instituted an "amnesty period," during which well-intentioned owners can turn their pups over for euthanization without facing a fine.

To see the folly in that proposal, consider two hypothetical pit bull owners.

Owner A is a family who had the misfortune of picking a pit bull from the pet store, breeder, or pound. They've raised the dog as a pet, and it lives in a happy, loving home. It's harmless. Owner B is a drug dealer who bought a pit bull to protect his contraband. He has trained the dog to attack. The dog, obviously, is vicious and dangerous.

Which dog owner is more likely to have respect for the law, and take advantage of the amnesty period? Whose dog is more likely to be turned over and euthanized?

Kansas City has created a scenario where most of the harmless pit bulls in the city will be destroyed, rather foolishly leaving mostly the dangerous ones. Of course, that result will only reinforce the wrongheaded notion that all dogs that look like pit bulls are inherently violent and aggressive.

Ingrid Newkirk, the president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, actually supports breed-specific bans, including bans on pit bulls. Her reasoning, however, is revealing. In an op-ed for the San Francisco Chronicle last year, she likened pit bull legislation to gun control, which she also supports. That's rather appropriate. Both policies are misguided, and penalize responsible owners for the sins of criminal owners.

To borrow a phrase from the gun rights movement, when pit bulls are criminalized, only criminals will own pit bulls.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Pit bull Ban: Back it with cash Queen's Park left cities on hook for cost of enforcement

In the Peterbourough Examiner it shows how the Ontario goverment made a law, yet wouldn't help to reinforse it and why each municipality does things differently.

Why is this becoming an issue now doesn't make sense as we had to fight the London's proposed bylaw for trying to stick outrages fees and fines to the responsible, registered bullie owners with the full cost and even more so.

Some of the Ontario cities and towns were not so harsh on their citizens, but London was a city that decided to take it's own fight against the bullie owners past what the law was enforcing...only Londoners fought back.

PIT BULL BAN: Back it with cash Queen’s Park left cities on hook for cost of enforcement
By Examiner Staff Editorial - Friday, September 22, 2006

Maybe the cities and towns that are now stuck with the cost of Ontario’s pit bull ban should have seen it coming.

When Attorney General Michael Bryant announced the ban last year, a news release stated that “The McGuinty government is making our communities safer.”

It didn’t say the McGuinty government would be paying for the privilege.

A province-wide ban would be more efficient than a patchwork of hundreds of different bylaws that Ontario municipalities would have passed on their own, Bryant said at the time.

However, there was no evidence cities were about to jump on the ban bandwagon. Peterborough city council had discussed some form of pit bull control in the past but had always backed off.

Part of the reason was concern about whether municipalities had the authority to ban one type of dog, but there were also questions about the cost of enforcement.

The authority issue was taken care of a year ago when the Liberal government amended the Dog Owners’ Liability Act.

Those who already owned pit bulls must keep them leashed and muzzled in public.

No new pit bulls can be bred here or brought into the province.

The question of who pays was also taken care of, indirectly.

The province didn’t make any money available, which means local authorities pay.

In Peterborough, as in most cities, that means local taxpayers.

Brad Algar, general manager of the Peterborough Humane Society, says it costs an average $250 for every stray pit bull (the legislation lumps several types of dogs and mixed breed under that label) that is caught, held for the mandatory 10 days and then destroyed.

In the first year, 10 dogs were scooped up at a total cost of $2,500.

While that may not seem like a lot of money, the Humane Society runs on a very tight budget.

It is contracted by the city to pick up and deal with stray dogs and cats, run the animal shelter and handle cruelty to animal cases.

It relies heavily on volunteers but still struggles to stay within its $205,000 annual operating budget.

The financial crunch is made worse by another new law requiring that all dog bite cases be prosecuted by the Crown attorney’s office, rather than city prosecutors.

A backlog in the criminal courts is delaying those cases.

That means more time for the Humane Society to house and feed the dogs involved, and more costs.

Algar, who wants the province to accept its responsibility, is not asking for a lot of new money.

The society is attempting to enforce Bryant’s ban with only one extra animal control officer.

If the province were really serious about getting these “ticking time bombs” out of communities it would be paying for extra dog catchers, at least until the pit bull population starts to decrease significantly.

But when the City of Toronto made that case, the province declined to bite.

Last spring Toronto city councillors turned down a request from its animal services department for nearly $530,000 to hire 10 new staff to police the ban.

When the city turned to Queen’s Park, the response was that enforcement costs would be low because people are generally law-abiding.

Run that logic out to its conclusion and cities wouldn’t need police forces.

MPP Jeff Leal, a Liberal, says he will press the province to see that local animal enforcement agencies get the funding they need.

If not, the pit bull ban will be one more case of the white knights at Queen’s Park riding to the rescue of local municipalities, then leaving a bill when they ride away.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Sue me, St. John's mayor tells owners of attack dogs

Yes! Yes! They are finally getting it! Go after the irresponsible OWNERS!!!

Sue me, St. John's mayor tells owners of attack dogs
CBC News

St. John's Mayor Andy Wells says he's prepared to face lawsuits over a city crackdown on aggressive dogs, urging staff to "put the damn dog down" if it seems dangerous.

"We're going to go after them and try to get those dogs," said Wells on Monday night as he responded to a
weekend incident in which two pit bulls attacked another dog in the city.

St. John's Mayor Andy Wells said a small number of 'idiots' and 'fools' are responsible for dog attacks.(CBC)

I've told our staff that whenever we get an animal that they think is dangerous, then — as far as I'm concerned — put the damn dog down," Wells, who owns several dogs himself, told CBC News.

"The owner can take us to court. Let the courts decide what our liability is. We've served the public interest."
The owner of the pit bulls left the scene of the attack — near Quidi Vidi Lake, in the east end of St. John's — without taking responsibility for what had happened.

Dog trainer Glenn Redmond said owners, not breeds, are the key ingredient in dog attacks.(CBC)

Sue Martin said she panicked when she saw the two pit bulls attack her pet Misty, an Australian shepherd.

"We spent the next three or four minutes just trying to get his dogs to let go of her, and believe you me, they were not going to let go," she said.

Give higher fines to owners, trainer urges

Dog trainer Glenn Redmond, who spoke for the SPCA as the agency sponsored a forum on aggressive dogs on Monday night, said there are no bad breeds — just bad owners.

Redmond said irresponsible dog owners must face harsher penalties, such as high fines.

"We can't save every dog that has been led down a wrong path, but we can stop a second dog from being led down the same path by the same owner," Redmond said.

More than 200 people attended the SPCA's meeting, which was scheduled before the latest attack took place.

Wells said the people who need to hear the message of taking responsibility of one's pets were not there.

'I have to question the mentality, the mindset, of a human being who'd want to have those types of dogs, that are a threat to other animals and other people.'-St. John's Mayor Andy Wells

"I have to question the mentality, the mindset, of a human being who'd want to have those types of dogs, that are a threat to other animals and other people," said Wells.

"This was a great seminar. The problem is, the wrong people are here," he said.

