Monday, July 31, 2006

Pit bulls maul dog, owner

Thu, July 27, 2006
Man tried to intervene in vicious attack, was attacked himself

Bandaged and bloodied, one day after a terrifying attack by two pit bulls in his own backyard, Bill Pargeter is too traumatized to eat or sleep.

But it isn’t his own injuries — a torn ear, multiple puncture wounds and serious gashes to his arm, hand and chest — that torment him.

The 42-year-old’s only worries are for his 10-year-old golden retriever, Tasha, who suffered the brunt of the attack and may never walk again.

“She is everything to me,” a distraught Pargeter said Thursday, tears streaming down his face.
“I would have fought those dogs off her until they put me in the ground. I would have done anything to save my dog.”

The horrifying assault — which happened in his own fenced-in backyard on Elizabeth Street — happened when Pargeter took his dog out for a bathroom break Wednesday night around 6 p.m.
Immediately, he said, his neighbour’s two large pit bulls — unchained and unmuzzled, but supervised by the neighbour — began barking through the chain-link fence separating the two backyards.

Within seconds, the muscular dogs — both of whom are registered in accordance with the city’s pit bull bylaw — had slipped under the fence and charged toward Tasha, he said.

“They pinned her down and they were tearing away at her,” Pargeter said. “I tried and tried to get them off. I wouldn’t let them kill my dog.”

Falling to his knees, Pargeter fought to pull the dogs away from Tasha, but in the process, one of the pit bulls turned on him.

“He lunged at my ear — I think he was going for my throat — and I just tried to punch him in the head,” he said, shaking with emotion.

“I was bleeding like crazy and I was just screaming for somebody to help me. Thank God somebody heard.”

A neighbour called police, who responded within minutes and jumped the fence into his backyard, he said.

They ordered Pargeter, who had managed to free himself from the pit bull’s grip, to back away.
They then fired shots at the pit bulls, killing one and injuring the other. The injured dog was euthanized Wednesday night at the owner’s request.

“He didn’t let go until he was dead,” Pargeter said of the bigger pit bull.

“Thank God Tasha was able to get up. She was bleeding from everywhere but at least she got up.”

While Pargeter was taken by ambulance to hospital for treatment of his injuries, his dog was rushed into surgery at an emergency veterinary clinic.

Doctors repaired skin that was torn away from inner tissue in several places, and gave her a blood transfusion to replenish the “enormous amount” of blood lost in the attack, said Dr. Peter Luczak, who is caring for Tasha now at the East London Animal Hospital.

The services will cost Pargeter up to $3,000, plus whatever further treatment Tasha requires under Dr. Luczak’s care.

“Will she walk again? We will have to wait and see,” Luczak said Thursday.

It’s too early to tell if Tasha — who is covered in stitches, bandages and cuts and is on three different pain medications — will pull through, he said.

But Pargeter, a factory worker at Cuddy’s, is determined to do whatever it takes to raise the money for Tasha’s care.

“I just want to save my dog,” he said.

On Thursday, Pargeter’s next-door neighbour, who was caring for the pit bulls while her son — their owner — is away, expressed sympathy for her neighbour.

“I feel bad,” she said. “Their dog is a lovely dog and I hope she recovers.”

But the unidentified woman said her and her son are “responsible pet owners” who always took precautions to ensure their pit bulls didn’t endanger anyone.

They usually didn’t let their dogs out in the yard if Pargeter’s dog was out, she said, and usually let him know in advance if they were going to be out back.

“We haven’t done anything wrong,” she said.

The woman said the dogs are usually very obedient and she doesn’t know why they didn’t listen to her when she screamed at them as they slipped under the fence.

She said one of the dogs was recently neutered in accordance with the city’s pit bull bylaw, a procedure which she said drastically “changed him,” making him more aggressive and less obedient.

Both dogs have their 2006 license.

As of Thursday, police had not laid charges against the dog owner.

But several options exist for them to do so, including:

- They could lay charges under a municipal bylaw that prohibits any dog from running at large. The charge comes with at least a $150 fine.

- Charges could also be laid under Ontario’s recently-enhanced Dog Owner Liability Act, which states that owners must use reasonable precautions to prevent dogs from biting or attacking domestic pets or people. Charges could result in hefty fines or jail time.

Residents in the neighbourhood Thursday day said they weren’t surprised to hear the pit bulls had attacked.

“They’re not nice dogs,” said Lou Wheeler. “One morning one cornered me up against my van.”
Wheeler said the resident who lived in Pargeter’s house before him had a German shepherd who was killed by the dogs.

But a city official said there’s no record of such an attack.

“We do have record of a couple of visits (from animal control officers) in July and August (2001),” said Jay Stanford, the city’s manager of environmental services, adding police attended the pit bull owner’s home in August of that year.

“But we have no record that would suggest an attack or a death.”

Since that time, he said, there’s been no calls or complaints regarding the pit bulls, he said.


UNITED STATES: Longtime PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) spokesperson Pamela Anderson offers ham-hock ravioli, lamb chops, lobster tails, and Foie Gras at a restaurant she has business interest in.

The nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom has asked Pamela Anderson to donate all profits from her partnership in Hollywood’s Blacksteel restaurant to the American Liver Foundation. The Center for Freedom is a nonprofit coalition supported by restaurants, food companies, and consumers, working together to promote personal responsibility and protect consumer choices.

Anderson’s being a very visible PETA spokesperson has not kept her from earning a second income with menu items that include meat--and she continues to treat her Hepatitis C despite PETA’s opposition to the animal-based research that might lead to a cure, a news release points out. Anderson has also appeared on behalf of the American Liver Foundation, which does its research testing on animals.

“It’s outrageous for Pam Anderson to serve lobster and lamb chops at her restaurant while publicly campaigning against the so-called evils of chicken sandwiches,” said David Martosko, Center for Consumer Freedom director of research, in a press release. “And it’s hypocritical for her to strip naked for PETA while making the most of her animal-tested hair dye, animal-tested breast implants, and animal-tested collagen injections. It’s one or the other, Pam. Even you can’t have your cake and eat it too.”


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Update on Shire



The deWeerd family has been infirmed that their lawyer has not filed and cannot file until the end of this year, for an injunction to save her life. Shire has since been moved out of this horrid community, Florenceville New Brunswick Canada, with the kind help of a concerned dog owner in NB. If she is found within the town limits, she will be killed.


The deWeerd family moved from Ontario into Florenceville New Brunswick. Hired by McCain foods, this family prior to making the final decision to move contacted the Florenceville town hall to ensure they had no BSL. Their real estate agent was also informed NO BSL.

