Wednesday, September 27, 2006


The Toronto Sun
Tue 26 Sep 2006 - Editorial/Opinion

We're shocked and appalled. How could Premier Dalton McGuinty possibly name Health Minister George Smitherman his new deputy premier?

Doesn't McGuinty remember that Smitherman admitted last spring to having had a five-year addiction to illegal "party drugs"?

So how could he decide to give Smitherman a promotion with the resumption of the Ontario Legislature yesterday? Didn't McGuinty and Co. make it abundantly clear in the recent Parkdale-High Park byelection that they believe a past admission of drug use should disqualify someone from public office? Except, apparently, for Liberal cabinet ministers.

During the byelection, the McGuinty Liberals hysterically warned, among other things, that NDP candidate Cheri DiNovo, a United Church minister, had previously admitted in her sermons (and on VISION TV) to being a troubled street kid, who had used drugs and smuggled some LSD from California.

McGuinty never disavowed such Liberal tactics prior to election night. Voters, however, shrugged and DiNovo, who took her seat in the Legislature yesterday, easily defeated the Grit candidate in a riding previously held by the Liberals.

McGuinty's elevation of Smitherman to deputy premier is especially hypocritical given that DiNovo's admissions of past drug use were much less serious than Smitherman's.

While both DiNovo and Smitherman stopped using drugs before they first ran for elected office, Smitherman's years of drug abuse occurred while he was an adult, not a street kid, as was the case with DiNovo. Further, DiNovo, never hid her past, while Smitherman hid his from McGuinty when the premier appointed him health minister in 2003.

Smitherman didn't come clean until last spring, when McGuinty praised him for publicly confessing his addiction, even though he hid it when McGuinty named him to cabinet.

Oddly, we keep hearing that the Liberals' strategy in next October's general election will be to run McGuinty as a "nice guy."

Uh, nice to whom? Cheri DeNovo? Parents with autistic children? The people of Caledonia? The residents of London and vicinity who are about to be stuck with taking Toronto's trash, aided and abetted by McGuinty's government? This is a "nice guy"? Gee, we'd hate to see him when he's angry.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Legal Challenge at Risk - Banned Aid Needs Help


Twice the size of Texas.

Three times the size of Germany.

Five times the size of the United Kingdom.

Home to a breed-specific legislative ban covering the largest geo-political area in the world.

A ban that discriminates not by action or deed, but by physical appearance.

A ban that targets not only "pit bulls", American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers and Staffordshire Bull Terriers", but haunts *ANY* pure-or-crossbred canine bearing a substantial physical resemblance to one of the aforementioned. The 2004 brainchild of the province's Attorney General, Michael Bryant, the now-infamous Bill 132 was conceived as a vote-grabbing safety measure; a poorly designed and ill-appointed law geared to target the public's visceral fear of dog attacks. Implemented in August of 2005, retribution against innocent canines and their owners was swift.

Walking your pet without a muzzle now means risking seizure without warrant. Visitors and residents alike travelling without certified documentation face the spectre of breed (mis)-identificatio n looming around every corner.

Pets showing natural protective tendencies within the boundaries of their home turf may now be turned in on the suspicion of being 'menacing'. This last is particularly frightening; simple barking at passers-by can be interpreted as 'threatening behaviour' by control officers with no training in either animal behaviour or breed identification. Failure to pass muster on any of the above can and will result in a one-way trip to the official's choice of humane society, pound or research facility.

There are few second chances.

This ban has raised both the conscience and ire of dog lovers from British Columbia to Prince Edward Island . It's not just a 'pit-bull' issue. It's a Rottweiler issue, a Doberman issue. It's about Boxers and Bullmastiffs, Bull Terriers, Neapolitan Mastiffs and Boston Terriers, Great Danes and Vizslas... are you surprised? These are but a handful of breeds that have come under scrutiny and endured public censure following the implementation and subsequent over-broad interpretation of A.G. Bryant's Bill.

From the beginning, concerned groups and individuals questioned the feasibility of a legal challenge - a challenge directed at the violation of constitutional rights, yet still allowing for the punishment of those who wilfully put animals and people in harm's way. Prominent trial and constitutional lawyer Clayton Ruby was immediately retained.

