Thursday, June 21, 2007

Statewide Breed Ban

In KTTC TV ROCHESTER on a Statewide Breed Ban that animal activists are fighting tooth and nail over.

Statewide Breed Ban
Katie Brandt

After a string of high-profile dog attacks one Minnesota lawmaker is saying enough. And now he's working on a statewide breed ban that has animal activists fighting tooth and nail.

Kim Radke, Paws and Claws says, "If we can't keep track of the dogs that are dangerous who's going to enforce the law on this one?"

But State Representative John Lesch isn't worrying about that yet. Right now it's about hammering out the nuts of bolts of a breed-specific ban.Two young children were recently bitten in St. Paul and Lesch hopes next year's legislation would help prevent that from happening again.

His proposal: outlawing chow chows, wolf hybrids, pit bulls, akitas and rottweilers.

In a recent interview Lesch has said, "You never hear stories about roving packs of golden retrievers attacking children in our streets, but you do hear about the pit bulls, who are responsible, according to Minnesota statistics, for up to one-third of the vicious attacks in this state in the past five years."

But his legislation has local animal activists outraged.

Kim Radke says "I would have to put 6 or 8 dogs down right now and who's going to do that."

While no other states have breed bans some cities like Denver do. But still Paws and Claws' Kim Radke says there are other options.

Kim Radke says, "Have to have a fenced in yard, maybe it's that they need to have proof of insurance and going to training with their animals I think to start with some simpler rules like that."

Kim Radke says, "they're sweet and lovable and with the right ownership they're not going to be a problem."

Under Representative Lesche's proposal anyone owning one of the banned dogs could face as many as 90 days in jail and a fine up to 1 thousand dollars.

DLCC CGN Days at Barrie Kennel and Obedience Class

**crosspost please** DLCC CGN Days at Barrie Kennel and Obedience Class

The Dog Legislation Council of Canada is offering Canine Good Neighbor Days at the Barrie Kennel & Obedience Club Inc. Show August 4 & 5th, 2007.

Canadian Kennel Club certificate test - conducted by a CKC CGN Evaluator.

Fee for CGN is $35.00 per dog.

August 4th, 2007 - testing will be held on show grounds for CKC registered dogs only

August 5th, 2007 - testing will be held at Top Dog K9 Training Facility, 50 Wood Street in Barrie , Ontario

Aug 4th CGN day for CKC registered dogs only. This will be held on show grounds so dogs must be entered exhibition only to attend show grounds.

The Barrie Kennel & Obedience Club Show is held at the Barrie Events Centre at Essa and HWY.400 - exit 94

Aug 5th CGN day for all dogs including cross bred dogs.To be held in conjunction with the Barrie Kennel & Obedience Club show but located at Top Dog K-9 Training Center at 50 Wood St. Barrie , On

From Anne street to Campbell Ave. (which is the last street Before Essa or the First one depending on which way on Anne St . you are traveling.) From Campbell Ave you turn right onto Alfred. Then turn left onto Wood St. We share an entrance with Wellness Belts.

Pre-book CGN testing by contacting:
or call Lori at (705)435-3481

Police kill pit bull during raid

When the media reports, they always go back several stories back to remind the public of the past incidents to keep them fresh in people's memories. I've already expressed my opinions on the other two, but this one is basically the same. They were going after the owner and again, as with any loyal dog, it's natural for dogs to attack to protect their owners.

The dog could feel the adreniallin rush coming from both the police and the owner and with guns drawn, the dog knew that involved a dangerous situation.

I wish when they reported this kind of columns, they would tell us if the dogs were legally Grandfathered so we it would show that it's mainly the irresponsible owners dogs that are doing the attacking. It would also validate to the public just who we are dealing with in cases such as these. You can find this article again in the Sarnia Observer.

Police kill pit bull during raid; Search warrant was being executed on Webster Drive
Dan McCaffery / The Observer
Local News - Tuesday, June 19, 2007

For the second time in less than two months, a Sarnia police officer has been forced to shoot a pit bull.

"It is not uncommon in this community or others to see these types of dogs being used to protect drug houses and illegal activities," Const. Bill Baines said Monday.

He added such animals are often used to protect their owners from "both police and other criminals." The dogs "certainly can be (dangerous)," he said. "It's one of the risks of the job" that officers must face.

The latest incident took place Friday around 6 p.m. when officers executing a search warrant entered a home in the 1200 block of Webster Drive.

As officers entered the front room, they found a man sitting on a couch. When they attempted to arrest him, a large male pit bull jumped from a chair and moved aggressively toward them.

One of the officers fired two shots, killing the dog.

Baines said a search of the home uncovered a small amount of cocaine.

A 36-year-old Sarnia man was taken into custody and faces charges of possession of a controlled substance. He is slated to appear in court July 25. A warrant has been issued for a 34-year-old Sarnia man who also resides in the home where the shooting took place.

