Julie King's letter to the editor are probably the same as many other Ontario citizens and I appreciate her for getting her message out.
As for her witnessing the reaction of Zimmerman shows she was fortunate to be present during the hearing.
Many were not and waited desparately for what I can honestly say was the most devistating time in my life when I heard the verdict in disbelief. I cried for 3 days straight at how much power is given to the government without what the majority of Ontario citizens wanted or their input.
Jullie King's letter brought back that time when Pit bull owners across Ontario were stunned at the decision the Liberal government made for us and have made us victims because of it.
Anyone but McGuinty Liberals after pit bull hearings, law
Letters to the Editor
Sep 29, 2007
While Dalton McGuinty’s record of broken promises is disturbing, my own reason for working against the McGuinty Liberals is deeply personal.
In 2004, the Liberals went on a campaign to ban “pit bulls”. Seizing the chance to distract voters angered by the health tax hike, the Liberals ignored experts and pushed through bad legislation.
Watching the public hearings made me realize just how little integrity the McGuinty Liberals have. They were biased, arrogant and eager to pass bad policy because of the perceived political gain.
The most appalling moment, however, came during Donna Trempe’s presentation. Many Stouffville residents will remember the tragic incident when Donna’s young daughter, Courtney Trempe, was killed by a bull mastiff in 1998s. An extensive inquest into her death led to many public safety recommendations.
In her presentation, Donna pleaded with the Liberals to consider these alternatives and not to pass breed specific legislation.
I was shocked when I looked over at Liberal MPP David Zimmer during Donna’s presentation. He acted bored, fiddled with his PDA and scowled as this brave woman talked about the death of her child.
Then, when asked if he had any questions, Zimmer did not even look up, but just waved his hand.
With that one dismissive gesture Zimmer waved away the value of Courtney’s short life and insights into how her death could help prevent others like it.
By the end of the hearings, 84 per cent of presenters, including every credible expert, opposed the ban. The Liberals pushed it through anyway. Let me tell you where we are today as a result.
Thanks to the McGuinty Liberals, three purebred breeds — and only the purebreds — are banned. None of the unprovoked attacks involved the purebreds. Meanwhile, the mixed-breed dogs most people call “pit bulls”, the dogs in the high profile media attacks, were exempt from the law, just as the Liberals were warned they would be.
So Ontario now has a useless law. Responsible owners have been punished.
Thousands of friendly dogs have been needlessly put down or sent to animal research. And the process has cost tax payers millions of dollars.
The McGuinty Liberals have shown that they have no scruples.
Promises don’t matter. Integrity doesn’t matter.
That is why I am working hard to see anyone but Mr. McGuinty elected this fall.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Julie King's letter to the editor are probably the same as many other Ontario citizens and I appreciate her for getting her message out.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
With all the sad, angy or just horrendously appalling articles in the news, it's a treasure to find one upbeat. Well this should give you all something to smile about in The Orilla Packet & Times. It's also a valuable lesson why you should have your pets microchipped.
Posted By Nathan Taylor
The Varley family is complete again.
Just a few days ago, they were looking at photos of their Rottweiler, Abigail, "talking about her, wondering how she was doing," Jason Varley said.
"Abby" went missing from the family vehicle three years ago while Jason and his wife, Claire, were having a Sunday breakfast in Midland.
It was a busy December day in Midland. The Santa Claus parade drew a large crowd to the downtown area.
The Varleys, who then lived in Waubaushene, parked in a downtown lot and left Abby in the vehicle, as they often did when they went out. Abby would always be waiting patiently, Jason Varley recalled, when he and his wife returned.
So, when they finished their breakfast and returned to the lot to find Abby missing, "we knew she was taken," Jason Varley said.
"It was too late. She was gone," he said.
The Varleys searched tirelessly in Midland, Orillia and elsewhere for their lost pet. A $1,000, then $2,500, reward was offered for her return.
The couple has moved four times since Abby disappeared. With their one-year-old son, Connor, they now reside in Calgary, Alta.
The hope they lost over the past three years returned with a phone call Friday from Allen Robinson, a canine control officer with Ramara Township.
Abby had been located at an apartment complex in Ramara. The superintendent brought the dog to an Orillia shelter before Robinson and his wife, Diana, also a canine control officer, retrieved her.
Assuming the dog was stolen, Diana Robinson checked with the breeder, who confirmed that hunch.
Abby was scanned with the hope of finding a microchip that contained information vital to getting the dog back to its owners. It was determined Abby had the chip, which was registered with the Canadian Kennel Club.
"(Jason Varley) thought it was a joke when I called him," Allen Robinson explained. "It took me probably five minutes to convince him she was found."
Varley boarded a red-eye flight in Alberta at 12:15 a.m. Saturday, arriving in Ontario about 6 a.m.
Saturday afternoon, an emotional Varley was reunited with the family's "first kid."
"We lost a legit family member three years ago, and we've got her back now," he said. "Now she gets to go and climb some mountains."
It's an overwhelmingly exciting time for the Varleys. As well as getting back their dear Abby, they're expecting another child in November.