"[It's] the idiots, the fools and the non-competents that cause all the problems."

City searching for pit bulls' owner

Redmond said the SPCA would like to see several reforms, including a ban on chaining dogs up, which he says can make an animal more aggressive in the long run.

"First thing, we would like to see a ban on tethering," he said.

"Statistically, they say a tethered dog is more dangerous than a roaming pack of dogs.… There' s so many dogs here of unknown temperament."

Meanwhile, Wells said city officials are working hard to identify the owner of the pit bulls that attacked on Sunday.

He said they have narrowed down their search to a small number of owners.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Shasta's message to Brutus

Look what Mommy bought me at Auntie Em's. They are both suppose to be around the neck, but I like them better like this. After all, a girl should always keep her hinney covered right! BOL

I feel like I should do ballet.

Would any doggies out there like to dance with me...Brutus???

*woof* Shasta

Sunday, September 17, 2006

One of Toronto's touching Vigil Speeches

I'm sorry, this is coming late to you but you know my health has kept me behind. Em has given me permission to post her speech at the Vigil. I hope you reading it brings you closer to the hearts of many that feel strongly against what Bill 132 has done to Ontario. Now for Em's speech:

I am Emily Ugarenko, for the past year I have had the honour of being the London Ontario Representative for Advocates for the Underdog. Tonight I want to share some thoughts and words of encouragement as a volunteer, rescuer and advocate for all dogs!

I would first like to talk about compliance, abiding by the stipulations, or shall I say restrictions imposed by Bill 132. According to the law, any dog which is classified as a “Pitbull”, purebred, or a mixed breed bearing substancial physical characteristics or resemblance to a restricted breed, must be leashed and muzzled when in public. A muzzle that covers the mouth of the dog, that is humane, that is well fitted, without interfering with the breathing, panting or vision or ability to drink. And a leash attached to a collar or harness, at a length of no more than 1.8 meters.

I have no doubt all of us have seen dogs who appear to be of a restricted breed appearance out and about not in compliance of the law. Unmuzzled but on leash, muzzled but offleash, or flat out unmuzzled and off leash. Sadly, none of those situations are acceptable by the terms of this legislation. They are flat out illegal and punishable not only by a heafty fine, but with the life of the dog.

Many of us are outraged, upset and concerned when we happen across such a situation and with good reason. Some people are approachable, receptive to the cold hard facts. Others are not. It only takes a split second, a plain clothed officer, a complaint of a stranger.

It is our responsibility to keep our dogs safe! We can’t explain to them why they must wear a muzzle or why they can no longer romp with their friends in the park, but for the time being compliance is what will keep them from tragedy.

Secondly, I’d like to touch on the subject of rescue for dogs affected by Bill 132. For shelters, organizations and individuals it has been a difficult year. Pet rescue in general is challenging at best, but for the rescue and rehoming of pitbull and dogs assumed to be pitbull mixes based on appearance the challenge is that much greater. I look out at the candles and the flowers placed in memory of those we have needlessly lost, and my heart aches. NO dog is safe from this vague law. There simply aren’t the funds and resources to reach the needs of BSL affected canines. The odds are not in our favour, but ultimately it is not us, but most literally the dogs that loose.

According to Bill 132 all affected dogs were to be sterilized by October 29th 2005 (if of suitable age) and dogs considered grandfathered at the appropriate age in order to be fully complaint with the law (other than the exceptions stated directly in the legislation) No more pitbull type dogs are to be born, and all born after November 27th 2005 are to be sent out of province, euthanized or sent to research facilities under the ontario pound act. Yet shelters and rescues still deal with young dogs and puppies on a regular basis. Be it ignorance or an accident, the burden is heavy for all those involved in now trying to save that life.

A 5 week old puppy was put down yesterday solely based on appearance. A stray, an orphan, a tiny soul who deserved a chance, but he was blacklisted because he might have been a pitbull. Never having the opportunity to mature into a dog that perhaps looks nothing like a restricted breed. It happens, believe me. Advocates for the Underdog saved a litter of 12 pitbull type looking pups last summer, and today having now celebrated their first birthdays and they are all 80-90-odd pound Labrador retriever looking dogs. Had then ended up elsewhere, their fate could have been quite different.

I’m sure many of us here tonight have been involved in similar situations, you know what its like to try and move heaven and earth to try and find a spot for a dog. Not every one even realizes that options, albeit limited, are available. But rescues will continue to try to do what they can. And in the darkness of senseless death and discrimination we must remember to focus on and celebrate each and every life saved.

It has been a year since we all gathered here, to stand together and support the challenge of ending Breed Specific Legislation in Ontario.

This past year has brought the opportunity to meet many wonderful dog owners, volunteers, rescuers and along with it just as many amazing dogs. There is this whole network of friends, support groups and shoulders to lean on that have formed not only in Ontario but across the country and abroad. While it is very apparent that no good has come of Bill 132, the pubic has not been any safer nor have we seen a reduction in dogs bites or injury (from any breed). What HAS happened however is that people with a passion for their dogs and and animal welfare in general have rallied together to advocate and educate. Spending time and money, volunteering for dog transports, giving up a little more space in their homes for one more dog in need and have loving taught their dog to accept a muzzle so they can continue to enjoy an active life in the community.

For every piece of negative press there has been fueled by hype and stereotypes there has been at least twice as many pieces of positive press albeit tucked in the middle pages somewhere, to counter the negativity. For each person who chooses to be ignorant to the law and gamble with their dog’s life, there are groups like the pitbull co-op who proudly walk their dogs legally and responsibly. Yes the shelters along with emails and voicemails are overflowing with displaced, surrendered and strayed pitbulls and restricted breed mixes, but there are those who volunteer in those shelters, foster in their homes and continue to tirelessly fundraise to repeal the law.

Owning a restricted breed is tragically now not considered normal dog ownership, it is hard, it is sad, it is difficult and down right frustrating at times. But to every single last one of you who holds their head high and proud for the dogs you own, know and love we thank you! We thank you for not giving up on these dogs or giving up on yourselves and the ability to find courage in this adversity. We thank you for participating in events like this, showing your support. Because together we are strong! Individuals, organizations, rescuers and volunteers, wherever you fit in you are invaluable to us and the dogs . . . thank you.

Emily U.a.k.a. "Auntie Em"

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Can't support relocation of pit bulls to the Untited States

Remember the article about relocating the 6 bullie puppies out of Ontario? Well it seems that Jack van der Meer in Huntsville disagrees and believes Ontario is shipping vicious dogs to the states.
Here are some of the comments her received back in the Huntsville Forrester.

Can't support relocation of pit bulls to the United States
Re: Pit bull pups set for trip south, Forester article, September 6.

Do I understand this correctly?

There is a ban on pit bulls in Ontario, presumably because the breed (which was developed for its aggressiveness and ability to kill other dogs in the dog fighting ring, or ‘pit’) has proven itself to be unpredictable, and has been implicated in a number of vicious attacks on people and other animals.

It is illegal to breed pit bulls (i.e. produce and raise puppies), or to bring pit bulls into Ontario.

