Friday, October 30, 2009

Free, mandatory dog tags will take a bite out of taxpayers' pockets.

Here's an interesting publication I found in The Age Dispatch.

In London, I pay $20 annually for a cat tag for Enok. He is strickly an indoor cat, but ACC told me that "if accidently" your cat gets out, it has ID for them to return the cat home. I've always bought these cat tags since the by-law first came out quite a few years ago for every cat I've owned.

First of all, a cat collar is dangerous if it got caught on a branch or anything and could choke your cat. Now they make collars that if that were to happen, it has a release and would fall off the cat.

All this is well and fine, but if kitty did happen to disappear, how is ACC going to find your cat without the tag?

Not so long ago, I coluldn't find Enok anywhere in my small apartment. I searched everywhere, calling for him to no avail.

I searched all 3 floors of the halls in the building and even knocked on doors. NO ENOK!

I searched outside EVERYWHERE and asked Enok!

I was about to make some lost cat posters, but wanted to call ACC first. I was told that unless cats are microchipped or tattooed, they do not even take information on your cat.

I had just hug up the phone and guess who came out to see me? You guessed it. Enok was napping somewhere while I was franticly trying to find him. BratCAT!

My point is if that's the case, why are we paying a yearly fee for a worthless cat tag?

Dog licensing I totally understand and approve of...even though Shasta is also microchipped. Manditory for the Pit bull breeds.

As far as taxpayers paying for other peoples pooches, I believe that should be up to the responsible dog owner or they shouldn't be allowed a dog.

There are resourses that people can turn to that may be low income and not able to pay the full ammount, but can make payments back as can be afforded. I see no reason why taxpayers should have to pay unless this is towards a rescue or animal care group.

Free, mandatory dog tags will take a bite out of taxpayers’ pockets
Posted By BY DEBORA VAN BRENK, Sun Media

Free, mandatory dog tags will take a bite out of taxpayers’ pockets as Strathroy-Caradoc becomes the first in Ontario to link the full cost of animal control to everyone.

“Everybody pays. No matter whether you have a pet or never had a pet, you will use this service,” whether it’s to retrieve a lost cat or complain about a barking dog, said Strathroy-Caradoc Mayor Mel Veale.

“It's a total municipal responsibility for animal control.”

Now, tags cost $20 to $35 a year per dog, but animal control officer Gertie Dieleman often has had to make as many as four visits to collect fees on one license. It’s both a waste of her time and a confrontation waiting to happen, Veale said.

“I didn’t hire her to be a (bill) collector. I hired her to protect the welfare of animals,” he said.

The tags will still be mandatory for dogs and, in a new step, will be voluntary for cats starting Jan. 1, 2010.

Additional cost to the taxpayer will be about $7 per household. Each already pays about $2.50 a year to cover animal control costs not covered by dog-licensing fees.

“Boy, it’s going to take a load off my back,” said Dieleman, who also operates Animal Care Centre Lobo. “For over 30 years I’ve been licensing dogs and it’s been great for 80 percent to 90 percent of dog owners.”

For a small minority, though, she has on occasion had to call police for support.

“I have been quite intimidated in situations where I was worried for my safety.”

She said council’s decision is a philosophical shift that ensures more animals can be found and returned if lost or hurt.

Names, addresses and breed types will be entered into the shelter’s database so the pet can be returned to its owner if the animal has a tag, she said.

Administrative costs should also drop because people will be able to apply for tags online and at various stores, rather than Dieleman having to visit and collect from each delinquent pet owner. The tags will also be valid for the pet’s lifetime instead of needing annual renewal.

There are 3,000 licensed dogs and 6,000 households in the municipality. Dieleman said it’s likely that eliminating tag fees will bring to light more dogs that have been unlicensed.

The total cost of animal control there is about $85,000 a year.

Those who argue they shouldn’t pay because they don’t have a pet are overlooking all the other things they pay for – skateboard parks, traffic lights – that may apply only to some residents but are also for the general good, said township clerk Angela Toth.

Other elements of the animal control bylaw, such as muzzle orders and the process for complaining about barking dogs, remain in effect, she said.

Strathroy-Caradoc Council has debated the issue for about two years. The bylaw passed in a special committee-of-the-whole session Monday night by a 5-3 vote.

Veale said some other municipalities have taken on licensing, but none that he knows of has decided to spread the costs among all taxpayers.

In London, about half the cost of animal control comes from dog-license fees and half from taxpayers, said Jay Stanford, head of environmental services.

Rather than drop dog fees, the city is looking to expand its reach with better ways to control cat numbers. Mississauga, for example, now has a bylaw requiring cats to be microchipped so they can be returned to their homes if found.

Gerry Nicicholls: Ontario learns to distrust its ban-happy Premier

There might be hope for us yet now that the eyes of the Ontario people eyes are opening. If this happens, we may even be able to eliminate the horrible Pit bull Ban while we're at it.

While our court fight ended against all we believed and we were in disbelief of the outcome, our fight has never ended. Could this finally be our redemption? Hopefully.

Gerry Nicholls: Ontario learns to distrust its ban-happy Premier
Posted: October 28, 2009, 1:20 PM by NP Editor
Full Comment, Gerry Nicholls, Canadian politics

Something strange is going on in the world of Ontario politics.

Ontarians are suddenly getting passionate.

And this is a big change; for years political passion of any kind was lacking in Ontario.

Simply put, nobody seemed to care what was happening at the provincial government level.

This in turn translated into a political dynamic where there was no desire to keep the governing Liberals in power and no desire to drive them out. The Liberals were just there, unloved but also unhated.

This state of affairs, by the way, suited Premier Dalton McGuinty just fine.

In fact, his mind-numbing governing style seemed designed to keep Ontario voters in a catatonic state.

He stayed away from controversial or sweeping changes and settled down to mainly banning things – he banned using cell phones while driving, he banned pit bulls, he banned smoking in cars, and in the process tried to ban any sense of personality responsibility.
And it worked.

McGuinty and his boring, banning Liberals won a landslide majority in the last election and since then had maintained a huge lead in public opinion polls --- until now.

Things are changing. All of a sudden, Ontarians are turning on the Liberals.

According to a recent Environics Poll Liberal support now stands at 32 percent of decided voters which is down a whopping 12 points since June. Meanwhile the usually sad-sack Opposition Progressive Conservatives have surged ahead of the Liberals and stand at 37 per cent support.

What happened?

Well the McGuinty Liberals have taken some real hits lately: the ehealth scandal, ministerial resignations, the mushrooming provincial deficit, embarrassing Auditor-General reports, an unpopular HST and then there’s the millstone of his unpopular federal Liberal cousins.

All of this, of course, helps to explain McGuinty’s poor poll numbers.

But maybe something else is at work. Maybe Ontarians are just waking up and recognizing their leader for what he truly is: a lacklustre politician, who wants to make government bigger and more costly, who wants to make taxes higher and who consistently meddles in people's lives.

If this keeps up and if the polls continue to show a drop in Liberal support, Premier McGuinty will have only one choice, he will have to ban opinion polls

National Post

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Repealing the Pit Bull Ban « Randy Hillier for Leader

Repealing the Pit Bull Ban

The Ontario Legislation Banning specific Breeds was passed by the Liberals in reaction to sensationalized dog bites. The Liberals rushed this legislation through without addressing the root cause – irresponsible dog owners – and unfairly targeted and branded Pit Bulls and other large dogs.