John deWeerd registered Shire as a Rottweiler and was issued a licence for the year 2006. Two days after moving into their home, an ACO officer notified them that Shire was to moved or killed. It did not matter to this town, that Shire was a co worker with her mom and had been working as a pet therapy companion with special needs children for many years. It did not matter that Shire has never stepped one foot out of line in her entire life. She is a rottie and therefore she must die.

Despite direct contact by various organizations to include the DLCC and the CKC, the town of Florenceville has refused to allow Shire to permanently live in their community. The Mayor has refused to step in and be compassionate to this family, to Shire.

The town's major employer, McCain Foods John deWeerd's employer has refused to assist this family.

107 Main St
Florenceville NB, E7L 1B2
Phone: 506-392-5541
Fax: 506-392-8156
Toll Free: 877-462-5676

The love of their dog has cost untold stress emotionally and financially. Three lawyers later, the death sentence remains, the house is not sold, the real estate agency is not accepting any responsibility neither is the town of Florenceville.

Shire has borne the brunt of the stress. She has been fostered in kennels and in friends homes since all of this started. She does not understand the depth of the hatred this community holds for her and her owners simply because she was born with politically incorrect genes. All Shire knows is that she is not with her family where she belongs.

They have set up a PayPal account to help them financially. This battle has cost thousands of dollars with no end in sight.

If you cannot help financially,then please sign the below petition addressed to the town of Florenceville NB. It is important for this town to know we as responsible dog owners will never support in any way, municipalities that kill our dogs for no reason other than breed biased hatred.

Finally,the deWeerd family needs letters from dog owners across this continent sent to them in support of saving Shire. These letters will be used in her defence. Please forward these letters of support for the deWeerd family at

LeeAnn O'Reilly RN,PBMH
Pres.Dog Legislation Council of Canada

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Pammie's dog fight

25/07/2006 1:30:00 PM

'Barb Wire' actress Pamela Anderson - an ardent animal rights campaigner - has slammed the greyhound industry over their "cruel" treatment of dogs.

Pamela Anderson
(BANG) - Pamela Anderson wants to save greyhounds from the "cruel" world of racing.

The former 'Baywatch' star, an ardent animal rights campaigner, has hit out at the industry over their barbaric treatment of the dogs.

In a furious rant on her official website, Pammie attacks both breeders and trainers for making greyhounds' lives a misery.

She angrily writes: "I can't believe I still read about such ignorant blatant cruelty. Thousands of greyhounds are killed each year as the declining dog-racing industry struggles to stay alive. Some puppies are killed in the name of 'selective breeding' before they ever touch a racetrack. Dogs who do qualify to become racers typically live in cages, are kept muzzled by their trainers at all times and are forced to race in extreme conditions - ranging from subzero temperatures to sweltering heat of more than 100°F.

"Most dogs who slow down and become unprofitable are either killed immediately or sold to research laboratories."

Pammie, an active member of animal rights group PETA, urges people to log onto website to learn more about the plight of the dogs.

The blonde actress also pleads with other animal lovers to save a retired greyhound from certain death by adopting one.

She adds: "If you can offer a greyhound a good home, the Greyhound Protection League ( organizes adoption programmes throughout the United States."

Pammie recently posed almost completely nude in the shop window of fashion designer Stella McCartney's London store as part of an anti-fur protest.
(C) BANG Media International


Man and pet rescue each other from beast's teeth

A pit bull takes a mauling from a bear for his master

Tom Tilley realized trouble was following him on the lush forested trail when his dog started to growl.

A loyal companion who goes with Mr. Tilley on his annual canoe trips to Northern Ontario, Sam, a five-year-old pit bull, often lets out a booming bark. But he doesn't growl.

"Something was wrong," Mr. Tilley said. "That's when I turned around."

About six metres behind him, an 82-kilogram black bear was treading stealthily on the trail.

But while the snarl alerted Mr. Tilley to the bear's presence, both companions played an equal part in this story about a man and his dog and how they escaped a bear. One took a mauling to save his master; the other killed the bear with a hunting knife to save his dog.

Last Thursday, with the morning sun shining over Lake Abbey, near Wawa, Ont., Mr. Tilley, a Waterloo resident, began his fourth day of a two-week trip by portaging his canoe on a short trail. He returned for his gear, spotted the bear, and started moving backward.

He said the bear disappeared into the forest but re-emerged on the trail, cutting off his escape. As Mr. Tilley unsheathed his Buck hunting knife, the dog sprang in front of his master, turned sideways and stood its ground. The bear lunged forward, plunging its fangs into the pit bull's white hide.

Mr. Tilley said his fear turned to rage.

"All I could see was my beloved canine friend getting chomped on, and the immediate thought was: 'You're not going to kill my dog!' "

Mr. Tilley said he jumped on the bear's back, clutching it with his left hand, while with his right hand he thrust the six-inch blade into its throat. The knife slid in to the hilt. The bear loosened its grip on the dog.

But Mr. Tilley was not quite finished: "I kept it up until he had stopped moving. I told my dog, 'Go back, go back. Stay away.' "

After the bear drew its last breath, Mr. Tilley set out in his canoe, preparing for a two-day trip back to the nearest community.

An hour later, with flies swarming over Mr. Tilley's and Sam's open wounds, the man saw two white points on the horizon.

Tourists from Michigan, equipped with a satellite phone, were fishing on the lake. They called in a hydroplane, which ferried the two companions to a Wawa hospital. The dog bore a wide gash across his back, and Mr. Tilley was suffering from a lacerated thumb, which later required plastic surgery.

That same night, Mr. Tilley and Sam drove back to Waterloo. On the way home, he said he teared up as he looked at the injured dog. Since Mr. Tilley's daughter, 25, and his son, 34, left home five years ago, Sam, an American Staffordshire, has been Mr. Tilley's constant companion. At 55, Mr. Tilley, who is a courier by trade, has had trouble finding friends who could travel . Sam could. And now, the dog had saved his life.

While Mr. Tilley convalesced at home, an employee with Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources recovered the bear's bloody carcass. An autopsy will be held to determine whether the bear suffered from rabies or any other disease that would explain its aggressive behaviour, ministry spokeswoman Jolanta Kowalski said.

In this case, the bear might have simply considered Sam as prey.

About 10 people have been killed by bears over the past 100 years in Ontario, according to ministry statistics. Most recently, Jacqueline Perry, a young Cambridge, Ont., doctor, was killed by a black bear last September. Her husband had attempted to fight the animal with a Swiss Army knife.