Pit bulls already in Ontario must be sterilized, and leashed and muzzled in public.

Six pit bull puppies have been seized in Huntsville, and, for five months, have been nurtured (raised) by the Huntsville Animal Shelter.

A pit bull advocate from the United States has travelled all the way to Huntsville to test these animals and found them, surprisingly, ‘well-behaved’ and that the dogs “had such good temperaments.”

‘Bullies in Need’ and ‘Albany Rescue’ and, I guess, the Huntsville Animal Shelter are looking for homes for these pit bull puppies, likely in the United States. The three males will have to be neutered before this can happen, but apparently the three female puppies will not have to be spayed.

Huntsville Animal Shelter is looking for donations to help with the costs of looking after these pit bull puppies.
What can we conclude from all of this?

Obviously, pit bulls are not a problem outside of Ontario.

Once outside the province, only male pit bulls can pass on the aggressive genes of the breed, since female pit bulls apparently do not need to be sterilized before they are relocated.

If you want to get a good report about the nature of your pit bulls, make sure the expert evaluator is from an organization dedicated to saving the breed.

And how will we react if we see a headline a year or so from now, ‘Pit bull relocated from Huntsville attacks …’?

Sorry, Huntsville Animal Shelter. This is not a cause which I can support.
Jack van der MeerHuntsville

Editor’s note: According to Barb Mooney, the Town of Huntsville’s animal control bylaw officer, the female dogs have already been spayed.

Reader Comments :

Should Cruelty be Ontario's Middle Name?
In response to Mr van der Meer and his lack of support for Huntsville Animal Shelter's effort to relocate some pit bull puppies to the United States I say, shame on you. Before you spout off about the dangers of pit bulls and rescue groups endagering the lives of Americans, learn a bit more about the topic.

Breed specific legislation is not an answer to problems it is a knee-jerk reaction that is used by local politicians to give the community the facade that it is safe. It is a reactionary measure taken in response to fear and hype created by the media and animal rights group to target specific breeds and segments of dogs and their owners.

Dog bites and attacks are the result of irresponisble dog ownership and lack of education. Instead of putting money into bite education and dog onwership programs, communities choose what they think is the easy way out.

Guess what? It ALWAYS backfires. Every community that has enacted BSL to date has seen it fail miserably.
Just this summer in a local community here in the states, a woman was killed because BSL did not work.

The only people that end up being punished in the case of BSL are law abiding people that love their dogs, take an interest in the breed and would never jeapordize their families or their communities. People that work in breed rescue know better than anyone else the characteristics of their breed and they are typically very fair in their judgements of whether or not a dog is adoptable. I have worked with shelter dogs and rescue dogs for some time and I would never place a dog in a home that was questionable in any manner.

People in Ontario should be thankful that the Huntsville Animal Shelter has enough compassion and knowledge to realize that there is no reason these pups should not have the chance at having safe and loving homes.

Unfortunetly, because some community governments in my country are no smarter then yours, there is every chance that at some point they could be labeled as monsters, just for being born.

As a non-pit bull owner, but dog lover, I applaud these rescues and this shelter in taking action to right a very significant wrong. Perhaps one day, communities all over the world will wake up and understand that the only crimes dogs have ever been guilty of are loving and respecting humans.

What kind of lessons in responsiblity are we teaching our children when we allow people with no respect for life or the law to walk our streets after their dog has mauled a child; while we instead focus on killing the dog? If we want to keep communities safe, then we need to stregthen and eforce laws that punish the real animals in these crimes, humans.

Marla StoutKansas City, MO, USA

Sep 13, 2006 at 8:54 PM
"Pit bull" puppies
Mr. Van Der Meer appears to have been misled by the media hysteria and cheap politicking surrounding a type of dog. "Pit bull" is not a breed, it is shorthand for a dog with a broad head and short, close coat. Please remember that Attorney General Michael Bryant, the architect of Ontario's breed specific legislation, could not identify the "pit bull" in a series of pictures.

There are many urban myths about “pit bulls”. I ask you to look at the facts about these dogs.

There are "pit bull" service dogs, trained and dedicated to serving their owners. There are "pit bull" therapy dogs certified as to obedience and temperament – dozens, possibly hundreds lost to therapy programs because of breed specific legislation. There are "pit bull" search and rescue dogs, some of which were at the 9/11 site and the Columbia space shuttle recovery. There are "pit bull" K9 officers. The top drug-sniffing dog in the United States, Popsicle, is a "pit bull". Neville, a dog banned in Ontario and sentenced to die because of the way he looks, is now a K9 officer with Washington State Police. Then there are the tens of thousands of happy, friendly, couch-potato "pit bulls".Are these dogs assets to society, or a danger solely because of their shape?

Karen Delise has done sterling research into the issue of dog bites and attacks, published in her book Fatal Dog Attacks. Her research into over 30 years of dog attacks identified three factors that appear to contribute to canine aggression towards humans. None of these are breed. The prime cause for the three factors is human – the irresponsible owner.

The testing of over 26,000 dogs by the American Temperament Test Society indicates that the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier and Staffordshire Bull Terrier have temperaments equivalent to common family breeds such as the Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever, and superior to the American Cocker Spaniel, standard Dachshund(s), Wheaten Terrier, Shetland Sheepdog and Jack Russell Terrier, among many others.

As to the myth of the dog's jaw strength and "locking", I paraphrase the findings of Dr. I. Lehr Brisbin, Ph.D., Emeritus Faculty at the University of Georgia's Savannah River Ecology Laboratory by saying: Not so. The jaw and musculature of a "pit bull" is no different from that of any dog of comparable size and build, and there is no evidence of a mechanism for a "locking jaw".

A National Geographic scientist tested domestic dogs of three breeds, among other creatures, and found that a dog has an average bite pressure of 320 pounds per square inch (psi). The American Pit Bull Terrier had the least amount of pressure of the dogs tested. For perspective, this study showed that a human has bite pressure of 120 psi while a snapping turtle has 1,000 psi.

Research proves that there is no reason or fact supporting breed specific legislation ("BSL"). BSL is driven by media hysteria and politics. It is a knee-jerk solution to a complex problem.BSL makes law abiding, responsible, tax paying and voting dog owners into second-class citizens.

History proves that targeting the responsible owners of particular breeds does not serve public safety. BSL has been a failure in the jurisdictions in which it has been tried, most notably the United Kingdom and Germany. The United Kingdom, after 14 years of BSL, has admitted its failure and is unwinding the legislation. The United States has at least 12 states where BSL is prohibited by law. The evidence presented in 2005 to Ontario’s Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly proved that BSL is ineffective, unworkable and fiscally irresponsible. All of the canine experts and 80% of the presenters opposed BSL.

This evidence presented at the Ontario public hearings may be read at . Please scroll down to “Committee” and read the presentations on January 24th and 27th, and February 2nd and 3rd. The evidence presented by proponents of the ban should be tempered by the knowledge that these people were specifically invited to attend, and at the least their expenses were paid.

The Ontario Liberal government pushed through its unfounded, unjust, vague and shoddy BSL, without foundation in fact and against all expert advice and experience.

