Pet Podcast #5 on Pets.ca – www.pets.ca
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In this podcast we talk about a few of the changes on Pets.ca including our new comment line which is 206-666-4187. That number can be called for free by using skype.
We also talk about BSL (Breed specific legislation) and the problems with it. We mention how difficult it is to pick out a pitbull from a line-up.
Please note that this is an audio transcription. grammar and punctuation may not be perfect.
::Dogs barking in the background::
Hi there everyone and welcome to Pets.ca podcast #5. My name is Marko and we are coming to you from Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Today is October 26, 2006. Wow! So, we have reached five episodes, which make it our wooden anniversary. Hopefully, one day we will be able to get to something a little more exciting like zinc, copper, aluminum or bauxite, but for now we will be happy with wood and we will accept any wedges or door stoppers that you may have lying around.
So, for today”s show we are going to talk about a few of the changes that we have made on Pets.ca including we now have our own blog. So, if you go to pets.ca/blog, our podcasts and our blog entries will be located there and you will be able to see a link from the nav bars located site wide as well. The blog will be undergoing some design changes, so if you notice stuff changing from day to day, well just enjoy it, enjoy the process, enjoy our discovery. Likewise we would also like to get on a tighter schedule so we are going to be doing this once every two weeks, that is our schedule for now, once very two weeks and they will usually be recorded every second Thursday and released either Friday or during the weekend.
Another thing which is very useful and we hope will become popular, is we have a comment line. We now have our own comment line, which means that we definitely appreciate the comments and we want people to call and tell us what they think about the show or give us suggestions for new shows, that number is 206-666-4187. That is 206-666-4187. That number is available in Canada and the US, though it is long distance if you do not live in Seattle. However, if you use something like Skype, Skype is free telephony through your computer, so if you have a headset, you could just pick one up on eBay for almost nothing and you download Skype at Skype.com, you could basically talk to anyone in the Canada or the US until the end of the year for nothing, which makes it oh so easy to leave those tasty comments on that comment line. That number again Marko is 206-666-4187. So, we certainly do hope that you try it out.
Speaking of comments, we are entering unchartered waters here because today for the first show I am actually going to give you some opinion and we are going to talk about something controversial. Well, perhaps not controversial to the people that visit the site, but maybe controversial to those that are new to the site. Today we are going to about BSL, and BSL stands for Breed Specific Legislation and it is something that is becoming really, really hot not just in Canada and the US, but in Europe as well and in quite a few countries. Recently, Ontario, a province in Canada, has passed laws that basically ban pit bulls, they ban breeds. Now, this is something that I just do not understand. It is something that I have a lot of trouble with and it is something that I have stayed quiet about, but basically what has been happening is certain breeds of dog are being put on this list. Right now the big craze is pit bulls. “We need to ban pit bulls. We need to ban pit bulls.” Again, why do we need to ban pit bulls?
Well, basically the thinking is because pit bulls have been known to harm other children and harm adults from time to time. We need to get rid of them and this is all the rage now. We need to get rid of pit bulls. I do not understand. Just a few years ago, Dobermans were so scary, now Dobermans are fine. Just a few years ago, German Shepherds were so scary, now German Shepherds are fine. All of a sudden, now we need to get rid of the pit bulls. Do not get me wrong, when a pit bull kills a child or, God forbid, kills an adult, there is something wrong with that pit bull, but the thing is what are you going to do? You are going to punish all pit bulls because of the deeds of a few? The slogan is very apt. Punish the deed, not the breed. Most pit bulls will never harm anyone. Most pit bulls are absolutely loving dogs. Most pit bulls will give you a lick in your face. They are loving dogs. Can they be aggressive toward other dogs? Yes, they can. Can they be — do they have the potential to be aggressive to other humans? Yes, they do, but so do Chihuahuas, so do Corgis, so do… Argh! Chihuahuas, Corgis, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, they all have the potential. All of these breeds have the potential to do bad. All dog breeds have the potential to do bad, but with the right amount of training, with responsible ownership, these things just almost never happen. I mean if all pit bulls were bad, yes, ban pit bulls. If a pit bull came and killed someone that I love, would I be upset? Yes, I would be upset, but I would not ban all pit bulls. If a green man comes from the sky and does something terrible, do we ban all green men? Do we say all green men are bad? Or do we say the green man, that green man, in particular, did a bad thing? Well, that is what we say. We do not go ahead and ban groups. Most pit bulls are nice. Most Rottweilers are nice. Do you want to take a chance and go up to a pit bull you do not know without the owner? No, of course not. You want to be responsible. We need to have the owners of these pets responsible. We cannot make breeds of dogs or groups of anyone or anything or any animal responsible. It is always about the dog owner. Are you going to leave a pit bull alone with a child? No, you should not leave a pit bull alone with a child. Are you going to leave a Chihuahua alone with a child? No, you should not be leaving a Chihuahua alone with a child also. If we are talking about dog bites and stuff like that, pit bulls bite way less than the smaller dogs. Many of the dogs that towns and countries are thinking of banning, these are the dogs that do not bite that frequently anyway. The problem is that a few of them have bitten people recently, a few deaths have happened. It is totally unfortunate and any rational person will tell you that they do not want to see anyone hurt by any dog, but the fact of the matter is if this is happening outside the rate of what is considered normal, well then this is overreacting.