The highly publicized mauling prompted Mr. Tilley to walk into a Canadian Tire this spring and buy his own hunting knife. He hoped never to use it, he said.

But his encounter with the black bear hasn't dampened his love of the outdoors.

"My daughter tells me I'm not allowed to go back. I left my canoe there, knowing that I'll go back to get it."

There are 75,000 to 100,000 black bears in Ontario, concentrated mainly in the central and western parts of the province.

While it is illegal to kill a black bear without a permit, Ms. Kowalski said Mr. Tilley will probably not be charged because he acted in self-defence. But she also warned the public against trying to repeat a similar feat.

"We do not recommend that people jump on bears to try to fight a bear off somebody's dog," she aid.

Mr. Tilley said the impulse to protect his dog was visceral. Besides, he added, Sam saved his life.

"I hadn't heard anything, and without the dog's warning the first thing I might have known would have been [the bear's] jaws on my neck."

If you see a bear

Face the bear. Do not run. If you are with others, stay together. Make sure the bear has a clear escape route, then yell and wave your arms to make yourself look bigger. Use a whistle or air horn, if you have one. The idea is to be aggressive and persuade the bear to leave. This will work if it is afraid of humans. If these attempts fail to frighten the bear, slowly back away while giving the bear a wide berth. Climbing a tree to get away may offer little protection, as black bears are excellent climbers. A bear may stand upright, swat or beat the ground with its forepaws or even bluff charge -- a way of saying you are too close. Back off and give the bear more space. If the bear comes within range, use pepper spray if you have it.

Source: Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Canoeist stabs bear to death in Ontario

Last Updated Sat, 22 Jul 2006 20:34:51 EDT
CBC News

A man stabbed a black bear to death with a 15-cm hunting knife, saying he knew he would otherwise become "lunch" after it attacked him and his dog on a canoeing portage in northern Ontario.

Tom Tilley and his dog, shown in an undated photo, escaped an attack by a black bear while portaging near Wawa, Ont. (Waterloo Region Record/Canadian Press)

Tom Tilley, a 55-year-old from Waterloo, Ont., said his American Staffordshire dog growled a warning, then rushed to his defence as the bear came at them on a trail north of Wawa on Friday.

As the dog battled with the nearly 90-kilogram bear, Tilley jumped on its back and stabbed it with his knife.
"Love is a very powerful emotion and my thought right away was: 'You're not going to kill my dog,'" Tilley told the Waterloo Region Record.

"I really consider my dog a hero. Without that first warning, I would have had the bear clamping down on my neck."

An avid outdoorsman, Tilley was four days into a 12-day canoe trip. He said he heard his dog growl and noticed the bear closing in on him. He waved his arms and slowly backed away. But the bear came closer, cutting off his escape route.

"That's when I knew I had a serious problem.… I was lunch," he said. "The bear took a few steps down the trail and clamped its mouth on the back of my dog. It gave me the quick opportunity I needed to run around to the back of the bear, get on its back and with my knife start stabbing it."

After making sure the animal was dead, Tilley realized that both he and dog had been bitten.

'That's when I knew I had a serious problem.… I was lunch.'-Tom Tilley, a 55-year-old from Waterloo, Ont.

He dragged his canoe across a short portage and paddled for about an hour before he came across a pair of Americans who had a satellite phone. They called for help and two hours later, a cargo plane arrived to take Tilley to Wawa for medical attention. He was released from hospital shortly after.

Bears rarely attack humans, but there have been several killings and serious maulings in Canada in recent years, including:

In late April, a grizzly attacked and killed Jean-Francois Pagé, a 28-year-old man from Whitehorse who was working in the bush about 30 kilometres east of the Yukon community.

Jacqueline Perry, 30, was killed by a black bear that attacked her and her husband at a campsite in Missinaibi Lake Provincial Park in northern Ontario in September 2005.

Isabelle Dube, a 26-year-old mother of one, died in June 2005 after being mauled by a grizzly bear while she and friends were running on a hiking trail near Canmore, Alta.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Dog found headless in river


Police here are hoping the public can help solve the mystery behind a gruesome discovery of a dog that had been tied up, beheaded and left floating in the river.

"It's weird one, that's for sure," OPP Const. Ted Smith said yesterday. "Is this some sort of voodoo or what? ... You can only speculate."

Police said the dog's paws were bound with rope and it was decapitated. By the time a man found the dog floating on the weekend in the Moon River near Arnold's Bay, 10 km west of Bracebridge, it was already decomposing.

"It was definitely upsetting for this young man," Smith said. "We have no clue as to why someone would do this to a dog ... was it someone who didn't like pit bulls?"

He said the dog may have been of a pit bull or Rottweiler breed but without the head he couldn't be sure.


The large brown dog had short legs, a stocky body, short hair and weighed about 20 to 30 kilos. Other than the bound paws, Smith said he couldn't tell if the dog had been tortured before death.

"It's a scary thought of what happened to it before it was decapitated," he said.

He said the first step is to find out who is missing a dog that fits that description.

"Hopefully it will lead us to whoever did this," he said.

Smith said possible charges would include cruelty to animals, which can carry a sentence of up to six months in jail.

As well, a person could be charged with mischief, which carries a sentence of up to two years in jail.

"Certainly some animal activists are not happy with that," he said.

In the United States, a man was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison two years ago for killing and beheading his dog.

James Abernathy, 43, of California, was convicted of felony animal cruelty for killing the dog under the state's three-strikes law.

Abernathy would have faced a maximum of six years if not for two prior convictions for violent crimes.

Now....does there seem to be something wrong here. In Ontario, you'd serve up to 6 months for this horrible crime, yet in the US, you'd be sentenced 25 YEARS TO LIFE. Does this say something about this country?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Pound officer sues over attack by dog

After a dog attack put him in hospital with permanent scarring, a Winnipeg animal control officer is using the courts to bite back.

Brian Baryski, a city animal services employee, has launched a lawsuit with the Workers Compensation Board against Czeslaw Pawlowski for damages over injuries inflicted by a Labrador-shepherd cross nearly two years ago.

Baryski was knocked to the ground and bitten on his arms and legs by Pawlowski's dog, Mishen, in September 2004 while trying to seize the canine with other pound officers at Pawlowski's Pritchard Avenue home.

The lawsuit, filed in Court of Queen's Bench, claims unspecified general and special damages for Baryski and the WCB, which compensated him for a five-week period while he was off the job recovering.

"This has kind of played with my mind. I'm more leery of dogs, knowing what kind of power they have," Baryski, a pound employee for more than 25 years, said in March of last year during a court case that led to a destruction order against Pawlowski's pet.