Ontario’s BSL affects not only residents of Ontario but also tourists and travellers such as truckers, who may have their dogs seized and killed if an authority determines the dog is a “pit bull”.

Considering the facts, expert advice and the experience of other jurisdictions where BSL has failed, I do not understand how anyone can possibly come to the conclusion that BSL is necessary, effective or workable.

A letter from a provincial government official stated that the courts must resolve the lack of definition within Ontario’s BSL. Ontario’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. Further, the legislation has been brought before the Canadian courts in a constitutional challenge, and we await the judge’s decision.

I point you to the recent Ohio and Englewood, NJ court decisions that BSL is unconstitutional in the U.S. BSL perpetuates prejudice, discrimination, violent behaviour towards and false accusations against responsible dog owners. Responsible dog owners have been assaulted and injured, their dogs assaulted and injured. They are subjected to physical and verbal harassment, had bottles thrown at them from cars, they are denied housing and insurance, just because of the way their dogs look. The witch hunt is well underway in Ontario.

Why should responsible, voting dog owners live under the threat and in fear of legislated vigilantism? These responsible dog owners are parents, doctors, nurses, lawyers, veterinarians, veterinary technicians, office workers, social workers, entrepreneurs, artists, musicians, and many, many others. These are responsible, law-abiding citizens who have been slandered by the media and legislated into second-class citizenship, just because of the way their dogs look.

There are common sense recommendations for improved public safety with regard to dogs, presented over and over again –which were ignored by the Ontario Liberals. These recommendations include promotion of 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, funding to municipalities for dangerous dog control, and a centralized dog bite registry.

I ask you to clearly define a "pit bull terrier” - which is not a breed. Is a dog owner to assume that if his or her dog has short hair and a large head, it's a "pit bull"?

Do you realize that the definition includes Labrador retrievers, boxers, mastiffs, Great Danes, shar-peis, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Cane Corsos, and numerous other pure breeds of dogs? That does not begin to touch the crossed and mixed breed dogs of uncertain heritage that people may claim are “pit bulls”.

The Centre for Disease Control in Atlanta has stated that breed identification is the great confounder in dog attacks

.Every dog has teeth. Any dog can bite. No one wants to be bitten by any dog. 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.

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, 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 and dangerous dogs. This has already started in Ontario; in my neighbourhood, German Shepherd dogs now appear to be the breed of choice.

Meanwhile, responsible "pit bull" owners will labour under unfounded and unjust restrictions, attempting to keep their beloved dogs safe. BSL has caused people to move from their place of residence to keep their beloved dogs safe.

Thirty years ago, German Shepherd dogs were the demon breed. Then Dobermans. Then Rottweilers. Now, “pit bulls”. Which breed will be next to be demonized and targeted for legislated extermination? Will it be yours?

Any dog that is untrained, unsocialized, tethered, allowed to roam, neglected or abused has the potential to go one of two ways – either to bite, or not. Breed is irrelevant.

It is the owner’s deed that should be the issue and the subject of any law. Not the shape of the dog.

Taxpayers must demand that the Ontario Liberal government answer why it passed unfounded, unjust, vague and shoddy BSL that has been proven to be ineffective, unworkable and fiscally irresponsible, and why the Liberals rejected clearly defined and easily enforced all-breed dangerous dog legislation that would be effective, workable and best serve public safety.

Sep 13, 2006 at 11:15 PM
pit bull type pups
I would like to take this oppurtunity to thank the Huntsville animal shelter for their support to these dogs who have done nothing wrong only to be born an apparent breed type.

We have shipped out many dogs labeled "pit bulls" due to this legislation..and yes, some have actually made headlines, such as the case with Neville

Clearly, pit bulls aren't a problem outside of Ontario when owned by responsible people. Neither are they me a responsible pit bull owner, or ANY responsible dog owner, you will never see a headline...unless it is a good one.

Lets hope these pups have a good outcome and make it out of Ontario and into safety. We thank people for any support they can offer to aid in this effort.

Sharon Hewitt
Bullies In Need

Sep 14, 2006 at 12:55 AM
Thanks Canada!!
Dear Mr. Van De Meer,You don't have to wait, Pit Bulls relocated from Canada are already making headlines in the US.

Meet Neville who was thrown away by your country and is now working with Washington State troopers on the front lines. Very few dogs have what it takes to make it in this tough and arduous field, many that are bred for it don't. However, Toronto's little stray did and is happily doing his job protecting the American public by sniffing for drugs and/or bombs and licking the faces of children.

I say Thanks Canada! Your my opic views have greatly contributed to our safety!

Sep 14, 2006 at 1:37 AM
Ontario's prejudice
Mr. Van Der Meer, have you had any direct experience with this breed? Opinions based on ignorance aren't credible and most likely incorrect.Of course only a person experienced with this breed is going to take the responsability to do an evaluation.

To make sure that dogs are what this breed is supposed to be.Safe, loyal, trustworthy.It is no surprise that this person is also supportive of the breed

.It happens when intelligent people decide to look farther into things instead of listening to those who speak out of ignorance.

If you had any direct experience with the breed you would use your time in a more productive manner.I am sure that Ontario has more important issues to worry about."And how will we react if we see a headline a year or so from now, ‘Pit bull relocated from Huntsville attacks …’?"

And how do you personally react to the fact that a pit bull out of an Ontario shelter is now working with the Washington State Patrol Detection Dog Program? This was one of those "bad" pit bull whose fate was to die alone, in Ontario.This dog is now working to keep people safe, for the US Homeland Security.And he is good at it.

Several other pit bulls are succesful in this program and they were chosed for their endless dedication and heart.

How bad can these dogs be when a law enforcement agency is using them?

Here are more information for you, these "bad" dogs are doing a heck of a job.

Sep 14, 2006 at 8:41 AM
relocation of pit bulls
Dear Mr. Van der Meer:

Although I was disturbed by your obvious wish to have innocent dogs put to death, I do appreciate that you used the word "presumably" in regards to the danger of these dogs.

Unfortunatly, your presumption is like many other's. The media jumps on every incident involving any dog that may even look like a "pit bull", (not a breed. Ontario never had a "pit bull" problem. Ontario has a dangerous dog problem of all breeds.

The Ontario government would like everyone to "presume" that they are making our streets safer by eliminating a look of dog, but research and experts disagree. They want us to "presume" so we do not look into the facts.All dogs can be dangerous and all dogs can bite Mr. van der Meer.

Police search for man missing after 14-hour standoff

This story was on the news last night and comes from the CBC News in Ottawa.

The suspect didn't live at the house. The woman who does live there asked the police if she can get the dogs during the stand-off and they said no.

The news story showed the inside of the house and there was blood everywhere from the dogs. The woman has already contacted a few lawyers. The dogs were definetely pit or pit type.

They shot the dogs after throwing tear gas in the house? Why would they shoot the dogs if the dogs didn't belong to the suspect and after tear gass was released? What harm could these dogs do and why would they assume they would do any harm? What is the just reason for shooting the womans dogs...because they are Pit bulls or Pit bull mixes?

