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Bill tabled to repeal Ontario’s pit bull ban

November 18th, 2009, 04:15 PM

Jordana Huber, Canwest News Service
Published: Wednesday, November 18, 2009

More On This Story
Pit bulls to remain illegal in Ontario

Lawyer takes pit bull ban protest to Supreme Court

Ontario appeals court upholds ban on pit bulls
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Clayton Ruby

Cheri DiNovo

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Supreme Court of Canada

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Peter J. Thompson/National Post Lawyer Clayton Ruby (R) gets a kiss from pit bull "Ginger" as her owner Phillip Razac Huggins looks on, Jun. 17, 2009.
TORONTO - A private member's bill calling on Ontario to reverse its pit-bull ban was introduced Wednesday in the Ontario legislature.

New Democrat Cheri DiNovo said the government's ban on the dogs has had "no real impact" on public safety and should be repealed.

"It's the deed not the breed," Ms. DiNovo said Wednesday at Queen's Park where several dozen pit bull owners gathered for a rally. "It's not the breed of the dog that causes a dangerous dog."

In June, the Supreme Court of Canada declined to consider whether the four-year-old law is unconstitutional.

The Ontario Court of Appeal ruled last year the ban was not "arbitrary" or "grossly disproportionate" because pit bulls have a tendency to be unpredictable and even docile pit bulls may attack without warning or provocation.

Clayton Ruby, a lawyer for pit bull owner Catherine Cochrane, who challenged Ontario's ban, said he has exhausted legal avenues to fight the law.

"We are left arguing not about whether it is constitutional but whether it is sensible to do this," Mr. Ruby said. ".The craziness is in thinking that you can judge a dog's dangerousness by how he looks and that just is impossible."

Premier Dalton McGuinty said Wednesday the ban "upholds public safety."

The law banning the dogs was introduced in 2004 and passed in 2005 by then attorney general Michael Bryant following a spate of pit bull attacks in the province.

The Dog Owners' Liability Act prohibits pit bull terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, American pit bull terriers and any dog "that has an appearance and physical characteristics that are substantially similar."

Owners were allowed to keep dogs born before the ban, but the animals must be sterilized, muzzled and kept on a leash in public.

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November 18th, 2009, 07:16 PM
boy, would I ever be happy if this went through. what are the chances?

November 18th, 2009, 07:23 PM
If they have a bill on the table, it's time to write letters. Flood your representatives with letters. Don't just email--back it up with a paper copy. It makes a bigger impact.

November 18th, 2009, 07:30 PM
Here here! I will throw a party in the streets if that happens. It would really set an example to have on small step backwards on BSL.

People need more education when it comes to misunderstood breeds. I am proud momma of a goofy pitty named Mansa and I am happy to report that he is changing the world's view one person at a time. Dear Hubby bought into the horrible stereotype until I brought home an adorable brindle baby. He took one look and fell in love. Now, he is spreading the word that Mansa is loving and gentle. Seriously, this dog hasn't gotten over his jumping up yet... BUT has never jumped on a kid. He runs over and you can see him almost start to jump and then a lightbulb pops up above his head that sas, "Oh... this thing is smaller than me... I should be careful." He figured that out on his own. Even when he was little and mouthing everyone, he never put his teeth on our kids. I don't know why. He just seemed to know it wasn't ok.

The worst thing is that a lot of people who are trying to help keep shouting that "If you raise them correctly..." or "It's only the fighting bloodlines that turn..." Fact of the matter, they all have some sort of fighting in their past. It goes back to the butchers who would get together on the weekends for beers and argue that "my dog is better than yours." Also, it's not about raising them correctly... it's about not raising them incorrectly. You can take just about any dog and make them mean. They don't start out that way. You have to make them that way.

Everyone needs to be shouting that you can't train DNA. Just because I train the mother to eat cats, doesn't mean the puppies will pop out that way. Puppies come as a blank slate with a little bit of instinct that took eons to develope.

We need more education... But to get people educated, we have to get them to listen. I don't know how to do that. All I can do is introduce people to my dog and hope he changes their mind.

