Thursday, March 13, 2008

Dog law problem; Pit bull puppies off to Quebec

There is obviously a problem with Ontario's dog breed-ban law when the Peterborough Humane Society doesn't even agree with it and to avoid the law steps across the borders to another province to avoid the law.

The Peterborough Humane Society is taking seven pit bull puppies to Quebec in a bid to find them homes and save them from destruction.

The refugee puppies will be placed with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Western Quebec. The dogs are not illegal in Quebec.

Under Ontario's breed-ban law, the seven-weeks-old puppies must be destroyed, so Algar is driving them to the border Wednesday with a $200 donation and the hope of finding the dogs a good home.

"It's not their fault they're pit bull puppies," Algar said.

"(My staff) didn't want to do it. I don't blame them," Algar said. "I don't want to do it either."
Euthanasia laws are understandable if a dog bites or attacks another dog or person, he said, but the puppies aren't a threat.

The border run is a first for the Peterborough Humane Society, but may not be the last and others may be doing the same thing.

Since the provincial pit-bull ban came into effect in 2005, Algar said, he's been working on finding a way to save dogs who must be euthanized based on their breed.

The dogs are being sent to an SPCA organization that has the same morals as Peterborough's, Algar said, and he's hoping the relationship between the two groups will help save other dogs.
The puppies were seized by the local humane society Feb. 21 under an SPCA warrant. Algar said the shelter received a report about a "thin dog" at a Parkhill Road apartment. No one was home when the inspectors arrived, he said, and a card was left on the door.

The second time they returned they heard voices inside but no one answered the door. Algar said inspectors and city police officers were waiting for a locksmith to open the door when someone told them a woman had jumped out a second-storey window clutching a blanket. She was stopped after a short foot chase, Algar said.

"She just set the blanket down and the puppies were in the blanket," he said.

Inside the home inspectors found two adult pit bulls, a male and female, he said. Both dogs were unlicensed and weren't fixed.

The owner of the dogs now faces 13 charges under the Dog Owners Liability Act, including one charge for every puppy born, Algar said. She is to appear in Provincial Offences Court March 17.
Algar said the two adult dogs will be spayed and neutered by the Humane Society.

The Humane Society must do the "right thing" and comply with the law, Algar said.

"But the right thing is not killing animals because the government says we must kill the animals," Algar said.

We agree and wonder about the wisdom of a law that forces death on puppies that have done nothing wrong other than be born.

This doesn't excuse the owner of the mating dogs. If the owner follows the law, the puppies aren't born and places like the Humane Society are not put into such a situation.


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