I think police are getting finger happy using bullie type dogs as target practice for no good reason.

I wanted to share this update with everyone as I think it's important to hear both sides of the story and it's what I expected in the first place. Thank you Lisa for sharing this with me and everyone.

Update: My name is Lisa, the 2 dogs in the above article were named Ca$h & Oz and were more like my children then my dogs. I would like to thank everyone who has shared my outrage and felt sympathy in my time of grieving. My dogs did not attack police, my dogs wouldn`t have attacked anyone, they thought they were lap dogs- they never knew people could be mean, anyone they ever met fell in love with them. They were my best friends there love was completly genuine and unconditional.

Police search for man missing after 14-hour standoff
Friday, September 15, 2006 12:24 PM ET

Police released a photo on Friday of a man they thought had barricaded himself inside a townhouse in the Ottawa neighbourhood of Bells Corners.

When they stormed the townhouse on Thursday after an apparent 14-hour standoff, Trevor Provost was not inside.

Police are looking for Trevor Provost.

As of Friday morning, police were still looking for Provost, 35, for whom they have an arrest warrant.

Police are looking for Trevor Provost.

Police surrounded the house on Richmond Road near Moodie Drive at about midnight on Wednesday, intending to arrest the man for an earlier domestic assault and uttering threats.

A man was in the house at that time and refused to leave, police said. They believed he was alone and unarmed.

Early Thursday morning, armed police officers cleared people out of townhouses on both sides of the residence, although many people stayed in the area to watch.

Ottawa Police surrounded the townhouse at about midnight on Wednesday.(CBC)Meanwhile, they shouted at the house through a megaphone, asking the man to come out with his hands up.

Eventually, police officers obtained a new warrant that allowed them to search the house.

Ottawa Police surrounded the townhouse at about midnight on Wednesday.(CBC)

They smashed the clasp of the front door with a sledgehammer.

Then they threw a volley of tear gas into the house and continued to shout for the man to come out — but drew no response.

Finally, at about noon, the officers broke down the door.

CBC reporters outside heard the sound of gunshots from inside the house.

It turned out that officers found two pit bulls and shot them dead.

What they did not find was the man they were looking for, despite searching the house from top to bottom, said Const. Steven Desjourdy.

"Police searched the whole building, including the attic. There are no holes in the walls to suppose that he did go into another apartment. So we can only suppose that he might have left last night."

The man presumably escaped despite the fact that police had the house surrounded since Wednesday night.

Fifteen to 20 police officers left the scene after the thorough, but futile search.

Police continue searching for the Ottawa man.

Shasta - Service Dog In Training

Shasta - Service/PSD In Training

It's taken us a LONG time to get the proper answers on how to get her certified, but worth all the effort.

She will still have to wear her muzzle regardless because of the Ontario Law and the bullie breeds. There may be one way to fight that and right now I'm too exhausted from everything being a battle, that I think I will either see how the verdict turns out in court, or enjoy this new found freedom prior to fighting again.

You see, Shasta is also an Alert and Response dog. That means, should she senses when I'm starting to panic and become anxious, she knows how to calm me down. If I were in a full blown panic attack, she knows how to bring me out of it, but it requires her mouth to do both.

If I decided to go further and have her registered through Canada, the same as the Guide Dogs of Canada, I could them attempt to fight the muzzle law currently enforced upon the bullies in Ontario.

One thing I have noticed is a whole new approach of educating the public has arisen from this. People are now asking me questions, that I am gladly willing to answer. They are genuinely interested and so far we haven't had any negative responces or feed backs.

I'm not neive to say there won't be any, but this now has given me more freedom, less stress and a new opportunity to speak to people about the BSL.

We just got back from a week of camping and the welts you see on her face are from fly bites. I brought the wrong dryer sheets. *bad mommy*

I've been quite impressed with her manners in stores and towards people. Her manners have been so fantastic and I have an 'ASK TO PET' patch on her vest. The reason I went with that patch, was I wanted people to see the bullie breeds are NOT what they read about in the newspapers and this gives me the opportunity to explain to them about how the media plays games with the bullie breeds and other postive jobs these dogs are so inclined for.

Admittedly, I had reservations regarding the muzzle and her working, but that has proved to be a BIG PLUS toeards the bullie breeds.


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Tammy Grimes Jailed for Rescuing Dying Chained Dog - PLEASE HELP!

This is an actual email from Tammy Grimes. Please call or write in everybody - this is a crime and please CROSSPOST widely too!

Tammy Grimes Jailed for Rescuing Dying Chained Dog

OK, everyone, if you're getting this e-mail it means the police followed through on their threat to put me in jail for taking Doogie today.

Here is the background info:

We got a call from Kim in East Freedom this morning, crying because Doogie hadn't gotten up since Saturday.

She had been calling the Central Pennsylvania Humane Society since Saturday to no avail.

We told her we aren't law officers, and she needed to call the humane officer.

Then we got another call about the same dog, from another person who passes him every day.

At that point we called Kim back to see if she'd heard from the Humane Officer.

She had not, so we promised her we'd go out and see what we could do.

When we got there, we took photos and video of Doogie.

We initially thought he was dead, as he was not moving and his back was to us.

We found out that the people were not home to talk to about him, so I made the decision that he could not lay there on the cold wet ground for one moment longer, and I would accept all consequences of my decision.

The neighbor Kim has agreed to testify on my behalf if necessary.

She cried the whole time we were there, you can hear her on the video.

I think once you see the video and pictures, you'll understand why I made this decision.

The vet documented his general negligent condition, low weight, sores, missing fur, and took xrays of his back and hips.

He determined that he has very bad back spurs that are causing him a lot of pain and are most likely responsible for his inability to walk.

He also saw an undetermined mass near his hip on the xray.

He gave him a shot for pain plus some B vitamins for energy, so that perhaps he could have even one good day or a few good hours.

He wrote a letter stating his condition in case we needed it.

Shortly after we got Doogie to my home, situated, bathed (had to, the stench was too bad), and fed and watered an Officer Flag called from the Freedom Township Police Department (I know, Freedom, isn't that ironic?).

He wanted me to return Doogie, which I refused to do.

Here's what I need from you all.

View the videos and photos, below.

I think you'll agree with me that this is NOT acceptable in ANY kind of humane society, and we cannot allow this kind of animal abuse.

We MUST stand up and STOP accepting this to be ok for people to do to their dogs, and STOP jailing those who are trying to help them.

I could never look myself in the eye again, much less sleep tonight, had I left Doogie there dying, shivering in the dirt.

I will spend the rest of my life in jail as opposed to handing him over to be abused further by these people.

Please, contact ALL media with these photos and videos.

Get justice, for Doogie and for me.

Do NOT allow this treatment of those who are here to help, and who actually care.

Call the Pennsylvania Humane Society and tell them you expect them to stand with me against this kind of abuse.