Orillia OPP Const. Fred Lebarr, who is investigating the theft of Abby, advised people to have a microchip - about the size of a grain of rice - implanted in their pets and update the Canadian Kennel Club when they relocate.
Lebarr is seeking to speak with a person of interest in relation to the case, he said.
Saturday's reunion was a positive break from a lot of the day-to-day business police deal with, he added.
"When there's a win, it's nice."
There were no signs of abuse when Abby was found.
Canine expertise needed to designate dangerous dogs, says group
By MICHAEL JIGGINS
A member of a Canadian canine advocacy group says Brockville is barking up the wrong tree by appointing a council committee to hear appeals on dangerous dog designations.
"I think you need some canine experts. It's not as cut and dried as you think it would be - there would be reasons why a dog would do what they do," said Cathy Prothro, a Dartmouth, Nova Scotia resident and executive member of the Dog Legislation Council of Canada.
"In all fairness to the animal and to animal control and to the councillors, they shouldn't really be put in a position to be judge, jury and executioner. You would really want to have a system that is fair," she added.
Prothro was referring to a decision by city council Tuesday night to appoint its finance and administration committee as the forum for appeals from a resident whose dog is declared dangerous under the animal control bylaw.
That bylaw was amended by council last month to, among other things, empower the city's animal control officer to declare any dog - regardless of breed - dangerous following an investigation.
Such a designation would make the animal subject to public muzzling requirements
City clerk Sandra Seale said she studied animal control bylaws in about a dozen other municipalities and found "it's not uncommon" for the appeal body to consist entirely of councillors.
She suggested the system set up by council with its decision Tuesday is in some ways a test run that's open for review.
"We don't know at this point how often the committee will meet and the types of issues that will come forward to the committee," explained Seale.
"If we feel that it's not the right composition for the committee, then at that time council has the option or the authority to change the composition."
But Prothro is aware of similar committees in other municipalities and said frankly, "The committee deal doesn't really work very well."
Instead, she urged the city to at least consider appointing committee members with some expertise.
"You'd like to see at least a veterinarian, you'd like to see a canine behaviourist. You'd like to see representation from the major stakeholders in the canine community," said Prothro.
Given what they could be in for, she predicted, "Council would be quite happy with not having to designate dogs dangerous. I mean, let them get on with the business of the day."
Seale stressed the committee won't hear appeals on serious aggressive dog attacks where the outcome could see the animal destroyed.
Those cases, she said, would result in charges under Ontario's Dog Owners' Liability Act (DOLA) with the animal seized and the case proceeding directly to provincial court.
Seale said following the new route under the amended bylaw allows council to put restrictions on a dog after a more minor incident, possibly preventing a future attack.
And she noted the city could still pursue charges under DOLA at a later date.
The City of Calgary has been lauded for its innovative approach to animal control and the man in charge of the department said he wouldn't personally endorse Brockville's system.
Bill Bruce, director of animal and bylaw services and chief enforcement officer, said he takes every dog owner to court if his or her animal bites or is involved in an aggressive incident.
"I believe so strongly in everybody's rights, but I believe your rights are best protected by due process," said Bruce.
"I have to be able to articulate to the judge why I want these restrictions put on the dog, how it is that I've come to believe that this dog will reoffend," he said in an interview Wednesday.
All of the offending animals are seized, although in some of the minor incidents the dog is returned prior to the hearing.
"In all fairness to the animal and to animal control and to the councillors, they shouldn't really be put in a position to be judge, jury and executioner. You would really want to have a system that is fair."
- Cathy Prothro
But in all cases Bruce prosecutes the case to its end, arguing the court process drives home to the dog owner the seriousness of the matter.
He questioned why a city councillor would want to accept the responsibility of hearing an appeal and further, why the city would put its bylaw officer in the position of making the dangerous designation in the first place.
Despite years of experience - and having spoken on the subject around the country as well as advising other municipalities - Bruce said he would never make that declaration.
"You put on the shoulder of your animal administrator the job of judge, jury and executioner - so he is determining if the dog is innocent or guilty of an offence," said Bruce.
"That is the role of the courts."
He said a system works best when everybody has a job: council sets policy, the bylaw officials gather evidence and a judge weighs it.
Bruce also pondered the political sensitivity of having councillors hear appeals and also raised the issue of potential conflicts with staff if they go against the animal control officer's recommendations.
Calgary has also established a "responsible pet owners group," a subcommittee of council comprised of representation from several animal stakeholders' groups.
Every policy dealing with pets comes to that committee first before a recommendation is made to council, said Bruce.
The idea is to get co-operation from animal owners by demonstrating the city's commitment to having sound policy.
He pointed to a recent cat-licensing bylaw approved by council as an example of the benefits.
When it was tried by his predecessor, Bruce said 600 outraged cat owners picketed city hall. This time, with the committee in place, only six came to the meeting - three for, three against.
As for cases of animal aggression, Bruce noted there were 2,000 such incidents in Calgary 20 years ago when the population was 500,000.
Now more than twice that size, he said there were 401 incidents last year - almost a quarter of which involved minor bites.
