Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Pit Bull Owners Protest Ban With Vigil

Monday August 28, 2006

Ontario's Bill 132 - "the pit bull ban" - is a relatively simple piece of legislation. Pit bulls born after a certain date must be euthanized in the interest of public safety, and those born before the date can live out their natural lives so long as they wear muzzles in public.

But many pit bull owners and dog lovers still vehemently oppose the ban, and on Sunday some gathered to voice that continued displeasure. Dozens were on hand at a candle light vigil on the lawn at Queen's Park protesting the ban, and not all of them even own a pit bull.

"Police may now enter a private residence, based on the suspicion that there is a dangerous dog inside that residence," said dog lover Selma Mulvin of her concerns regarding the law.

And she's nowhere near alone in worrying about that. Other's on hand insisted their dogs were harmless and being treated unfairly.

"He's a very fun-loving active dog," said a pit bull owner named Fabian.

Fabian's dog, Dolce, has worn a muzzle its entire life. And the dog, like the owner, isn't the least bit crazy about it.

"He just tries to take his muzzle off as we walk," Fabian added.

The ban came into effect almost a year ago after a series of pit bill attacks. Supporters of the new law said it was a victory and that it would prevent more attacks from happening.

But protests aside, Ontario's Attorney General Michael Bryant has made the rules law crystal clear.

"Pit bulls: banned. Banned. We are banning pit bulls," Bryant said at the time of the law's inception.

And yet the file may may not be sealed just yet.

Currently, a group of owners are in the process of launching a constitutional challenge to the law. The case was heard in the courts in May, but a decision is still pending.

What breeds are included in the pit bull ban?

American Staffordshire terriers, pit bull terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers, and American pit bull terriers - also any other breeds sharing 'substantially similar' characteristics

When did it take effect?

Monday, August 29, 2005, and a 60-day grace period ended Friday, October 28.

What are the regulations?

The amendments to the Dog Owners' Liability Act (DOLA) bar people from owning, breeding, transferring, importing, or abandoning pit bulls.

Pit bulls kept legally after the ban will be known as 'grandfathered' or restricted pit bulls.

In order for a pit bull to qualify as a 'grandfathered' or restricted pit bull, it must be owned by an Ontario resident on August 29 or born in Ontario within 90 days of August 29.

As of October 28, 2005, pit bull owners have to have their dogs leashed and muzzled in public and sterilized. Additionally, owners aren't allowed to train them to fight, and can't let them stray.

The only time a muzzle isn't required is when the dog is on the owner's property, or on another person's property if they consent to the muzzle's removal.

Muzzles should be humane, but strong enough to prevent the animal from biting without interfering with its ability to breathe, pant, see, or drink.

The leash must not exceed 1.8 metres.

What are the potential penalties if laws are broken?

$10,000 fine ($60,000 for corporations) and/or

Six months imprisonment and/or

The court could order the person convicted to compensate the victim and/or

The animal could be taken away or destroyed


Blogger Conners said...

Court was held May 15th thru May 18th in which the judge said she would announce her verdict betwwen 2 to 3 months or longer.
It's been 4 months now and still not a word. Do you think she's forgotten about us???

10:33 AM  
Blogger pitbulljungle said...

I've heard the verdict will be said in October or November.

5:43 PM  
Blogger Conners said...

Email me and tell me more PLEASE!!!
Use my primary email addy.

2:29 AM  

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