Baryski was taken by ambulance to Seven Oaks General Hospital following the attack, during which Pawlowski allegedly punched him several times in the face.

Baryski refused comment through managers at the Logan Avenue animal services pound yesterday.

"The officer in question himself has asked me to send his regards and said he certainly doesn't wish to speak about it at all," said animal services field operations co-ordinator Rand Parker.


Pawlowski -- a Polish-Canadian in his late 60s who speaks little English -- could not be reached for comment.

Though Baryski is back on the job, the statement of claim says he will continue to suffer a "loss of income" because of the attack that injured his right elbow, forearm, hand, right bicep and groin area. The claim adds he has scars "which have caused him pain, suffering and disability" for which he has sought chiropractic care and physiotherapy.

Parker did not confirm whether the destruction order on Mishen has been carried out. The dog attacked four people in separate incidents, including Baryski.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Hardworking Pit Bulls Buck Bad Rap

The missing woman would not have survived another night if Dakota hadn't found her when she did. The elderly woman suffering from dementia had been missing for several days when the pit bull—trained to assist law enforcement agencies in search and rescue—located her at the bottom of a steep ravine, her motionless body partially submerged in a small stream.

But when Kristine Crawford, Dakota's guardian, was approached by newspaper and TV news reporters after the successful rescue, she was confronted with an unusual question.

"The first thing they all asked was 'Did your dog bite the woman when she found her?'," Crawford said. "That's something no search and rescue dog handler with another breed is ever asked."

They've been called killers and monsters in the media, yet thousands of beloved pit bulls live peacefully with families across the country. So where's the disconnect?

Pit bull guardians and animal welfare groups say that it is irresponsible owners and poor breeding—not an inherently vicious breed—that are to blame when pit bulls exhibit aggressive behavior towards humans.

"The media's image of the pit bull as a natural human aggressor is attention grabbing, but false," said Crawford. "In spite of their propensity to challenge other dogs, the typical pit bull is stable, reliable and adores people. Any display of human aggression, whether due to genetic mischance or bad environment, is an aberration. Pit bulls that bite humans are not typical of the breed."

Yet, across the country, communities reeling from shocking press reports involving dog attacks and pressure from nervous residents are increasingly turning to breed bans in an attempt to control the pit bull population in their area.

Pooch Prejudice

Breed bans—or breed specific legislation (BSL)—make it illegal to own a certain breed of dog. They are considered by animal welfare groups and pit bull guardians to be discriminatory quick fixes that punish responsible guardians by banishing all pit bulls—regardless of history or temperament—while doing nothing to address the real problem of irresponsible owners. Pit bull bans also fail to consider the problems presented by dogs of other breeds, no matter how dangerous they may be.

"Focusing on one particular breed is unfair to the community as a whole because it gives people a false sense of security and leaves them at risk of injury by dogs that truly are dangerous," said Crawford. "Lawmakers need to realize that any dog, regardless of breed, can be a danger in the hands of an irresponsible owner."

Crawford is doing everything in her power to reverse the negative label that plagues pit bulls. She is the founder of For Pit's Sake—a nonprofit organization that, with the help of pit bulls, educates children and adults about dog and wilderness safety, works with physically and mentally challenged children and adults and performs search and rescue work. All of Crawford's three pit bulls—Dakota, Cheyenne and Tahoe—are trained therapy dogs, and Dakota and Tahoe are trained as search and rescue dogs.

"The key to reversing negative stereotypes is to contradict them in direct interactions with individual people, in the media and through education...and that's exactly what For Pits' Sake strives to do through all the different activities we are involved in," said Crawford.

Though Dakota, Cheyenne and Tahoe can't single-handedly change opinions overnight, they are working hard to fight the stereotype—by winning hearts and minds one person at a time.

"When the people who have seen my dogs at work hear the word pit bull, instead of thinking of a vicious monster, they remember the image of pit bulls searching tirelessly for someone's missing loved one, interacting with children in our Safety Around Dogs class or comforting an abused child," said Crawford. "They think of pit bulls making a difference in the community."

Watch Dakota Work!
Catch Dakota in episode #57 of the National Geographic channel’s show Dogs With Jobs.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

New Fido Ad

This is a new Fido (cell phone service) billboard ad. Isn't it great? Especially when this type of dog is "restricted" in this province......

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A Worthy dog debate

Pit bull column stirs up 'firestorm' as readers attack, defend rights of banned pooches

After my column last week concerning a pit bull attack on our Jack Russell terrier, Murphy, Garry Davis, of Prince Edward County animal control, phoned my wife and said something of a "firestorm" had been created.

The Picton Gazette carried a front-page story, and pro and con elements on Ontario's ban and restrictions on pit bull-type dogs jumped both feet into the fray.

In Toronto, too, reaction was strong, and letters and e-mails flooded in, some of which I'll summarize here.

To go back, at our place near Wellington, 15 km west of Picton, a neighbour's pit bull, which we've had trouble with for a year, spotted 13-year-old Murphy and attacked, gouging a chunk off her ribs.

Owner and dog went on the lam but were caught a week later.

The owner was charged and the pit bull, named "Sniper," was put down.

My story didn't blame the dog -- bred to be a fighter with excessive courage, strength and loyalty -- but the owner who didn't keep the dog in accordance with Ontario law -- muzzled and leashed.

Here are some reactions:

- Steve Barker, a pit bull owner who says his dog bears scars from a Wheaten terrier attack, accuses me of "writing drivel simply to get a reaction (i.e. sell newspapers)." He says that "there are dog fights every day" in Toronto, but pit bulls "are more tolerant of irritations than most other breeds."

- While this may be his experience, Daniel Gordon notes that England has banned the breed because, among other things, "pit bulls have been bred to kill and in their minds it's not in their best interests to not kill; it automatically perceives whatever it is attacking as a threat to itself." He says, "For pit bull owners to suggest their dogs are no different from any other breed is completely ignorant of the ticking time bomb that's on the end of their leash."

- Mike MacKinnon, "proud American Staffordshire bull terrier owner," claims my "anecdotal evidence is hardly responsible reporting." He writes (correctly): "Any dog, poorly raised and socialized, can be a menace ... Stop picking on pit bulls. Talk about serious dog attacks by other 'friendlier' breeds before you write more nonsense."

- John Brooker cut to the chase and wrote: "The breed ban is due to the unique nature of the pit bull. Once a pit bull sets its jaw, it takes tremendous effort to release whatever it is locked on. The jaw is designed to kill, which is not a feature of any other breed. That is the reason it needs a ban."