Doogie laying on the ground, neighbor crying in background:

Doogie after vet at Grimes house:

Officer Flag: Cell 814.201.0149
Freedom Township Police Headquarters: 814.695.8545
Pennsylvania Humane Society: 814.942.5402
Humane Officer Paul Gotshall: 814.942.3780
Altoona Mirror: 800.287.4480; pbanko@...;news@...WTAJ-TV10: 814.944.1414
WJAC-TV 6: 814.255.7600
All national media!

Make sure to send them links to the video, it's very compelling.

My best friend, Tracy, has the video and hi-resolution copies of the images for print.

She can be reached attracy@...

Don't stop until there is Justice for Doogie and ME!

I'm just not tolerating this kind of treatment, for either of us.

No one should.


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Gyger to the rescue

This amazing article comes from the Hamilton Spectator.

Gyger to the rescue
Pet pit bull helps knifing victim reclaim her life
By Barbara Brown
The Hamilton Spectator
(Sep 12, 2006)

Barry Gray, the Hamilton Spectator
Gyger serves as protector of the former store manager attacked in Jackson Square.

Pit bulls usually get bad press, but not this 18-month-old service dog who got in just under the line before his breed was banned in Ontario.

Gyger is helping a former Jackson Square store manager to reclaim her life after she
was viciously attacked by a deranged man with a knife.

On May 27, 2004, Michael Gardiner, 29, left the Hamilton Community Correctional Centre on York Boulevard, entered the mall and randomly selected a woman to attack.

He watched Linda open her store, and attacked her with a knife in the rear office.

Linda fought for her life for several frenzied minutes until the sight of so much blood finally unnerved her assailant. Gardiner stopped and she escaped out of the store and into the mall.

Linda survived the attempted rape but spent the next two weeks in hospital being treated for 22 stab wounds.

For more than a year afterward, the 55-year-old woman rarely ventured out of her apartment. Pain, anxiety and insomnia were constant companions, especially when her partner was at work and she was alone at night.

"I'm lucky and blessed to have found Gyger. He's given me the confidence to be content with myself," said Linda.

"He gave me the freedom to enjoy my evenings. It's a great relief to be able to concentrate on other things and not worry about every single noise outside, wondering, 'What was that?'"

With Gyger at the foot of her bed, she now sleeps soundly through the night.

Linda found her protector, a cross between an American pit bull terrier and a boxer, at the local pound. The dog had been there for almost the maximum allotted time and was slated to be killed.

She had already searched the Internet, but learned a fully trained service dog was worth $5,000 or more, well beyond her means.

Linda brought Gyger home on Aug. 8 last year, about three weeks before Ontario's pit bull ban took effect. Bill 132 made it illegal to breed, transfer, abandon or import pit bulls and pit-bull-type dogs.

Having been born before the law was enacted, Gyger was deemed a "grandfathered," meaning Linda could keep him if she complied with strict new regulations, which required mandatory muzzling, leashing and sterilization.

Gyger spent the first week just getting used to the sights and scents of his new home. The dog followed Linda incessantly from one room to the next.

The following week, they met with Hamilton dog trainer Tony Harper who began work to turn Gyger into a disciplined service dog. Formal training continued for more than four months and between weekly sessions, Linda and Gyger practised for a minimum of 15 minutes a day.

Their bond grew as the challenging new routine became an intrinsic part of daily life. Gyger flourished on a diet of tuna, salmon, organic dog food and essential fatty acids and is brushed daily .

"It was necessary for him to be out to exercise and do his business, but it was also important for me to get out of doors because I couldn't continue to use my home as a cave," said Linda.

On their outings, Gyger wears a bright orange jacket that identifies him as a service dog.

The dog is young and spirited, but also powerful and strong. His mere presence is intimidating enough to keep away unwanted attention. At the same time, Linda is confident of her ability to control the animal. Gyger accompanies her to medical appointments and is trained to ride elevators, escalators and in cars. When she lowers her voice an octave and gives a command, she is obeyed.

Gyger recently proved his worth when they were returning home from a visit to her friend's house. She and the dog were walking along Main Street West when a man suddenly jumped out of the shadows from between two buildings and confronted her.

Linda froze and Gyger took over. He stood his ground and growled at the stranger, who took one look, let out a wail and fled.

"He's been there nights when I was still dealing with the issues of the past event and I have cried into his fur and held onto him. He licked my face and stayed with me every minute and for that I have great respect for him."

Pit bull barriers

This article is from The Beacon News Online.

Pit bull barriers
By Dawn Aulet

What breed of dog did Helen Keller choose as her companion? What breed is the only dog to grace the cover of Life magazine? What kind of dog was used to recover the remains of the astronauts killed in the Challenger disaster? What kind of breed was Petey, the dog on "The Little Rascals"?

The answer to all these questions is the same: American pit bull terriers.

Today, the image that comes to mind when you hear "pit bull" is one of ferocious dogs attacking, full teeth bared and locking onto a victim, never letting go.

Even though some pit bulls are vicious, have bitten, mauled and killed, the problem is not in the breed, some animal lovers say.

"You can't just label a breed," said Andy Ivanicky, director of Joliet Township Animal Control. Ivanicky practices what he preaches. His dog is a Doberman.

'Judged individually'

When a dog comes to Animal Control, including a pit bull, it has to be evaluated. Although the township does not have time for intense temperament testing, it can evaluate a dog and see if the dog is friendly.

"Each dog is judged individually," Ivanicky said.

Once temperament is established, Ivanicky does have a clear rule: His first priority is to keep the public safe. So if a dog is aggressive, Ivanicky will euthanize it, especially if it has been in a fighting situation.

"You can never untrain a dog from that type of behavior," Ivanicky said.

For pit bull puppies, Ivanicky usually works with rescue organizations, including A&S Rescue. The group, founded in 2000 by Silvia Simmons, evaluates a pit bull's temperament before placing the dog in a foster home or making it available for adoption. Once a dog passes temperament tests, though, it goes from being a stray to being a beloved family pet.

Take Ty and Sox, for example. Garrett Peck of Plainfield has been a foster parent for A&S. Once Ty came to his house, he found his forever home.

"We took him as a foster with the intention of adopting if it all worked out," he said.

Today, Ty is 1-year-old, and Peck said the male pit bull is just a pushover.

"Ty's a wimp, he's a big baby," Peck said.

Both his dogs, Ty and Sox, 9 months, have been through intense obedience training. Peck took his dogs to Alex Brooks School of Dog Training in Des Plaines. The dogs stayed there for one week, while undergoing thorough training. When Peck and his wife, Christine, picked up the dogs, the trainers taught them how to reinforce the training. Ty and Sox will sit, stay, lie down and maybe most importantly, they will "leave it."

Pit bulls are terriers. And though their aggression is sometimes overstated, their tendency to be hyper is not.

"They are terriers, and these dogs can be extremely high driven," Ivanicky said.

As far as Peck is concerned, Ty passed the ultimate obedience test. A few weeks ago, on a walk through the neighborhood, another dog got loose and attacked Ty. When Ty turned to defend himself, Peck said, "Leave it," and the dog did.

One family's experience

Joliet resident Brian Johnstone is not surprised by that at all.