On April 24, a city police officer was forced to shoot a pit bull that had inflicted severe injuries on its female owner. In that case, officers resorted to lethal force after a stun gun failed to subdue the dog.

The woman, who was dragged into her home by the dog, had to be hospitalized.

Three days after that incident, police were called to the area of Kathleen Avenue and Russell Street, where a pit bull was running loose. The dog was corralled by an animal control officer.

The three incidents come just more than a year after a Sarnia woman successfully challenged Ontario's pit bull ban. The law made it illegal to acquire a new pit bull and called for dogs not muzzled in public to be destroyed.

Seized dogs spared euthanasia

It's so wonderful when you can find a lawyer like Chris Avery who believes in and loves dogs that he could convince the courts to allow them out of province with no charge to the owners. He's quite the guy in my eyes as you can read in the Sarnia Observer.

The awful fact in this is that even though these dogs weren't Pit bulls, the owners still had to give up their dogs. Sadly, it's better than losing their lives, but that's the way it goes in Ontatio, Canada. Very unfair!

Seized dogs spared euthanasia; Instead, purported pit bulls will be moved to Quebec, says lawyer for owners
Poirier, Jack
The Observer Local News
Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A family of dogs have been spared from death row.

A Bay Street lawyer says he has convinced Sarnia city staff to move the dogs, suspected of being pit bulls, to new owners living in Quebec.

Chris Avery said he felt compelled to come to the dogs' defence after seeing a news report detailing how the city's animal control officers seized the animals.

The story first appeared in The Observer.

Avery said the city was trying to backdoor its way into euthanizing the dogs. He tracked down the family and offered his services.

"As a dog lover I was horrified by it," said Avery.

The dogs, belonging to Brian Edwards and his girlfriend, Cassie Bates, were seized June 6.

The mother, Rowen, and her two-month-old pups had been scheduled to be euthanized today. The city has since agreed to another extension to allow for the dogs to be moved to Quebec.

"The city took the back door on this" by not charging the owners, said Avery.

Had they been charged, Sarnia would have to prove the dogs are pit bulls, he said. But by seizing the dogs the burden of proof falls to the owners.

"This way there is no trial, there's no hearing, there's no evidence. That's what's got me banging my head against the wall."

Ontario's Dog Liabilities Act states that any seized dog believed to be an unregistered pit bull can be destroyed or moved out of province. Avery said he's found willing owners in Quebec. The lawyer also warned that other dog owners could face the same problem as the Edwards family.

"A poorly bred lab can pass as a pit bull," he said. "The law is too vague."

The legislation has been challenged by the Dog Legislation Council of Canada. A superior court judge deemed portions of the law unconstitutional in late March and said the definition of a pit bull is too vague.

Locally, the Edwards family has collected 1,000 signatures on a petition following a pair of weekend rallies held outside city hall and the humane society.

Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley said the issue isn't one that should be directed to council.

"It's a bad law," he said, but added the city is only trying to comply with the province's legislation. He said lobby efforts should focus at the provincial level.

"They're barking up the wrong tree by aiming their lobby at the city."

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Seized Mother dog and puppies

On June 6, 2007 animal control officers in Sarnia, Ontario seized a mother dog and her three 7-week old puppies from the home of Brian Edwards Jr. and Cassie Bates.

The dogs’ offence? Solely that an animal control officer identified them as "pit bulls" under the Ontario Dog Owners’ Liability Act (“DOLA”). This breed identification has subsequently and conveniently been changed by the authorities; the puppies and mother are now claimed to be Staffordshire Bull Terriers or have the appearance and physical characteristics that are substantially similar.

According to the owners, the dogs in question are neither. On March 23, 2007 Madam Justice Thea Herman, a judge of the Ontario Superior Court, issued a decision that we understand renders the DOLA classifications "pit bull" and "pit bull terrier" unconstitutionally vague. If our understanding is correct, the seizure of the mother and her pups on the basis that they are “pit bulls” would have been unconstitutional.

As for the Staffordshire Bull Terrier identification, there is no proof of that breed identification. It is merely the word of an animal control officer, not a breed expert. The mother dog is not a registered Staffordshire Bull Terrier; she does not have registration papers, a microchip or an identifying tattoo. At the time of the dogs’ removal from their home, the owners stated they were given two options: hand the mom and her puppies over, or be charged because the dogs were not licensed and the female is not spayed.

This is a scare tactic frequently used by animal control officers to intimidate those who do not know the law into giving up their property – their dogs - without the municipality having to deal with the inconvenience and expense of a court case. This scare tactic unfortunately often works. Of course, threats of pepper spray and arrest work just as well. That's what happened when Brian approached the animal control van to calm the mother dog.

