Friday, September 10, 2010

Ajax Gets Tough On Off-Leash Dogs

AJAX -- Ajax dog owners are being asked to leash their pets or face fines as the Town's bylaw department is preparing for an enforcement blitz.
Derek Hannan, manager of bylaw services for the Town, said his department is currently conducting a public education campaign, asking dog owners who don't leash their pets to leash them. But within the next couple of weeks, they'll be moving to a zero-tolerance blitz with additional employees working in the morning and in the evening, enforcing the bylaw when most people walk their dogs, and issuing tickets to pet owners who let their dogs off the leash.
"We have recognized that dogs off leash are becoming a huge occurrence around town, in our parks, in our green spaces and in our community schools," said Mr. Hannan, adding that Town staff and councillors are receiving an increasing number of complaints about off-leash dogs.
A particular problem has been unleashed dogs at local schools.
"People are heading there after dinner and unclipping the dogs and letting them go ... a lot of those schools also have parks associated with them with small kids playing in them," said Mr. Hannan.
He points out that not every culture represented in Ajax is used to dogs in the family and people can be frightened even if a friendly dog runs to them.
Generally, the Town hands out about 25 fines per year but issues about 400 warnings. Each fine can be up to $500 and if the dog bites or attacks, it may be ordered restrained which means it would have to be muzzled when being walked. Ultimately, the dog could be ordered destroyed if it is a severe attack or is the second or third time it has attacked.
In Ajax, there are about 150 reports of animals attacks per year, with the vast majority of them involving dogs.
Mr. Hannan pointed out it's not just an issue of humans being attacked; in some cases dogs attack other dogs.
There are only two areas in Ajax where dogs can run leash free: the dog park on Westney Road just south of Bayly Street and an area in the Greenwood Conservation Area near the Church Street access.
Everywhere else, dogs must be leashed.
"It's not anything new, it's been in our bylaw for decades," said Mr. Hannan.
Owners are often shocked when their off-leash animal attacks.
"We're having owners saying 'I never dreamed my dog would attack or bite someone'," he said, adding that by the time they regret unleashing their dogs, it's too late.
"In Ajax, we're really lucky we have so many responsible pet owners, but unfortunately the ones who are not practising safe methods like keeping their dog on a leash are putting everyone at risk."
In addition to being on leashes, all Ajax dogs must be licensed by the Town.
The full dog and cat bylaw is available online at

My Top Five Cartoon Dogs

While I'm sure not all will agree, these guys (why are all cartoon doggies boys?) certainly bring a smile to my face. Who have I missed?

1. Snoopy - Paws down. He's the most loyal of best friends, and he can cut a rug! Just watch A Charlie Brown Christmas if you don't believe me, and try not to tear up.
2. Scooby Doo - Because I just know that if I were ever running away from zombies/mummies/ghosts, or simply trying to find my car keys, he'd be a great asset. 

3. Dino - Simply for the fact that he put up with Fred's yelling. For way too long.
4. Brian Griffin - He's cynical, he says what we (and dogs) are thinking, and he has a lovely singing voice.

5. Sparky - Because tv's first out and proud pooch is super with his lifestyle, thanks for asking!

Etobicoke Humane Walk-A-Thon This Weekend!

When / Where:
Rain or Shine
Registration: 11am • Walk start: 12 noon
All Dogs Must
Be Leashed
West side of Martingrove Rd.
South of Eglinton, North of Rathburn
- DOG SPORTS & GAMES - Featuring "Who's Walking Who" and "All About Dogs" 
- BBQ - With Veggie Options 
As a Team: Organize a Corporate Team or form a team with friends, family, co-workers, clubs and/or neighbours. Add fun with challenges.

As an Individual: Just you and your pooch !
Collect pledges from friends, co-workers, neighbours and family.

GET CREATIVE: Use You-Tube, Facebook,Twitter, Email, etc. to promote your participation and raise pledges.
Where to Get Pledge Forms:
Download PDF here or call us at 416-249-6100.
will be awarded to the three (3) highest pledges turned in the day of the walk.
To be eligible for prizes, please submit your pledge form and money collected by the end of the event day.
Thank you for supporting your local
Humane Society 

Paws In The Park Is Coming Up Soon!!


On Sunday, October 3rd, dedicate your morning walk to support the thousands of sick, injured and abandoned animals cared for by The Toronto Humane Society™.

