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.”

Support Hershey’s Bill

Support Hershey’s Bill To Repeal Breed Specific Legislation

Support Hershey's Bill

Show your support and let Queen’s Park know that your Ontario includes ALL dogs!

This is the 5 year BANniversary of Ontario’s “pit bull” ban.  Since then thousands of innocent dogs have lost their lives. Please come out and show your support. It’s time that we stand up and fight this injustice and demand that responsible dog ownership legislation is put in place for all breeds.

If you think this ban only targets “pit bulls”, think again. Many breeds from Boxers to Rottweiler mixes and anything in between, mostly mixed mutts, have been targeted.

* NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo
* Live Bands
* Vendors
* Canine Good Neighbour Testing
* Agility Course
* Education Workshops
* Special Guests and more!
* Pittie and Pals walk to PawsWay at 5:30pm

This is an all day event. Bring a chair and a blanket. Vendors will be close by but if fast food isn’t your taste, be sure to pack a lunch!
Please join us for a Candlelight Vigil at 7:30pm at Queen’s Park
(link to event here)

Map of Coronation Park:

A BIG THANK-YOU to our Sponsors!
. The Dog Legislation Council of Canada (
. Pawsway (
. El Mocambo (
. Kong Co. (
. Pitbull Guerilla Clothing (

For more information on the “pit bull” ban please visit our website . There you will find posters and pamphlets to print off and share!

You can also send a letter to every MPP in Ontario by visiting this link:

See you on the 29th!

**all breeds welcome and all dogs must be in compliance with current legislation**

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

Quebec Newborn Killed in Dog Attack

One of the three huskies that was in the house at the time of the incident is seen with its owner Monday night.
One of the three huskies that was in the house at the time of the incident is seen with its owner Monday night. (CBC)

A very sad and disturbing story out of Quebec.

From CBC News:

A newborn baby is dead after being attacked by a dog, Quebec provincial police say.

The attack happened in Saint-Barnabé-Sud, Que., on Monday afternoon.

Police said they received a call about the three-week-old girl around 3:30 p.m. ET.

Neighbours said the baby was in the home on Rang Bas-Saint-Amable with a pair of huskies — a male and a female.

The dogs did not belong to the family, but to a couple visiting the home, they said.

Read more:

Since the initial report, the 17 year old mother and the baby’s 37 year old grandmother have been charged with manslaughter, for leaving the baby alone with the dogs.  Charges against the grandmother were later dropped.

From CBC News:

A 17-year-old mother was charged with manslaughter on Tuesday after a dog mauled and killed her newborn girl east of Montreal.

The teenager and her 37-year old mother were arrested late Monday after the three-week-old baby was killed by a husky inside the family home in Saint-Barnabé-Sud, near Saint-Hyacinthe.

Paramedics found the baby girl covered in deep bite marks and scratches. Police said she had been left strapped in her car seat on the main floor of the house when one of two dogs in the home attacked her.

The teen was charged in youth court because she is a minor and cannot be identified.

The woman’s lawyer, André Williams, said he was “completely blown away” by the charge laid against his client and by the speed with which it was laid.

“This is a young girl who is rather fragile,” he told reporters at the Saint-Hyacinthe courthouse on Tuesday.

On Tuesday afternoon, the baby’s grandmother was released after the Crown decided there was not enough evidence to press charges, said the woman’s lawyer, Mélissa Côté.

The 37-year-old woman was visiting her daughter and granddaughter Monday afternoon.

The women left the house to go outside “and go in the garden to see the flowers,” said provincial police Sgt. Ronald McInnis.

The infant was left inside the house strapped into a car seat that was sitting on a chair.

Read more:

It’s hard to know who to blame, in this case, because we don’t seem to know all of the facts yet.

Sadly, the latest dog bite statistics for Canada that I could find show Huskies are still the number one breed responsible for serious injuries and deaths of children in Canada. I would never and will never call for the banning of any breed, but I do find there’s something ironic about all of this, not least in the number of commenters who instantly – and almost enthusiastically – were willing to start accusing ‘Pit Bulls’ of this attack.

It’s obviously a tragedy, and it’s just one more illustration of how incredibly dangerous it is to leave any baby or young child alone, unsupervised, with any breed or size of dog, as this quote from the CBC News article makes clear –

It may be impossible to know for sure why the dog attacked the child, said veterinary behaviourist Enid Styles.

Dogs are more likely to bite older children, because they have unpredictable movements that can frighten the animal, she said.

However, Styles said it is possible the animal might have been startled by the child’s crying or the baby might have been caught in the middle of a fight between the dogs.

In any case, a child should never be left unattended around dogs, Styles said.

“Supervision needs to mean, really, that you are between your dog and your child,” she said. “You can’t be just on the other side of the room.”