Monday, April 17, 2006

What is London doing about Dangerous Dogs??

Breed-specific bans criticized at city hall meeting
Dana Grimaldi

Almost everyone at Tuesday's public feedback meeting opposed a breed-specific ban on pit bulls in London.

The meeting, held Nov. 16, 2004, gave people a chance to voice their opinions on whether London should create a new dangerous dog bylaw.

November 16 city council meeting

The majority of those who attended the meeting had one thing to say to London’s Environment and Transportation committee: "Ban the deed, not the breed."

The phrase was repeated throughout the night by people opposed to breed-specific bans in London.

The meeting was scheduled to run from 4-6 p.m. By 4 p.m. the room was filled with over 120 people and late-comers were turned away.

Councillor Roger Caranci, chair of the ETC, made sure everyone who came to the meeting had a chance to speak. By 8 p.m, at the meeting's close, many Londoners had spoken out against breed-specific bans.

Link: An interview with Roger Caranci

Many say it wouldn't work

Most people were against the ban because they did not think it would be an effective means of solving the city’s problem.

Annette Sackrider, an Ingersoll dog breeder, said she didn’t believe breed-specific bans had been successful anywhere else.

Others made emotional appeals, asking that the council not ban their ‘friends’.

Drucilla Robb told the crowd that one of her pit bulls prevented her grandson from falling down the stairs.

Some in the audience asked whether London even needs a new bylaw.

Kelley Wilkinson, director of public relations for the London Canine Association, said that London should focus on enforcing the bylaws already in place.

Many Londoners protested the council’s inclusion of other dog breeds like akitas, rottweilers and presa canarios in their two draft bylaws.

One woman who works with rottweilers said the dogs are not vicious. Pat McKenzie and her
rottweiler teach kids how to act around dogs. She said educating people, rather than eradicating a particular breed, will help alleviate the problem.

Another man was worried that the council wanted to ban golden retrievers, the breed of his guide dog.

Angry outbursts

When Ivan Kasuriak said he supported a ban on pit bulls, telling the council his neighbor’s dog had recently lunged at him, he drew cries of protest from the crowd.

“Let's muzzle you!” one man yelled, prompting Coun. Caranci to warn the man that if he made another outburst he’d be asked to leave.

Some people at the meeting wanted Caranci to leave the decision to the province. Attorney General Michael Byrant has put a bill to ban pit bulls through a first reading in parliament.

The fate of pit bulls and other "dangerous dogs" has not been decided yet. Caranci repeatedly told the crowd that the meeting was for public input, which the Environment and Transportation Committee would take into consideration at their next meeting.

Although the issue was not resolved the meeting did have one concrete result. Other ways of dealing with dangerous dogs were brought to the attention of the committee.

"Tonight the overriding issues were education, licencing and enforcement and those are issues...that we are looking at putting forward in our bylaws," said Caranci.

"The message was loud and clear that that’s what they want to see done and that’s probably where we will end up going," he said.


Blogger Conners said...

Oh I remember it well!!!
BTW...check your sentence in "The majority of those who attended the meeting had one thing to say to London’s Environment and Transportation committee: "Ban the breed, not the deed."
It should read, "Ban the deed, not the breed."

5:59 PM  
Blogger pitbulljungle said...

Oops. I'll fix that! Thanks Conners.

12:29 PM  
Blogger Butch McLarty said...

Them pitbulls is bad to the bone, just like my in-laws.

10:29 PM  

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