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Old May 24th, 2005, 12:13 PM
JenSteele JenSteele is offline
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Now My Dog is a Pitbull and has to die?

Today, we had a visit from the Kitchener-Waterloo Humane Society. Not because our dog bit anyone. Not because our dog barked at anyone. Not because our dog did anything to anyone. A person in our neighbourhood who isn't particually fond of anyone, called the Humane Society and told them that we had a pitbull. We've been told we have to kill or move our dog.

When we first got the dog, Lily, we had our concerns when a person at Petcetera asked if she's a pitbull. So we called the Humane Society of Kitchener Waterloo and they said "If she ends up being classified as a pitbull you'll have to spay her, have a locator chip put in her, have her restrained and muzzled when she's outside, and allow unannounced visits to your home by the Humane Society to ensure you stay in complience." We then had her seen by 3 different vets, to be really safe, and all came back as lab cross or lab/boxer, no staff no pitbull anywhere on the papers.

When the humane society showed up at our door taking pictures of our dog and saying she has to be moved out of province or destroyed because they - the Humane Society - are calling her a pitbull on a neighbours complaint, we were completely blown away. We told the moron who said the word destroyed with a smile on her face that we've had 3 vets classify her to be sure, her response was "Vet's will put anything down anything you tell them to."

So now, a dog that we love dearly, who is gentle, good with kids and all people, wags just because the sun came up, is going to be shipped away or destroyed because the Humane Society thinks vets lie for a living.

Can anyone point me to any body, group, something in Ontario who will help us fight for our dog's life?

Much appreciated.
Jen

Last edited by JenSteele; May 24th, 2005 at 12:37 PM.
  #2  
Old May 24th, 2005, 12:18 PM
kayla kayla is offline
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what an aweful story i don't know much about the laws but i didn't think pit bulls had to be "destroyed", i thought they just had to be muzzled when outdoors? hopefully someone here can help you out better than me. good luck!
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Old May 24th, 2005, 12:20 PM
Trinitie Trinitie is offline
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This really breaks my heart. Can anyone in Ontario point her in the right direction??
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Old May 24th, 2005, 12:21 PM
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OMG!!! I can't believe this. First off, I'm so sorry for your situation - this is horrible.

Is your dog registered with the city?? Are you located right in Kitchener? I think there is a ban on Pit Bulls in Kitchener and if your dog was not registered before this took effect, you may have no options but to move.

With the new ban for all of Ontario, any dog that looks like a Pit, will automatically be condemned until they get the their ***** together as who can identify what breed a dog is or isn't unless you have a pure bred whatever WITH registration papers and the bloodlines.
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Old May 24th, 2005, 12:21 PM
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This is ridiculous. I just read in the paper this morning about a family, that owns a 13-year-old APBT, which they have to give over to the municipality to be destroyed because that county has banned "pit bulls", Rottweilers, Dobes, and AmStaffs. This 13-year-old dog has absolutely no history of aggression.

Sorry, I don't know of any groups, clubs or organizations, but I'm sure someone on here will be along shortly to help. Keep fighting and good luck!
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Old May 24th, 2005, 12:22 PM
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http://bulliesinneed.fivepixelmedia.com/

Try this group. They may be able to help you fight this and they will definitely be able to point you in the right direction. I'm very sorry that you and your family are being so badly treated by your community and HS. Give your girl a big hug and fight hard!
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Old May 24th, 2005, 12:23 PM
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Hold on a sec and I will see what I can find out.
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  #8  
Old May 24th, 2005, 12:24 PM
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How long have you had the dog and how long ago was it that you called the HS to ask about IF she was a Pit Bull when someone from Petcetera asked is she was a Pit?
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  #9  
Old May 24th, 2005, 12:26 PM
canine14 canine14 is offline
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Am so sorry. Kudos to you for fighting for your girl. Someone should start a class action suit against the government for violation of human rights.
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Old May 24th, 2005, 12:26 PM
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From what I understand of the new law, all pit bull type dogs must be spayed/neutered and muzzled and leashed in public and registered. All dogs currently residing in Ontario can stay so long as they are in compliance with the above. All of this comes into effect in August. No dog currently residing in Ontario with their owners have to be shipped away or destroyed. Although, like CoppersMom said, there are some municipalities that have their own bylaw already in effect and this may be the case in your situation.

