Friday Fun – Taking Your Medicine

I’m traveling for work, so I’m rather behind on my blogging, and on a ton of other projects I need to get finished (cough:calendar:cough).

In the meantime, here’s a Boxer puppy who is unthrilled with taking his medicine. Funny, I think I make that same face when I take Buckley’s.

Ginger’s Case Goes Back to Court

Ginger with her owner, Phillip Huggins

Ginger with her owner, Phillip Huggins

Lee Ann O’Reilly sends us news on the on going court case to save the life of Ginger, a Pit Bull who was attacked (while on leash and muzzled) by another dog in a Toronto Park. Unbelievably, it is Ginger (yes, the dog who was attacked) that is facing a destruction order by the City of Toronto.

A Toronto Star news story outlines the basics of the case:

Ginger’s misfortune began Nov. 29, 2005.

“My mother took her out for a 6 a.m. walk in the park,” said owner Philip Huggins, 28, a truck driver for a graphics firm. “Ginger (a 69-pound dog) was muzzled and leashed. Another dog (Buddy, a 45-pound dog) ran over to her and started sniffing her. The dog bit, and went and tore (Ginger’s) left ear, then ripped off her muzzle.” Ginger bit the dog back, then bit its owner, court documents show.

“Clearly she (Ginger) bit. The question was whether she was defending herself against another dog or whether she was the aggressor,” said Ruby, who got involved in the case two weeks ago, encouraged by a member of the Banned Aid Coalition, a group opposed to Ontario’s pit bull ban. Ginger was ordered held in custody by a justice of the peace in December 2005 and remained at a Toronto Animal Services shelter while her case wound through the courts.

From LeeAnn O’Reilly and the DLCC:

This is a pivotal case.

It will clarify exactly what the rights are for ALL DOG owners, the power of any Animal Control officer to enforce the regulations. It challenges reverse onus and the intent of the law.

This case along with many others is why the DLCC is struggling to pay off our outstanding debts, left when the constitutional challenge was turned down. We need to win this case and others. We need to get the various regulations of DOLA , challenged once again in the lower courts to reopen the door to repealing this barbaric law.

The DLCC is not able to fund this case, but we immediately offered our help to get the word out there that Ginger needs US.

October 25 2010

“Law abiding citizens are not being targeted by the ban”.

– Former Attorney General for Ontario, Michael Bryant

On November 29, 2005, while Phillip’s Mother was walking Ginger, leashed and muzzled, in a Toronto park, Ginger was savagely attacked by an …unleashed dog.

So savage was the attack on Ginger, that Buddy tore Ginger’s muzzle off and inflicted severe injuries to both Phillip’s mom and Ginger. Ginger now has permanent damage to her left eye.

Buddy’s owner walked away VIRTUALLY scott free.

Ginger wasn’t so lucky. The City of Toronto Animal Control Officers seized Ginger illegally, without warrant or consent of Ginger’s owner.

Within hours, a ‘destruction’ order was placed on Ginger’s life while Phillip was charged with 3 counts under DOLA. Prosecutors attempted to strike a deal with Phillip, offering to drop all charges if he ‘ simply ‘ handed over Ginger to be killed. Phillip would have nothing to do with it and said he would fight to the end.

Ginger spent 3 ½ years incarcerated simply for defending herself and Phillip’s mother.

As a result of the charges and the battle in court, Phillip lost his job, ended up on welfare and now suffers with depression.

Out of money and time, Clayton Ruby, an established Human Rights lawyer, took over the case. He knew the City of Toronto was wrongfully holding Ginger in the pound. Within days, Clayton Ruby went before a judge and Ginger was released back to her loving home until the next court date.

Despite a ruling which allowed Ginger to be free, the City of Toronto was granted an appeal on the ruling.

Phillip is yet again scheduled to appear in court again on October 25, 2010 at The Court of Appeals for Ontario Ginger is still at risk of losing her life.

As a result of the city of Toronto being granted an appeal, it is costing a lot more than what was anticipated.

If Phillip doesn’t raise the funds, he may lose his appeal, and Ginger will lose her life.

He has come this far, but if he stops now the city will be granted the destruction order and Ginger will be destroyed.

Your financial help is all that stands between an innocent dog and death.

Go to to donate


Please send payment in trust for Ginger to:

Ruby and Shiller
11 Prince Arthur Ave,
Toronto, On
M5R 1B2

LeeAnn O’Reilly, Pres.DLCC
“Fighting ignorance since’s taking longer than we thought.”

Ema’s Itty Bitty Video

I know it must seem odd that I’ve waited this long to do a video of Ema. To be honest, a lot of it was cowardice – I spent a lot of time thinking “If she’s going to die any minute, I don’t know if I can take having a video of her out there”.