On June 13th, the media reported that these dogs were given a stay of execution.On that same day, however, the City of Sarnia issued a letter stating that "the pound operator will exercise certain options set out in Section 20(7.4) of the Animals for Research Act,R.S.O. 1990 ( the “ARA")." Four options were cited. Only one allows the dogs to live.

The ARA specifically states that the puppies and their mom can be safely transferred to a person who is resident outside Ontario.

Knowing of this option, Advocates for the Underdog, a well known and respected rescue, has offered at their own cost to take this task upon themselves.

The Advocates offer was declined by Sarnia pound officials.

The City Solicitor for Sarnia has filed documents claiming that the seven-week old puppies and their mother pose “a menace to the safety of persons or domestic animals”.

Therefore, under the provisions cited, the City of Sarnia has decided that the mother dog and her puppies will be killed.

Not only does Sarnia animal control apparently not understand the law that they are supposed to be enforcing, but the Sarnia legal department also apparently does not have a clear understanding of the law.

Or perhaps they understand it too well.

Could it be that the Ontario Attorney General’s office is once again wielding the same bloody pen used to write Ontario’s breed-specific legislation?

One has to wonder why the Ontario government’s highly paid constitutional lawyers, who presented during the recent Superior Court case, sat in on less well-known municipal cases pertaining to "pit bulls".

One also has to wonder why the City of Sarnia has recently announced that it will be performing door-to-door checks on all homes for the presence of dogs.

The constitutional challenge to DOLA is back in court for the remedy hearing at the end of this month.

Until that time, it is our understanding that this law is in limbo and subject to misinterpretation and mistakes.

Without judicial clarification, it is hard to see how the City of Sarnia can justify the killing of innocent puppies.

One would think that prudence would cause the City to put a moratorium on further actions until the courts clarify whether the law is enforceable.

One would also believe that any municipality or agent of the municipality that destroys the property of a citizen under DOLA before the final ruling is made, may well find themselves legally liable for those actions.

The back-door legal tactic used by the City of Sarnia to kill unoffending puppies and their mother should be seen by all dog owners as a purely vindictive measure.

The classification of "substantially similar physical characteristics" could easily be applied to tens of thousands of Ontario dogs.

The City of Sarnia, of which animal control is an agency, is not (as claimed by one city councillor) just "acting on provincial law".

The City of Sarnia, of which animal control is an agency, has made its own decision to kill these dogs.

There is a huge gray area of options, some of which are within DOLA and others that do not require the use of that particular law.

Killing these dogs is not required or mandated.

The DLCC asks that you take five minutes from your day and write, call or fax the members of Sarnia City Council.

You don’t have to live in Sarnia, or even in Canada, to write the mayor and councillors.

Ask that they allow these dogs to live and be placed in the competent, caring hands of the Advocates for the Underdog.

If you wish to see the correspondence from the City of Sarnia to the lawyers for Brian Edwards Jr., please visit the DLCC website:

The next meeting of Sarnia City Council is scheduled for Monday, June 25th, 2007



City Hall

255 N. Christina Street

Sarnia, ON N7T 7N2

Phone: 519 332-0330 ext.312

TTY#: 519 332-2664

Fax: 519 332-3995 (fax)

Home:155 N. Front Street,

Apt. #705

Sarnia ON

N7V 7V5

519 336-8092

City and County Councillor:


Home:1413 Lakeshore Road

Sarnia, ON

N7S 2M3

Home: 519 542-3109

Fax: 519 542-0868

City and County Councillor:


Home:1937 Buena Ventura

Brights Grove, ON

N0N 1C0

Home: 519 869-4701

Fax: 519 869-8625

City and County Councillor: BEV MACDOUGALL

Home:228 Maria Street

Sarnia, ON

N7T 4T1

Home: 519 344-0768

Business: 519 344-5543

Fax: 519 332-0916

City and County Councillor: ANNE MARIE GILLIS

Home:65 Ashby Crescent

Sarnia, ON

N7S 4L5

Home: 519 542-9728

Business: 519 542-0554

Fax: 519 542-0554

City Councillor:


Home:665 Stonecrest Avenue

Sarnia, ON

N7V 2K3

Business:P.O. Box 2373

Sarnia, ON

N7T 7S6

Business: 519 332-2639

Fax: 519 337-7855Email:

City Councillor: JON MCEACHRAN

Home:978 London Road

Sarnia, ON

N7S 1N7

Home: 519 337-7200

Business: 519 383-7200

Fax: 519 383-7800

City Councillor:


Home:324 Tawny Road

Sarnia, ON

N7S 5J6

Home: 519 542-5682

Business: 519 339-4003

Fax: 519 542-8827

City Councillor:


Home: 954 Champlain Road

Brights Grove, ON

N7V 2G2

Home: 519 542-8826

Business: 519 336-5545

Fax: 519 336-2130

Please copy your correspondence to the Sarnia City Solicitor:

City Solicitor/Clerk - Brian W. Knott

City Hall

255 N. Christina Street

Sarnia, ON

N7T 7N2

Phone: 519-332-0330, ext. 262

General InquiriesPhone:

519-332-0330, ext. 263

Fax: 519-332-3995

TTY#: 519 332-2664

LeeAnn O'Reilly RN,PBMH

Pres. Dog Legislation Council of Canada

Journalist's privilege set against reputation of former OPP officer

It's about time for journalists to write fact and be held accountable for what they say as writing as in this Toronto Globe and Mail article. I'm tired of hearing fiction or the opinions of reporters unless it's in an Opinion Column and it's about time they do something for us to hear truths and facts.

