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Quadriplegic wins against council BSL

April 6th, 2005, 01:27 AM
This is a case l work on with the EDBA and the APTBC Australia.
It was a six month battle but we finally had a win, I took Justin story to the media and we were TV on several occassions.

Burleigh Heads man will fight the Gold Coast Council in court in what will become a test case over its new dog laws.

When Justin Taylor was battling depression after a surfing accident that left him a
quadriplegic, his dog Fonzie raised his spirits and took him through the tough
times. However, the 29 year old was devastated last month when he was told his beloved dog would be destroyed as the council believed it was a pit bull or pit bull
cross, a breed banned last year.

Mr Taylor yesterday insisted Fonzie was an American Staffordshire Terrier and said he would take the case to court to avoid his pet being killed.

"He's much more than a dog to me, he's is my best mate, " he said.

"These laws are a farce... he's a passive dog who has never hurt anyone.
He not a pit bull, l am 100 per cent certain."

The City councils tough laws came into effect in September 2003, prohibiting any new pit bulls being registered in the city.

Those already registered with the council were able to remain for life.

The ban by natural attrition is the result of Queensland Government Legislation
introduced in 2002, which list four restricted dog breeds.

Staffordshire Terriers are not a restricted breed, and if Mr Taylor's breeding claims are proved in court, the council will be forced to register Fonzie.

Fonzie was seized by the council on June 20 when he escaped from the garden, and Mr Taylor received a destruction order a few days later. He plans to use statutory declarations from his neighbors and animal experts to prove Fonzie is
not a pit bull.

Gold Coast Bulletin 14 th July 2004.


April 6th, 2005, 01:40 AM
Fonzie wins the day and his life

THE Gold Coast City Council's dangerous dog laws have been left wide open after a magistrate found major flaws in how breeds were identified.

Fonzie, the alleged pitbull terrier that has been on death row for four months, will be set free for a heart-warming reunion with owner Justin Taylor today, but the bigger picture should be of far more concern to the council.

Magistrate Jennifer Batts yesterday said she was not satisfied that the council's dog control officers had sufficient qualifications to determine the breed of suspected dangerous dogs.

Mr Taylor, a quadriplegic, went to court to win back his 'best mate' after Fonzie which Mr Taylor claims is actually a staffordshire terrier was picked up by animal control officers in July and identified as a pitbull, using a questionnaire-style criteria test.

The American pitbull is one of four types of dog banned on the Gold Coast.

Lawyers for Mr Taylor successfully argued the officers were hardly experts in identifying breeds of dogs and that the identification process itself was too open to interpretation.

The court was told the total training given to council officers in identifying dog breeds amounted to a one-day seminar, and a dog could be identified as 'dangerous' if it scored more than 70 per cent in a 16-point test.

That did not satisfy Ms Batts.

"She (council animal control officer Selina Neill) does not have either the experience, or the training, to qualify as an expert," said Ms Batts before quashing the destruction order.

Lawyers for Mr Taylor had brought along their own 'expert', a leading veterinary surgeon, but his testimony was noteven required.

Mr Taylor, who has relied on Fonzie's companionship since a surfing accident left him in a wheelchair five years ago, buried his head in his hands as the verdict was read out. He was overjoyed at the result.

"It's great. It's disappointing that we had to go through all this hassle to prove what I already knew, but I'm very happy," he said.

"I'm going to have my best mate by my side again. I will be there (to the pound) first thing in the morning to bring him home."

Acting for Mr Taylor, barrister Jack Pappas said the outcome showed there were serious problems with the council's protocol.

"The legislation is unworkable and it does not stand up under any sort of scrutiny," he said.

The decision could have far-reaching consequences for the council which has already put down more than 60 animals declared as dangerous dogs as yesterday's verdict opens the door for other dog owners to challenge the conclusion of animal control officers.

The council's director of community services, Colette McCool, said it was too early to speculate on any move to tighten procedures.

... catch up! Go Fonzie tybrax.

April 6th, 2005, 08:08 AM
"The legislation is unworkable and it does not stand up under any sort of scrutiny,"

Great to see you are makeing some good progress aganst BSL, I would imagine the same sort of thing is going to start happening here once the new law comes into full effect here. This is truely an unworkable law, and the truth will come out. I see that victory was based on lack of proof the dog was a pit, Hopefully the next victory will be there's no basess in fact for deeming all pits as vicious. Thanks for letting us know whats going on over there, we are all in this fight together.

April 6th, 2005, 11:29 AM
One more victory of the good guys!!!! hurray!!!

April 14th, 2005, 03:40 PM
Good job!
The only way people will listen is if you open their ears and scream as loud as you can.

April 14th, 2005, 05:53 PM
Happy Days for Fonzie. :thumbs up

April 15th, 2005, 09:24 AM
That's excellant. As a side note, does Bryant time-travel? I mean, he said that Ontario was leading the way? Isn't it tough to lead if you aren't the first ones? Whatever.

This is good news. I have yet to see any place where BSL has stood up in court.

April 15th, 2005, 10:24 AM
This is good news. I have yet to see any place where BSL has stood up in court.

Actually, the District Court just ruled that Denver's Pit Bull ban was legal, giving them the right to ignore the law passed by the Governor that disallowed BSL in Colorado ... :mad:

April 15th, 2005, 10:27 AM
Actually, the District Court just ruled that Denver's Pit Bull ban was legal, giving them the right to ignore the law passed by the Governor that disallowed BSL in Colorado ... :mad:

Oh... :(

April 15th, 2005, 01:19 PM
The worst part of that is that owners' have 30 days to get their Pits out of the city before the mass extermination begins ...

April 15th, 2005, 06:19 PM
Not even a grandfathering clause? Or did that happen before the first appeal?

April 15th, 2005, 06:45 PM
Grandfathering would introduce pits into a city that should of been pretty much free of them long ago if the ban wasn't overturned. Each year they find hundreds of pits in the city. Then when the ban was overturned by the state they probably got more coming in. Now that the State lost they want them out. Then again the state could appeal.