With the help of the American Staffordshire Terrier Club of Canada, the Golden Horseshoe American Pit Bull Terrier Club, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of Canada and Advocates for the Underdog, a coalition was formed including the Dog Legislation Council of Canada and aptly named "Banned-Aid" . This group was to play a prominent role in the ensuing months, bringing the plight of Ontario's dogs to those who otherwise might never have considered the gravity of the situation. Their determination paid off; the spring of 2006 saw a trial date set, and on May 15th, 16th and 18th, Justice T. Herman heard final arguments from both sides in Ontario's Superior Court.

The battle, however, is not quite over. Government-initiate d delays have resulted in the near-doubling of our legal fees, which have long passed initial "guesstimates" and are closing in on the 1/2 million mark. In this we are running out of time. Generous time allowances by Clayton Ruby's offices have merely slowed the inevitable, that being we *MUST* come up with $100,000 in two weeks' time for this case to continue.

The importance of being present to rebut this new motion cannot be overestimated. Lacking an opposing legal presence gives government lawyers carte blanche while countering from our side greatly increases the chances of any further introductions being struck down as frivolous. Ruby strongly believes this attempt to be a last-gasp 'smoke screen' effort by our opposition, carefully orchestrated to bring us to our financial knees. We cannot let this happen. If we have come this far, it is in large part due to the faith of our members, friends and allies - individuals who possess the same gritty determination hallmarking the breeds this Bill seeks to eliminate forever.

We are so very, very close. For the latest updates and news briefs, we urge you to visit the Dog Legislation Council of Canada website at:

www.doglegislationc ouncilcanada. org

If you believe - as we do - that victory is a mere leash-length away, then please help by donating to the Ontario Legal Challenge of Bill 132 through the following agents:

Banned Aid Coalition - www.bannedaid. com

Send a cheque or money order payable to Banned Aid to:

Cathy Prothro
National Secretary/Treasurer - Banned Aid Coalition
351 Pleasant Street
Dartmouth NS B2Y 3S4


Mark a cheque "Banned Aid - In Trust' on the memo line; make payable to "Ruby and Edwardh" and send to:

Ruby and Edwardh
11 Prince Arthur Avenue
Toronto, ON M5R 1B2

No donation is too small, no suggestion unimportant. Each and every contribution is humbly appreciated - indeed, more than can be possibly expressed. We know the dogs this saves would thank you if they could.


Banned Aid Coalition
351 Pleasant Street
Dartmouth NS B2S 3Y4

Pit Bull Ban Punishes Dogs for Bad Owners

Monday , September 25, 2006
By Radley Balko

This is Rufus. Last February, Rufus was named best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club.
With his football-shaped head, muscular haunches, and powerful jaws, Rufus might, under the right circumstances, look pretty intimidating. He's harmless, of course, as are the vast majority of bull terriers with responsible owners.

Unfortunately, there are a growing number of cities in North American that want nothing to do with Rufus. In addition to several smaller towns, Kansas City , Mo. , recently followed the lead of Denver , Colo. , and Ontario , Canada , in instituting a ban on "pit bulls."

Any animal meeting the "pit bull" description found in the city will either be turned over to shelters outside the city or, more likely, euthanized.

These types of breed-specific prohibitions are a bad idea for a variety of reasons, but the most glaring is that the most common target of these laws — the "pit bull" — isn't really a breed at all but rather a generic name given to dogs with with features we've come to associate with a certain type of dog with certain aggressive characteristics. The "pit bull" very generally refers to the American Staffordshire Terrier breed, but can include a number of breeds with similar features, including bull terriers like Rufus, and just about any mutt with traces of bulldog, mastiff, or bloodhound crossed with any breed of terrier.

Test yourself — see if you can find the pit bull on this page.

When she was a puppy, I was repeatedly warned that one of my own dogs might be mistaken for a pit bull should I move to an area where they're banned. She's the sweetest, most harmless dog I've ever known, unless you happen to be a rug or a pair of shoes. I once came home to finder her curled up in the cable guys' lap.