Journalists' privilege set against reputation of former OPP officer
June 16, 2007

The way Ontario judges decide defamation cases is at stake after a lawyer for the Ottawa Citizen suggested laws be updated to reflect Canadian journalism in the 21st century.

The case put before the Ontario Court of Appeal yesterday concerns two articles the Citizen published about former OPP officer Danno Cusson, who travelled to ground zero with his dog to help with search-and-rescue efforts shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

In April of 2006 a jury ordered the newspaper to pay Mr. Cusson $100,000 in damages after finding that he had been libelled in a pair of articles by two reporters that appeared in September of 2001.

The jury found most of what the reporters wrote to be true - including that Mr. Cusson's dog had no formal K-9 certification and that he had misled officials into thinking he was an RCMP officer - but also that it contained false statements or unfair comments.

Originally, Mr. Cusson had sued a third reporter, but the trial judge ruled the article he wrote was shielded by the defence of qualified privilege. The defence protects journalists from liability in circumstances where they have a duty to report on subjects of public interest.

The Citizen's lawyer, Rick Dearden, argued before a panel of three judges yesterday that the same defence should have protected the first pair of articles.

To succeed at the classic defence of qualified privilege, the judge must find the journalist had a duty to share the information and that the public had an interest in receiving it. The reporters must also be found to have acted without malice, something the jury had done in this case.

Yesterday, Mr. Dearden asked the judges to consider a new approach to qualified privilege called the Reynolds-Jameel defence, based on two libel cases the British House of Lords has ruled on in recent years.

The Reynolds-Jameel method asks whether the story was a matter of public interest, whether the defamatory statement was necessary to the article, and whether the reporters exercised "responsible journalism."

Mr. Dearden argued existing law has "undesirable rigidity," punishing reporters for statements found to be false even when they did everything they could to ensure their truth. The new approach should be used "to allow the media room to make a mistake on issues of great importance," he said.

Mr. Cusson's lawyer, Ronald Caza, expressed concerns that bringing the Reynolds-Jameel approach to Canada would cause "fundamental change" in Canadian law, which tends to favour protecting an individual's reputation over freedom of expression. "You don't have the right to publish things that aren't true," Mr. Caza said.

Peter Jacobsen, a lawyer who intervened on behalf of The Globe and Mail and other news organizations, said in an interview that the new approach would allow journalists "to have greater certainty, because we know that if we practise good journalism and it's in the public interest, then we're going to be granted the privilege."

Stay of execution for dogs

Reverse onus has definitely been struck down! But it`s repeated in this article that the onus is on the dog owner?Who`s not doing their homework? Check out the Sarnia Observer.

Stay of execution for dogs;
Purported pit bulls will be assessed by local vet
Local News
Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A mother and her three puppies at the centre of a growing protest overprovincial pit bull legislation have been granted a stay-of-execution. City solicitor Brian Knott confirmed that Sarnia's legal departmentplanned to ask the local animal shelter to euthanize the dogs today.

But a request from the owner's lawyer to allow more time for a vet to assess their breed prompted the city to grant at least another week.

"Had we not heard from anyone, they would have been euthanized Wednesday," Knott said. "But we're providing the owners more time togive us more information."

The dogs were seized by Sarnia animal control officers June 6.

They belong to Brian Edwards Jr. and his girlfriend, Cassie Bates, who say they were told to hand them over or be charged because the dogs are not licensed and the female is not spayed.

Under Ontario's pit bull law, owners of any dogs judged to be pitbulls must register their pets, muzzle them in public and spay or neuter them.

Brian Edwards Sr., who has taken up his son's cause, said Brian Jr.doesn't believe his dogs are pitbulls and that's why they weren't registered or fixed.

His family has retained a Toronto lawyer who volunteered to take on the case without payment.

"We need him to get the dogs back," Edwards Sr. said. "This law isjust unbelievable. It's too vague and too unfair."

The law does not clearly define a pit bull and places the onus on the dog owner to prove it's not, he said.

"We hope a vet will look at our dogs and confirm what we already know."

The Edwards family is organizing rallies for Friday, starting at noon, to run simultaneously in front of city hall, MPP Caroline Di Cocco's office and the local humane society, where the dogs are being held.