Paws In The Park™ can be celebrated wherever you (and your canine companion walk) - whether it’s your local park, around the block, a special trail - it’s up to you! Simply walk Sunday, October 3rd between 7:30 am and 10:30 am and know you, along with others in your community are helping animals in need. 

All you have to do is Register Now and start raising funds using this easy-to-use online fundraising system. No forms to print, or doors to knock on. Simply create your own fundraising page and email your family and friends to support this great cause. Why not recruit your local dog-park-friends or dog-walking association to participate and add a Team from your community.

Event Details WHEN? Sunday, October 3, 2010 between 7:30am & 10:30am - rain or shine!
WHERE? Walk (your dog) in your neighborhood or local park - the choice is yours!
HOW? Click on Register Now and begin fundraising online to your friends and family - it’s really that easy!
WHO? You don’t have to have a pet to participate and raise funds. Join in the fun and simply go for a walk for the love of animals.

Register and raise $200 + by September 19th and we will send a special PAWS IN THE PARK™ T-shirt and bandanna for you (and your pet) to wear - showing everyone you care about the animals.

Thanks for your participation in PAWS IN THE PARK™! Because of you, we can do whatever it takes for the thousands animals who arrive at the 11 River Street shelter every year.
This is the FIRST STEP to begin raising funds for the animals. Click Here to follow the easy steps, set a goal, and begin fundraising for the animals.

It’s important to note that there will be no registration or donation collection occurring anywhere but through this secure online system. Please make sure you register and fundraise online in advance of the walk date.

Support someone you know with your most generous gift to help the animals.

DONATE - Can’t participate? Don’t know anyone walking? Click here and support the many lost, abandoned, abused and injured animals being cared for at The Toronto Humane Society right now.

All gifts of $20+ will automatically receive a tax receipt.
WHY PARTICIPATE IN PAWS IN THE PARK?Your gift will brighten the lives of the animals cared for by The Toronto Humane Society. Because we receive no government funding, the animals rely on your kindness and support. All donations directly support the thousands of sick, injured, and unwanted animals - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With your help we are able to continue to feed, shelter, and provide medical care to any animal who needs our help.

WHERE SHOULD I WALK DURING PAWS IN THE PARK™? It’s completely up to you where you choose to walk for Paws In The Park™. You could walk around your neighborhood as you normally would, or visit your local dog park. For listings of dog parks in please click here to visit the City of Toronto website 

LEARN MORE: Visit The Toronto Humane Societywebsite to find out more about the work we do to help all animals.

Life As A Dog Walker - A Guest Post By Alison Kelly From Dog Pawsitive

That was it. It was time for me to leave the 24 x 7 corporate job. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, but the blackberry-obsessed world was something I needed a break from. It was while perusing craiglist, I saw this posting for a “dog walker”. A dog walker! How perfect! I could do this part time, while pursuing my interest in yoga. Yes, I wanted to be a dog walker!

I was not prepared for what I was about to step into. Here are some highlights from my 9- month career moonlighting as a dog walker:

- Experiencing the amazing world of a pack. Watching the soldiers explain how “day care” works to the new dogs, while the alphas sit back and watch. OK, stare at the newbies letting them know without words who the boss it.

- Watching an older sibling protect her younger, more sassy sister when she feels her younger sibling being bullied by an outsider.

-Feeling my belly light up with excitement knowing I was about to consume my “morning coffee” AKA Norquay (Golden Retriever)

- Realising that no matter how horrible it is outside, majority of the dogs love being outside regardless. If they can take it without a toque, than so can I (with the toque)

- Enjoying the winter weather at an isolated Cherry Beach with siblings Layla and Liam, without nobody but us and a Toronto Star photographer. Knowing that no matter how crappy my hair looks that day, my clients don’t care. All they care about is being with you.

- Discovering that that smell of dog poop is no big deal. Just another smell really.

- Hearing Ruby (Jack Russell) squeal with excitement from down the hall knowing I was coming.

- Working for someone who is 100% genuine and passionate about her businesses.

- Crying for the very first time leaving my job knowing I would miss my friends (human and dog)

After 9 months, it was time for me to go back to the grind. I am now back in the corporate arena and missing my dog walking days every single minute. At least I have a picture of my best friend Ruby on my desk to remind of where my most loyal friends are.

Alison, pictured above with Sally, is a Toronto-based blogger for “inside dog pawsitive".