The Liberal’s have put every dog breed is at risk of being banned in Ontario as long as this law exists.

The effect of the law is that it unjustly targets responsible dog owners and brands Pit Bulls and other larger doges as dangerous when all responsible dog owners know this is false and does nothing to advance public safety.

As the Premier of this Province and owner of “Robbie” (a Pitt Bull mix) I will overturn this specific breed ban. I will work in cooperation with groups like the CKC and other dog clubs have, to get this legislation overturned

I will do my part to assist them to overturn this unjust law and protect people’s freedom to own dogs while protecting the public from people who own or train dogs in a manner that is dangerous to the public.


On June 9, 2008 Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality Gerda Verburg (Netherlands) announced the ban on Pit Bulls will be cancelled before the end of the year. The reason for this was that there was no reduction of biting incidents with dogs since Pit Bulls were banned. The ban was installed in 1993 after three biting incidents where three children were killed.1 New rules will no longer select on breed or Molosser looks but require a behaviour test for any large dog that shows signs of aggression2

  1. “Dutch government to lift 25-year ban on pit bulls”. Retrieved on 2008-12-25.
  2. Dutch news site mentioning the end of the Pit Bull ban on June 9, 2008

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Deadly dog attacks have come to this: Ban pit bulls statewide
by The Bay City Times
Sunday April 19, 2009

We have had it with vicious dogs in Michigan, particularly the types known as pit bull terriers.

Ban the breeds.

Dogs have mauled four people to death in Michigan since September. Pit bulls severely mauled two people in Saginaw County last month. A Bay City man wrote in the People's Forum on this page to thank passersby for rescuing him and his dog last month from two attacking pit bulls in the city's South End. Fed up with the danger, a Saginaw man is trapping stray pit bulls in his neighborhood.

Just last week, sheriff's deputies killed on the spot three vicious dogs - described as a Australian shepherd-blue heelers mix - suspected in the death of a 41-year-old Huron County man. In September, a Rottweiler killed a 4-month-old girl in Warren. A day later, two American bulldogs attacked and killed two people in Livingston County. In 2006, a Hamtramck couple's two pit bulls killed their 6-year-old daughter.

It's a rampage of horror by animals that are supposed to be pets.

Vicious dogs have no place in society.

There would be a great hue and cry for action if these deadly attacks had come from wild animals.

Yet, bizarrely, we tolerate dog breeds among us that we know are selected, bred and raised to be stone killers.

No more.

A statewide ban on pit bull breeds and harsh penalties for the owner of any dog that mauls a human are in order.

Pit bull owners and admirers will say, as they have when a few Michigan municipalities started such bans, that it isn't fair to pick on a certain breed of dog.

Oh yes it is.

The frightening reputation of pit bulls didn't just pop out of nowhere.

Pit bull terriers are fighting dogs. Often, they are raised for illegal dog fights. Too many owners mistreat them into meanness for a twisted, macho-man display. Pit bulls are the tough-guy dog of choice.

Raised in cruelty, dogs can and do grow into vicious killers.

Four-legged sticks of dynamite that explode into attack mode if anything lights their fuse.

The flip side, of course, is that many pit bull owners are kind to their pets. Their dogs are well-mannered and friendly. We've met some of them; nice dogs.

So why not just ban vicious dogs, and not pick on pit bulls?

It's easier to spot the breed, which has a known history of mistreatment and killing, than the behavior. By the time a person discovers a dog is vicious, they're already under attack.

A pit bull ban isn't a novel idea. That great nation of dog lovers, the United Kingdom, outlawed "bully" breeds in 1991. The Canadian province of Ontario, our neighbors, banned the breed in 2005.

In contrast, scattered municipal ordinances in Michigan are all bark, with little bite.

Enact a statewide ban. Model it on Ontario's or the UK's. Responsible owners of docile pit bulls might be allowed to have their pets tested for aggression, registered and microchipped.

It's too bad that it has come to this for pit bulls, the poor things. Almost any dog, including this breed, can be bred and raised into a great pet or working companion - or both.

But this dog has been abused. Through society's and breeders' failure to police the breed, its reputation for savagery now precedes it.

Ban the breed. And aggressively prosecute the owner of any vicious dog, of any type.

Some dog owners will howl in outrage.

Consider, though, the price of doing nothing. Four dead in Michigan, in eight months. Killed by "pets."

That's the outrage.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Dog owners seeks Supreme Court challenge to Ontario's pit-bull ban

Dog owner seeks Supreme Court challenge to Ontario’s pit-bull ban

April 16, 2009
TORONTO — The lawyer for a pit-bull owner fighting Ontario’s ban on the dogs is hoping the Supreme Court of Canada will reverse a decision allowing the law to stand.

Civil rights lawyer Clayton Ruby has filed an application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court on behalf of Toronto dog owner Catherine Cochrane asking for a review of an Appeal Court decision last October that upholds the province’s ban.

“It’s important to take every step we can against breed-specific legislation which assumes that it’s the nature of the breed that creates danger when in fact it’s the owners who create danger,” Ruby said today.

“There are some people who want dangerous dogs. If you ban one breed, they’ll be quickly on to another.”

The Appeal Court concluded in October that pit bulls are dangerous and unpredictable dogs that have the potential to attack without warning.

Ruby is challenging that ruling, arguing the court failed to focus on whether the law was too broad and was also wrong in upholding a provision that allows veterinarians to determine whether the dog is in fact a pit bull.

He said that provision unfairly reverses the presumption of innocence.

“We’re raising constitutional issues,” Ruby said. “We think the law is too vague.

The whole definition of what’s a pit bull leaves it open to huge doubt, and that’s contrary to our constitutional guarantees.”

The Ontario government enacted the Dog Owners’ Liability Act in 2005 to ban the breeding, sale and ownership of pit bulls after several incidents in which the dogs attacked people.

The law survived a constitutional challenge in March 2007, with some changes ordered. At the time, it was decided that a ban on “pit-bull terriers” was unconstitutionally vague because it didn’t refer to a specific type or breed of dog.

The Appeal Court disagreed, restoring the law to the form in which it was enacted and stating the ban on the breed did not violate any constitutional rights.

After that October ruling, Ruby began considering an appeal to the Supreme Court.

“There is no scientific or statistical basis to conclude that dogs captured by the definition of ‘pit bulls’ are more dangerous than other dogs,” Ruby wrote in his submission to the Supreme Court.
“No studies have been done on the origins or characteristics of the dog population in Ontario in general or on the behavioural trends of dogs captured by the definition of ‘pit bulls’ in the act.”

Crown experts who have testified about dog bites in the U.S. “readily admitted that they were not familiar with the Canadian situation and that there was little or no data, let alone scientific study, done on the Canadian situation,” he added.

Ruby acknowledged it will be difficult to get the Supreme Court to hear the case since it only takes on about 75 cases a year, but he said all legal channels must be explored.

“It will affect an undoing of the ban if we’re right,” Ruby said.