"I'm an old hippy and I believe in protest," said Edwards Sr.

Since the city seized the dogs and he spoke to the media, Edwards Sr.says he's received at least 100 supportive calls from Ontario and Michigan.

He wants to hold a march at Queen's Park this summer and attract thousands of animal lovers.

Meanwhile, the manager of the local animal shelter says she and her staff are caught in the middle.

"We are simply housing these dogs at the request of the city," TamiHolmes said. "But we are getting blamed for all of this and being judged the executioners."

Her office received a death threat from someone upset that the dogs would be euthanized and regular humane society supporters are angry, Holmes said.

"It's just infuriating because we have nothing to do with it. We are neutral," she said.

The city is also caught in the middle, Knott said.

"This is provincial legislation we're attempting to enforce."

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

No regard

Have you ever felt so strongly about something that you completely live it? You think about it constantly, and you want so badly to change what isn't right about it. That's how I feel about changing the BSL. Banning dogs simply because of their breeds name and not their nature is WRONG!

Every day and sometimes even in my dreams, I think about how can I make a difference. What is it I can do better and stronger to get my point across to those who don't understand?

Every time I muzzle Shasta, it's my reminder of the sad condition of the Pit bull ban in Ontario and in other places. It's not just the Pit bulls, but the Rottie's are banned as well and many more are on the Dangerous List.

I think about all the dogs I had in my past and a few of them would could very well be on that list that in the near future could possibly be banned. It makes me think how back then it wasn't even considered, but had it been I would be doing then what I am doing now. I have never grown up with or owned a bad dog and certainly not dangerous. But now we are told which dogs these are and many people not knowing these dogs go by what the government and media say.

How can people judge something they know nothing about? Aren't there more people, such as me that if told something wants to find out for myself before I makes that decision?

I won't name names, but I asked someone to be totally honest with me regarding Pit bulls and were they for or against the Ontario ban. I was truly happy that I received an honest opinion and the reasons why that decision was based on. It was simply fear. Fear of what was read in the media and never having contact with a Pit bull. I can understand that. How many of us have based our opinions on what we've read over and over again in the press before one day, you might say, how do I know what I'm hearing is true? How do I know it's not one sided? Whose opinion am I basing mine and so you research.

The more you research and find confusing conflict, you realize you've only been dealt one side of the story and now it's up to you to find out what you believe is the truth. As you continue to learn more and more of the opposing side you have to judge how this information you've consuming and processed has it's effect on you. Now you are ready for hands on or face to face to determine what is correct or not.

Decisions shouldn't come straight from black and white what is printed in the media and if we continue to take that info and take it in as gospel, we are only going by the views of columnist opinions and not our own. I believe that's what we call brainwashing and to them, a pay cheque.

You must wonder what got me on this topic and why I've decided to blog about my views and feelings rather than information as I normally do. Truth be known, I need a big VENT!

Something happened to me today that I felt quite disturbing, but actually disturbing which is way too subtle of a word. I was angry to the point I wanted to point fingers. I wanted to slam the persons vocally with everything within me. I wanted them to know exactly how I felt and how they were affecting me, but it wasn't in my place to do so and I knew it yet they offended me so badly I wanted to scream. The hair on the back of my neck was standing up. My heart was pounding a mile a minute. It took every ounce of strength in me to hold everything in so I could at least try to sound civil and in control.

Shasta was outside on the patio and these people I had never seen before came to see her. They were excited and called others to see 'the Pit bull.' The one fellow announced he had a Red Nose exactly like Shasta, 45 pounds, four years old, only male. How he would love to mate her with his dog. I asked if he was from Ontario, starting to feel on the defensive already, but he was from the U.S. and I was releived.

The second one told me he was breeding his too and he has the most beautiful puppies. I smiled and asked if he was from the States too, but he said no, he was from here. Here meaning London or meaning another city, I wasn't sure, but I did know he meant Ontario. He asked if I would like to see the pups and my heart rate started up and I could actually feel the build up of anger coming right from my feet up to my head as he bragged about the weight, colour and size of his dogs. One was 85 pounds he boasted.

Indignantly I said 'No thanks! I wouldn't want to see something that will be killed in the near future because what you are producing are illegal puppy's that you are risking their lives on. He just basically let that fly over his head as if he never heard me. I told him he was telling this kind of information to the totally wrong person. I was fighting against the ban and that it's people like you that are making it hard for the rest of us to do what is right!

It was at this point I realized, hold on Conners! You have never laid eyes on these people before and don't know what they are capable of. How was I to know if they were dangerous or not, so I decided to take Shasta and go inside.

Shasta had been friendly outside, but I did see some hesitation in her as the guy came down to her level to call her for a pat. There was alcohol on his breath and I know she isn't keen when strangers with alcohol come close to me. I suppose she senses my apprehension from previous negative experiences. She came in quite willingly rather than trying to see if she could weasel a little bit more attention before going in.