Published in Section A, page 3 in the Thursday, September 27, 2007 edition of the Brockville Recorder & Times.
Posted 5:01:29 PM Thursday, September 27, 2007.
If Bob Sheherd and the others are confused, think how us voters feel. We're the one's that have to come up with the 'right' vote. *sigh* This article is newdurahamregion.com.
Passing the buck
Three of four Durham Riding parties push for Province to take back social costs
Fri Sep 28, 2007
By Chris Hall
NORTH DURHAM -- The math just doesn't add up in Bob Shepherd's books.
Each time the Uxbridge mayor peruses the list of demands the Province places on his municipality, and others across North Durham and the rest of Ontario, he just shakes his head.
There's always more for Ontario's municipalities to do, but there's hardly ever any funding to come with those additional responsibilities.
Take, for instance, last year's new pit bull regulations introduced by the Province, the Uxbridge mayor offers. Sure, there's the public safety factor associated with the new bill, but who is going to fork over the dollars needed for such laws?
"Who is going to pay for it? The municipalities," Mayor Shepherd answers. "If we have to hire additional people (to carry out the new regulations)... then it's not fair. To me, that's just irresponsible.
"How can (the Province) provide us with a new mandate, and not give us the means to finance it? It's almost silly, but that's what they do," he says.
The downloading of services from the Province to the bottom of the government hierarchy, perhaps made best known in the mid-1990s by former premier Mike Harris and his Tory government, can probably best be described as passing the buck.
But, with the Oct. 10 provincial election rapidly approaching, most of the players in the upcoming vote are scrambling to assure municipal leaders, and those who pony up the funds each year, that their party, if elected, will ease the burden.
In the eyes of the NDP party, says Durham Riding candidate Catherine Robinson, the issue of uploading "is a very important" one and she pledges that the 'Green and Orange' believe in "relieving the property taxpayers the burden of paying for services that the Province mandated."
Those include such costs as social services and social housing.
If swept into power at Queen's Park after next month's vote, explains Ms. Robinson, the NDP would first impose a two-year freeze on public transit costs, such as the GO Train, for those "who are constantly fed up with higher and higher ticket prices."
Then, at the start of 2008, the NDP would reassume half of the cost of such services, which would relieve Durham Region of about $14 million in costs annually.
"That's a significant amount," says Ms. Robinson.
Other goals of the NDP would be to remove the cost of court security from the shoulders of municipalities, providing Durham with a savings of $4 million each year, according to the NDP hopeful.
Cost-sharing and other funding agreements, she continued, that has "allowed (Ontario Premier) Dalton McGuinty to short-change municipalities... would no longer happen." That, says Ms. Robinson, would save the Region up to $12 million each year.
With all these services lifted off the municipalities, there would be plenty of cash to cover such costs as garbage, recycling and roads, she says.
"The municipalities, since downloading, have really been struggling to maintain Provincially-mandated programs because funding (hasn't arrived with any of the demands). As a result of that, property taxes have increased," says Ms. Robinson.
Echoing the importance of the downloading issue is John O'Toole, the incumbent Durham MPP.
"It is most important to recognize that social programs belong to the Province," says the Tory candidate.
He quickly points out that municipalities have "always" played some sort of role in Provincial programs, such as their delivery, but stresses that he "believe(s) social programs, broadly... belong as a Provincial responsibility."
But sending the costs of such social programs back up to the Province is not as easy as it sounds, he warns. If one program is removed from the municipalities' to-pay-for list, nothing is gained if the lower-tier governments tack on another expense.
"If the municipality fills that tax (room), then nothing's been achieved for the homeowner," says Mr. O'Toole. "If the goal is to reduce taxes or stabilize the (municipality's costs), then they can't fill that tax room without restrictions."
He also points out "municipalities are the beneficiaries of assessment increases, they blame the Province on increases... (but) if assessments go up 10 per cent, their revenues go up 10 per cent."
However, in an effort to help municipalities, the Progressive Conservatives have pledged to provide the lower-tier governments with an additional $1.5 billion for items such as roads and bridges. Currently, explains Mr. O'Toole, the Province pockets about $3 billion in revenues through gas and fuel taxes, sharing roughly half of that with municipalities to cover the costs of transit and public transportation. If elected, the Tories would double that.
Mr. O'Toole also reasons that social program costs have to be removed from the lower levels because "social programs are not sustainable in a diminished economy if they're funded locally because revenues would be affected at a time when the services are needed."
The ruling Liberals, offers Durham Grit hopeful Betty Somerville, realize that "there is no reason cities should be supporting health-related costs, such as the land ambulance service, drug benefits and disability support."
In a prepared statement (Ms. Somerville could not be reached for comment, but provided a written response), she explains that her party has already begun to upload approximately 75 per cent of those costs and pledges to complete the uploading in the upcoming term.
The Liberals, she says, "understand the importance of fairness when it comes to costs, especially when it comes to the smaller and rural communities. Without the larger population base but often the same amount of land to take care (of), the costs are disproportionate to that of major urban centres. We recognize that and that is why we also have in place a plan specifically for aiding our small and rural communities."