November 19th, 2009, 09:51 AM
I'll be drafting letters tonight :thumbs up

November 19th, 2009, 11:35 AM
We need more education... But to get people educated, we have to get them to listen. I don't know how to do that. All I can do is introduce people to my dog and hope he changes their mind.

Before passing this arcane law, they consulted with Veterinarians, Behavourists, OSPCA, CKC and probably some other Bodies, who all opposed it and they still went ahead :wall:

November 19th, 2009, 04:46 PM
I don't think it will go threw. Look at our Animal welfare/cruelty laws are. Until recently Ontario had the worst laws in all of Canada.

Pets and wildlife welfare and laws are on the bottom....unfortunatley. Do you know how long it takes just to process animal cruelty charges and in the end its a kick in the teeth. It's appauling.


November 19th, 2009, 05:07 PM
That's because all you have to do is show one picture of a hurt child, and the parents of the world demand blood. Parents get major tunnel vision when a child is hurt. I totally understand being upset about a dog bite, but once you get a parent in that state, it's really easy to stear them toward hatred of something specific. All you have to do is whisper in their ear that ALL these dogs are bad.

Then, they turn on the news and all they see are more problems with pitties. It's not because pitties are more dangerous. It's because they sell papers.

Did you know that ALL of the Michael Vick dogs are rehabilitated except for one. That one dog is being cared for until the end of his life at a rescue per judges orders. It's amazing to me that people overlook the fact that you can even rehab a former fighter to be a great pet.

Also, my Chi is more likely to bite someone (and sadly already has). He's a very scared little guy (just part of the breed, I guess) and has fear-bitten a friend. Everyone wrote it off as funny because the dog is little. If my pitty had done that, I'd be saying my goodbyes now.

Interesting info on dog bites...

And a fun Find The Bull site... I own one and it took me a couple tries...

I had a website that listed dog bites for 2007 or 2008 (I forget which) and had MANY breeds on it. For the life of me, I can't find it now. I will keep searching. Anyway, what I did notice in my search was that the term "pit bull TYPE" was used over and over. This is unfair for so many reasons, but the biggest being that there are soooo many breeds that look a lot like pitties. It's like comparing one large breed's statistics to ALL the small dogs put together. When you count all the dog bites for 30 different breeds and add them up, that number would have to be huge. Take a look at the find-the-bull website and you will see that its VERY easy to include all of these breeds under the "pit bull type" umbrella.

November 19th, 2009, 07:41 PM
When you craft your letters, concentrate less on the emotional and more on the logical reasons why the current law is bad. Pick one or two points to focus on -- if you have more, start new letters and have friends sign them. Unintended consequences, info on how bite statistics have (or haven't) changed, responsibility issues, etc, are all good topics -- stay focussed and businesslike and swamp them with letters. It worked here to get a very bad proposed bill quashed last year and led to the adoption this session of one that was much better. It can be done.

But if you go in saying it doesn't have a chance to pass and it'll never happen, it won't. :shrug:

November 20th, 2009, 08:21 PM
I wrote my MPP asking him to support the bill and this was his response:

Ms. Mathews: I thank you for taking the time to write to me about Ms. DiNovo's Private Members bill. At the moment I have not had an opportunity to review it but I will certainly do so. Depending on it's merits I will give your request the consideration it deserves before I cast my vote.

Thank you for taking the time to share your views with me.

Lou Rinaldi

Can anyone say "Don't hold your breath?"

November 20th, 2009, 08:31 PM
Keep it up. The more letters you throw at them, the better. Politicians get nervous when they get a lot of mail :D

November 20th, 2009, 08:32 PM
Oh, and the more different sigs you can get, the better. Don't be afraid to help your friends write letters, even if it means you have to do all the typing.

November 20th, 2009, 11:09 PM
Hazel is right .....most politicians only care if they are going to get re-elected so bombard them with as many emails as you can. :thumbs up

Good luck. :fingerscr :goodvibes: :goodvibes: