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Open letter to all regarding the BAN!

October 16th, 2004, 06:19 PM
If I were able to state my opinion in front of those who seek to ban my beloved dog based on his breed here is what I would say to them.

I would like to say that Iím very upset at the fact that the media and our government have taken it upon themselves to segregate an entire community based on the ownership of a particular breed of dog. Not only have our dogs been punished but also the owners have been made to feel like second-rate citizens in their own communities.

The Attorney General and the media would have the population of Ontario believe that the average American Pit Bull Terrier is a loaded weapon ready to go off. But statistically speaking the dog most likely to bite you are poodles. The Attorney General would also like you to believe that all American Pit Bull Terriers are programmed only to kill. Yet the fact is that the overwhelming majority of Canadian citizens that own an American Pit Bull Terrier have taken the time to properly care for and train their chosen animal companion. The Attorney General would like you to believe that every time you walk down a street that all dogs that resemble the American Pit Bull Terrier are a potential threat to you health and safety. Iíd like to know where the Attorney General is getting these facts and Iíd like to see them for myself in order to gain a proper understanding of his claims.

The fact is that the responsible owners of the American Pit Bull Terrier are model citizens who take pride in their companion animal. The average American Pit Bull Terrier is a loving obedient dog that only seeks to please their owners. Tragically the only picture that the media and the Attorney General continually paint is a dog that is vicious from the day itís born. That in the simplest of terms is just not true. It is true that this particular breed has been taken advantage of for personal financial gain. It is true that criminals keep these dogs for unlawful purposes like fighting for profit. It is also true that these criminals teach their dogs to be vicious. However, are we to understand that this is the dogís fault? Or should we be asking why are these criminals not being brought to justice? If the correlation between a dangerous dog and the criminal factor is an equal one then perhaps we should be investigating the fact that the real threat is from crime and not a particular breed of dog. With real crime running rampant is our city streets it seems that the Attorney General isnít focusing on the real issues.

We should also question the inevitable results of such a ban. How will the government deal with the new influx of dogs in Ontario kennels? Who will be financially responsible for the added burden of keeping all the dispossessed animals? What will happen once the over flow cannot be managed? Will the dogs be euphonized? How would you justify that to a public who does not agree with such practices? Some might argue that such large numbers of dogs wonít be turned in to kennels, but the fact is that our Humane Society is already struggling with a large volume of unwanted animals. On top of that the Humane Society does not support the ban. Finally, how will the Ontario government compensate those Canadian citizens who have to deal with the oppressive views cast upon them and their companion animal? For there is no doubt that the Attorney General paints the owner with the same brush as the breed.

Many large organizations do not support the Attorney Generalís views. For instance the Veterinarian Association is against a ban. Along with the Humane Society and the Dog Breeders Association. All these organizations are on the forefront of dealing with dogs and their true personalities on a daily basis. Yet they do not believe a ban would serve as a proper tool in dealing with problem dogs. Still with that solid and proven knowledge base the Attorney General insists that a ban is the proper measure needed in dealing with aggressive animals. Why isnít the Attorney General taking these organizations point-of-view seriously? Why does the Attorney General consistently ignore statistical data that proves that the American Pit Bull Terrier is not a ticking time bomb?

This assault on our American Pit Bull Terriers seems to be a personal crusade against the breed. I believe the Attorney Generalís personal views together with his unsubstantiated fear of the American Pit Bull Terrier is creating laws that will limit our personal freedoms as owners and as citizens of Canada. Our right to live without prejudice in our communities has clearly been undermined. The Attorney Generalís hatred of a breed has targeted us in campaigns of fear. Every time I walk down the street I notice that more and more people treat me as a second rate citizen because I happen to own and love my American Pit Bull Terrier. Officials were put in office to protect our rights and freedoms not to destroy them and create second rate citizens in the process.

The Attorney General has unfairly targeted a group of people, real people who are upstanding citizens, in his fight to wipe a breed of animal off the face of Ontario and eventually Canada. Not only will the breed suffer but also the owners are and will be marginalized in respect to freedoms and rights. We must fight this sort of oppression not only for our dogs but also for ourselves as citizens of a democratic society. By accepting a ban we are accepting that the government can and will marginalize your rights as Canadian citizens. We must fight this train of thought in our society because it only leads to farther reaching bans that will effect more and more responsible and law abiding citizens. I say lets look at the real issues facing our provinces and our country as a whole. Imagine if the Attorney General focused this much energy on the homeless issue in Toronto. Real people live and die on the street because of problems in our social systems. Yet the Attorney General would rather have the public fear and hate pit bulls. Again I urge you to do your own research regarding dog bites in Ontario and Canada. I urge you to see for yourself what the experts are saying about a ban. I urge you to make your own voices heard. If it happens in Ontario then it will happen in the rest of the country. Your large breed dog will be next on the list. Fight for your rights as a Canadian citizen and as a person who believes in true justice and law reform.

Fear is not an excuse for ignorance!

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