I can't explain what happens to me inside and mind wise when I become apprehensive and an overwrought sensation takes over me. Sort of a fright and fleet feeling, but with deep feeling of anger and frustration that muddles up my brain. A defence mechanism that tries to shut down to bring me to a calmer level.

Suddenly, one of the guys are at my door asking to use my phone and rather than saying no and perhaps getting him angry, I allowed him and behind him one of his buddies follow asking for a drink of water. They were company of next door and though I knew there was no phone there, there certainly was water, so I felt very ill at ease and made it my business to stay close.

Shasta stayed by my side the whole time and as as they were leaving, surprisingly she went into her crate. VERY out of character for her. I called my neighbour and told her I felt very ill at ease with them and please keep them away from my door. Then I locked it and drew the curtains shut.

My head is now pounding with a severe headache that migraine medication won't touch and my insides are still churning. I keep telling myself, who am I to be judge of what people do and if there choice is to break the law, it's none of my business, but it is and I'll tell you why. Their breaking the law and back yard breeding has caused this ban. It's people like them that have responsible owners having to muzzle our dogs and putting us under strict inforcement. It's people like this I fight against as well as trying to educate the public about our differences.

My whole being is trying to get people like this from harming more dogs, yet what can a 5 ft, 85 pound woman do against 5 or 6 big men that don't care less about the law? I guess the feeling I'm having is helplessness.

There is no remorse from these people as to what they are doing and as far as putting the dogs at risk, they don't believe me. So why am I paniced inside my own home while they party hardy without any feeling of regret? Why am I afraid of them and in fear for their dogs?

I guess the simple answer is because I don't want to see even one dog being distroyed and die, let alone a whole litter and all the dogs in combination people like this are bring into the world in a banned province and doing it with no regard. I am fearing for their dogs!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Local rallies to protect pit bull law

It's stories such as this in The Sarnia Observer that shows Liberal's are nothing more than executioners to innocent dogs.

Is this really the society we want to have in Ontario? Are we all proud?

Everyone should give their MPP a call tomorrow - tell them you are against the needless killing of these dogs - thanks to them. If we all did that it might make a small ripple - no emails - a call. It's election time - they might start listening now.

Local rallies to protest pit bull law;
JACK POIRIER / The Observer Local News
Saturday, June 09, 2007

A Sarnia family at odds with the city over the seizure of its dogs is taking its fight to city hall and the province.

Brian Edwards Sr., along with his son Brian Jr., have organized a pair of rallies next weekend to oppose the province's "pit bull law."

Edwards Jr., along with his girlfriend Cassie Bates, had four dogs suspected of being pit bulls seized by animal control officers on Wednesday.

The animals, which include three, seven-week old puppies and their three-year-old mother, are currently being held at the Humane Society.

They are slated to be destroyed this coming Wednesday.

"It is totally ridiculous that a law could be this vague," said Edwards Sr.

While the dogs have some similarities to pit bulls, Edwards Sr. said they are mixed breeds.

The family has contacted Sarnia lawyer David Stoesser, but are not betting on getting their dogs back.

Stoesser told The Observer that the law is vague as it allows dogs to be destroyed based on the opinion of a pound operator.

"This law is not right," said Edwards Sr. "I'll fight this law even if the dogs are put down."

The family is organizing a noon rally next Friday, outside city hall on Christina Street, the Humane Society located at 131 Exmouth St. and outside MPP Caroline Di Cocco's constituency office at 201 Front St. N. All three will be held in conjunction with one another.

A rally is also planned for the following day at noon outside the Humane Society. Petitions will be available to sign.

Anyone interested can contact Edwards Sr. at 519-344-8544.

Debbie McQueen, who lives outside Toronto, said she was enraged when she read about Edwards' story in The Observer.

"Why does Sarnia seem to have so many problems like this with the city seizing dogs?" asked McQueen, a pit bull owner. "It's just not right."

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Former owner of A.K. charged

The sentence, does not even come close to to what he should be charged for all 7 counts according to the Windsor Star. Our Cruelty laws are like a slap on the wrist. Sadly, it says he may not be able to have custody of an animal for up to two years. May? He should never be allowed an animal ever again is my conclusion.

Former owner of A.K. charged
Chris Thompson, Windsor Star
Published: Friday, June 08, 2007
The former owner of A.K., the puppy found with his ears cut off last month, has been charged with seven animal cruelty counts under the Criminal Code.
Rony Salman, 29, was formally served with papers Thursday morning at his Sandwich Street apartment by agents of the Windsor-Essex County Humane Society (WECHS) and the Ontario Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA), accompanied by Windsor police officers.
The charges came on the same day the OSPCA held a rally at Queen's Park to call for tougher animal cruelty laws in the province.

A.K. at the Windsor-Essex County Humane Society this week.
Ian Willms, Windsor Star

Nancy McCabe, field operations manager at the humane society, took A.K. to the rally.
"He did really well and there was quite a lot of media coverage," said McCabe.
"We brought him up Wednesday night and he slept in a bed at the Holiday Inn on Bloor Street."
About 40 animal rights supporters attended the demonstration on the lawn of the legislature, McCabe said.
McCabe said the intense investigation involved several interviews to compile a thorough case against Salman.
"Our agent Shane Boutette did an outstanding job," said McCabe.
"He was assisted by a Windsor police detective."
A.K. was discovered May 11 after a neighbour spotted the six-month-old puppy on his owner's Sandwich Street balcony with his ears bleeding.
The ears had been cut down to bloody, infected stumps with a knife or handsaw, allegedly to make the dog appear more menacing.
The story made headlines across the country and turned A.K. into a poster dog for the issue of animal cruelty.
McCabe said she's not surprised at the level of public interest the case is generating across the country.
"I think people are fed up and society wants a change," McCabe said.
"It's no longer acceptable that animals be treated as property."
Among the charges against Salman are wilfully causing unnecessary pain, suffering and injury by severing the dog's ears, wilfully causing unnecessary pain, suffering and injury by failing to provide veterinary medical attention, and wilfully neglecting or failing to provide suitable and adequate care for a dog.
Salman is to appear in Ontario court in Windsor Aug. 23.
If convicted of any of the seven charges, Salman could be sentenced to a maximum of six months in jail and/or a $2,000 fine.
The court may also prohibit convicted animal cruelty offenders from having custody of an animal for up to two years.
The OSPCA said in a news release that if the offence had occurred in any province other than Ontario, the convicted pet owner could be facing a lifetime ban on pet ownership.
McCabe said the humane society has narrowed down the number of potential adopting families for A.K. to two.
"We hope he'll be placed in a permanent home sometime next week," said McCabe.

Seized dogs face execution and Dog census underway in city

This article in the Sarnia Observer shows how easily your dogs can be forced away from you with no just cause such as bites or attacks. If the authorities say it's a Pit bull, than no matter what, it's a Pit bull unless you have papers to show differently. That's impossible to do with mutts.

Seized dogs face execution
Thursday, June 07, 2007

Cassie Bates and Brian Edwards show photos of the dogs that animal control officers seized Wednesday. The dogs, three seven-week-old puppies and their mother, are thought to be pit bulls. They are scheduled to be euthanized. next Wednesday. The couple would not give up their seven-year-old dog Petey, shown.

A Sarnia couple says the city has placed their dogs on death row. Brian Edwards Jr. and his girlfriend, Cassie Bates, said animal control officers showed up at their Indian Road residence Wednesday morning demanding they hand over their pets.

"They said if I didn't give them the dogs I'd be charged," he said.

Edwards said animal control seized a trio of seven-week-old puppies and their mother, a three-year-old mixed breed named Rowen. Under the province's "pit bull law," owners must register their dogs and keep them muzzled while in public. Pit bulls that were not registered or owned by an Ontario resident as of Aug. 29, 2005, are considered illegal.

Edwards said his dog isn't a pit bull, adding the father was a golden retriever that was the spitting image of Old Yeller.

"Still, they say our dogs are going to be destroyed," Edwards said.

His girlfriend said animal control also wanted her to give up her dog, a seven-year-old named Petey, named after the canine of Little Rascals fame. She refused. The remaining four dogs are being housed at the Humane Society where they are to be euthanized.

"How can they destroy puppies? They're just seven weeks old," Bates said.

Both she and Edwards contend the dogs are not pure bred pit bull terriers. They have contacted lawyer David Stoesser, who successfully challenged the pit bull law last year.

"The law is frustratingly unclear," Stoesser said.

The problem is the law doesn't deem what constitutes a pit bull, he said. It also places the onus on the dog owner to prove otherwise, before the animal is euthanized.

"A dog can be killed, basically on the opinion of the pound operator," Stoesser said.

That was the case Wednesday morning, when Stoesser said he lost his first canine client, who was captured by animal control officers last month on a porch in the heart of the city. The seizure was shown on the front page of The Observer.

"I lost Brutus to death row today," he said.

Stoesser said he managed to get a couple of stays of execution but time was working against the dog owner. City clerk Brian Knott said dog owners who have animals suspected of being pit bulls seized by animal control have but four working days to prove otherwise before the animal is killed. Asked how city staff determines what is and isn't a pit bull, Knott said they look at information based on the dog's characteristics. He admitted it isn't a perfect system, but it's provincial law.

"All we're doing is trying to comply with the legislation as best we can," he said.

Another story in the Sarnia Observer.

'Dog census' underway in city
Local News
- Thursday, June 07, 2007

SARNIA'S "DOG CENSUS" is underway. A city staff person will be conducting the door-to-door survey to find out if a dog is located at the residence and whether a licence has been purchased. The employee will be wearing municipal identification and driving a city-owned vehicle.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

McGuinty Refuses To Protect Cats And Dogs From Abuse

Even though Bill S-213 is the same Bill that has been under play for the last 115 years and we were hoping it wouldn't pass, but instead go to a Private Members Bill C-373 that if passed would be Federal Law. Still, who is McGuinty that he can kill the bill 3 weeks early and then promises if his party is elected in October, he will press to have the Pet Protection Program early? What kind of a trick is this?

As for Pet Protection, if Bill C-373 can get read, it protects ALL animals, not only pets. Canada NEEDS a Bill that will protect cruelty to animals. All animals such as pets, farm animals and wildlife with deeper penalties and I was hoping Bill S-213 didn't get passed, but rather Bill C-373. But, even so, this 'vote for my party and I will save your pets' technique does not sit well with me at all.

Kills Bill S-213
Robert W. Runciman, MPP Leeds-Grenville
June 5, 2007

(Toronto) - Today's decision by the McGuinty Liberal government to close the Legislature 3 weeks early kills Leeds-Grenville MPP Bob Runciman's efforts to pass legislation that would provide stiff penalties for Ontarians who physically abuse their pet cat or dog.

"McGuinty's decision to run from accountability shows his disdain for Ontarians who care deeply about the issue of pet abuse," charged Runciman.

"One or two additional days of sitting and we could have dealt with my bill and enacted real, meaningful, penalties for pet abusers."

"If my Party is fortunate enough to form the government in October, I will press to have pet protection legislation passed early in our first session of the legislature," vowed the veteran MPP and PC House Leader.


ContactBob Runciman, MPP
(416) 325-1522

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Pit bull Portraits

Here is a chance to get a free 9X12 portrait of your bullie while promoting a positive image of the Pit bulls as well. Christine has arranged for the press to be there on Friday and it goes on throughout the weekend. Shasta and I are going. We're still up in the air how we are getting to Toronto, but we will be there Friday somehow.

There is no way I am going to miss this opportunity to show a positive light of the Pit bulls and a free portrait of Shasta will of course be bonus as well.

Pit bull Portraits

This is Christine, the photographer who is interested in taking a portrait of your photogenic pit bull and making a collection of what might be "The Last of the Pit Bulls" (in Ontario at least). I will be making "appointments" for the weekend of June 29th, 2007 to July 1st, 2007 – Canada Day for the photo shoot. On the Friday shoot, there will be television cameras because there is a bit of interest in recording the project for a very supportive show called "Behind the Lens". So if you are booking your time on this day, please be aware that your dog, and maybe even you, may be on television. I will also make a point of inviting articulate and television friendly owners for this day, so that issues can be properly discussed.

I will be mailing you a lightjet print of your choice, these are photographic prints that have been exposed through digital lights as opposed to an enlarger and film, however they are traditional photographic prints--not ink. They are gorgeous, high quality (the best quality!) photographic prints with a long life. The prints will be in black and white, and approximately 9 x 12 inches each. If you wish for more than this we can arrange for something. Please have an address ready for me to mail your picture to.

The shoot will be taking place in a studio right near a gorgeous and dog friendly park, for those who would like to make a day of it. It is located on King St. and Stafford St., the exact address is 23 Stafford and there will be some parking available. I will place signs to direct you to the proper studio. I would like to have some dog cookies so that some of the dogs will be pictured smiling and I would like to make friends out of them. Just let me know if there are any diet issues ahead of time. Also, in order to keep this a trauma-free experience, I have decided to use regular lighting instead of flash. As the owners, you will choose how you wish to represent the dog, what he/she will be wearing ( i.e. muzzles, collars, hats) so please decide on this before you come.

As a final note, I have been fielding a bit of anti-pit bull email with ideas towards my project and I would like to assure you that my intentions with the project are completely neutral. I WILL NOT place the project beside or with anything that would direct the interpretation, so I promise not to put them next to hurt victims or display them in any way that would influence their reading. They will be beautiful portraits. Up to now I have been dealing with some fantastic people via email, with some adorable dogs and lovely families that are wonderful representatives for the pit bull breed. If the piece is displayed, I promise it will be in neutral territory and I will be very selective and defensive on your part in all decisions. This will all be in a permission form that will need to be agreed to on the day of shooting.

I am excited to take these portraits and what may become of the project. Please feel free to advertise to other pit bull owners of the project and how they can participate. To arrange for a portrait appointment, please call me at (416) 878-5150.

Days of Shooting:Friday June 29th (Television Day)
Saturday June 30th
Sunday July 1st (Canada Day)

Thank you and talk soon,
Christine D'Onofrio

This project is possible because of assistance from the Ontario Arts Council.