The Calgary system was built to penalize and correct relatively minor behaviors before they can escalate into something serious. "No dog wakes up and decides to start biting people today," said Bruce. "It always starts with lesser behaviors that are left unchecked." Fines increase with the severity of the offense. Owners are ticketed $350 if their dogs bite and $750 if the bites are serious enough to require some medical attention. A severe bite or all-out attack results in a $1,500 fine. Staff will seize vicious dogs who attack and hold them for 30 days until the matter goes to court. His department will then destroy the animal if the judge orders so. "When you have a vicious dog, you can almost guarantee the owner's a jerk," Mr. Bruce said. "The dog reflects the owner's behavior."
Ontario's Mistake: Rather than take an opportunity to make a statement to aggressive dog owners, the province of Ontario has decided to ban an entire breed of dog. The irony is that this action in itself goes against everything Canada stands for. Our country has invested years in fighting against segregation of any specific group based on a generalized stereotype about that group. In fact, we label such behavior as prejudice, and call such actions a violation of our civil rights. After years and years of moving our country forward and taking a stand against such actions, the province wide ban on pit bulls in Ontario has just set the clock back.
The expert input on Bill 132:
"Bill 132 willfully legislates profiling, prejudices and paranoia, which is what it will create." - Cathie Cino, expert cited by Bryant in legislature.
- 81 of 103 presenters spoke against BSL
- 49 organizations representing dog experts spoke against the ban; 4 represented breeds named in the bill and two represented animal rights organizations.
- None of the expert organizations representing dogs approved of this approach.
- These experts included animal control from Mississauga and Sudbury.
- Victims of bites by other breeds spoke against breed specific legislation
The experts' professional opinions:
- 'Pit bulls' are not inherently or genetically different than other breeds.
- Bites by 'pit bull' type dogs account for less than 5% of all serious bites in Canada.
- It is a myth that "pit bull" type dogs are unique in how they attack. Other breeds also have a bite and hold pattern.
- There is no qualitative difference between a serious attack by a 'pit bull' and one by another breed of a comparable size.
- A bite and hold attack is not qualitatively more severe than a series of slashing bites typical for other breeds.
- Dogs in attacks are regularly misidentified as "pit bulls". If "pit bull" attacks were qualitatively different then this confusion should not exist.
In fact, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, one of the breeds on the "banned breed" list, has NO known attacks in Canada.
- Breed bans are unenforceable.
- Breed bans are extremely expensive.
- Breed bans unfairly punish responsible owners while irresponsible owners ignore the laws.
- 80% of bite victims are children who will be bitten in their home or at a neighbour's by the family dog. Research shows that just 1 hour of dog safety training in grades 2 and 3 can reduce these attacks by 80%.
This presents the question - are breed bans really based on based on proof of inherent danger?
And if that wasn't bad enough, the Ontario government (McGuinty's Liberal's) created and passed this piece of legislation (The Dog Owners' Liability Act of Ontario) that violates at least seven sections of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms!
This pamphlet contains more information.