- Kelly Caldwell, editor-in-chief of Dogs in Canada magazine, felt that "the crux of the problem lies in irresponsible pet owners." She's "fighting passionately" to end breed-specific legislation and blames owners for most dog incidents.

- Susan Macleod's letter ran in the Sun and recounted how her pit bull-type dog was twice attacked by different Jack Russell terriers. If she didn't view dogs as "individuals," she says that she "would assume that (Jack Russells) were all programmed to attack pit bulls." In this case, her pit bull didn't retaliate. (As a JR owner, I view that verging on preposterous).

- Mitchell St. Croix noted that small dogs were probably worse offenders than pit bulls when it comes to biting, but if "a Jack Russell comes after you, you are not likely to be in any real danger. A PB attacks you and it can be (and often is) devastating. A PB attacks and it laughs off fists and bats, even taking several gun shots to get its attention."

- Bryan Dale accused me "once again" of launching an unfounded attack on pit bulls, and feels, "like Dan Rather he (me) has simply become too old and feeble-minded to properly research" columns. He is asking the Ontario Press Council to take action on my "breach of ethical standards."

- Maureen Chilko is "stunned" by the response of owners whenever a dog or child is attacked by a pit bull. "Dog owners have the same response: 'I have no idea what happened, the dog has always been so gentle, we've never had problems with this dog.' " She adds: "While every pit bull is not violent, each has the potential to be violent and attack ... to seriously injure or kill ... due to the physical nature of the breed."

- Colleen Nimere expresses sorrow for Murphy (who's doing well and shows no signs of post-traumatic stress disorder) and focuses on irresponsible owners. She says if pit bulls weren't available, "I assume their next dog of choice would not be a Shih Tzu." She owns a pit bull who, "muzzle and all," is the mascot of "his human sister's soccer team." She thinks Jack Russells are "easily irritated" and not good with little children. By owning one I am putting grandchildren at risk. (My response: Murphy -- like her five predecessors -- adores kids but hides under the bed when they get rambunctious).

- Lisa LeLeu recalls that her son was attacked "by a supposedly nice family pit bull." She has started an educational website to teach dog safety.

- Eric Sparling calls my account of the attack on Murphy "shoddy journalism" and says "there isn't a dog breed on the planet that hasn't attacked at some point." Owners should be held responsible, but he "rejects ... the specious assumption that aggressiveness or a propensity to attack can be determined by a dog's appearance or breed distinction."

- Sophie Zaworski calls my column a "rant" and says the problem lies with authorities who don't police who buys a cat or dog -- which "any moron can purchase." She tells of a Yorkshire terrier that "ripped its owner's nose off," but the media don't seek to ban that breed. She owns a Staffordshire terrier and an Akita, and views small dogs as a greater menace.

- Selma Mulvey doesn't think much of me, but is more upset at "the Ontario Liberals unfounded, unresearched and ill-advised attempt to play to the gallery as a result of media-driven hysteria around the purported 'breed' of dog."

- Nancy Flint, probably speaks for all factions when she cites her car bumper sticker: "There are no bad dogs, just bad owners."

This, then, is a cross-section of views on the pit bull issue, resulting from the unprovoked attack on Murphy and our concern that it could have happened on our small grandchildren or the neighbours child, since the dog was never muzzled, and ran free.

In a future article I'll explore why pit bulls, despite their fans, are not suitable to be trained for work with the police.

Monday, July 10, 2006



Since Peter Worthington mentioned me by name in his recent column about his dog being bitten by a pit bull (July 5) I felt it was important to respond.

I am sorry Mr. Worthington's dog was bitten.

I am sorry for the "pit bull" that had its leg bitten off by a husky.

I am very sorry for the man who was bitten by a Newfoundland dog when it went for his dog.

I am very, very sorry for the child whose face was ripped open by a Jack Russell terrier.

I am profoundly sorry for the child who spent two days in a coma after being attacked by a German Shepherd.

Do I think that any of those incidents were a result of the dog's breed? No.

Do I think that all of them were the result of irresponsible ownership? Yes.

Worthington and I share a concern: We want people to be responsible for their dogs' behaviour. Train, control, socialize. Where we diverge is on the issue of breed.

Contrary to Worthington's assertion, one person's experience does not constitute research.
Karen Delise is one person who has done sterling research into the issue of dog attacks, published in her fascinating book, Fatal Dog Attacks (2002, Anubis). Her research into over 30 years of dog attacks identified three factors that appear to play a critical role in the display of canine aggression towards humans. Breed is not one of them. The prime cause for the three factors is human -- the irresponsible owner.

But, for me, this isn't about dogs.


When Worthington writes, as he did in a column in May, "I think something is basically wrong with people who own these types of dogs," he disparages parents, doctors, nurses, lawyers, veterinarians, office workers, entrepreneurs, artists, musicians, and many, many others who are law-abiding dog owners, solely because of the shape of their dogs.

My greatest objection to the Ontario Liberals' unfounded, unjust and shoddy "pit bull ban" is that it makes responsible, law-abiding dog owners into second-class citizens based solely on the shape of property they own -- their dogs -- without any offence having been committed.
Any thinking person who reads the legislation (available online at and the evidence concerning Bill 132 presented to the Standing Committee on the Legislative Assembly has to shudder.

All dog owners must read this legislation to be aware of the provisions that affect them, regardless of breed.

In their pursuit of this breed ban, the Ontario Liberals rejected many common-sense solutions to reduce dog bites and attacks -- promoting spaying/neutering, strict enforcement of leash and licensing laws, bite prevention education for children and adults, strict enforcement to reduce backyard breeding, stricter laws governing breeders and trainers, funding to municipalities for dangerous dog control, and a centralized dog bite registry.

Every dog has teeth. Any dog can bite.

No one wants to be bitten by any dog, regardless of breed.

The responsibility for preventing a dog bite rests solely with the dog's owner.

Any dog that is untrained, unsocialized, tethered, allowed to roam, neglected or abused has the potential to go one of two ways -- either to bite, or not.

Breed is irrelevant.

Thirty years ago, German Shepherd dogs were the demon breed. Then Dobermans. Then Rottweilers. Now "pit bulls."

Which breed will be next to be targeted by media hysteria and ambitious politicians for demonization and extermination?

Will your breed be next?

It is the owner's deed, not the dog's breed, which should be the subject of the law.