"Basically, dogs do what they're trained to do," he said.

Brian and his wife, Kari, already had a bulldog named Scully. They were contemplating getting a second dog, but had not really acted on it.

Then, they were at PetSmart and saw Ghia, a red pit bull.

"We fell in love with her," Brian said. "We had our two kids with us, and she was being very docile with them, she was licking them."

Brian was concerned about how Ghia would get along with Sally, but not because Ghia was a pit bull.

"I would have the same concerns if it were a poodle," he said.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Farewell to a dear, sweet dog that lost her fight to health

Forever with us Zoey

Her name is Zoey and she lost her fight to health rather than the BSL. She was one of Shasta's best friends and her mommy (owners) Tammy worked hard to fight the BSL even though she struggled with many of the same disabilities as me.

Tammy lost her best friend and service dog in training. A bond so close when one is the other part of you.

I can't even try to imagine the grief Tammy especially, but also her family feel at the loss of Zoey.

With many prayers sent out for Zoey, and the costs of all the tests to try to find out exactly what was wrong with her wasn't enough to save her.

The family put out a plea on Dogster to help financially as well as prayers if they found it in their hearts. Many don't understand how low a disability allowance is and how hard it is to save your dog should something drastically serious arrise. To those who don't understand, the family wasn't looking for handouts. They were trying to save a family member to those they trusted the most. If you felt it in your heart to help in any way, nobody was pressuring those that didn't feel or know the family to help.

This is NO TIME to tell the grieving family what your personal views are if you didn't agree. It would be best to ignore the plea and let those that love and admire both Tammy and Zoey to help in a way we felt best.

Zoey, you will be sadly missed, but never forgotten.

Love Connie and Shasta

Friday, September 08, 2006

When man and dog team up...

Many of my readers know that I have permanent disabilities and permanent and chronic health problems. I was told life could never get better and I just had to learn to live with it. Accept it.

More chronic health issues develope every year that I laugh and say, 'Just tack it to my list.' I use humour and positivity as much as possible and I call it fighting the dragon. When the dragon comes and attacks and batters and bashes my mind and body, I fight back as hard as possible, but the dragon leaves me in a battered heap.

Sometimes I stay in this heap mentally and physically, so exhausted that I feel like I will never regain my strength again, but I've gone through it so many times that I know they day will finally come that I will be able to come above my disabilities and health problems and not let them control me.

There used to be a website that was dedicated to a person who lost his battle with the dragon and finally out of desperation took his own life. My faith in God doesn't allow me to get to that point, but instead makes me stronger. The poem was called The Dragon Grins and I wish I could find it once again.

My writing this is not for you to take pity on me. That's one thing I DON'T want is pity. Understanding yes, but pity NO!

The reason I am even writing about this, is because I just do not have the words to express how much my life revolves around Shasta and how she gave me new advantages and independence in life so incredibly that that I have proved all the doctors wrong.

It's true the problems I have are chronic, but because of a puppy American Pit Bull Terrier, she has shown me how to live in the most rewarding way ever. I'm no longer a prisoner in my apartment and relying on friends for my every needs. No longer am I issolated with my fear of strangers. No longer am I limited to walk only as far as a friends car in pain walking to the parking lot, if I were even able to walk that far filled with anxiety even with a friend. That wasn't living, that was surviving from day to day, but the day this tiny little pup came into my life, my life changed more than anyone could imagine and each day taught me more and more. She is my LIFE! She is my best friend, my life line, my physician, my therapist, my courage and confidence. She is all the things that my body or health won't permit and above all, she is my gaurdian angel that each day is a blessing to me.

Yet, as I write, I find I still can not express all that she means to me and her to I. They say dogs are dogs and don't think like people. While this is true, it doesn't mean thy aren't smart and can learn on their own. I never taught her to wake me when I'm in a flare and sleeping through my medication times. Instead she gently nudges me with her nose softly to wake me up and sure enough, she's so close to the right time to me needing my meds.

I never taught her to alert me for attacks, or if in them how to bring me out of them. She found a way that works for both of us. She tried to alert my girlfriend before she was diagnosed with cancer 2 months later. I wake up to her constant licking when I get bit by a spider bite that swells my tongue and narrows my throat.

But I came across a video that explains more of the bond and oneness that a human/dog team that brought tears to my eyes as it reminded me so much of Shasta and I.

Please watch Skidboot and understand just a little bit more how teams work together.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

When a wolf strikes, it's no picnic

This article is from the globeand of an attack of another kind. As I read about the way this wolf attacked, due to injury, I saw no comparison that many use called the Wolf Theory between dogs and wolves. To me, it would seem it would be the same comparison to man and ancient apes. Theories that don't sit well with me, but then it's my own opinion.

When a wolf strikes, it's no picnic

Holiday weekend ends in chaos as animal attacks families at Northern Ontario beach

Brenda Wright says she and her two children had just eaten their turkey sandwiches and settled onto their beach towels when the horror began.

Her son, Casey, 12, noticed a black, dog-like animal running across the Northern Ontario beach where the family was enjoying the last day of summer vacation.

In a sudden and unrelenting attack, the animal ripped into Casey's buttock, tore his mother's hands and leg, and bloodied his 14-year-old sister's scalp, lunging after the family of six as they fled screaming into Lake Superior.

"I was trying to fight him off and he grabbed my finger. I thought he pulled it off. . . . Honest to God, it looks like hamburger meat," Ms. Wright said yesterday from her mother's home in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

Ms. Wright's family was not the only one to face the 33-kilogram wolf. The attacks Monday by one Canis lupus ended with the animal dead and six people, including a three-year-old girl, bloodied, torn and terrified.

For Jerry and Rachel Talbot, it started at around 4 p.m. The Wawa, Ont., couple, on their way to a wedding in Sudbury with granddaughters Leah, 3, and Madison, 5, pulled off of Highway 17 for a quick swim at a popular day picnic area in Lake Superior Provincial Park.

According to park staff, more than a dozen others were enjoying the end of the Labour Day weekend at Katherine's Cove when the Talbot family wandered onto the beach and began to remove their shoes.

Mr. Talbot noticed a black animal chasing a girl across the sand. Too slow for the girl, the animal veered off and grabbed a slower, smaller target: Leah.

It clamped its jaws around the blond toddler's left upper arm and began dragging her away from her grandmother and sister, said Leah's mother, Josee Morgan, who told the story yesterday from Marathon, Ont. The girl was dragged about six metres before the wolf dropped her on her back, startled by the shrieks of her grandparents and those who had jumped in to help.

"[Leah] started to run, but she was in sand and she was in shock and all that, that she couldn't get her feet going," Ms. Morgan said yesterday.

The wolf grabbed the hood of the little girl's black jacket. This time, Ms. Talbot's advances and screams caused the wolf to drop the girl momentarily and Ms. Talbot lunged forward, scooped up the child and raced to her vehicle. Mr. Talbot and Madison were close behind.

The attack on the Wright family occurred on Bathtub Island, a large rocky area within wading distance of the mainland and about 100 metres south of Katherine's Cove.