The New Yorker's Malcolm Gladwell has written about research showing that pit bull-ish dogs don't deserve their reputation. Gladwell found a study from a research group in Georgia that has so far tested more than 25,000, measuring stability, shyness, aggressiveness, and friendliness in interaction with people. Gladwell writes, "Eighty-four per cent of the pit bulls that have been given the test have passed, which ranks pit bulls ahead of beagles, Airedales, bearded collies, and all but one variety of dachshund."

The president of the group said pit bulls even test unusually well with children.

Dogs commonly called pit-bulls do have unusually strong jaws, a characteristic commonly cited by advocates of eradicating the dogs. The American Staffordshire Terrier is also unusually smart, driven, and determined — all of which make it a challenging dog to own, particularly for new dog owners. But there are many breeds of dog that can deliver a nasty bite when provoked. And herding dogs are even more difficult to own and train than so-called pit-bulls, particularly for people with children (they sometimes nip at the heels of children in an effort to corral them).

The attention directed at pit bulls seems to be more due to their trendiness and their popularity with disreputable owners, not to any unique aggressiveness in the dogs' genetics. Just a few years ago, the tough-guy dog du jour was the equally powerful Rottweiler. Dobermans and German Shepherds have also done their time in the spotlight as the pariah breed.

The problem then is with the owners, not with the dogs. Ban pit bulls, and the riffraff that breeds and trains them for nefarious purposes will simply move on to another breed.

The law in Kansas City , however, is particularly dumb — though it does aptly show just how misguided the thinking among public officials on this issue can be. Apparently, the city has instituted an "amnesty period," during which well-intentioned owners can turn their pups over for euthanization without facing a fine.

To see the folly in that proposal, consider two hypothetical pit bull owners.

Owner A is a family who had the misfortune of picking a pit bull from the pet store, breeder, or pound. They've raised the dog as a pet, and it lives in a happy, loving home. It's harmless. Owner B is a drug dealer who bought a pit bull to protect his contraband. He has trained the dog to attack. The dog, obviously, is vicious and dangerous.

Which dog owner is more likely to have respect for the law, and take advantage of the amnesty period? Whose dog is more likely to be turned over and euthanized? Kansas City has created a scenario where most of the harmless pit bulls in the city will be destroyed, rather foolishly leaving mostly the dangerous ones. Of course, that result will only reinforce the wrongheaded notion that all dogs that look like pit bulls are inherently violent and aggressive.

Ingrid Newkirk, the president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, actually supports breed-specific bans, including bans on pit bulls. Her reasoning, however, is revealing. In an op-ed for the San Francisco Chronicle last year, she likened pit bull legislation to gun control, which she also supports. That's rather appropriate. Both policies are misguided, and penalize responsible owners for the sins of criminal owners.

To borrow a phrase from the gun rights movement, when pit bulls are criminalized, only criminals will own pit bulls.

Radley Balko is a policy analyst for the Cato Institute specializing in "nanny state" and consumer choice issues, including alcohol and tobacco control, drug prohibition, obesity and civil liberties. Separately, he maintains the The Agitator weblog. The opinions expressed in his column for are his own and are not to be associated with Cato unless otherwise indicated.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Joey Porter's dogs get loose, kill miniature horse

Thursday, September 21, 2006
By Mike Bucsko, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Charges could be filed by the end of the week over an incident Tuesday in which two dogs belonging to Steelers linebacker Joey Porter -- a pit bull and a mastiff -- got loose from Mr. Porter's Pine home and killed a miniature horse at a nearby farm.

The dogs, named Tina and Nemo, were still in the corral with the dead horse when police arrived about 4:45 p.m., said Chief Bob Amann, of the Northern Regional Police Department. The department includes Pine, Marshall, Richland and Bradford Woods.

The owners of the horse, Richard and Eleanor Bowers, were not home at the time and their home was occupied by a daughter, Chief Amann said. The Bowers yesterday declined to comment on the attack.

The 6-year-old American miniature horse was 29 1/2 inches tall, probably smaller than the two dogs. Mastiffs can weigh more than 200 pounds and stand nearly 6 feet on their hind legs.