Not the shape of the dog.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Complaint article to the Toronto Sun Re: Worthington article

I am writing to formally complain about the Toronto Sun, and specifically two columns written by Peter Worthington that are factually inaccurate, prejudiced, biased, and tend to encourage discrimination against an oppressed minority, being owners of pit bulls in Ontario.

The subject matter is two columns written with respect to pit bulls, Ontario ban on the breed, and the character of owners of the dogs. These columns appeared in The Toronto Sun on May 18, 2006 ("Bites' worse than its bark") and on July 5, 2006 ("Pitbull attacks columnists dog").
The articles in question made several unsubstantiated, and in fact false, allegations of fact regarding pit bulls, their owners, and the propensity of the dogs to attack children and other animals.

In the first column on May 18, Worthington made the following false and defamatory claims:

"Despite Ruby's claim that only 4% of all dog bites are done by pit bull types, too often it's this 4% that result in deaths, or the neighbour's kid having his face chewed off."

"Frankly, I think something is basically wrong with people who own these types of dogs. Especially in a city, or in an apartment. Sometimes, one is tempted to say that owners, rather than their dogs, deserve to be "put down."

"So who is likely to own these dogs that Attorney General Michael Bryant has called a "menace," "dangerous" and "a loaded weapon waiting to go off"?"

"Drug dealers seem to like them for protection, as do people who live in risky areas. Others like the idea of a "pet" that intimidates others."

"It's not the fault of pit bulls that they are what they are. They are guard dogs, weapons, not house pets like Tricky-woo, Spot or Lassie."

The above comments incorrectly claim that pit bulls are disproportionately more likely to chew a kid's face off, that there is something wrong with owners of pit bulls, that such owners deserve to be "put down". It also quotes an inflammatory and false statement from the attorney general, without any proof or counter-opinion, that pit bulls are a "menace", "dangerous" and a "loaded weapon waiting to go off". All of the above is stated as fact, without supporting statistics or evidence of any kind.

Worthington then states that pit bulls are "guard dogs, weapons, not house pets like Tricky-woo, Spot or Lassie".

In fact dog professionals know that pit bulls are terrible guard dogs, that they are unlikely to bite or attack humans even when threatened. Also, pit bulls have been family pets for generations, including the famous Pete the Pup of the Our Gang series, and a favourite companion of Helen Keller, among other famous owners. Every professional group of any repute, including dog breeders, kennel clubs and veterinarians have defended pit bulls as stable and friendly dogs.

In the later column published July 5, 2006, Worthington says:

"But pit bulls are dogs with big heads, huge jaws, fearless, and are dangerous to anything that irritates them."

"Even minimal research indicates their prime targets, when they go berserk, are small children and small dogs -- toy poodles, Lhasa Apsos and the like. Rarely does one hear of pit bulls attacking German shepherds, Rottweillers, Doberman pinschers."

"One wonders why people want a dog that by law must be muzzled and leashed - something "Sniper" seems rarely to have endured."

"Often people want them as a secondary defence against police," said Gary Davis. "They are owner-specific, unpredictable and often dangerous."

"As for Clayton Ruby, a skilled lawyer, I'll bet his personal experience with pit bull-type dogs is limited; I doubt he's ever been victimized by one."Here he has claimed that pit bulls are "dangerous to anything that irritates them". He then cites his admittedly "minimal research" as support that small children and small dogs are prime targets for allegedly "berserk" pit bulls. Again, no evidence or research is cited, and in fact no such research exists. Perhaps small dogs may be more likely to be harmed in a fight with a larger dog, but certainly this could not be proof that pit bulls bully small dogs.

He then repeats the urban legend that pit bulls are the preferred dog of criminals. This, along with allegations that they were preferred by members of drug dealers and the Ku Klux Klan, appears to be more a result of attempts to discredit dog fighting than by any real history of the dog breed or its owners. Many respectable people have and do own pit bulls, and in fact this breed has been a popular choice of families for generations.

Worthington then libels Clayton Ruby by claiming that he has taken on the defence of pit bulls with little knowledge of the breed. I am sure that Mr. Ruby is capable of defending himself, but I am also certain that he knows far more about pit bulls than does Peter Worthington. It is disgraceful that Mr. Worthington would defame a renowned lawyer for having the temerity to defend an oppressed group from discrimination.

I have written twice to the Toronto Sun complaining about these columns without response. My emails are attached along with copies of the offending articles.

Mr. Worthington has apparently undertaken a vendetta against pit bulls and the people who love them, perhaps inspired by his limited but negative experience. The Toronto Sun has allowed this to continue and has failed to provide any corrections to the inaccurate and libelous information published, or any balance to the biased and prejudiced reporting of Mr. Worthington.

This conduct is particularly grievous in view of the discrimination faced by pit bull owners in Ontario. This is the only jurisdiction in North America that has seen fit to ban the breed throughout a province or state. The government has itself engaged in vicious and unwarranted attacks on pit bulls and their owners and many pit bull owners have been subject to discrimination in housing and insurance as a result of the public disinformation campaign of the government. The actions of Peter Worthington and the Toronto Sun have shamefully contributed to the oppression of pit bull owners.

Bryan R. Dale
Barrister & Solicitor

Police: 'Survivor' shot puppy with arrow

Well, imagine my shock finding this article.

Brian, man. What the heck were you thinking? Now I have to not like you anymore.

"Survivor" winner Brian Heidik
has been charged with cruelty
to animals.

ATLANTA, Georgia (AP) -- A winner of the popular reality show "Survivor" was arrested Wednesday after allegedly shooting a puppy with an arrow.

Brian Heidik, 38, was released on bond after being charged with battery and cruelty to animals.

During the bond hearing in Douglas County Magistrate Court, Heidik told a judge he thought the dog was a coyote that has been harassing his pets, WSB-TV reported on its Web site.

Douglas County Chief Deputy Stan Copeland said it was a puppy.

"At about 3 a.m., his wife called to report that he was outside and that he had shot a puppy that was on his property with an arrow and planned to shoot another one," Copeland said.

When sheriff's deputies arrived, Heidik -- who won "Survivor: Thailand" in 2002 -- fled in his car but was quickly caught and taken back to the home where the incident occurred.

Heidik's wife, Charmaine, and 5-year-old son were present at the home at the time of the incident, Copeland said.

Copeland said there was evidence in the home to support a charge of battery for family violence. Because the case is pending, he could not elaborate on the nature of the evidence.

Both the wounded puppy and the second puppy were turned over to animal control officials to determine who they belonged to.

Heidik did not immediately respond to a a message from The Associated Press left on an answering machine at one of two phones listed in his name in Douglasville, which is 21 miles west of Atlanta. There was no answer Wednesday afternoon at the second number.