I know of someone who has a pit bull and the humane society only asked that they provide proof of immunization and a dog license. There was no mention of them having to ship the dog out of province or have the dog destroyed. This happened in Toronto.
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Old May 24th, 2005, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaglemom
From what I understand of the new law, all pit bull type dogs must be spayed/neutered and muzzled and leashed in public and registered. All dogs currently residing in Ontario can stay so long as they are in compliance with the above. All of this comes into effect in August. No dog currently residing in Ontario with their owners have to be shipped away or destroyed. Although, like CoppersMom said, there are some municipalities that have their own bylaw already in effect and this may be the case in your situation.

I know of someone who has a pit bull and the humane society only asked that they provide proof of immunization and a dog license. There was no mention of them having to ship the dog out of province or have the dog destroyed. This happened in Toronto.
The new law in Ontario is moot in this case. Kitchner - Waterloo is a whole nother ball of wax.

Jen - check your pm's.
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  #12  
Old May 24th, 2005, 01:05 PM
JenSteele JenSteele is offline
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First, thank-you all so much about your replies and thoughts and suggestions. We're doing everything that anyone comes up with. We have people calling the Vetrenary Society of Canada because of the remarks made by the KWHS, the Toronto Humane Society who spoke out against the pitbull legislation, mps, mpps, and as many people who will give us an ear. To answer a few questions.

Yes we're right in Kitchener. The dog was not registered as a pitbull because we trusted that two vets in two seperate cities and one vet who works exclusively at an emergency clinic, all with over 20 years of experience each, knew what they were looking at.

Yes there's a bi-law in Kitchener that completely bans pitbulls. This law, that has been in effect since 1997 - which I found out about today, was never mentioned to us when we originally called the Humane Society for advice when we first got Lily. You would think with such a harsh and cruel law in place they would have told us about it to make us aware of what we might run into if we didn't classify our dog.

The pending Ontario Law passed this year is what was stated to us originally. Considering she was definitely living with us before March 1, 2005, the restrain, muzzle, spay and monitor should be all we're looking at, however, unknown to a lot of dog owners in this area, Kitchener-Waterloo quiety passed an additional municipal law in 1997. The KW-HS made no mention whatsoever of the KW bi-law. So much for trusting the Humane Society to know what's what. Instead, they now say we have to destroy her because we didn't register her as a pitbull. They're now not even giving us the option of moving her away. But we're digging our heals in. In a conversation with the SPCA there have been more than just a few complaints about the Kitchener-Waterloo Humane Society.

The timeline from that person's inquirey at petcetera if she's a pitbull, to calling the HS for advice and having her see vets was within one week of getting her. She's now just over a year old.

If I missed anything please let me know. I'll check my pms now. Thanks! If you pray, pray for the innocent. What people do with irresponsible laws, putting people in charge with no training, caring very little to get facts, if any at all, is going to have a lot of dogs destroyed in Ontario.

Jen
  #13  
Old May 24th, 2005, 01:08 PM
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Who's the group who hired Clayton Ruby? Advocates for the Underdog? This sounds like the perfect opportunity to challenge a BSL in court. 3 experts claim the dog isn't a pit, and some putz with an axe to grind says it is? Wrong. If anyone has the link, post it here.
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  #14  
Old May 24th, 2005, 01:19 PM
JenSteele JenSteele is offline
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Found them.. we're contacting them now. Thanks!
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Old May 24th, 2005, 01:20 PM
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bluntman bluntman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JenSteele
They're now not even giving us the option of moving her away. But we're digging our heals in. In a conversation with the SPCA there have been more than just a few complaints about the Kitchener-Waterloo Humane Society. Jen
Good for you jen! , dig in those heals and fight for what you know is right. They cannot stop you from relocateing her to save her life, they are definatly trying to bully, and intimadate you . Here is the link for avocates for the under dog, E-mail them your situation and hopefully they can help.
http://www.advocatesfortheunderdog.com/
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  #16  
Old May 24th, 2005, 01:20 PM
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Try these two links:

http://www.bannedaid.com

http://advocatesfortheunderdog.com/index.html
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  #17  
Old May 24th, 2005, 01:33 PM
JenSteele JenSteele is offline
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http://www.advocatesfortheunderdog.com/media.html