Lately, I have a lot of personal experience with a lot of dogs and I am finding from my own personal experience that pit bulls are no more aggressive than any other dog. You get an aggressive owner with a pit bull, aahhh… There is an explosion waiting to happen because, yes, you can make certain breeds more aggressive than other breeds. Is the pit bull the only breed that is susceptible to this? Absolutely not, but pit bulls are all the rage these days for talking about what should be banned and what animals we can ban and how we can be safer. What is worse is that pit bulls are even hard to identify. You could look at a pit bull and say, “Maybe it”s a pit bull,” but maybe it is not a pit bull, maybe it looks like a lot of other dogs. In fact, I am going to post this thread that we had on the bulletin board where there is a group of, I do not know, about 16 or 20 dogs and you have to try and pick out the pit bull. It is really hard. So, what are you going to do, ban dogs that look like pit bulls? Well, in fact, that is what Ontario in particular is trying to do.
Let me read something. Actually, it is not trying to do it. It did it. “The Dog Owner”s Liability Act says that a pit bull includes a pit bull terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, an American Staffordshire terrier, an American pit bull terrier, or a dog with physical appearance that is “substantially similar” to any of those. Violations of the pit bull restraints law require the pit bull to be put down.” How are you going to differentiate between what normally are amazing dogs? It is almost impossible to differentiate and even if you could, it is the wrong approach. Not that he is God or anything like this, but he has more experience than I do, that is for sure. Cesar Millan, celebrity dog trainer to the stars, even he is against this because he knows that the breeds in particular are not rotten, it is usually the owners. Okay, actually the owners are not rotten. They are just irresponsible. They do not train properly. They do not supervise properly.
Well, according to Cesar Millan, “Ontario”s pit bull ban is an unfair law based on ignorance because getting rid of a breed of dog does not get rid of the problem.” Well, he is definitely right about that because very often what happens is people seek out aggressive dogs. So, if you ban one group of aggressive dogs or potentially “aggressive dogs,” people are just going to seek out different breeds of dogs. When you take your dog to obedience class and you are the leader, then the dog respects you as a leader and as long as you are not doing anything silly with that leadership role that you should take seriously, then the dog is going to behave. It is super, super rare that you get bad wired dogs just like it is super, super rare to get bad wired people. The vast, vast, vast, vast majority of all people on this planet are good and nice people and the vast, vast, vast, majority of all dogs including pit bulls are beautiful non-aggressive dogs. Problem is the world is a big place and there are a lot of dogs and a lot of people, so even a small percentage makes for a problem. What makes for a bigger problem is the media. In fact, I must say, I believe this whole hysteria is the media”s fault and I blame this all on OJ, Entertainment Tonight, the media as a whole, politicians. They are just getting unfair airplay. I mean how many times do we have to hear a story of pit bulls mauling people before we start thinking, “Oh my God, how many pit bull”s are mauling people? We have got to ban the pit bulls. The pit bulls are the problem. If only we could ban the pit bulls the world would be a beautiful safe place again.” Never happens. The problem is that pit bulls are not biting people crazy. The problem is, is that when it happens there is an explosion of stories about it on the internet, on the television, in the newspapers so that we think that it is a bigger problem than it is. It is the exact same thing with violence today. Most cities will tell you that the rates of violence have gone down, but you cannot turn on the news without seeing some type of terrible violence every single night. Why? Because if it bleeds, it leads and we want to sell airtime, we want to sell newspapers.
There we go. There we go, I said it. I do not understand it. I just do not understand it. It is another reason why I am glad that we have the comment line because I want people to enlighten me. I want people to enlighten our listeners. I want people to enlighten the people that visit our site. I would suggest to you that the vast majority of those people already kind of feel the way I feel, that it is the wrong approach, but if someone has a strong logical argument for BSL, I want to hear it. I want to learn. I am a curious person. So, again it is another reason why I am happy that we have started this comment line.
On that ranty note, we are going to end here. As I mentioned previously, we would very much appreciate comments through our new comment number, that would be amazing, or through the blog, pets.ca\\blog, or look out for the links or you can even do it through the podcast section on the bulletin board. We just want feedback, we just want feedback. We want to know if you are enjoying it, if you like this podcast more than others, if it had more opinion, more flavor. Oh, and there is one more thing I forgot to do and I am going to add that in now.
The commentary on this podcast is that of the host and does not necessarily represent the views of Pets.ca as a whole.
See you all again in two weeks and as usual please give your fur babies an extra little scratchy under the chin from Marko. Thanks, everyone and have a nice day.
::Dogs barking in the background::