Police knew immediately to whom the dogs belonged because the dogs had gotten free last year, but caused no problems, Chief Amann said. As a result, Mr. Porter was notified Tuesday and got the dogs under control after he arrived at the scene of the incident on Hill Haven Lane.

The dogs were later transported back to Mr. Porter's Tanglewood Drive home about a mile away by Triangle Pet Control Co. Inc. of McKees Rocks, with which Pine contracts for animal control problems.

Mr. Porter's back yard is completely fenced in, so police are not sure how the dogs got loose, Chief Amann said.Police also notified the regional dog warden with the state Department of Agriculture, which has jurisdiction when a dog is involved in the death of livestock. The agency is acting in an advisory capacity and will coordinate charges and any subsequent issues with local police, said Chris Ryder, a Department of Agriculture spokesman in Harrisburg.

The state has a fund that pays up to $10,000 for damage or the death of an animal in a dog attack. Miniature horses average $4,000 in price.

Charges would be based on the state Dog Law and could include violations of the dangerous dogs and confinement of dogs sections. Other possible violations could result from checks on whether Mr. Porter's dogs were properly licensed and had received the proper rabies shots, Chief Amann said.The charges are summary offenses with a maximum penalty of a $1,000 fine. There are other penalties for the dogs should a judge, in this case District Judge Regis Welsh Jr. in Hampton, determine that they are dangerous.

Mr. Porter issued this statement yesterday:

"I am saddened to learn that my dogs escaped from my yard and attacked and killed a horse. It was an accident and I am not sure how the dogs escaped. We have a very secure yard with a six-foot fence around it and this has never happened before. I have reached out to the owners of the horse and will do whatever I can to help them get through this very unfortunate situation."

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Sue me, St. John's mayor tells owners of attack dogs

Last Updated: Tuesday, September 19, 2006 12:02 PM NT
CBC News

St. John's Mayor Andy Wells says he's prepared to face lawsuits over a city crackdown on aggressive dogs, urging staff to "put the damn dog down" if it seems dangerous.

"We're going to go after them and try to get those dogs," said Wells on Monday night as he responded to a weekend incident in which two pit bulls attacked another dog in the city.

"I've told our staff that whenever we get an animal that they think is dangerous, then — as far as I'm concerned — put the damn dog down," Wells, who owns several dogs himself, told CBC News.

"The owner can take us to court. Let the courts decide what our liability is. We've served the public interest."

The owner of the pit bulls left the scene of the attack — near Quidi Vidi Lake, in the east end of St. John's — without taking responsibility for what had happened.

Sue Martin said she panicked when she saw the two pit bulls attack her pet Misty, an Australian shepherd.

"We spent the next three or four minutes just trying to get his dogs to let go of her, and believe you me, they were not going to let go," she said.

Give higher fines to owners, trainer urges

Dog trainer Glenn Redmond, who spoke for the SPCA as the agency sponsored a forum on aggressive dogs on Monday night, said there are no bad breeds — just bad owners.

Redmond said irresponsible dog owners must face harsher penalties, such as high fines.

"We can't save every dog that has been led down a wrong path, but we can stop a second dog from being led down the same path by the same owner," Redmond said.

More than 200 people attended the SPCA's meeting, which was scheduled before the latest attack took place.

Wells said the people who need to hear the message of taking responsibility of one's pets were not there.

'I have to question the mentality, the mindset, of a human being who'd want to have those types of dogs, that are a threat to other animals and other people.'-St. John's Mayor Andy Wells

"I have to question the mentality, the mindset, of a human being who'd want to have those types of dogs, that are a threat to other animals and other people," said Wells.

"This was a great seminar. The problem is, the wrong people are here," he said.

"[It's] the idiots, the fools and the non-competents that cause all the problems."

City searching for pit bulls' owner

Redmond said the SPCA would like to see several reforms, including a ban on chaining dogs up, which he says can make an animal more aggressive in the long run.

"First thing, we would like to see a ban on tethering," he said.

"Statistically, they say a tethered dog is more dangerous than a roaming pack of dogs.… There' s so many dogs here of unknown temperament."

