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Ottawa: candlelight vigil against BSL Sunday at 8 p.m.

August 25th, 2005, 01:36 PM
Owners barking mad at ban on pit bulls


Squibs Mercier, 81, and her Staffordshire Terriers, puppy Regina Victoria, left, and Duchess,13, sit at their Ottawa home. The province’s tough new pit bull law takes effect Monday. (Geoff Robins, SUN)

Local pit bull owners aren't rolling over and showing their bellies. They're fighting back.

Squibs Mercier, 81, dubbed the matriarch of Staffordshire bull terrier enthusiasts in Canada, shares her Lincoln Fields home with Duchess, 13, and puppy Regina Victoria.

She'll be at a candlelight vigil against the breed ban Sunday at 8 p.m. at the Human Rights Monument. It's being organized by the National Capital Coalition for People and Dogs.

She's also part of a lawsuit led by Toronto civil rights lawyer Clayton Ruby, arguing that the law violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.


"I've had Staffordshires all my life. I will never go without them," Mercier vowed. "We are responsible dog owners. We have a right to defend our innocence."

She has an unlikely ally in Susan Echlin.

Echlin's young son, Justin, was attacked by local man Schridev Cafe's trio of pit bull mixes and was just barely rescued by his teenage brother.

But Echlin doesn't think the ban will make kids safer. Instead, she favours mandatory spaying and neutering and lifetime ownership bans for irresponsible and abusive owners.

"Bad dog behaviour is a result of poor ownership," she said. "I think the poor owners will switch to another breed. It smacks of a simplistic solution. You affect only a few dog owners, not the real problem."
Next story: Pilot escapes jet crash

August 25th, 2005, 01:37 PM

In opposition to the implementation of Bill 132,
the loss of personal freedoms,
and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of dogs
because of fear and ignorance

Sunday, August 28, 2005
8:00 p.m.

Human Rights Monument
(Corner of Elgin and Lisgar Streets)

Candles and song sheets provided
Responsible dog owners and sociable, leashed dogs are welcome
Contributions accepted for the Bill 132 Legal Defence Fund

Hosted by
National Capital Coalition for People and Dogs
For more information contact

August 25th, 2005, 02:05 PM
Same time. Queens Park for the Toronto crowd.

BTW: Dalton McGuinty has assured us that Toronto is still safe.

August 25th, 2005, 02:20 PM
BTW: Dalton McGuinty has assured us that Toronto is still safe.
I sure hope it is! I am nervous as it is about going there on Sunday! :(

August 29th, 2005, 08:21 AM
Wish I could have been there (was in Long Sault working at the dog show), how did it go??