Have a look at this and maybe more will understand that the Humane Society being in charge of this is absolutely rediculous and I feel we should all fight to have their authority in this completely revoked... Scroll down and you'll see a story about a woman who is currently fighting to save the life of her dog unlike the 200 other dogs in the Windsor Ontario area who've already been killed since the Windsor bi-law passed last October.
  #18  
Old May 24th, 2005, 02:59 PM
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How terrible this is! I'm so sorry you are now faced with such an upsetting situation, and wish you all the best of luck in your fight for your girl.
I just dont know how things have come to this.. witchunt on dogs..in Ontario..
Sad. :sad:
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Old May 24th, 2005, 03:18 PM
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I can't believe the injustice of this situation! I don't understand how int his day, when human rights and equality are paramount how this can happen!

I know that this isn't something anybody wants to think about right now but here it goes: If this doesn't work out are you going to have to give your dog away to someone (family member?) or will you move away? I only mention this because I know that I would move away but it's easy for me - but for people who have a family and careers underway it is entirely different. I know that none of them could afford to move away, lose their pension and uproot their children and/or SO. How the humane society can put you in this predicament is beyond me!

I can't believe that this humane society is being so ludicrous (not to mention the neighbour). I truly wish you the best of luck and hope that more people with similar complaints will join you in this fight! I can't imagine how distraught you must be!

Good luck!

Melissa
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Old May 24th, 2005, 03:21 PM
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Alright, I am completely against the ban as everyone knows, but here is some info.. trying to clarify things for the OP

Kitchener waterloo has had a ban on Pit bulls since 1997. Any 'pit bull' under that age found in the city that is not given an exception (pure bred Am Staffs registered) are to be destroyed. No exceptions.
The problem is in what the by-law states

530.1.3 Pit Bull dog - defined
"Pit Bull dog" means a dog of any age which can be identified as a dog of one or more of the following breeds or mixed breeds by the Poundkeeper, namely:
(a) Pit Bull Terrier
(b) American Pit Bull Terrier
(c) Pit Bull
(b) Stafford Bull Terrier, except a Staffordshire Bull Terrier which is registered with the American Kennel Club or the Canadian Kennel Club;
(e) American Staffordshire Terrier, except and American Staffordshire Terrier which is registered with the merican Kennel Club or the Canadian Kennel Club. By-law 2002-232 18 December, 2000.

530.1.4 Poundkeeper - defined
For the purpose of this Chapter the Kitchener-Waterloo and North Waterloo Humane Society, including its officers and employess, shall be deemed to be the poundkeeper of the City of Kitchener.

Here is a link for a PDF of the By Law http://code.municipalworld.com/kitchener/530.pdf


THE POUNDKEEPER which is the Humane Society determines what your dog is, NOT YOUR VET.
That is the MAJOR problem in this persons case. The Humane Society, under the by law has the right to say what a dog is, therefore, if they say its a pit, its a pit. Only way to prove otherwise is purebred dog with papers.


Fight your lil @ss off, KW is an example city for the Ontario by law. Fight it!

Just wanted to explain to those not in KW or familar with the breed ban there more info so that you can understand the full predicitment.
  #21  
Old May 24th, 2005, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Safyre
THE POUNDKEEPER which is the Humane Society determines what your dog is, NOT YOUR VET.
That is the MAJOR problem in this persons case. The Humane Society, under the by law has the right to say what a dog is, therefore, if they say its a pit, its a pit. Only way to prove otherwise is purebred dog with papers.
That's the saddest part as they can be totally clueless and just plunk a label down conveniently. :sad:
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Old May 24th, 2005, 03:49 PM
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I certainly can be of no help,but I am horrified at what KWHS is doing,it's unbelievable
You are supposed to kill your 1yr old dog?Pit-bull or not,that is outrageous!!!
I sincerely hope there is something you can do,hopefully with the help of some of the organisations mentioned here.
I'd tell you one thing,HS would have to walk over my dead body before they killed an innocent dog,whom I love....it's sickening!
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  #23  
Old May 24th, 2005, 04:51 PM
JenSteele JenSteele is offline
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Thank-you again all for your sentiments. We just got off the phone after an hour and 1/2 conversation with the SPCA about this situation talking about what we can do and they can do about the KW by-law. The SPCA's hands are tied in this situation and believe it or not the woman we were speaking with was almost in tears that she can't help us. Because the KW by-law says .. just like you said above.. it's up to the poundkeeper who has nowhere near the training of 3 vets basically KWHS can doom any dog they like just by calling it a pitbull. Wish I knew that before I gave them a tonne of money last year. There's irony for you.