Ontario Attorney General Chris Bentley declined to comment on the matter, saying it is before the courts.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Clayton Ruby seeks leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada regarding the Ontario pit-bull ban

Clayton Ruby seeks leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada regarding the Ontario pit-bull ban

TORONTO, April 16 /CNW/ - Civil rights lawyer Clayton Ruby has filed an
application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada on behalf of
dog owner, Catherine Cochrane, regarding the Ontario government's law banning
pit-bulls: the Dog Owners' Liability Act.

On October 24, 2008, the Court of Appeal for Ontario released its
decision dismissing Ms. Cochrane's appeal and allowing the Ontario
government's cross-appeal. As a result, all of the amendments to the Dog
Owners' Liability Act introduced back in 2005 were upheld, even those that the
trial judge, Justice Herman, originally struck down.

Mr. Ruby is now asking the Supreme Court of Canada to review this case on
five grounds:

(1) the Court of Appeal set the bar too low for the government
in defending the constitutionality of legislation by only requiring the
government to adduce "some evidence" of the harm the legislation is intended
to address;

(2) the Court of Appeal failed to focus on whether the law is
overbroad in "some applications", which is all that is required;

(3) the Court
of Appeal considered the likelihood that individuals will be imprisoned for
violating the law, which is an irrelevant factor in the analysis;

(4) the
Court of Appeal failed to appreciate what degree of guidance a law must
provide in order to not be impermissibly vague; and

(5) the Court of Appeal
erred in upholding the part of the law that allows a veterinarian's
certificate to constitute proof that the dog is a pit bull in the absence of
evidence to the contrary, a provision which unfairly reverses the presumption
of innocence.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pit bulls are Ticking Time Bombs

While Monique Tamminga is a reporter and graduated her college journalism program, it goes to show in this editorial that the need to research a subject isn't necessary. She is adding fuel to an already out of control fire and the bans play out further and further as she sputters out her spew of utter nonsense that many people reading with no factual knowledge of the breeds are learning from.

In MY opinion, I believe Ms Tamminga would be better off as a fictional writer where no research is involved and not influencing people with her ignorance. It was by this very logic from Michael Bryant that the Ontario's Pit bull Ban first originated.

When it comes to ammunition they speak to who ever can support their theory rather than allowing opposing experts in this field have their say. Talk about pick and choose and we in Ontario with our wonderful family members pay the price same as we do by losing socialization skills and get cut out of simple doggy pleasures, such as running for a ball or gnawing on a fallen branch.

Those with 6 foot secure fences around their property are not as secluded and some more fortunate than others to have multi dogs at home to play with even if in the house, if not outside. But then there are some of us that are not allowed and living in rental units. We are all that the dog has and many of us feel so badly that we aren't allowed to offer our dogs more without breaking laws and bylaws. This in itself is heart breaking without hearing and reading more propaganda designed to scare people of some very wonderful and misrepresented breeds.

It doesn't shock me that Tamminga graduated from a journalism program as she represents a vast majority of reporters dishing out the same old fictional crap. Matter of fact, as I read this I felt like I had read it a thousand times before. Change a sentence or two, always mention where prior bans are and add a little detail (just a tad) to make it sound original. Oh, and adding proven myths are always a grabber.

Pit bulls are ticking time bombs? I'm really beginning to think like they do and sterio typing reporters.

My headlines,
REPORTERS ARE TICKING TIMES BOMBS and should be banned due to the severe damage they cause to the minds of innocent victims!

Monique Tamminga - Langley Times
Monique Tamminga has been a reporter with The Langley Times since 2000. She covers Langley City, courts and news. She is a graduate of the Langara College journalism program.
Langley Times

Pit bulls are ticking time bombs

Published: April 14, 2009
Editorial – Just as gun advocates say ‘guns don’t kill people, people kill people,’ now pit bull advocates are preaching their mantra – ‘it’s not the breed, it’s the owner’ – after a three-year-old boy was mauled in an unprovoked attack, and a Maple Ridge mother was bitten by a pit bull running loose on a trail. She likely will lose full use of her fingers.

Along with these terrible tales come renewed calls to ban the breed just as countries across the world have done, as well as the province of Ontario and the city of Winnipeg. Prohibiting the sale of pit bulls is something the province should consider.

A dog bite by a golden retriever and an attack by a pit bull produce very different results.

A pit bull locks on to its prey, and even a crow bar can’t always unlock the death grip it can have on someone’s face, arm or leg.

Here’s another reason: When have you ever heard of a pack of labradoodles roaming the streets, then all of sudden turning on an unsuspecting person for a full-out attack?

Pit bull advocates are right: It’s not the breed – it is the owners.

Putting political correctness aside, people who gravitate toward this breed are often the very ones who turn pit bulls into walking time bombs.

People buy this breed to feel tough, to intimidate, to use the breed as guard dogs for drug houses. Most buy this breed and fulfill the stereotype, sorry to say.

Most pit bulls around town don a spiked collar, only furthering their fearful reputation.

It’s often a wonder if pit bull owners get off on watching people walk to the other side of the road. Nothing spoils a fun day at the off-leash park like a pit bull and a bad owner coming out to play.

Then there are those who adopt pit bulls because they have an innate need to save this breed from damnation. Owners of all aggressive breeds are the problem.

But just as we can’t oversee every gun owner to make sure he or she is a responsible person, we can’t trust every pit bull owner to raise these potentially vicious dogs right. The province recently banned the ownership of exotic and wild animals. They should do the same for pit bulls for the same reasons.

A ban won’t stop dog bites from happening, but it will stop bad people from rearing ticking time bombs.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Protect dogs from heartworm disease with perventative screening

I found this article in the Toronto Community News and thought I'd send you the reminder since it's that time of year where the weather is warming and vacation time is nearing. Let's keep our fur-kids healthy!

Protect dogs from heartworm disease with preventative screening
March 18, 2009 3:43 PM

Dear UrbanAnimal

Each spring I receive a letter from my vet clinic reminding me about heartworm prevention for my three dogs and two cats. And every spring I wonder why I'm spending the money. How
prevalent is this disease in this part of the world?


There were 272 heartworm-positive dogs reported in Ontario in 2006. A small number considering the cost of prevention, isn't it? It's important to keep in mind, however, this number was reported by only one blood diagnostic laboratory and, currently, only 25 per cent of owners choose to have their dogs tested for this deadly disease.

While I was unable to find more current statistics based on results from all the labs in Ontario, it's that 25 per cent that keeps leaping out at me. Heartworm disease was first reported in the U.S. in the late 1800s and now, more than 100 years later, it's almost an epidemic in some southern states. Even with all of our knowledge about this disease, only one out of four dogs in the U.S. is tested. Although I couldn't find similar statistics for Canada, it's probable the same ratio applies here. Cats are susceptible to heartworm disease, too. Feline heartworm infection is thought to be at a rate of five to 15 per cent of the dog population.

According to the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA), heartworms are large roundworms that live in the right side of the heart and the blood vessels that supply the lungs, surviving on nutrients they steal from the dog's bloodstream. They can grow to a length of 15 to 30 centimetres and in a severe case, a dog may be infested with hundreds of worms.