Ms. Wright, on a day trip with her sister-in-law, two children and their cousins, aged 10 and 13, said her family was probably attacked first. (Park officials say they aren't sure about the order of the attacks.)

She said the animal nipped the ankle of her 13-year-old nephew, Jake, then clamped down on her son's buttock, carrying him about half a metre before dropping him and lunging at her.

The wolf's teeth tore into her hands and her leg as she fought back and the group raced into the shallow swimming area. Ms. Wright said the wolf followed them, this time going after Emily Wright, 14.

"[Emily] was a real fighter. . . . She got mostly claws in her head and her arm," her mother said.

Alerted by the screams, two strangers raced over and managed to scare off the wolf. As families hid in the trees, the wolf returned minutes later and rifled through their picnic stashes, Ms. Wright said.

Park superintendent Bill Elliott, a 17-year veteran of the park and seasoned hunter, was alerted by two other visitors who rushed over from Bathtub Island.

He said a woman was bitten in a third incident Monday.

At about 6:30 p.m. Monday, Mr. Elliott shot the wolf twice on Highway 17, about a kilometre north of where Leah had been attacked.

The wolf's head has been sent to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in Ottawa, where it will be tested for rabies. Mr. Elliott said that the young, full-grown male was limping, possibly from an older injury caused by a vehicle.

Brent Patterson, a scientist with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, said that wolves, who generally travel in packs and who prey on moose and beavers in Ontario, rarely attack or even show themselves to humans.

"It is abnormal behaviour for a wolf to be fearless," he said. Wolves who attack people are usually sick or injured, he said.

According to the ministry, there have been few instances in Canada where wolves have bitten people; no one has ever been killed by a wolf attack in North America.

Yesterday, Leah was recovering with her family in Wawa. She belted out You Are My Sunshine in hospital after getting 15 butterfly clips in her arm and told a local reporter: "When I was on the beach going to the water, a wolf bit my arm, and then I cried."

The attack hasn't fazed her, her mother said. "She's smiling. She knows something happened, though, because she'll often say 'I love you, I love you.' "

As for Ms. Wright and her children, who all have stitches and various puncture wounds, the shock has not worn off.

"You continue to see this wolf's face and you relive it. . . . I think it's going to take some time," Ms. Wright said.

Pit bull pups set for trip south

Let's pray everything goes smoothly for these six pups and they find the wonderful forever homes they deserve.

We still wait as patently as is humanly possible for the long awaited court verdict from our court battle back in mid May. All costs of rescues are volunteer basic. When you add the gas price costs, foods, toys, leashed, collars, muzzles, stop overs and fosters. There is much involved in planning routes, especially with frightened, malnurished, abused dogs. Many dogs are unaware that there is a better fate waiting for them with either a temporary foster or a good loving home.

These costs along with legal costs are all volunteer. Some are done by donations, being active in the welfare of the dogs and fund raisers and co-ordinating events. Many help by buying products that go toward our Legal Battle and for all those that have helped out we counldn't thank you enough.

We were hoping to see more of a turn out in Toronto for the Candle light vigil to show your support. With so many bullie owners in Toronto alone, the event should have showed the government how this law has murdered so many innocent dogs and the way of life that bullies and owners have been effected by this ban and against BSL. Still, it is always the same people coming to these events, many that don't even own bullies or even dogs. Our rights have been taken from us and BSL is still spreading. We need YOU to show your support. We had people drive in from far regions in Ontario, yet many from Toronto didn't come. They complain that the law is unfair, but complaining is only words and we need action to show the media and parliment that we are all in this together, especially a one year vigil.

Please help in any way you can to help stop BSL and do it for the dogs.

In the Huntsville Forester comes this article.

Pit bull pups set for trip south
by Laura MacLean, Wednesday, September 6, 2006

There’s a happy ending for the six pit bull puppies who were assessed on Wednesday to determine if their temperaments were suitable to ship them out of the province or if they would have to be euthanized.

“It went very well,” stated Barb Mooney, the Town’s animal control bylaw enforcement officer. “We are trying to get homes for all six of the pups.”

The pit bull puppies, three male and three female, were seized in early April by bylaw officers after they received a tip that a man was trying to hand them out for free at the Brendale Square.

The current ban on pit bulls makes it illegal to breed or bring the dogs into the province. Dogs already in Ontario are allowed to stay as long as they are sterilized, leashed and muzzled in public.

Kristy Robbins from Bullies in Need (BIN) in Indianapolis, Indiana, visited the Huntsville Animal Shelter on Wednesday to conduct an assessment that lasted just over 40 minutes.

The assessment required testing the dogs on their startle factor, which included popping open an umbrella when they were least expecting it, as well as dropping bowls on the ground to see their reactions to loud noise.

“The dogs were startled for about three to five seconds and then they went on doing whatever they were doing,” explained Mooney. “One of the males started barking really loud. So he had a failing grade for that. But he did pass overall.”

Robbins attempted to hand-feed the pups to see if they would respond aggressively or more passively. Mooney said they were reluctant to take the food from a stranger’s hand but were more apt to take food and treats from animal shelter staff, whom they are familiar with.

“The pups know the staff and are more comfortable taking food from their hands,”
said Mooney. “Kristy asked the staff to work on that and to maybe use cheese, hotdogs or kibbles. The pups also don’t know how to walk up stairs because they are let out on a flat from their pens. So if they [staff] have time, they’ll work on that with them, too.”

Robbins consistently handled the pups to test their reactions to being handled by a stranger.

“When they were touched on the head, they kind of shied away, so we need to teach them that nothing will hurt them,” Mooney said. “It was very positive. I was surprised that they were so well behaved. Kristy was very impressed with how the shelter was run and that the dogs had such good temperaments.”

BIN and Albany Rescue are working together to find homes for the six puppies, which will likely relocate them to the United States. If all goes well, arrangements should be finalized within the next two weeks.

“They are trying to get them permanent homes or foster homes,” said Mooney. “But Kristy did say that the three males must be neutered or they can’t take them.”

The animal shelter does not have enough funds to cover the costs of neutering the three males. Anyone who wishes to make a financial donation to help with the costs can visit the Huntsville Animal Shelter at 19 Bickley Country Drive. Donations can also be sent by mail to 19 Bickley Country Drive, Huntsville, Ontario, P1H 1Y4.

New items available for Legal Fund


Louise from has kindly created a doggy t-shirt for the DLCC and $5.00 from each shirt will be going to the legal challenge fund!

The t-shirts come in navy blue and pink and are available in 3 different sizes, 2X, 3X, and 4X.T-shirts are readily available at All Creatures Great & Small, (Cobourg and Peterborough), Critter Jungle (Ottawa).

T shirts are also available on line at Phone orders are also accepted at 1-800-747-7135.

The price for each t-shirt is $25.00. Pictures are attached!!!

This is perfect timing as the weather is getting cooler and we all know that bullies need a bit of extra warmth in the fall and winter!! These shirts were specifically fitted for larger dogs so they fit the bully breeds really well.

Check them out and remember to tell your doggy friends about them too!!