Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Bill 132 - FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Now that the amendments are law, do I have to send my pit bull out of Ontario or have it euthanized?

No. Owners of pit bulls may keep their pit bulls, provided they keep them in compliance with the requirements of the new legislation and any regulations made under it. The new legislation will take effect on August 29, 2005.

2. Is my dog a pit bull?

Under the amendments to DOLA, pit bull is defined as:
A pit bull terrier
A Staffordshire bull terrier
An American Staffordshire terrier
An American pit bull terrier
A dog that has an appearance and physical characteristics substantially similar to any of those dogs.

3. Who decides whether or not a dog is a pit bull?

The amendments provide that in a Part IX proceeding the onus of proving that the dog is not a pit bull will lie with the owner of the dog. In offence proceedings, the amendments provide that the prosecution must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt and that, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, a veterinarian's certificate attesting that a dog is a pit bull is evidence of that fact. Part IX proceedings and offence proceedings are heard before the Ontario Court of Justice.

4. What sort of documentation do I need to travel with my pit bull?

The amendments do not deal with customs documentation regarding shipping of dogs to Canada from foreign jurisdictions and dogs that are in transit destined for other countries. The legislation bans pit bulls and their importation into Ontario. It is the responsibility of an owner to show that a pit bull is not being imported into Ontario in contravention of the ban.

5. What if I am just passing through Ontario with my pit bull?

You will be in contravention of the law if you are found to have imported a pit bull into the province. Your pit bull may be subject to seizure and you may be subject to a fine and/or jail time. Please note that exceptions exist for Ontario residents who are out of the province with their pit bulls for less than three months. Limited exceptions also exist for individuals coming to Ontario for purposes of participating in recognized dog shows and flyball tournaments.

6. Do I have to have my pit bull muzzled and leashed?

Regulations provide that pit bull owners must comply with leash and muzzle requirements by October 28, 2005. Municipal by-laws may have such requirements prior to October 28, 2005. Check with your local municipality for further information.

7. What if I want to complain about a dog? Who do I contact?

Municipalities are responsible for animal control and you should generally contact your local animal control or by-law enforcement office in relation to animal control issues. In emergency situations, the police should be contacted. Please note that after October 28, 2005, owners of existing pit bulls must ensure that their dogs are sterilized and that they are muzzled and leashed while walking them in public.

8. Do I have to register my pit bull?

There is no provincial plan for dog registration as animal control is a municipal responsibility. You should license and register your dog in compliance with requirements set by your local municipality.

9. I am being harassed when walking in public with my pit bull. What should I do?

The Ontario government's amendments to DOLA are designed to make all Ontarians safer. The fact that the government has chosen to ban pit bulls is no justification for harassment of pit bulls owners or cruelty to animals. Pit bull owners are allowed to keep their dogs and walk them in public, as long as they obey the law as it applies to all dog owners. However, pit bull owners walking their dogs in public after October 28, 2005, must comply with certain requirements, such as keeping the dog muzzled and on leash. Pit bull owners who are subject to harassment that may constitute criminal activity and/or fear for their safety should contact the police.

10. Our municipality already has a pit bull ban in place (or is thinking of implementing one) with no grandfather clause. Do the new amendments mean that pit bull owners can bring their dogs into our community regardless of our by-law?

No. The new section 11 of DOLA will provide that if there is a conflict between the provincial requirements and a municipal by-law, the more restrictive provisions in relation to pit bulls will prevail.


Blogger Conners said...

I can't wait until our dogs are no longer labeled as Restricted or Grandfathered and can once again live socialable lives like they once did...without those aweful muzzles!
Prior to all this our dogs were breeds and now all the breeds are labeled as Pit bull which isn't a breed at all.
I'll just be happy after we win and all this 'garbage' can go in the shredder!

4:31 PM  
Blogger Amstaffie said...

I guess that means that Storm and I can't come to visit any of our Ontario friends. :(

9:59 PM  
Blogger pitbulljungle said...

Sucks doesn't it?

10:13 AM  

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