Heartworm is transmitted via mosquito, which is why pet owners in southern Ontario receive a heartworm blood test in early spring when mosquitoes begin hatching. A preventive treatment is administered at the start of the season and ends when cooler weather causes mosquitoes to die off. In warmer climates, dogs are kept on heartworm prevention throughout the year. It's extremely dangerous to give heartworm preventive products to an animal who is already infected. That's why Ontario veterinarians screen each animal for existing heartworm prior to administering the preventive medication.

Heartworm larvae are picked up by a mosquito that bites an infected animal. It then bites an unaffected animal, effectively depositing the larvae directly into its bloodstream. Newly affected animals will not show signs of the disease until the larvae grows to its adult stage and enters the animal's pulmonary artery and right side of the heart. Initial symptoms include: persistent cough, lethargy, reduced appetite and weight loss. Advanced symptoms include: enlargement of the liver, abnormal heart rhythm, excessive fluid in the abdominal cavity and loss of consciousness. Affected animals can be treated, but unfortunately, complications from the cure can be toxic. Yes, the treatment can be as deadly as the disease, which is why veterinarians insist pre-screening be performed.

Your veterinarian will send your pet's blood sample to a veterinary laboratory to screen for existing heartworm. If nothing is found, your vet will choose the best preventive product to suit your pet's age, weight and any pre-existing medical conditions. There are several products available and all are administered by the owner at home at specific intervals. Take caution. These meds are prescribed according to the animals' weight and type. Sharing isn't allowed. Your veterinarian will label each product to be given to each animal in your household. Another note of caution is a small number of animals who have been on these products have tested positive for heartworm on their next annual blood screening. One reason is that no product can be 100 per cent effective, but the main reason may be owner error in administration. Read the package instructions carefully and if you have any questions, contact your veterinarian.
Call me paranoid, Gene, but regardless of the reportedly small number of heartworm cases in Ontario (and I suspect the real number is much larger), I'll always opt for preventive measures. It's the 'pay now or pay later' scenario that causes me to have all my animals tested annually and preventive action taken as soon as that first mosquito hatches each spring.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What Pit Bulls Can Teach us About Profiling

This article is from the DogMagazine.Net.

What Pit Bulls Can Teach us About Profiling
February 19, 2009 by No Author
By Malcolm Gladwell.


One afternoon last February, Guy Clairoux picked up his two-and-a half-year-old son, Jayden, from day care and walked him back to their house in the west end of Ottawa, Ontario. They were almost home. Jayden was straggling behind, and, as his father's back was turned, a pit bull jumped over a back-yard fence and lunged at Jayden. "The dog had his head in its mouth and started to do this shake," Clairoux's wife, JoAnn Hartley, said later. As she watched in horror, two more pit bulls jumped over the fence, joining in the assault. She and Clairoux came running, and he punched the first of the dogs in the head, until it dropped Jayden, and then he threw the boy toward his mother. Hartley fell on her son, protecting him with her body. "JoAnn!" Clairoux cried out, as all three dogs descended on his wife. "Cover your neck, cover your neck." A neighbor, sitting by her window, screamed for help. Her partner and a friend, Mario Gauthier, ran outside. A neighborhood boy grabbed his hockey stick and threw it to Gauthier. He began hitting one of the dogs over the head, until the stick broke. "They wouldn't stop," Gauthier said. "As soon as you'd stop, they'd attack again. I've never seen a dog go so crazy. They were like Tasmanian devils." The police came. The dogs were pulled away, and the Clairouxes and one of the rescuers were taken to the hospital. Five days later, the Ontario legislature banned the ownership of pit bulls. "Just as we wouldn't let a great white shark in a swimming pool," the province's attorney general, Michael Bryant, had said, "maybe we shouldn't have these animals on the civilized streets."

Pit bulls, descendants of the bulldogs used in the nineteenth century for bull baiting and dogfighting, have been bred for "gameness," and thus a lowered inhibition to aggression. Most dogs fight as a last resort, when staring and growling fail. A pit bull is willing to fight with little or no provocation. Pit bulls seem to have a high tolerance for pain, making it possible for them to fight to the point of exhaustion. Whereas guard dogs like German shepherds usually attempt to restrain those they perceive to be threats by biting and holding, pit bulls try to inflict the maximum amount of damage on an opponent. They bite, hold, shake, and tear. They don't growl or assume an aggressive facial expression as warning. They just attack. "They are often insensitive to behaviors that usually stop aggression," one scientific review of the breed states. "For example, dogs not bred for fighting usually display defeat in combat by rolling over and exposing a light underside. On several occasions, pit bulls have been reported to disembowel dogs offering this signal of submission." In epidemiological studies of dog bites, the pit bull is overrepresented among dogs known to have seriously injured or killed human beings, and, as a result, pit bulls have been banned or restricted in several Western European countries, China, and numerous cities and municipalities across North America. Pit bulls are dangerous.

Of course, not all pit bulls are dangerous. Most don't bite anyone. Meanwhile, Dobermans and Great Danes and German shepherds and Rottweilers are frequent biters as well, and the dog that recently mauled a Frenchwoman so badly that she was given the world's first face transplant was, of all things, a Labrador retriever. When we say that pit bulls are dangerous, we are making a generalization, just as insurance companies use generalizations when they charge young men more for car insurance than the rest of us (even though many young men are perfectly good drivers), and doctors use generalizations when they tell overweight middle-aged men to get their cholesterol checked (even though many overweight middle-aged men won't experience heart trouble). Because we don't know which dog will bite someone or who will have a heart attack or which drivers will get in an accident, we can make predictions only by generalizing. As the legal scholar Frederick Schauer has observed, "painting with a broad brush" is "an often inevitable and frequently desirable dimension of our decision-making lives."

Another word for generalization, though, is "stereotype," and stereotypes are usually not considered desirable dimensions of our decision-making lives. The process of moving from the specific to the general is both necessary and perilous. A doctor could, with some statistical support, generalize about men of a certain age and weight. But what if generalizing from other traits—such as high blood pressure, family history, and smoking—saved more lives? Behind each generalization is a choice of what factors to leave in and what factors to leave out, and those choices can prove surprisingly complicated. After the attack on Jayden Clairoux, the Ontario government chose to make a generalization about pit bulls. But it could also have chosen to generalize about powerful dogs, or about the kinds of people who own powerful dogs, or about small children, or about back-yard fences—or, indeed, about any number of other things to do with dogs and people and places. How do we know when we've made the right generalization?


In July of last year, following the transit bombings in London, the New York City Police Department announced that it would send officers into the subways to conduct random searches of passengers' bags. On the face of it, doing random searches in the hunt for terrorists—as opposed to being guided by generalizations—seems like a silly idea. As a columnist in New York wrote at the time, "Not just 'most' but nearly every jihadi who has attacked a Western European or American target is a young Arab or Pakistani man. In other words, you can predict with a fair degree of certainty what an Al Qaeda terrorist looks like. Just as we have always known what Mafiosi look like—even as we understand that only an infinitesimal fraction of Italian-Americans are members of the mob."