But, here we are – almost two months later, and Ema is still hanging in there, gaining weight, eating ravenously and doing better than even her vets had expected her to. That deserves a video, don’t you think?

This one is special, because from day one Sean has called her “Itty Bitty” (we were both pretty big “Pushing Daisies” fans).

Ema Becomes Even More Complicated

Ema is waiting and seeing

Update: Ema now has a Facebook Group. Become a Friend of Ema, and get additional news and photo updates.

Today, Ema was supposed to be undergoing the procedure that we hoped would save her life. Instead, she is sitting here on my feet, as I write this. Ema, it turns out, is even more complicated than we’d thought, and it all has to do with doors.

Allow me to explain, as briefly as I can, and bearing in mind that I am a layperson, and not a veterinarian. This explanation comes to you courtesy of the very excellent University of Guelph Veterinary Cardiologists, Dr. Schuckman and Dr. O’Grady.

Picture your heart as two separate rooms, divided by a wall.

Each room has door leading into it. Ideally, this “door” should open fully, allowing blood to pass through it easily.

Ema’s “door”, however, does not open fully.

Ideal door and stuck door

Luckily, our “rooms” don’t really need their doors – it’s perfectly fine for the doors to remain wide open all the time, or to be non existent. In the balloon procedure, a catheter would be inserted into Ema’s neck, and fed into her heart. There, the balloon would be inflated, essentially tearing her door off of its hinges, leaving her ‘room’ wide open, and allowing her blood flow to move normally through her heart.

However, consider another option with doors.

What if, in addition to the door being stuck, it’s also in a frame that’s too small – much, much too small? In this case, even removing the door isn’t enough, because the frame just isn’t large enough to allow sufficient flow of blood into Ema’s room.

Ema's Door

This is, in essence, Ema’s issue. Removing her door  ( doing the balloon procedure to correct the pulmonary stenosis) wouldn’t be enough to improve her heart’s functioning to any serious degree. However, there’s another procedure that should be able to help her – a surgical correction.

The surgeon will, more or less, tear out Ema’s door frame, building her a wider one shored up with surgical mesh. Ema will then have a wider opening, and no stuck door.

Unfortunately, Drs. Schuckman and O’Grady don’t perform this procedure – they’re the “Balloon Team”, as they informed me. A Cardiac surgeon is needed to perform this, and Guelph only has one at the moment, and she happens to be on holiday until November 8th. Even then, she apparently hasn’t done many of these procedures (do I even need to mention that it’s a rare and complicated surgery, done only by a handful of people in North America? That should go without saying, since this is Ema we’re talking about). So, there’s a chance that Dr. Bisson, Guelph’s Veterinary Cardiac Surgeon, might be more comfortable referring us to a Veterinarian who has more experience in performing this surgery. This will mean sending Ema to perhaps Purdue, Cornell or Ohio State.

So, we sit and we wait. We wait for the Cardiac Surgeon to get back from holidays, then we wait for her to look at Ema’s file and decide if she can perform the surgery. Then, we either wait for a referral to another vet, at another University. Then we wait for a surgery date.

In the meantime, Dr. O’Grady said quite succinctly that “Ema is on a crash course with death”. He was frankly surprised that she’s doing as well as she is, and has survived for as long as she has. He asked, tentatively, if we could possibly tape one of Ema’s seizures – he’s never actually seen one himself, and it would be a great teaching tool for students at the university. Ema had another one this morning, and while I’m all for increasing the pool of knowledge among Veterinarians, grabbing a video camera is not the first thing that comes to mind when your  puppy falls to the floor, goes rigid and then screams in terror.

Financially, we should be OK. This new procedure shouldn’t cost much more the balloon procedure does, but it carries with it both better success, and greater risk. If Ema survives the surgery, her recovery success rate is as great as 95%. There is, however, a 50% chance that she won’t be able to survive the surgery. I’ll take those odds, because without the surgery there is a 100% certainty that Ema will die, and that it will be a slow, painful and terrifying death.

I’m not thinking about that right now, however. I’m just watching the clock and waiting, and so is Ema.

If you would like to read the actual veterinary report written by Dr. Schuckman, please click here to download the PDF.

Mending Broken Hearts

Mending Broken Hearts, One French Bulldog at a Time

This new design for the French Bulldog Village’s Cafe Press store lets you show the world that Rescue is “Mending Broken Hearts, One French Bulldog at a Time”.

Featuring the lovely Miss Itty Bitty (aka Ema), this design is available for light and dark clothing and accessories. Bumper sticker and button friendly designs are coming soon.

See all of the designs at the FBV Store, or check out the sample t shirt below. 100% of all profits benefit French Bulldogs like Ema.

French Bulldog rescue t shirt