In her statement, Ms. Somerville notes that, on top of the gas-tax sharing program and special support for rural schools and hospitals, the Grits are also looking to invest in restoring many of the heritage sites that reside in rural communities, provide extra funding for restoring roads and bridges and make investments in much-needed infrastructure.
"After eight years of having the Conservatives dump provincial costs on the cities, the Liberals recognize that it is now time to take ownership of those costs once again," says Ms. Somerville in her statement. "I look forward to seeing the advancements that small and rural communities will make in partnership with the Liberals. Too many communities, both urban and not, have had to increase municipal taxes by huge amounts to deal with the pressures of paying for provincial responsibilities. That has been recognized and it is a major priority for the party and myself to see that trend reversed."
Shrugging off the call for the Province to take back some of the costs, however, is the Green Party.
"Those who think property taxes are bad and income and business taxes are good have it backwards," offers Durham Green Party candidate June Davies in a prepared statement.
"In any case, there is only one taxpayer (and) uploading social services taxes will not change anything since the same Ontarians will... still be paying the same amount of tax."
She continues to explain that "removing social services and education from the property tax (which is about 75 per cent land value tax) will increase the wealth gap in Ontario, increasing wealth disparity. It will also increase sprawl since it will undervalue land even more than it already is. Undervaluing land is what we have sprawl now instead of walkable communities.
"Uploading will depress our economic vitality, cause a jump in housing (land) prices, increase pressure to sprawl, increase wealth gap and increase the underground economy. Higher prices for properties means more money servicing mortgages will go to banks, whereas higher carrying costs for holding property (property taxes) means a higher revenue stream to municipalities."
Whatever happens after next month's election, Scugog Mayor Marilyn Pearce stresses that it's important landowners realize it's the cost of provincial downloading, and not frivolous spending by the municipality, that is driving taxes up.
"I think for the taxpayers, who are extremely concerned about market value assessment and upcoming reassessments and that fact that property taxes continue to rise as significantly as they have, it's important they realize that it's because of downloading that their taxes are going up," she says.
"There's no fairness in the system and, as a result, taxes continue to rise. We just can't get to the (local) projects that need to get done because we're paying for Provincially-mandated social programs."
The Scugog mayor hopes that something will come out of a Provincial report on the downloading issue that's slated to be released in February.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Who Is The Real "Criminal"
Can you imagine working for a company that has a little more than 300 employees and has the following statistics:
30 have been accused of spousal abuse.
9 have been arrested for fraud,
14 have been accused of writing bad cheques.
95 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses.
4 have done time for assault,
55 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit.
12 have been arrested on drug related charges.
4 have been arrested for shoplifting.
16 are currently defendants in lawsuits.
62 have been arrested for drunk driving in the last year.
Can you guess which organization this is?
It is the 301 MP's in the Canadian Parliament. The same group that cranks out hundreds of new laws designed to keep the rest of us in line. Which one did you vote for?
TAKEN FROM THE OTTAWA CITIZEN.
Pass this on to every Canadian you know.
Rambled by Conners at Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Thursday, September 20, 2007
BEWARE! You can find this article and warning in The Toronto Star.
Puppy scam bites unwary
Mississauga woman who paid $500 latest victim of global fraud promising `free' dogs
Sep 19, 2007 04:30 AM
Theresa Boyle staff reporter
A Mississauga woman says she's embarrassed and angry that she forked out more than $500 to get a "free puppy" from Nigeria, but wants to go public with her story to prevent others from making the same mistake.
"I really got sucked in. I feel so gullible," Anita Hagerman, 44, said yesterday.
Even though the 11-week-old Yorkie was advertised as free, Hagerman last week complied with requests for three payments, totalling $500, to ship the dog to Toronto from Nigeria.
Her suspicion was aroused when she was asked for a fourth payment of $100 after being told the dog had become ill and required a shot before it could make the trip.
"I've been taken, I know I have. It's a sad thing when people take advantage of others," she said.
"I want to let other people know what's going on," she added.
Hagerman is the latest victim in a worldwide "free puppy" scam originating from Nigeria. Scammers are placing ads online and in newspapers for popular breeds such as Yorkshire terriers and English bulldogs. They request hundreds of dollars in shipping fees, but the dogs are never sent.
"The dogs don't exist," said Lee Oliver, spokesperson for the Toronto Humane Society. "I would characterize these people as vultures. They take advantage of deep-felt emotions that we have for dogs and cats in this world.
"They are definitely keyed in to taking advantage of people who don't have the money to do it through normal channels," Oliver said.
Oliver described it as an international scheme, noting it has appeared in newspapers and online across Canada. Indeed, the society issued a warning about the scam in April after seeing an ad in the free Toronto weekly 24. He said he's heard about one other GTA resident who responded to it.
The online ad that Hagerman responded to was on LiveDeal.ca, which she accessed through the Toronto Star website. It came complete with a picture of a Yorkie pup in a white basket. The ad stated:
"GORGEOUS YORKSHIRE TERRIER FOR FREE GRAB HER NOW!!!"
The ad stated the dog is friendly with children and other animals, it needs a "God-fearing" home and "she is going to make you happy."