But wait: do we really know what mafiosi look like? In "The Godfather," where most of us get our knowledge of the Mafia, the male members of the Corleone family were played by Marlon Brando, who was of Irish and French ancestry, James Caan, who is Jewish, and two Italian-Americans, Al Pacino and John Cazale. To go by "The Godfather," mafiosi look like white men of European descent, which, as generalizations go, isn't terribly helpful. Figuring out what an Islamic terrorist looks like isn't any easier. Muslims are not like the Amish: they don't come dressed in identifiable costumes. And they don't look like basketball players; they don't come in predictable shapes and sizes. Islam is a religion that spans the globe.

"We have a policy against racial profiling," Raymond Kelly, New York City's police commissioner, told me. "I put it in here in March of the first year I was here. It's the wrong thing to do, and it's also ineffective. If you look at the London bombings, you have three British citizens of Pakistani descent. You have Germaine Lindsay, who is Jamaican. You have the next crew, on July 21st, who are East African. You have a Chechen woman in Moscow in early 2004 who blows herself up in the subway station. So whom do you profile? Look at New York City. Forty per cent of New Yorkers are born outside the country. Look at the diversity here. Who am I supposed to profile?"

Kelly was pointing out what might be called profiling's "category problem." Generalizations involve matching a category of people to a behavior or trait—overweight middle-aged men to heart-attack risk, young men to bad driving. But, for that process to work, you have to be able both to define and to identify the category you are generalizing about. "You think that terrorists aren't aware of how easy it is to be characterized by ethnicity?" Kelly went on. "Look at the 9/11 hijackers. They came here. They shaved. They went to topless bars. They wanted to blend in. They wanted to look like they were part of the American dream. These are not dumb people. Could a terrorist dress up as a Hasidic Jew and walk into the subway, and not be profiled? Yes. I think profiling is just nuts."


Pit-bull bans involve a category problem, too, because pit bulls, as it happens, aren't a single breed. The name refers to dogs belonging to a number of related breeds, such as the American Staffordshire terrier, the Staffordshire bull terrier, and the American pit bull terrier—all of which share a square and muscular body, a short snout, and a sleek, short-haired coat. Thus the Ontario ban prohibits not only these three breeds but any "dog that has an appearance and physical characteristics that are substantially similar" to theirs; the term of art is "pit bull-type" dogs. But what does that mean? Is a cross between an American pit bull terrier and a golden retriever a pit bull-type dog or a golden retriever-type dog? If thinking about muscular terriers as pit bulls is a generalization, then thinking about dangerous dogs as anything substantially similar to a pit bull is a generalization about a generalization. "The way a lot of these laws are written, pit bulls are whatever they say they are," Lora Brashears, a kennel manager in Pennsylvania, says. "And for most people it just means big, nasty, scary dog that bites."

The goal of pit-bull bans, obviously, isn't to prohibit dogs that look like pit bulls. The pit-bull appearance is a proxy for the pit-bull temperament—for some trait that these dogs share. But "pit bullness" turns out to be elusive as well. The supposedly troublesome characteristics of the pit-bull type—its gameness, its determination, its insensitivity to pain—are chiefly directed toward other dogs. Pit bulls were not bred to fight humans. On the contrary: a dog that went after spectators, or its handler, or the trainer, or any of the other people involved in making a dogfighting dog a good dogfighter was usually put down. (The rule in the pit-bull world was "Man-eaters die.")

A Georgia-based group called the American Temperament Test Society has put twenty-five thousand dogs through a ten-part standardized drill designed to assess a dog's stability, shyness, aggressiveness, and friendliness in the company of people. A handler takes a dog on a six-foot lead and judges its reaction to stimuli such as gunshots, an umbrella opening, and a weirdly dressed stranger approaching in a threatening way. Eighty-four per cent of the pit bulls that have been given the test have passed, which ranks pit bulls ahead of beagles, Airedales, bearded collies, and all but one variety of dachshund. "We have tested somewhere around a thousand pit-bull-type dogs," Carl Herkstroeter, the president of the A.T.T.S., says. "I've tested half of them. And of the number I've tested I have disqualified one pit bull because of aggressive tendencies. They have done extremely well. They have a good temperament. They are very good with children." It can even be argued that the same traits that make the pit bull so aggressive toward other dogs are what make it so nice to humans. "There are a lot of pit bulls these days who are licensed therapy dogs," the writer Vicki Hearne points out. "Their stability and resoluteness make them excellent for work with people who might not like a more bouncy, flibbertigibbet sort of dog. When pit bulls set out to provide comfort, they are as resolute as they are when they fight, but what they are resolute about is being gentle. And, because they are fearless, they can be gentle with anybody."

Then which are the pit bulls that get into trouble? "The ones that the legislation is geared toward have aggressive tendencies that are either bred in by the breeder, trained in by the trainer, or reinforced in by the owner," Herkstroeter says. A mean pit bull is a dog that has been turned mean, by selective breeding, by being cross-bred with a bigger, human-aggressive breed like German shepherds or Rottweilers, or by being conditioned in such a way that it begins to express hostility to human beings. A pit bull is dangerous to people, then, not to the extent that it expresses its essential pit bullness but to the extent that it deviates from it. A pit-bull ban is a generalization about a generalization about a trait that is not, in fact, general. That's a category problem.


One of the puzzling things about New York City is that, after the enormous and well-publicized reductions in crime in the mid-nineteen-nineties, the crime rate has continued to fall. In the past two years, for instance, murder in New York has declined by almost ten per cent, rape by twelve per cent, and burglary by more than eighteen per cent. Just in the last year, auto theft went down 11.8 per cent. On a list of two hundred and forty cities in the United States with a population of a hundred thousand or more, New York City now ranks two hundred-and-twenty-second in crime, down near the bottom with Fontana, California, and Port St. Lucie, Florida. In the nineteen-nineties, the crime decrease was attributed to big obvious changes in city life and government—the decline of the drug trade, the gentrification of Brooklyn, the successful implementation of "broken windows" policing. But all those big changes happened a decade ago. Why is crime still falling?

The explanation may have to do with a shift in police tactics. The N.Y.P.D. has a computerized map showing, in real time, precisely where serious crimes are being reported, and at any moment the map typically shows a few dozen constantly shifting high-crime hot spots, some as small as two or three blocks square. What the N.Y.P.D. has done, under Commissioner Kelly, is to use the map to establish "impact zones," and to direct newly graduated officers—who used to be distributed proportionally to precincts across the city—to these zones, in some cases doubling the number of officers in the immediate neighborhood. "We took two-thirds of our graduating class and linked them with experienced officers, and focussed on those areas," Kelly said. "Well, what has happened is that over time we have averaged about a thirty-five-per-cent crime reduction in impact zones."

For years, experts have maintained that the incidence of violent crime is "inelastic" relative to police presence—that people commit serious crimes because of poverty and psychopathology and cultural dysfunction, along with spontaneous motives and opportunities. The presence of a few extra officers down the block, it was thought, wouldn't make much difference. But the N.Y.P.D. experience suggests otherwise. More police means that some crimes are prevented, others are more easily solved, and still others are displaced—pushed out of the troubled neighborhood—which Kelly says is a good thing, because it disrupts the patterns and practices and social networks that serve as the basis for lawbreaking. In other words, the relation between New York City (a category) and criminality (a trait) is unstable, and this kind of instability is another way in which our generalizations can be derailed.

Why, for instance, is it a useful rule of thumb that Kenyans are good distance runners? It's not just that it's statistically supportable today. It's that it has been true for almost half a century, and that in Kenya the tradition of distance running is sufficiently rooted that something cataclysmic would have to happen to dislodge it. By contrast, the generalization that New York City is a crime-ridden place was once true and now, manifestly, isn't. People who moved to sunny retirement communities like Port St. Lucie because they thought they were much safer than New York are suddenly in the position of having made the wrong bet.

The instability issue is a problem for profiling in law enforcement as well. The law professor David Cole once tallied up some of the traits that Drug Enforcement Administration agents have used over the years in making generalizations about suspected smugglers. Here is a sample:

Arrived late at night; arrived early in the morning; arrived in afternoon; one of the first to deplane; one of the last to deplane; deplaned in the middle; purchased ticket at the airport; made reservation on short notice; bought coach ticket; bought first-class ticket; used one-way ticket; used round-trip ticket; paid for ticket with cash; paid for ticket with small denomination currency; paid for ticket with large denomination currency; made local telephone calls after deplaning; made long distance telephone call after deplaning; pretended to make telephone call; traveled from New York to Los Angeles; traveled to Houston; carried no luggage; carried brand-new luggage; carried a small bag; carried a medium-sized bag; carried two bulky garment bags; carried two heavy suitcases; carried four pieces of luggage; overly protective of luggage; disassociated self from luggage; traveled alone; traveled with a companion; acted too nervous; acted too calm; made eye contact with officer; avoided making eye contact with officer; wore expensive clothing and jewelry; dressed casually; went to restroom after deplaning; walked rapidly through airport; walked slowly through airport; walked aimlessly through airport; left airport by taxi; left airport by limousine; left airport by private car; left airport by hotel courtesy van.

Some of these reasons for suspicion are plainly absurd, suggesting that there's no particular rationale to the generalizations used by D.E.A. agents in stopping suspected drug smugglers. A way of making sense of the list, though, is to think of it as a catalogue of unstable traits. Smugglers may once have tended to buy one-way tickets in cash and carry two bulky suitcases. But they don't have to. They can easily switch to round-trip tickets bought with a credit card, or a single carry-on bag, without losing their capacity to smuggle. There's a second kind of instability here as well. Maybe the reason some of them switched from one-way tickets and two bulky suitcases was that law enforcement got wise to those habits, so the smugglers did the equivalent of what the jihadis seemed to have done in London, when they switched to East Africans because the scrutiny of young Arab and Pakistani men grew too intense. It doesn't work to generalize about a relationship between a category and a trait when that relationship isn't stable—or when the act of generalizing may itself change the basis of the generalization.

Before Kelly became the New York police commissioner, he served as the head of the U.S. Customs Service, and while he was there he overhauled the criteria that border-control officers use to identify and search suspected smugglers. There had been a list of forty-three suspicious traits. He replaced it with a list of six broad criteria. Is there something suspicious about their physical appearance? Are they nervous? Is there specific intelligence targeting this person? Does the drug-sniffing dog raise an alarm? Is there something amiss in their paperwork or explanations? Has contraband been found that implicates this person?

You'll find nothing here about race or gender or ethnicity, and nothing here about expensive jewelry or deplaning at the middle or the end, or walking briskly or walking aimlessly. Kelly removed all the unstable generalizations, forcing customs officers to make generalizations about things that don't change from one day or one month to the next. Some percentage of smugglers will always be nervous, will always get their story wrong, and will always be caught by the dogs. That's why those kinds of inferences are more reliable than the ones based on whether smugglers are white or black, or carry one bag or two. After Kelly's reforms, the number of searches conducted by the Customs Service dropped by about seventy-five per cent, but the number of successful seizures improved by twenty-five per cent. The officers went from making fairly lousy decisions about smugglers to making pretty good ones. "We made them more efficient and more effective at what they were doing," Kelly said.


Does the notion of a pit-bull menace rest on a stable or an unstable generalization? The best data we have on breed dangerousness are fatal dog bites, which serve as a useful indicator of just how much havoc certain kinds of dogs are causing. Between the late nineteen-seventies and the late nineteen-nineties, more than twenty-five breeds were involved in fatal attacks in the United States. Pit-bull breeds led the pack, but the variability from year to year is considerable. For instance, in the period from 1981 to 1982 fatalities were caused by five pit bulls, three mixed breeds, two St. Bernards, two German-shepherd mixes, a pure-bred German shepherd, a husky type, a Doberman, a Chow Chow, a Great Dane, a wolf-dog hybrid, a husky mix, and a pit-bull mix—but no Rottweilers. In 1995 and 1996, the list included ten Rottweilers, four pit bulls, two German shepherds, two huskies, two Chow Chows, two wolf-dog hybrids, two shepherd mixes, a Rottweiler mix, a mixed breed, a Chow Chow mix, and a Great Dane. The kinds of dogs that kill people change over time, because the popularity of certain breeds changes over time. The one thing that doesn't change is the total number of the people killed by dogs. When we have more problems with pit bulls, it's not necessarily a sign that pit bulls are more dangerous than other dogs. It could just be a sign that pit bulls have become more numerous.

"I've seen virtually every breed involved in fatalities, including Pomeranians and everything else, except a beagle or a basset hound," Randall Lockwood, a senior vice-president of the A.S.P.C.A. and one of the country's leading dogbite experts, told me. "And there's always one or two deaths attributable to malamutes or huskies, although you never hear people clamoring for a ban on those breeds. When I first started looking at fatal dog attacks, they largely involved dogs like German shepherds and shepherd mixes and St. Bernards—which is probably why Stephen King chose to make Cujo a St. Bernard, not a pit bull. I haven't seen a fatality involving a Doberman for decades, whereas in the nineteen-seventies they were quite common. If you wanted a mean dog, back then, you got a Doberman. I don't think I even saw my first pit-bull case until the middle to late nineteen-eighties, and I didn't start seeing Rottweilers until I'd already looked at a few hundred fatal dog attacks. Now those dogs make up the preponderance of fatalities. The point is that it changes over time. It's a reflection of what the dog of choice is among people who want to own an aggressive dog."

There is no shortage of more stable generalizations about dangerous dogs, though. A 1991 study in Denver, for example, compared a hundred and seventy-eight dogs with a history of biting people with a random sample of a hundred and seventy-eight dogs with no history of biting. The breeds were scattered: German shepherds, Akitas, and Chow Chows were among those most heavily represented. (There were no pit bulls among the biting dogs in the study, because Denver banned pit bulls in 1989.) But a number of other, more stable factors stand out. The biters were 6.2 times as likely to be male than female, and 2.6 times as likely to be intact than neutered. The Denver study also found that biters were 2.8 times as likely to be chained as unchained. "About twenty per cent of the dogs involved in fatalities were chained at the time, and had a history of long-term chaining," Lockwood said. "Now, are they chained because they are aggressive or aggressive because they are chained? It's a bit of both. These are animals that have not had an opportunity to become socialized to people. They don't necessarily even know that children are small human beings. They tend to see them as prey."

In many cases, vicious dogs are hungry or in need of medical attention. Often, the dogs had a history of aggressive incidents, and, overwhelmingly, dog-bite victims were children (particularly small boys) who were physically vulnerable to attack and may also have unwittingly done things to provoke the dog, like teasing it, or bothering it while it was eating. The strongest connection of all, though, is between the trait of dog viciousness and certain kinds of dog owners. In about a quarter of fatal dog-bite cases, the dog owners were previously involved in illegal fighting. The dogs that bite people are, in many cases, socially isolated because their owners are socially isolated, and they are vicious because they have owners who want a vicious dog. The junk-yard German shepherd—which looks as if it would rip your throat out—and the German-shepherd guide dog are the same breed. But they are not the same dog, because they have owners with different intentions.

"A fatal dog attack is not just a dog bite by a big or aggressive dog," Lockwood went on. "It is usually a perfect storm of bad human-canine interactions—the wrong dog, the wrong background, the wrong history in the hands of the wrong person in the wrong environmental situation. I've been involved in many legal cases involving fatal dog attacks, and, certainly, it's my impression that these are generally cases where everyone is to blame. You've got the unsupervised three-year-old child wandering in the neighborhood killed by a starved, abused dog owned by the dogfighting boyfriend of some woman who doesn't know where her child is. It's not old Shep sleeping by the fire who suddenly goes bonkers. Usually there are all kinds of other warning signs."


Jayden Clairoux was attacked by Jada, a pit-bull terrier, and her two pit-bull–bullmastiff puppies, Agua and Akasha. The dogs were owned by a twenty-one-year-old man named Shridev Café, who worked in construction and did odd jobs. Five weeks before the Clairoux attack, Café's three dogs got loose and attacked a sixteen-year-old boy and his four-year-old half brother while they were ice skating. The boys beat back the animals with a snow shovel and escaped into a neighbor's house. Café was fined, and he moved the dogs to his seventeen-year-old girlfriend's house. This was not the first time that he ran into trouble last year; a few months later, he was charged with domestic assault, and, in another incident, involving a street brawl, with aggravated assault. "Shridev has personal issues," Cheryl Smith, a canine-behavior specialist who consulted on the case, says. "He's certainly not a very mature person." Agua and Akasha were now about seven months old. The court order in the wake of the first attack required that they be muzzled when they were outside the home and kept in an enclosed yard. But Café did not muzzle them, because, he said later, he couldn't afford muzzles, and apparently no one from the city ever came by to force him to comply. A few times, he talked about taking his dogs to obedience classes, but never did. The subject of neutering them also came up—particularly Agua, the male—but neutering cost a hundred dollars, which he evidently thought was too much money, and when the city temporarily confiscated his animals after the first attack it did not neuter them, either, because Ottawa does not have a policy of preëmptively neutering dogs that bite people.

On the day of the second attack, according to some accounts, a visitor came by the house of Café's girlfriend, and the dogs got wound up. They were put outside, where the snowbanks were high enough so that the back-yard fence could be readily jumped. Jayden Clairoux stopped and stared at the dogs, saying, "Puppies, puppies." His mother called out to his father. His father came running, which is the kind of thing that will rile up an aggressive dog. The dogs jumped the fence, and Agua took Jayden's head in his mouth and started to shake. It was a textbook dog-biting case: unneutered, ill-trained, charged-up dogs, with a history of aggression and an irresponsible owner, somehow get loose, and set upon a small child. The dogs had already passed through the animal bureaucracy of Ottawa, and the city could easily have prevented the second attack with the right kind of generalization—a generalization based not on breed but on the known and meaningful connection between dangerous dogs and negligent owners. But that would have required someone to track down Shridev Café, and check to see whether he had bought muzzles, and someone to send the dogs to be neutered after the first attack, and an animal-control law that insured that those whose dogs attack small children forfeit their right to have a dog. It would have required, that is, a more exacting set of generalizations to be more exactingly applied. It's always easier just to ban the breed.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Diane Mufson: Reputation shows pit bulls don't make good family pets

It's faulty journalism such as this, even though it is based on opinion of the author, is just the thing that fuels the bad reputation of the Pit bull breeds. Irresponsible opinions without doing proper research on the topic is how the general public get brainwashed instead of informed properly. This is exactly why the Pit bull breeds continue to fear those that read articles like this.

Diane Mufson: Reputation shows pit bulls don't make good family pets
The Herald-Dispatch

Pit bulls, which may be known for aggressive behavior or viciousness, are under laws restricting ownership in Britain, Ontario and Miami-Dade County in Florida. Because of this, they may not make the ideal family pet.

February 18, 2009 @ 07:55 PM
The Herald-Dispatch

The selection of a dog as a family pet has been in the news lately as President Obama's family tries to choose the right pup for the Obama girls. It's clear from their deliberations and a variety of news reports that all breeds of dogs are not equally good as family pets.

Having owned three wonderful dogs of different breeds (two were recognizable breeds) and being a frequent admirer of dogs and puppies, I believe it's obvious that despite the all important training and care, the breed of a dog has much to do with the animal's demeanor.

No breed or mix of breeds can be guaranteed as ideal for a family pet, but some are clearly better than others. Yet some folks who want a family pet insist that a pit bull or other breed known for aggressive behavior or viciousness is a fine choice for a home with young children. It isn't.

While some carefully raised pit bulls may grow up to be good pets, reports of pit bulls attacking people, especially young children and infants, occur often enough to be a valid concern around the globe. Some countries and metropolitan areas forbid pit bulls and similar breeds to reside in their community.

Breed-specific legislation causes many pit bull lovers grief because they insist that pit bulls are rarely dangerous. While there are some well-trained pit bulls that may be safe for adults who know how to handle them, there must be some reason why Britain, Ontario, Miami-Dade County in Florida and other communities restrict ownership of this breed. Australia, Germany, Israel and New Zealand prohibit importing pit bulls.

In recent months, this newspaper reported that a young girl in Ironton was mauled by the family's pit bull. And in 2005, a 2-year-old Huntington girl was violently and fatally attacked by the same breed of dog.

Pit bulls sometimes receive unusual publicity. In December 2008, The Herald-Dispatch ran an Associated Press story about a burlesque dancer that said, "It's no accident that her fellow burlesque dancers and pinup models feel a kinship with pit bulls. 'They're people who chose to be on the outside and do it their way, who are used to being the underdog.' "

Dogs need to be chosen on more than just an emotional identity.

The tendency for pit bulls to become vicious has been observed in varying situations. And while there must be some golden labrador, beagle or other generally child-friendly breed to show similar behaviors, these episodes appear rare. Many groups that compare dogs place pit bulls No. 1 on the most dangerous breed list.

One of the hallmarks of pit bulls is that when they bite, they hold on to the object they have sunk their teeth into, making it very difficult to extricate a person, but especially a child, from their jaws. No doubt that reputation led to the phrase "a pit bull with lipstick" during the 2008 presidential campaign.

Having a dog in the family can be a wonderful experience, but the breed or breeds should be carefully chosen. Pit bulls are not the ideal animal for families with children or those who live close to or interact frequently with young people. Evidence of past attacks and restrictions on owning pit bulls in various communities and countries attests to widespread problems with this breed.

Diane W. Mufson is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Huntington. She is a former citizen member of The Herald-Dispatch editorial board and a regular contributor to the Herald-Dispatch editorial page.
Her e-mail is

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dog invades home through cat door

There are questions going through my brain that just doesn't make sence with this story in The Sault Star.