Heidik is a former North Carolina State football player, used-car salesman and part-time actor.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Some rebuttles from others who have read the recent article

Peter Worthington is not a stupid man. He is a seasoned veteran of the journalism profession. He knows how to do proper research and he knows how to write unbiased and reasoned articles and columns. Thus, the only conclusion to which I can logically arrive regarding his latest column (Pitbull attacks columnist's dog) is that he is writing this drivel simply in order to get a reaction (i.e., sell newspapers). It cannot be because he truly believes it. Mr. Worthington is a military man and, as such, is surely aware of the need for reliable intelligence and valid research. If someone were to suggest that the military use Mr. Worthington's latest research attempt as a model, they'd be laughed out of the war room.

A little research by Mr. Worthington would show that, in 2004, 0.05% of pit bull type dogs in Toronto were involved in bites to humans that required any stitches at all. That's one twentieth of one percent, one dog for every 2,000. Not exactly an epidemic.

I am sorry that this incident happened to Murphy and, if I were his owner, I'd be angry too. But this was not an all-out attack with the intention to kill. This was six stitches. Let's put this into perspective. Six stitches equates to a two or three inch cut. This is not, as Mr. Worthington describes, "ripping a chunk from her ribs". There are dog fights every day in this city that result in far more than six stitches, with the injuries perpetrated by many different dogs of many different breeds. This is not something that is unique to pit bulls, or even to dogs. Every day, in this city, children receive more than six stitches for falling off bikes, skateboards, and playground equipment. This can be substantiated from hospital records, particularly the Canadian Hospital Injury Reporting and Prevention Program (CHIRPP).

If Mr. Worthington did his research, he'd know this.

I have spent years at leash-free parks in Toronto and have seen many dog arguments and many real attacks. My own dog, a pit bull type, bears the scars from a Wheaton Terrier four years ago. Another friend's dog, also a pit bull type, had its side ripped open by a German Shepherd. As recently as last week in a local Toronto dog park, a dog sustained serious injuries from another dog (not a pit bull) that may require months of recovery. In Midland, an Airedale Terrier attacked and severely injured a seizure-alert dog, ruining that dog's future as a service dog. In Port Colborne, two loose Labrador Retrievers killed a Pomeranian and attacked an on-leash pit bull. They had killed another dog a year earlier.

A simple Internet search by Mr. Worthington would show him that a child has never been killed by a pit bull type dog in Canada. Yet, numerous other breeds, including breeds considered to be ideal family pets, have killed children in this country.

Scientific tests of the temperaments of thousands of dogs representing hundreds of breeds showed that, contrary to Mr. Worthington's unsubstantiated statement that they are dangerous to anything that irritates them, pit bull type dogs are, in fact, more tolerant of irritations than most other breeds, including the Golden Retriever, the poodle, and the beagle.

That is called research, Mr. Worthington.

A small number of attacks, no matter how serious, does not represent the nature or inherent temperament of an entire group. If applied to any group other than dogs, not only would this "painting with one brush" be politically incorrect and scientifically inaccurate, it would also be illegal.

I find it sad, frustrating, and insulting that the OPP feels it politically necessary to engage in a manhunt (doghunt) for a domestic animal that caused a three-inch cut on another domestic animal. This was an incident that, if it had happened in any dog park in Toronto, would have resulted in one owner paying the other owner's vet bill and both chalking it up to dogs being dogs.

Regrettable? Yes. Preventable? Absolutely. Worth the paper the story was printed on? I think not.

Steve Barker

Once again, Peter Worthington has launched an unfounded attack on pit bulls. At least this time, he admits that he has "minimally researched" the subject. Perhaps, like Dan Rather, he has simply become too old and feeble-minded to properly research his columns.

Like CBS, I expect the Sun to take action to uphold their standards of reporting, however. The standards shown by Worthington of late, are more suited to a supermarket tabloid than to a respected big city newspaper. Perhaps next, you will be running headlines of alien abductions and two headed men? After all, even minimal research could turn up such stories.

This is the second time in recent months that Worthington has chosen to libel pit bulls and their owners with an unresearched rant. As I have received no response to my previous complaints, I will be forwarding this to the Ontario Press Council for action on your breach of their ethical standards.

Bryan Dale

Pitbull attacks columnist's dog


In a discussion on Sun-TV a while back on the ban of pit bull types of dogs, I reluctantly supported the ban because it's just not right to have an animal that threatens other animals and children.

I didn't blame the dog --bred for excessive loyalty and courage -- but facetiously (I thought) suggested that a ban on pit bull owners might be more appropriate -- even "putting them down" instead of the dog.

This touched off a rash of responses from pit bull owners testifying to the gentleness of their dogs "who wouldn't hurt a fly." Well, it wasn't flies I was concerned about, but kids and other small dogs. One lady piously wondered why I wanted to "put her down" (murder) when she'd never harmed me. That sort of stuff.

One Dianne Singer, describing herself as a proud member of the Dog Legislation Council of Canada and a proud supporter of the Banned Aid Coalition, sent a nasty letter: "Should I conclude that all your writing is as poorly researched and irresponsible as that infamous column" (on Ontario's pit bull ban). Well, stand by Ms. Singer for some first hand "research!"

When it comes to issues between people and animals, I tend to side with animals. But pit bulls are dogs with big heads, huge jaws, fearless, and are dangerous to anything that irritates them.
Even minimal research indicates their prime targets, when they go berserk, are small children and small dogs -- toy poodles, Lhasa Apsos and the like. Rarely does one hear of pit bulls attacking German shepherds, Rottweillers, Doberman pinschers.

Last summer, a couple of young guys moved into a house next to where we have a house in Wellington, west of Picton in Prince Edward County.

We had grandkids of various ages (youngest 3) running around, and an oft-publicized Jack Russell terrier (Murphy), who once got a bravery medal from the Toronto Humane Society for alerting us to a burglar breaking in one night.

With us, too, was a King Charles Spaniel (Jumble), whose sexual orientation we often debate, and a lumbering yellow Lab, (Cobber) who'd qualify for sainthood if he didn't insist on eating things like Warfrin, kitty litter and corn on the cob that sometimes require costly surgery to correct.

The new tenants had a pit bull with the menacing name of "Sniper" who frequently got loose and headed for our place. The owner was alarmingly indifferent, but when my wife, Yvonne, and daughter warned them to keep their dog away, he agreed.

I reinforced the admonition by visiting him and warning that if the dog menaced us, our grandkids or Murphy, "Sniper" would be in big trouble.