Hagerman responded to the ad on Sept. 10. She sent an email saying she was interested in the dog and later that day she got a phone call from Nigeria from a man who said his name was Paul. He said he and his wife worked as missionaries and weren't able to keep the dog, which he referred to as "his baby."
He said he would send the dog by air to Toronto but she would have to pay the $200 shipping fee. Hagerman wired the money via Western Union on Tuesday morning.
Paul called later that day, saying the airline required $250 to put the dog in a crate. Once again, Hagerman complied.
Then Paul called on Wednesday, saying he needed another $50 to change the dog's ownership. Hagerman sent more money.
She paid $16 for each wire transfer.
"By the middle of the week, I was starting to get suspicious because he was asking for a little bit here, a little bit there," she said.
Each time she wired money, she was promised she could pick up the dog at the airport the next day.
The last straw came on Wednesday night, when Paul told her he needed another $100, explaining that "my baby needs a needle."
When she balked, he told her she could forget about getting the dog.
When the Star contacted Paul in Nigeria yesterday, he said if Hagerman didn't make one last payment, "she's not getting the baby."
He got angry when asked if he was trying to steal Hagerman's money.
"Are you trying to call me a scam? I'm a family man," he said. "I am a man of God. I am a missionary."
He said his family couldn't care for the dog and they couldn't find a home for it in Africa.
"Me and my family don't have enough time for baby ... I want a good Christian home for my baby ... I love this baby," he said.
Before angrily hanging up on a reporter, Paul asked: "Why all these questions? Why are you accusing?"
Hagerman called Peel Regional Police, who referred her to PhoneBusters, the anti-fraud call centre operated by the Ontario Provincial Police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. It collects information on the so-called "Nigerian letter" scam, which involves bogus emails offering large sums of cash if the recipients help launder money.
"It sounds like this is a new spin on the Nigerian letter scam," Peel Const. Adam Minnion said of the "free puppy" scheme. "This type of scam is becoming more prevalent."
On its website, LiveDeal Canada warns consumers against making out-of-country purchases.
Rambled by Conners at Thursday, September 20, 2007
*Please cross post this link to all in your address book and any other lists.*
It is crucial we get information out to dog owners in Ontario for the upcoming election on Oct.10th. http://wagthedog.blogware.com/
Please remember to vote! Remember who legislated Breed Specific Legislation in Ontario!
Director of Events DLCC
Proud member of Dog Legislation Council of Canada
Rambled by Conners at Thursday, September 20, 2007
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
It's always a treat to see a friend, whether it be them or their dog involved in positive press. Of course, I couldn't not blog about Storm, a beautiful AmStaff that is a great frend of Shasta and many more on the net and her Mom who is a dear friend to me also.
It makes me feel so PROUD and wanted to share it with you.
To view all the other pictures of other dogs and the event pictures, go to the American Kennel Club page.
The 5th Annual AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day was held at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh on Saturday, September 15. The free event welcomed dogs and their owners for an afternoon of demonstrations, AKC Canine Good Citizen® testing, discounted microchipping from AKC Companion Animal Recovery, giveaways, games, face painting, and much more!
AKC RDO Day Proclamation from
Mayor Charles Meeker of Raleigh, North Carolina
We thank these wonderful organizations for their generous support of this event;
American Water Spaniel
Bichon FriseBlack and Tan Coonhound
Cardigan Welsh Corgi
English Cocker Spaniel
Entlebucher Mountain Dog
German Shepherd Dog
German Wiredhaired Pointer
Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
Irish SetterIrish Wolfhound
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Polish Lowland Sheepdog
Rat Terrier Rhodesian Ridgeback
VizslaWhippetWire Fox Terrier
Rambled by Conners at Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Friday, September 07, 2007
This article can be found in The Mississauga News.
What I found interesting is the headlines specified the dog to be a Pit bull, yet as you read the article, the statement, "Dulio Rose, manager of Animal Control Services, says the Dog Owners’ Liability Act may come into play in this case." She states it's a Pit bull, yet says ACC has to "investigate to determine if the dog meets the definition of a pit bull under the law and whether it has been spayed or neutered as required."
The other thing that interests me is if this dog has been causing such concern in the neighbourhood and allowed to roam free, why were complains not made earlier to ACC? The neighbours know where the dog lives, yet ACC wasn't called in until something of this nature happened even though they were frightened for their children.
I find this statement made offending. "Because this incident involves a pit bull, Rose said, “this may be more of a pressing issue." meaning, if it were any other breed of dog that was involved this incident wouldn't have caused a stir and probably wouldn't have made it to the newspapers with perhaps a just a fine from the owner and a slap on the wrist.
Pit bull kills family pet
Sammy, a six-year-old Yorkshire Terrier and a beloved family pet, was killed by a pit bull.
By: John Stewart
September 7, 2007
One minute Delia Tavares and her 16-year-old daughter were happily walking their Yorkshire Terrier along a Mississauga street. The next, their six-year-old family pet was dead, ripped apart by an attacking pit bull.
Little Sammy was grabbed by the larger dog and pulled under a fence, where he was fatally mauled.
