Thursday, December 16, 2010

Bad Pet Ownership To Blame For Pit Bull Ban


I went to Ontario to visit family and prepare for a Dog Training Competition in Trinidad that I will be attending next week I was driving in a city called Oshawa I noticed a large gathering of protesters. They were all chanting "Stop the killing, stop the killing!" I noticed that there were many pitbulls and pitbull crosses amongst the crowd.

I decided to go and speak with some of the protesters. I was spoke to Jared Mercieca of Oshawa, Ontario," We are holding this protest because the city took my dog from me. I am 75% deaf and he was in training to become a service dog. His name is Leonitis.."

I asked Mr. Mercierca what events took place that would make the city take his dog. " I was walking him in the park with his muzzle on. I took off his muzzle to give him a drink of water, the muzzle still in my hands and as he was drinking and a woman named Broad Hagen began to take Leo from me. The city told me if I signed these papers they would neuter him and give him back to me. She also said if I didn't sign them I would be fined ten thousand dollars and maybe even go to jail. Not completely understanding and being worried about the fine and jail time I signed. I called later and they told me I can't have him back. He can only be adopted now by someone from out of province and if he is not adopted he will be euthanized! I don't know what to do now so we have begun petitioning and having protests."


I would like to commend Mr. Merciera for his dedication and devotion to his canine companion. After speaking with Mr. Merciera I have contacted the City Of Oshawa and was referred to a man named Kevin Sagean whom is handling the Mr Merciera and Leonitis's case. He has informed me that they should be wrapping up all proceedings on this case by the end of the week and have decided to rule in the favour of Mr. Merciera.

Jared Merciera and Leonitis will now have a very happy ending. I find myself wondering what will happen with all the other cases currently in proceedings across the province of Ontario regarding pitbulls and future proceedings. It is very scary to think of all the dogs being euthanized because of their looks. Not even their breed!

The most amusing information on this law is the fact that a pitbull is not a recognised breed. It is just one word to explain a mixed breed canine. Some people call mixed breeds mutts, heinze fifty-sevens, or I have recently learned the term pot hound.

How do you determine which dog is actually a pitbull? By the thickness of their head? The length of their fur? By what some official thinks? When the former Attorney General Micael Bryant was presented with five different breeds of dogs and asked to point out the pitbull when this law was still being discussed, he actually picked out the wrong breed entirely. Bryant selected an Argentina Dogo. The man responsible for this ban didn't even know what a pitbull looked like so how was it this law came to be? Isn't it ironic that when the law was the past that they specifically included in section 1 (2) (e) a dog that has an appearance and physical characteristics that are substantially similar to those of dogs referred to in any of clauses (a) to (d); ("pit-bull"). The law restricting pitbulls is called Dog Owners' Liability Act (DOLA) and is actually not a pitbull ban but a ban that includes anything that may look like a pitbull. The reason for this loop hole in the law was the ignorance in the persons who proposed the law.

The strong stance the Ontario government has taken to uphold this law that is so loosely made is astounding. Attorney General Chris Bentley stated , "You know why we brought in the pit bull legislation. It was to protect people and protect dogs — protect other people's pets." When being questioned about not allowing the world renowned Ceasar Milan ( The Dog Whisperer) to bring his right hand partner Junior to the province because he is a pitbull.

In my opinion that Chris Bentley's statement is completely false. Of the most often recorded dog bites in Ontario pitbulls do not even make the top three. Golden retrievers are actually the number one breed that have bitten humans. That being said, could you imagine if someone tried to ban retriever type dogs? It is poor dog ownership and lack of knowledge on this type of dog that has been responsible for this ban NOT THE DOGS!

It is very sad that this law has passed and I believe it has only punished the breed and responsible pitbull type dog owners. The government should have looked at having regimented rules for owning a pitbull type instead of banning the dogs completely, like so many other countries have done. The people responsible for the "pitbull" reputation will not disconitunue their behaviour when it comes to raising aggressive dogs they will just move onto the next breed that will suit them.

It is my opinion that Ontario does not have a dog problem but more so of a dog ownership problem. I am currently in Trinidad now about to attend the dog training competition that will consist largely of pitbulls. All in the same place, that have been trained in personal protection and obedience. There will be approximately five to ten thousand spectators including children. Here the laws are very strict when it comes to owning a pitbull for example the owners must carry an insurance liability card at all times. The government in Trinidad was kind enough not to ban the entire breed after properly investigating the pitbull type dogs.

I will be very happy to show you pictures of these accused "dangerous" dogs being worked and judged in obedience, protection and conformation next week. I wanted to make people aware that may not have been in Alberta about this DOLA law in Ontario because when and if the time comes that they try to pass a similar law here in Alberta I hope we can work together to make sure that doesn't happen.

If you are wondering how you can help these dogs that have been seized in Ontario, there is a way. Pitbulls that have been seized have a window of time where they can be adopted before euthanized if someone from another province adopts them. You can get in contact with any of the Animal Controls or SPCA's in Ontario to find out which dogs are available.

*Read more at fairviewpost.com

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