We're also going to be doing an interview with the local news station and newspaper next week. We contemplated letting the court route ride it out but nobody in Kitchener has ever won their case yet. So, we're going as public as we need to because there's more impact when you can make legislators and policitians look like idiots and you can say a lot more in the press than you can in a court. If we're going to lose we're going to stir it up. There's already talk of us walking Lily up the stairs of City Hall on camera to have the mayor tell us why our dog has to die? Whatever it takes.

Not only has this made us realize that it's time to sell our home and get out of a town that would be so cruel to any living thing, it's also made us realize, because lets face it nobody knows better about something than when they're in the thick of it, that win or lose, we're going to start fighting to have the provincial laws and KW by-law changed and not just with petitions.

Can we move with her? No. Not for a least a year. All of our business is here. We will pay as many fines as the city wants to throw against us for not turning her over to be destroyed. I told a few people today they're going to have to throw us and few dozen people in jail before we'll let her be destroyed. Yep the heals are digging in even harder.

We are in the process of making arrangements for her to be borded at a farm that will hide her until we can relocate out of Ontario. Our business employs many people and brings more business into the this city. It's interesting that a city will cost people their jobs and a viable business just because they don't want my breed of dog in it. But you all know as dog people they're our family and if what we have to do is put the plans in place to close down business and be out of this city and province in a year, then that's what we're going to do.

Even if we were to win, I promise our fight won't stop. I signed a few petitions against bans that have come my way, I think it's time to do more than just lend a signature. I've learned a lot today about how willing the world is to save the life of an innocent, and I'm very overwhelmed with kindness of people today and kindness and real sincere concern expressed in here today.

I'll keep posting in here day by day as events unfold. Either way I promise all of you Lily will live no matter what we have to do.
  #24  
Old May 24th, 2005, 05:12 PM
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I'm glad that you have decided to fight with all you have. If there are things that any of us can help you out with or if you need backup from rescues who deal with pitts or anything, just give a holler on the board and you'll see how many of us truly love pitts. If you're just having a bad day with the struggle then vent, we'll listen. I can't imagine being told what you were today. Go get em!
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Old May 24th, 2005, 05:24 PM
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Jen, I'm very sorry to hear of your predicament. It goes without saying that the KW legislation, not to mention the provincial legislation is unfair, unfounded, and completely sickening. I just wanted to commend you for your level-headed handling of this difficult situation. I wish you and Lily all the luck in the world. Neither of you deserves this.

Dianne
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Old May 24th, 2005, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JenSteele
Our business employs many people and brings more business into the this city. It's interesting that a city will cost people their jobs and a viable business just because they don't want my breed of dog in it. But you all know as dog people they're our family and if what we have to do is put the plans in place to close down business and be out of this city and province in a year, then that's what we're going to do.
Have you spoken directly with your mayor yet? I would hope that the income your business brings in, all the people you employ and the revenue they generate, would be worth something to the City and they might be persuaded to re-evaluate the current by-law (or at least appoint a qualified person to determine a dog's breed!).

This is rediculous. I so feel for you and your family!
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Old May 24th, 2005, 05:28 PM
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What a bunch of BS....

This is exactly the type of situation that should get the Ontario ban overturned. You have no way to prove that you are trying to obey the law until you are charged and then……. you have a problem.

I have a mix and every once in awhile I hear “Is he part pit”? The answer is no.

He was adopted as a mix.
The first vet called him a mix.
His new vet has him down as a mix.
Animal Control still needs a look at him.

Now when some non-dog person says is that a pit it would suggest that some people think that he is. Still these are often non-dog people but it does suggest that we may have to defend that someday. Now some would say well if they ask then maybe you should be worried. Should I? Some have looked at my Pointer and asked the same question. His only defence is that a Pointer is a purebred. Here are our options..

Register him as a pit and never throw a ball in the river for him again. Why do that if he isn’t a pit? My co-workers say “he’s not a pit” but I have to say I know but what are my options are you going to pay my legal fees? I won’t know until I see a lawyer.