The teen screamed in horror when she pulled her pet back from under the fence and saw the injuries he had suffered in just seconds. Sammmy's leg was broken, his chest was ripped open and he was bleeding badly.
The family rushed their beloved pet to an emergency animal centre in Oakville but Sammy had to be put down.
Now, Tavares wants the killer dealt with by authorities. She says the pit bull terrorizes the neighbourhood, so much that pedestrians cross to the other side of the road rather than pass the yard where it lives on Cliff Rd. She and her daughter normally cross the road themselves as they approached the home beside Clifton Public School.
The pit bull's loud barking is the usual early warning system. But on this occasion, last Tuesday (Aug. 28), there was no warning - just an attack.
The pit bull grabbed the smaller dog through a hole under the fence as the family passed by.
“We’re all devastated,” said Tavares of her family. “We can’t stop thinking about it, especially when you see that dog still out there.”
Dulio Rose, manager of Animal Control Services, says the Dog Owners’ Liability Act may com into play in this case.
Once the police report has been received, Animal Control inspectors will investigate to determine if the dog meets the definition of a pit bull under the law and whether it has been spayed or neutered as required.
Tavares says the dog was acquired after the ban on pit bulls became law.Rose said an Animal Control investigator will take statements from the complainants and the dog owner and if any laws have been broken, charges will be laid.
The charges could then be heard before a Justice of the Peace.
Because this incident involves a pit bull, Rose said, “this may be more of a pressing issue.
"The Ontario government moved to ban pit bulls after a number of serious attacks on children.
The Cliff Rd. homeowner of the pit bull has now placed sand and rocks in the escape hole to prevent him from attacking again, Tavares said.
“But he (the dog) can just take that out, too, and this is right beside a public school,” which means children could be in potential danger, she added.
“Something needs to be done about this dog,” she says, “especially after what he did.”
Rambled by Conners at Friday, September 07, 2007
Saturday, September 01, 2007
State of the Province
12:17am Friday, Aug 31
** PLEASE SEND THIS TO EVERY ONTARIO DOG OWNER YOU KNOW! **Preferably, you will send them the link to this article, but this is important enough that, if you need to copy/paste the text, feel free.
The direct link to this article is:
August 29, 2007 was the two-year anniversary of Ontario's Bill 132 (usually known as the "pit bull" ban).What has happened in Ontario during those two years?
Two people in this province (including a one and a half year old child) have been killed by dogs, none by "pit bull" type dogs.
Almost without exception, the mainstream media organizations, when notified of serious attacks on people and on animals by other types of dogs, have responded with a mind-boggling lack of interest.
Not a "pit bull"? Not interested. Thank you for your call.
Michael Bryant, the Attorney General of Ontario and the political architect of this law, has been on television telling people that attacks by pit bulls have been reduced and that Ontarians are now safer than ever before. Funny that the most expert, most knowledgeable, and most connected people in the province can't find any information to prove the truth of that statement. Even a brief investigation into municipal bite statistics reveals that, in most cases, the specific data required to make that type of statement doesn't exist or is incomplete or inaccurate.
In this province, over the past two years, authorities have targeted, threatened, and confiscated a staggering number of dogs of many breeds and types. Here is just a short list:
Seven-week-old mixed-breed puppies
American BulldogBull Terrier
Chesapeake Bay RetrieverCollie/Jack Russell mix
Dogue de Bordeaux
Jack Russell Terrier cross
A record number of dogs of all shapes and sizes have been confiscated and killed in this province over the past two years, all accused of being "pit bulls". An unknown, unidentifiable, non-existent "breed" has somehow managed to be regularly and frequently identified by unqualified, untrained personnel and, because of the way the law is written, once that unqualified, often biased, person has identified your dog as a "pit bull", the chance of you ever seeing your dog again is pretty well nil.
Many of these confiscations have occurred without proof of wrongdoing, without warrants, through the use of threats and intimidation. Owners have been threatened with arrest, with imprisonment, with inappropriate use-of-force, and with the removal of other pets in the house if they don't surrender the particular dogs in question. Police officers have been encouraged to shoot loose-running dogs on sight, regardless of breed (although short, stocky dogs are definitely more at risk) and regardless of the actions or temperaments of the dogs.
In this province, it's starting to feel like dogs of any breed have become the new targets for police officers' shooting practice. Of course that's an exaggeration, but there is definitely a trend towards a "shoot first, offer cookie later" approach.Ontario TV shows, radio shows, and newspaper articles have categorized ALL "pit bull" owners in the province as moronic, dangerous, and irresponsible, as gangsters, criminals, and macho thugs. Many have added owners of other breeds to this list as well.
These uninformed and hate-filled opinions have created a "climate of fear", not just toward the dogs, but also toward their owners. They have legitimized and, in some cases, encouraged vigilantism against an identifiable group of law-abiding, responsible citizens.
Dog owners have been assaulted, threatened, spat upon, had bottles thrown at them. Their dogs have been kicked, burned with cigarettes, threatened with death, doused with scalding hot coffee.
Dog owners are being forced, through various cities' extreme and draconian restrictions, to choose between their residence and their pet. Those who can't leave because of family, mortgages, or jobs are forced to give up their dogs. Dogs are being dropped off, often abandoned, at local shelters in record numbers. The "humane" solution that Michael Bryant proposed is causing the deaths of hundreds of dogs each and every day.
People have lost their houses, their jobs, their friends, and even their families because of the shape of their dog's head. Neighbourhood children are no longer allowed to play with the dog owners' children. Neighbours refuse to even say hello and, in many cases, call the police or animal control over minor or even untrue complaints.
The type of dog a person owns is now becoming an issue in child custody battles.
People are being evicted from rental housing, are unable to obtain rental housing, cannot buy condominiums, and cannot get tenant's or homeowner's liability insurance. Falsified complaints of bites, attempted bites, and menacing behaviour are made by groups of tenants who band together to rid their building of dogs that they think might be "pit bulls".
Many dog owners have resorted to walking their dogs in remote areas or late at night to avoid becoming targets. Many more simply use their backyards to exercise their dogs. These attempts to keep themselves and their dogs safe often result in behavioural problems that did not exist previously, due to lack of socialization, training, and simple daily exposure to people, animals, places, and situations.
It is now illegal for hundreds of thousands of Canadian dog owners to vacation with their dogs in Ontario or even to pass through the province when travelling from one part of the country to another. Visitors from the United States and other countries are now advised on travel websites to avoid Ontario if they own a dog, regardless of breed, due to the serious misidentification problems and the reverse-onus provisions of the law (i.e., you have to PROVE the breed of your dog, a scientific impossibility).
Tourism has suffered. Dog shows, flyball and agility competitions, camping trips, and family visits have been cancelled or seriously impacted because of this legislation.
Even municipalities that disagree with this type of breed-specific legislation are now burdened with the additional (and not insignificant) costs of enforcing an unenforceable law. Many of them have seen an increase in the number of calls from uninformed, paranoid residents about neighbouring "pit bulls" with each call requiring an officer to drive out, investigate, identify (or not), report, follow up, and possibly charge and prosecute.
Those municipalities with overzealous, biased animal control personnel now find themselves mired in unparalleled numbers of court cases. All of this is at the expense of taxpayers. Thanks to the parroting of government press releases by the mainstream media and the blind use of sound bites from government press conferences, many members of the public actually think that this McGuinty Liberal government is protecting them and their children.
In Ontario, there are at least 2.3 million dogs, probably more. There are, at last count, about 4.5 million families. So, on average, there is one dog for every two families in the province. Admittedly, some people have more than one dog, but the number of dog owners in Ontario is still hugely significant.
Dog owners are one of the largest demographics in the province. And the vast majority of dog owners do NOT agree with this law.
They do not agree with killing unoffending, well-behaved dogs simply because of the way they look. They do not agree with the confiscation and destruction of newborn puppies. They do not agree with the legislated persecution of law-abiding, responsible citizens who have done nothing except pick the wrong dog to love.
Many, many voters, both dog owners and people without dogs in their families, have recognized this as a purely political move, designed to give the uninformed public the impression of action and protection. With a little common sense and a basic understanding of human rights, they see it as a way for this government to circumvent the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms by allowing unreasonable search and seizure, by discriminating against a specific, identifiable group of citizens, and by threatening or actually imposing upon those citizens hefty fines, confiscation of property, and imprisonment because of a vague definition that is arbitrarily enforced.
In a number of court cases in Ontario, the provincial Attorney General's office has intervened in municipal prosecutions of dog owners to make sure they secure convictions in as many "pit bull" cases as possible. Dog owners, unaware of the law, perhaps unable to afford lawyers, unsure as to how to proceed, find themselves in court against the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario, against the same government lawyers that defended the government against a constitutional challenge from one of the best civil rights lawyers in the country. What chance can these dog owners possibly have?
This Ontario Liberal government has shown us time and time again that they are more than willing to sacrifice whomever and whatever to appear to increase public safety, without ever bothering to check the facts or listen to the experts.
If this government had been even remotely concerned about public safety, instead of getting in the right sound bite for the evening news, they would have taken the advice of the opposing parties and, even more so, the advice of the experts who testified in front of them and the experts who produced recommendations from two coroners' inquests.
Every single credible expert and animal-related organization, including experts in legislation, dog behaviour, and bite prevention, told the government not to do this. Michael Bryant publicly stated that he would listen to the experts, but when every single expert told him it was a bad idea, not only did the Liberals press ahead with the law, but they actually made amendments to it to make it worse than it was originally, then they forced a "whipped vote" in the legislature, after Dalton McGuinty publicly stated that he would allow his members to vote their conscience in every matter not related to the budget.
In early 2005, prior to the four latest deaths by dogs in Canada (none by "pit bulls"), the Ontario Liberals were asked repeatedly to fund a provincial dog bite prevention and education program.
They were asked to implement a provincial responsible dog ownership program.
They were asked to create a provincial dog bite registry.
They were asked to provide municipalities with appropriate funding to ensure effective animal bylaw enforcement.
