Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Canadians Dog Owners Face Problems, Too

In the Michael Moore "Bowling for Columbine" we are shown that in Windsor, Ontario, Canada the people feel so safe they don't feel the need to lock their doors when they leave their homes. He also states that Canadians own more firearms per capita than Americans yet only have a tiny fraction of handgun-related deaths per year. In another documentary of his, "Sicko", we are shown that Canada's system of socialized medicine is humane, efficient, and affordable. One comes away believing that perhaps the Canadian way of life may be a better way. It is deeply saddening to learn of these two stories. The first is of shocking heartlessness and cruelty. The second is of yet another case of prejudice and BSL.

From CTV in British Columbia, Canada:

B.C. family shocked after dog shot outside home

Updated Tue. Sep. 16 2008 3:36 PM ET News Staff

Police are hoping that a B.C. man, suspected of shooting a four-month-old Jack Russell puppy just metres away from its home on Quadra Island Saturday morning, will soon report to police.

"I'm hoping that he will turn himself in,'' said Cpl. Craig Peterson of Quadra Island RCMP.

Owner Nick Rose said the dog -- called Seymour -- was a gift to son Max, to mark the end of three-years of cancer treatment.

"My kids were happy and laughing like they haven't been in years. My son in particular since before he was diagnosed with cancer I hadn't heard those kind of giggles and that kid of laughter out of him."

But all that changed on Saturday morning outside the rose family's Quadra Island home.

"We had our new puppy with us, and we had a great night just the three boys, and we're staring our chores and down the road walked two hunters returning from an unsuccessful dear hunt."

Both of these hunters had shot guns. Not knowing any better, Seymour did what most puppies would do.

"He bounded out in his affable, puppy-like way wagging and simpering and practically peeing himself wanting to say hi."

But Rose knew the two men from an incident a few years earlier and he knew this was trouble.

Frantic he called Seymour back. But the puppy just followed the pair around a corner and out of sight. That's when a shot rang out.

"I ran to the end of our driveway and looked around the corner and there was our little puppy, quivering in his death-throws at the side of the road."

The hunters ran off leaving Nick and his kids in shock along with the rest of the island community. Even police are in disbelief.

"I'm like you, stunned, shocked that a senseless act like this has been carried out," said Peterson.

Police know the identity of one of the hunters and are hoping they turn themselves in to face possible charges.

"Right now we're looking at dangerous use or careless use of a firearm as well as endangering an animal, in this case killing a dog."

For Seymour's family, charges are taking a back seat to the emotional impact and senselessness of what happened.

With reports by CTV British Columbia's Stephen Smart and The Canadian Press

If you click on the link to read the story from the CTV website, please read the reader comments as well. It may be of some comfort to know this story really seems to have struck a nerve, and that there is considerable outrage is being voiced.

photo from

This is a BSL case from a different province. From the Toronto Star in Ontario, Canada:

Dog owner challenges pit bull ban

Sep 16, 2008 08:25 AM
John Goddard

Pit bull regulations are too broad given that most of the dogs “make wonderful pets — are kind, gentle animals who harm no one ever,” lawyer Clayton Ruby said yesterday.

Dog owners are the problem, not the dogs, he said during a break at an Ontario Court of Appeal hearing on whether a law aimed at reducing the number of pit pull attacks should be struck down.

“It’s people who create dangerous dogs,” Ruby said on behalf of dog owner Catherine Cochrane, who is fighting regulations that went into effect three years ago.

“They want dangerous dogs,” Ruby said of some pit bull owners. “We should be attacking those people and stopping that process.”

The Ontario law bans new pit bulls from the province and orders existing ones to be sterilized, as well as leashed and muzzled in public.

Ruby, acting for Cochrane, earlier challenged the law as unconstitutional and won changes from a lower court judge. Yesterday, Ruby was further arguing before the appeal tribunal led by Justice John Laskin that the law should be struck down entirely.

For the Crown, Mike Doi listed numerous unprovoked pit bull attacks, including the 1994 Danforth Ave. mauling of 5-year-old Lauren Harper, who needed 300 stitches to her face.

“Pit bulls can attack unprovoked even when they are previously known to be friendly,” Doi said, supporting the lower court’s finding that the law should stand.

A key question on appeal is whether the law defines “pit bull” too broadly. The law specifically names Staffordshire bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers and American pit bull terriers, then includes any other dog with traits “substantially similar” to those breeds.

The wording is unconstitutionally broad, Ruby said.

“The evidence was that there are 24 pure-bred dogs that look like these dogs — and those are just pure-breds, (not to mention) all the half-breeds and mutts,” he said during the break.

“Your dog at home will look like a pit bull in many respects.”

Crown lawyer Robert Charney argued the law responded constitutionally to “a real, serious problem of public safety.”
The hearing continues today.

'Pit bulls can attack unprovoked even when they are previously known to be friendly'. This is someone representing the Canadian government making this statement. It's sad and disappointing to see that ignorance and breed prejudice knows no boundaries.

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