Meanwhile, Wells said city officials are working hard to identify the owner of the pit bulls that attacked on Sunday.

He said they have narrowed down their search to a small number of owners.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A 14-hour standoff — and no one home

Last Updated: Thursday, September 14, 2006 6:08 PM ET
CBC News

After a 14-hour standoff, police broke down the door of a townhouse in the Ottawa neighbourhood of Bells Corners and searched it — only to find there was no one inside.

Police surrounded the house on Richmond Road near Moodie Drive at about midnight on Wednesday, intending to arrest a 35-year-old man for an earlier domestic assault and uttering threats.

Ottawa Police surrounded the townhouse at about midnight on Wednesday, intending to arrest a man for an earlier domestic assault.

Early Thursday morning, armed police officers cleared people out of townhouses on both sides of the residence, although many people stayed in the area to watch.

Police waited for 14 hours, shouted repeatedly for the suspect and lobbed tear gas before finally entering the building.

Eventually, police officers obtained a new warrant that allowed them to search the house.

They smashed the clasp of the front door with a sledgehammer.

Then they threw a volley of tear gas into the house and continued to shout for the man to come out — but drew no response.

Finally, at about noon, the officers broke down the door.

CBC reporters outside heard the sound of gunshots from inside the house.

It turned out that officers found two pit bulls and shot them dead.

What they did not find was the man they were looking for, despite searching the house from top to bottom, said Const. Steven Desjourdy.

"Police searched the whole building, including the attic. There are no holes in the walls to suppose that he did go into another apartment. So we can only suppose that he might have left last night."

The man presumably escaped despite the fact that police had the house surrounded since Wednesday night.
Fifteen to 20 police officers left the scene after the thorough, but futile search.

Police continue searching for the Ottawa man.

So, why did the police shoot the dogs??? Doesn't make sense to me......

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Rest in Peace Zoey

It is with great regret that I say that Zoey has passed away due to kidney failure.

Zoey was a great ambassador for all dogs, especially the 'pit bull type' dogs. She fought against BSL and helped out many others dealing with this. She passed no judgment on any of her fur friends and now is resting peacefully in Rainbow Bridge.

Zoey, I hope you are running through the hills with Zeus and now neither of you have any more pain.

Pit Bull Barriers

By Dawn Aulet

What breed of dog did Helen Keller choose as her companion? What breed is the only dog to grace the cover of Life magazine? What kind of dog was used to recover the remains of the astronauts killed in the Challenger disaster? What kind of breed was Petey, the dog on "The Little Rascals"?

The answer to all these questions is the same: American pit bull terriers.

Today, the image that comes to mind when you hear "pit bull" is one of ferocious dogs attacking, full teeth bared and locking onto a victim, never letting go.

Even though some pit bulls are vicious, have bitten, mauled and killed, the problem is not in the breed, some animal lovers say.

"You can't just label a breed," said Andy Ivanicky, director of Joliet Township Animal Control. Ivanicky practices what he preaches. His dog is a Doberman.

'Judged individually'
When a dog comes to Animal Control, including a pit bull, it has to be evaluated. Although the township does not have time for intense temperament testing, it can evaluate a dog and see if the dog is friendly.
"Each dog is judged individually," Ivanicky said.

Once temperament is established, Ivanicky does have a clear rule: His first priority is to keep the public safe. So if a dog is aggressive, Ivanicky will euthanize it, especially if it has been in a fighting situation.

"You can never untrain a dog from that type of behavior," Ivanicky said.

For pit bull puppies, Ivanicky usually works with rescue organizations, including A&S Rescue. The group, founded in 2000 by Silvia Simmons, evaluates a pit bull's temperament before placing the dog in a foster home or making it available for adoption. Once a dog passes temperament tests, though, it goes from being a stray to being a beloved family pet.

Take Ty and Sox, for example. Garrett Peck of Plainfield has been a foster parent for A&S. Once Ty came to his house, he found his forever home.

"We took him as a foster with the intention of adopting if it all worked out," he said.

Today, Ty is 1-year-old, and Peck said the male pit bull is just a pushover.

"Ty's a wimp, he's a big baby," Peck said.

Both his dogs, Ty and Sox, 9 months, have been through intense obedience training. Peck took his dogs to Alex Brooks School of Dog Training in Des Plaines. The dogs stayed there for one week, while undergoing thorough training. When Peck and his wife, Christine, picked up the dogs, the trainers taught them how to reinforce the training. Ty and Sox will sit, stay, lie down and maybe most importantly, they will "leave it."

Pit bulls are terriers. And though their aggression is sometimes overstated, their tendency to be hyper is not.

"They are terriers, and these dogs can be extremely high driven," Ivanicky said.

As far as Peck is concerned, Ty passed the ultimate obedience test. A few weeks ago, on a walk through the neighborhood, another dog got loose and attacked Ty. When Ty turned to defend himself, Peck said, "Leave it," and the dog did.

One family's experience
Joliet resident Brian Johnstone is not surprised by that at all.

"Basically, dogs do what they're trained to do," he said.

Brian and his wife, Kari, already had a bulldog named Scully. They were contemplating getting a second dog, but had not really acted on it.

Then, they were at PetSmart and saw Ghia, a red pit bull.

"We fell in love with her," Brian said. "We had our two kids with us, and she was being very docile with them, she was licking them."

Brian was concerned about how Ghia would get along with Sally, but not because Ghia was a pit bull.

"I would have the same concerns if it were a poodle," he said.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Please Help Zoey

Hi everyone!

It's Brutus writing. I've got a serious problem. My friend Zoey has become very sick. Her mommy and daddy are trying everthing that they can, but you know how much vet bills can cost.

Please, I'm asking you to donate some amount of money to her vet bills. She's only two years old and has so much life left in her. She has great parents that are trying to help her but are having a very hard time affording this.

Donations (via Visa or Mastercard) to:
Penetang Veterinary Hospital
(705) 549-8296

Please read the note written by Zoey's daddy and seriously consider donating anything that you can to the vet.

Thanks everyone!

P.S. Here's a a link to my friend Zoey's page on dogster (since picture uploading isn't working on this site again for some strange reason).

Zoey has become very sick over the past few weeks that is why my wife has not been on we've been to the vet the last time was today and it cost me another 288 on top of medical fees totalling 200 last week i love my dog it is a part of our family but i only have so much money living on disability as it is was hard enough to come up with the funds already paid.The vet says another 109 tomorrow for some more blood work and then maybe 800 to 1200 if her intestine is blocked.which wants another 177 for x rays i just don't know what to do with my wifes anxiety and this is all to much at once normally we would never ask strangers for anything but if there is any way anyone of you can find it in your hearts to donate whatever you could for zoey not for me or family ,well for our happiness to keep our dog alive .you could donate to Penetang Veterinary Hospital # (705) 549-8296 Under Tammy and Zoey Cole for account or more info Pmail me , if you would only like to make loan instead of donation please state that and we will make every effort to get your money back to you asap but would really prefer donations as this has already took food of our table and new kids school clothes back cuz vet wont go on payment plan they are pretty heartless with them its all about the money i had to wait 4 days till i got paid just to bring her to vet cuz they wouldn't see her without cash and she lost 10 pounds in 7 days I'm sorry i don't mean to whine but just love zoey very very much couldn't really live without her normally my wife Tammy would be writing but she is by zoey's side and has asked me to write

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

T-Shirts for your Dogs!!!


Louise from has kindly created a doggy t-shirt for the DLCC and $5.00 from each shirt will be going to the legal challenge fund!

The t-shirts come in navy blue and pink and are available in 3 different sizes, 2X, 3X, and 4X.

T-shirts are readily available at All Creatures Great & Small, (Cobourg and Peterborough), Critter Jungle (Ottawa). T shirts are also available on line at Phone orders are also accepted at 1-800-747-7135.

The price for each t-shirt is $25.00. Pictures are attached!!! This is perfect timing as the weather is getting cooler and we all know that bullies need a bit of extra warmth in the fall and winter!!

These shirts were specifically fitted for larger dogs so they fit the bully breeds really well.

Check them out and remember to tell your doggy friends about them too!!