All of these requests were based on recommendations from the coroner's inquest into the death of eight-year-old Courtney Trempe in 1998. All of these recommendations came from experts in dog breeding, behaviour, and bite prevention.
Instead, the government decided to ban a vague, non-existent shape of dog that barely registers in most dog bite statistics, simply to score political points. Their changes to the Dog Owners' Liability Act had nothing to do with public safety and everything to do with politics.
The way the law is written right now, it is entirely possible and conceivable for the following things to happen:
a) Police can enter my home, seize my dog, kill it, and put me in jail because of the shape of my dog's head or because of the particular type of dog that I choose to live with. This is not about "pit bulls". We have documented many instances where dogs of other breeds have been identified as pit bulls and have been confiscated or the owners have been put through hell trying to save their dogs. There are at least 30 different purebred breeds of dogs that "look like" the dogs that the Liberals are supposedly targeting.
b) Police can enter my home, seize my dog, kill it, and put me in jail if someone feels threatened by my dog or even if they feel that their own animal is threatened by my dog, even if my dog is on my own property. A neighbour who doesn't like me can easily cause my dog to be confiscated. This last section has nothing to do with breed. Every dog owner in this province is affected by this portion of the law.
This law has been used to force therapy dogs and service dogs to be muzzled. It has been used to identify seven-week-old puppies as being a "menace to public safety". Since this law has been enacted, three children and one adult have died in Canada, two in Ontario, all killed by dogs that were not "pit bulls". These past two years have been record years for dogs killing people and not once was a "pit bull" involved. How is public safety being enhanced?
So what is the solution?
Since we have made all possible attempts to negotiate and communicate with the current Liberal government and since we have been rebuffed at every turn, we are left with only two things to do:
1. Take them to court.
2. Vote them out of office.
We have taken them to court. The judge found that various portions of the law violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but left the rest of the law as is.
In order to continue this fight, the Dog Legislation Council of Canada needs funds. Your rights as a dog owner are at risk, regardless of the type of dog you own. The DLCC is fighting for those rights. If you don't want to see the erosion and removal of the rights of all dog owners in this province (including yourself), then you need to help. Don't just say thanks. Don't just say to yourself, "what a great job they're doing" or "at least somebody's fighting this stupid law". Put some money toward this fight. Ten dollars, a hundred dollars, or a thousand. Do something.
Visit http://www.doglegislationcouncilcanada.org/ for more details.
Now, to the second option.
Most experts in the fields of dog bites and dog legislation feel that this government, if voted back into office, will target additional breeds or will use the existing law and its vague definitions to go after all sorts of dogs.
Even without further changes, only half of the existing law usually known as the "pit bull ban" actually targets "pit bulls". There are some significant and scary portions of this law that already target all dogs, regardless of breed or type, including public seizure and warrantless entry into homes. The six months in jail and $10,000 fine doesn't just apply to "pit bull" owners. Neither does the ability to seize any dog based on unproven complaints.
This government, along with certain municipalities that seem to have been encouraged and supported by the Attorney General's office, seems to be comprised of either out-and-out dog-haters or of spineless "yes men" (and women) who aren't willing to risk their political career in the Ontario Liberal Party in order to stand up for the province's dog owners.
Experts agree that, in the next two years, we will probably see additional changes to the Dog Owners' Liability Act that will make the current one seem mild.
We CANNOT allow this government to remain in office.
The other two major political parties in Ontario (Progressive Conservative and New Democrats) have said publicly and privately that they disagree with this law and that they would like to see it replaced with strict, no-nonsense legislation that targets the behaviour of irresponsible owners.Unlike the current legislation introduced by the McGuinty government, the approach suggested by the other parties has been proven to reduce dog bites.
While we wait for further decisions in higher courts, we MUST vote this government out of office on October 10.
If you are a dog owner, get out and vote. I don't care if you've never done it before. I don't care if you even know how to do it.
Call 1-888-668-8683, tell them where you live, and ask them to explain everything to you.
If you're not on the voters list, go to the Ontario Elections website to see what ID you need to just show up and vote. The link is
It's not hard, really.
If you really want to make a difference, vote strategically.
Find out who is your current Member of Provincial Parliament.
Use the Ontario Elections website to type in your postal code and find your electoral district. The link is:
Then go to the Ontario Legislature website and find your district in the list on the right. The link is:
Then click the member's name on the left to find out if they're Liberal, Conservative, or NDP.
If your current MPP is not Liberal, then vote for that same party again. The party previously elected in your riding is the most likely one to win again there.
If your current MPP is Liberal, then you can view the previous election at the Ontario Elections website. The link is:
If your riding was in a by-election since 2003, then check out the by-election results. Otherwise, look at the 2003 General Election results (Summary of Valid Ballots Cast for Each Candidate).
See which party was closest in votes below the winner and vote for that party.
Of course, you have to vote your conscience. If your political beliefs don't allow you to vote for Conservative, then vote NDP. Or vice versa.
Just don't vote Liberal.
Not if you love your dog and you care about your rights as a dog owner and as a Canadian citizen.
Because it's glaringly obvious that they sure as hell don't.
Rambled by Conners at Saturday, September 01, 2007