First of all, what is a Pit bull type dog?

Secondy, how does a dog the size of a Pit bull breed manage to fit through a cat door? I used one many years ago so the cats could eat in peace, plus it had a large area for the litter boxes in there too. We had a pup and even the pup was too large to fit through it. Purhaps a minature poodle or a small breed dog could fit, but certainly not anything larger.

What about the drunken man carrying a leash? Was he not interviewed?

It goes on to say how badly the cat was hurt, but kennel costs for keeping the cat overnight, plus the examination costs alone are sizable. The cat was released the next day. Was this then an exaggeration by the reporter?

The mother got bit on the hand. If she put her hand out to stop the chase, I wouldn't doubt that she did get bit or if she tried to grab the dog.

The little girl had minor scratches. Was she scratched by the dog or the cat as I'm sure she paniced and tried to save her cat, but that's just my own theory. I couldn't image her running after a strange dog, nor would her mother allow it, you wouldn't think.

Taking all this into consideration, does any of this make sense to you either?

Dog invades home through cat door

A dog that sneaked into a home through a cat door bit a woman on the hand and attacked the family's pet feline before it was eventually forced into a bathroom and locked inside.

The incident occurred when a mother and her adult daughter were asleep at their home in Rockford, Ont., just south of Owen Sound.

The pit bull-type dog inflicted minor injuries on the daughter, while the cat was more seriously hurt, Ontario Provincial Police Const. Steve Starr said Monday.

"The cat had to be kept overnight at the vet's office, and apparently the bill for its care is quite sizable,'' Starr said.

After the women managed to lock the dog inside the bathroom, they called police. "That's where it was when the officers arrived on scene,'' Starr said.

Police later came across a severely intoxicated man carrying a leash near the home, but there was no word on whether any charges would be laid. Starr said there has been an odd run of animal occurrences in the area in the last two weeks.

"First we had a llama escape; it still hasn't been found,'' he said. "Then we had someone steal a bunch of show rabbits. Now this.''

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Monday, February 02, 2009

Mayor's husband faces multiple charges after two vehicle collisions

London's Major Anne Marie DeCicco-Best is very outspoken when it comes to woman abuse. I contacted her through email to tell her my story and how a very special dog named Shasta gave me back my life again and how. I then told her Shasta was one of the Pit bull breeds banned here in Ontario.

I was trying to explain that it's not the breed, but the owners of dogs that should be responsible and London's by-law was too severe that not only are they following the provincial law exactly, but have also included that you may NOT bring your Pit bull breed into London, Ontario unless you purchase a London Pit bull license for your visit.

If you are unfamiliar with this bylaw, ACC can take your dog from you and we all know what happens to the Bullie breeds once they go into ACC. Basically, your dog now has a life sentence on it and you can be fined up to $10,000 and/or up to 6 months in jail.

Once the major heard I had an APBT, she replied in a very cold manner that she was very sorry to hear about my past and glad that I had moved forward, but her views on Pit bulls were still the same.

Well Mrs. DeCicco-Best, more drunk drivers kill people than all dogs breeds put together, let alone the Pit bull breeds. Why is there not a ban on drunk drivers? Why are you not responsible for your husbands actions, just as owners of the Pit bull breeds are fully responsible that the Pit bull breeds are not entitled to make any mistakes as other breeds of dogs are?

Why did your husband Tim not have to spend the night in the drunk tank like other drunken people brought into custody? How did he get the privilege to be released until his hearing? Does City Hall pull strings for their own, but not for the rest of London's citizens and who ARE the council staff suppose to be working for? If your answer isn't for the citizens of London, you still aren't getting it.

I had to fight you, City Hall and ACC just to have Shasta recognized as a certified service dog in London for a couple of years even after she was legally certified.

You may be humiliated for your husbands actions and I'm sure strings will be pulled so your name and his will be pulled out of the muck very soon. You and the rest of London's staffers put my mind, body and health into complete stress and pain while I had to fight you for something that proved was already mine.

I hope MAD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers) rake you and Tim over the coals just as you did me and you both pay the price severely.

To see this article and responses you will find them in

Mayor's husband faces multiple charges after two vehicle collisions
Febuary 2, 2009

The husband of London Mayor Anne Marie DeCicco-Best is facing several charges after police say the SUV he was driving was involved in two collisions near Dorchester, Saturday (Jan. 31).

Timothy Best, 47, who married London's mayor in 2006 and is the owner of the downtown London establishment Friday Knight Lights, has been charged with failure to remain at the scene of an accident causing bodily harm, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, impaired operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm and two related charges.

At around 7 p.m., Middlesex OPP received reports of a Chevrolet Avalanche involved in not one, but two collisions: the first on Highway 401 near Putnam Road and the second on Dorchester Road.

The 40-year-old female driver of the first vehicle struck was transported to hospital with what police described as non life-threatening injuries. No other injuries occurred as a result of the collisions.

Police said the SUV was traveling west on the 401 when it struck a vehicle and continued driving, fleeing the scene.

Residents in the area followed the fleeing SUV and watched as it struck a second vehicle on Dorchester Road, police said.

The driver exited the vehicle and proceeded to flee on foot, but was tracked by police and arrested without incident. One officer suffered minor injuries during the pursuit, police said.

Best was released from custody and is scheduled to appear in a London court on March 24.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

January 22nd Update with Supreme Court... on home stretch... please help and cross post!

January 22nd UPDATE:

From the CKC website:

We've raised $61,715 to date with only $5,285 to go!

We've got 10 days left and with your generous help and support, we can make it happen.
We're so close and a big thank you to all that have donated to bring us to this point.

If you can find it in your hearts and wallets to get us through our final amount, you will be one of the many that has made our fight in court possible.

Supreme Court.. on the home stretch.. please help and cross post!


The constitutional challenge to represent the collective, national interest of responsible dog owners, is in dire straits.

We are $67,000 short of being able to get our voices heard in Canada's highest court, the Supreme Court.

We have been granted an extension to come up with this amount,but just till the end of January 2009.

BIG BROTHER ,DAVID AND GOLIATH On-SCARIO ( AKA Ontario, Canada ) has flagrantly wasted tax payers dollars to act as Goliath against our David ( Banned Aid Coalition ) to ban any "substantially similar" dogs to the banned pure bred dogs, Am Staffs,Staffie Bulls and AM.PBT.


Over 4000 dogs dead, yes even puppies folks.

In essence, the Ontario government has taken over our Pedigree Act and has decided what breeds and mixes thereof will live, drive through or visit within its boundaries. It simply doesn't matter whether you like the bully dogs. It is now a matter of sending a message to government we are no longer willing to allow politicians to sacrifice the lives of innocent dogs.



PAY PAL. Please go to and click on the "Donate!" link for the Pay Pal tool.

You can also make an online payment from your financial institution's website by sending a bill payment to

Send cheques or money orders directly to Mr Ruby at the following address,
Ruby & Edwardh
11 Prince Arthur Ave.
Toronto, Ont.M5R 1B2
416 964 9664

On behalf of the BANNED AID COALITION----- THANK YOU !