The issue is if we are told over and over again by vets, animal control, and the SPCA that we ‘should’ be OK it still won’t protect us. SHOULD what kind of word is that? Will SHOULD be a valid defence? Bryant the idiot said if you own a pit then you know you own a pit. Really? Then based on that statement is “I didn’t know and therefore I don’t” a valid defence?

If I move to the next municipality over and some city employee animal control officer that simply had more seniority than the guy that really knows something about dogs thinks he is part pit then I could be arrested, convicted and fined. That would impede my ability to earn a living, cross the border and live a decent life.

So here is somebody who was told by three vets and the SPCA to not worry and now the dog is at risk (the dog however is still LEGAL in Ontario just not KW so tell them to shove that ‘out of Ontario’ you know where). Soon you will see innocent people charged for having a pit as there is no clear definition of what a pit is. By not providing a mechanism to have your dog looked at and ‘cleared’ as a non pit bull the Attorney General has left a lot to the discretion of a few individuals with varying levels of skill.

I’m not anti-pit (infact now I'm pro pit) and will continue to fight BSL completely but if you have a pit and you know it you should comply with the law until it is overturned but for those who own mixes it leaves many of us completely at the mercy of the animal control in one municipality and if we move at the mercy of another.
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Last edited by twodogsandacat; June 27th, 2005 at 11:31 AM.
  #28  
Old May 24th, 2005, 05:32 PM
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Ok, I've got my Grrrr On !
I'm so so sorry to hear of your troubles, please refrain if you can from putting her down.
Does this neighbor have a teenage kid? I'd be watching THAT angelic little thing.

I hate it when people have nothing else to do with their lives but make others lives miserable.

My heart goes out to you and Kuma will say a puppy prayer for Lily!
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  #29  
Old May 24th, 2005, 05:41 PM
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I just can't imagine being told that you have to destroy your sweet baby for no good reason other than some *itch at the Humane Society says he's a pitt!?! I totally agree that you should go public - get as much publicity as you can and make sure that everyone sees how sweet your baby is!! It would be really good if you could get some pix of her kissing a toddler's face or something! I feel so bad for you - I am in tears just thinking about this! I would fight tooth and nail before I let someone tell me to destroy my dog and I don't care what breed it is! This ban is so wrong - I don't even want to think about how many wonderful dogs have been destroyed because of it! Aggressive dogs should be treated just like aggressive people - one case at a time. Laws like this make me think that Hitler is still alive and well. I wish you all the best in your fight against this inhumane law!!!
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  #30  
Old May 24th, 2005, 05:59 PM
JenSteele JenSteele is offline
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Ok, here's a way you can help us save Lily. Email the KWHS, and ask them what the qualifications are for the poundkeepers who determine what a pitbull is? How long where they trained? Were they trained on this specific breed or was it a crash-course for finding determining a pitbull? What previous experience do the people training the poundkeepers have in identifying pitbulls? What gives a poundkeeper the authority to over-ride the findings of vets and a dog breeder (who has now joined us)?

What the KWHS needs to realize, that it's not just one dog person who's on to them, and it's not just one family that's upset at the loss of their dog. If you would entitle your email subject "Saving Lily The Lab-Cross Pitbull on Birch Street" and have all the same questions, I think they'll get the point loud and clear. If the KWHS feels that lots of grief is about to come their way , because we were just told nobody has the "balls" to fight the HS, I have a feeling this may turn a bit.

Their email address is info@kwhumane.com . My real name is Jennifer (Steele) Mitchell and the people who are fighting for Lily's life and now the life of every dog in this idiotic city are Jennifer Steele Mitchell and Sam Mitchell. If you would like to send a copy of your email to me for our records, the address is jen@2gogroup.com

If they don't answer you, press them for an answer. They have yet to return our phonecalls and emails on this same point.

As for pits or whatever, after we save Lily one way or another, yes, the bigger fight is the legislation. We're not pulling the clout card with the Mayor because while it would probably back everyone off of Lily, it won't save the 100s of dogs being killed every month in Ontario owned by people who don't have that kind of card in their back pocket. Changing things, in my opinion, is only good if it changes for everyone.

Thanks again!!!!!!!
Jen
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