"He's not dangerous, just playful," I was assured.

"Plays with kids, don't worry, we keep him tied up." I insisted it wasn't me who had to worry, but him and his dog if it got loose.

Well, of course it got loose. Often. Once we saw it swimming in Lake Ontario near our place and diving to the bottom and fetching rocks the size of bread loaves.

A nice couple from Toronto who have the lot next to us are worried for their little girl because the pit bull has come onto their property. They'd already alerted Animal Control.

Last Thursday, as I was about to leave Toronto to go to Wellington for Canada Day, I got an alarmed phone call from Yvonne.

"Don't worry," she said, "She's going to be all right, but there was an incident."

"Who's all right?" I said, instantly alert. "Dani, Mandy, Buzzy? Are they okay? What happened?"

"No, it's Murphy -- the pit bull attacked her but the vet has stitched her up, and she'll be okay."

It seems that Yvonne was walking up our dirt road, and turned back when she saw the pit bull loose in its yard. Unfortunately, the dog saw her, and immediately charged and attacked Murphy, bowling her over and ripping a chunk from her ribs. As it wheeled to re-attack, Yvonne screamed. A young guy ran from the house yelling "Snipe, stop it!"

The pit bull paused. Yvonne scooped up the bloody Murphy, and drove frantically to the vet near Picton.

When the vet, who's owned Jack Russells, heard the story he said Prince Edward County takes dog attacks seriously "and that pit bull is history."

After half a dozen stitches, a sedated Murphy came home and Yvonne phoned Animal Control -- which knew all about the pit bull and its owner from past complaints.

A couple of animal control officers -- Shannon and supervisor Garry Davis -- came out impressively fast to get details. Another, Jim, called the next day. They took photographs of Murphy's wound and said the pit bull would be seized the minute the owner could be found.
Meanwhile the OPP were notified in Belleville and surrounding towns in case the owner and dog decided to go on the lam -- which was the case. By the time Animal Control arrived with a warrant to seize the dog, it and its handler were gone The animal control people said while they took dog attacks seriously, ever since Toronto lawyer Clayton Ruby started defending pit bull owners, convictions have become a lengthy process.

It took four months to get a conviction of an owner whose pit bull bit a cop. During the interim, the dog has to be kept at taxpayers' expense, then euthanized.

Personally, I don't blame the dog. Like pedophiles, they simply can't resist attacking what they see as weak, defenceless, easy or vulnerable. It's just the way they are -- bred that way by people who've done the breed a disservice.

Yesterday, they nabbed Sniper. "The OPP really pulled out all stops," said Garry Davis. "They knew the guy, visited his friends, and he just ran out of places to hide and turned himself and the dog into the OPP."

It turned out that the pit bull was registered to someone else, who has tentatively agreed that the dog should be euthanized.

Michael Laird is due in court on Friday to face five charges involving endangerment, mishandling the dog, improper care, etc. If convicted he'll likely be forbidden to ever own a pit bull type dog.

"I'm sorry about Murphy," said Davis, "but it was only a matter of time before that dog attacked a child, and that would have been tragic."

One wonders why people want a dog that by law must be muzzled and leashed - something "Sniper" seems rarely to have endured.

"Often people want them as a secondary defence against police," said Gary Davis. "They are owner-specific, unpredictable and often dangerous."

As for Clayton Ruby, a skilled lawyer, I'll bet his personal experience with pit bull-type dogs is limited; I doubt he's ever been victimized by one.

If this had happened in the "bad" old days, the issue of "Sniper" would have been resolved with a shotgun.

Instead, he's a victim of his breeding.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Letter carrier carries scars of dog attack

This happened two months ago???? Then why wasn't it printed until yesterday?


Letter carrier Duane Snyder of Cambridge is still recovering from a dog bite injury he received while delivering mail in May in a southwest Guelph neighbourhood.

GUELPH (Jul 3, 2006)
Duane Snyder walked along his typical mail delivery route on May 3. It's a quiet, residential neighbourhood with few dogs.

Despite the safety of his route, Snyder was about to experience what has become an increasing hazard for people in his line of work.

The 40-year old was delivering letters on the southwest side of Guelph when he passed a house he'd gone by many times before.

Without any mail to deliver to the location, he began to walk past it. But he had barely cleared the property when the owner of the house and his dog, a pitbull-Labrador cross, came outside and Snyder was attacked by the dog.

The letter carrier was able to fend off the dog, but not before it bit him, leaving behind three open wounds on the back of his right hand and taking him off his walk for more than two months.

"I was in total shock," Snyder said from his home in Cambridge. "I (saw) the dog come out of the house, but I didn't expect him to lunge at me."

Snyder screamed until the dog's owner pulled the dog off him and took it back into the house. In his 15 years with Canada Post, Snyder had been nipped by over-excited poodles before, but he was shocked by the attack that day.

Snyder's experience is becoming a more regular occurrence, said Tom Creech a spokesperson for Canada Post.

Last Wednesday, a Kitchener letter carrier was bitten by a German shepherd.

The carrier, an employee of Canada Post for three years, wasn't seriously injured and returned to work the next day.

But not all carriers are so lucky.

In the Kitchener-Cambridge-Guelph area last year there were 12 dog bite incidents that saw employees off work for five days.

In Guelph, five letter carriers -- including Snyder -- have been attacked in the last year, said Kathy Vella, a supervisor for Canada Post in Guelph.

All carriers are warned of dogs along their route, said Vella.

They're given the addresses of where dogs live.

But sometimes the warning isn't enough to protect her employees.

Following an attack on a Chatham letter carrier by two pit bull-type dogs two years ago, Canada Post began sending out letters to customers with dogs warning them to keep their pets away from mailboxes and door slots, and to make sure dogs cannot escape out of screen doors, Creech said.

After last week's incident in Kitchener, similar letters will again be distributed to dog owners in southern Ontario.

Duane Snyder hopes informing customers of the perils that face him and his co-workers will help prevent future dog attacks.

Since the May incident Snyder has been on light duty work, because of the injuries he sustained.
His wounds have all but healed, leaving behind small scars. But his wrist and shoulder aren't back to what they used to be, he says.

His forearm is still in a splint as he waits for his wrist to heal.

Although the attack was a traumatizing experience, Snyder wants to get back to his delivery duties.

"It's just like riding a horse. You fall off, you get back on," he said.

But he knows there's always the chance it could happen again.

"There's always the risk of it happening again. It could happen to anybody," said Snyder.

"I'm a little leery of going back to that house . . . Is it going to happen again?"