Charges Against Michael Bryant Dropped

In a shocking (but barely surprising) decision, the Crown has decided to drop all charges against Ontario’s former Attorney General, Michael Bryant. Bryant came to fame in Ontario when he masterminded the mass destruction of Ontario’s Pit Bulls, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, and vaguely Pittie looking short coated dogs of indeterminate heritage.

From the Globe and Mail:

Mr. Bryant was charged last September with criminal negligence causing death and dangerous driving in the death of bike courier Darcy Allan Sheppard.

Police alleged Mr. Sheppard, 33, died after grabbing onto a car in downtown Toronto following an altercation with the driver.

Read more

Rambo Abused While in Brampton’s Care

Rambo and Maria Gaspar, the day the dog was released after more than three months in the city's animal shelter. The family wants to know how two of Rambo's ribs were broken.

Rambo and Maria Gaspar, the day the dog was released after more than three months in the city's animal shelter. The family wants to know how two of Rambo's ribs were broken.

If you thought that the story of Rambo, the dog that the city of Brampton, Ontario seized from inside his owner’s yard for looking sorta maybe kinda like a Pit Bull couldn’t get much worse, you’re in for a shock.

From the Brampton Guardian:

Rambo, a dog wrongfully impounded by the City of Brampton for more than three months, was returned home with two broken ribs, The Guardian has learned.

Naturally, the city is vehemently stating that those broken ribs couldn’t possibly be their fault.

Commissioner of Community Services Jamie Lowery said in a written statement released Thursday afternoon that there is “no evidence” that Rambo’s ribs were broken at the shelter, and refused to answer The Guardian’s questions about the injury.

“Rambo was well cared for at the shelter, and was routinely checked by animal services staff and also saw a veterinarian on several occasions,” the statement from Lowery read.

Funny, though, that the veterinarian who first saw Rambo at the shelter didn’t see any injuries on him.

Rambo underwent a medical examination by a city veterinarian Feb. 10— four weeks into his impoundment— and other than an ear infection, no injuries or medical issues were identified, according to the vet report obtained by The Guardian.

The vet noted Rambo was “friendly” and readily took a treat.

Rambo, a dog universally described as ‘friendly’, ‘lovable’ and ‘trusting of people’ was just fine four weeks into his illegal imprisonment kidnapping impoundment. Nine weeks later, , when Rambo was finally released by the extortionists kidnappers mindless monsters who had him impounded,  he was far from being ok.

..within hours of being released April 19, his owners say they saw something jutting out underneath his fur.

“It was sticking out,” Gaspar said.

The injury was so obvious, they immediately suspected a broken rib, they said.

Two days later, on April 21, X-rays were taken that confirmed two of the floating ribs near the end of Rambo’s rib cage were broken, one of them with a 2-3 mm gap.

The Gaspars had the X-rays sent to a certified radiologist in Toronto— an X-ray expert— who reported the bones were already healing and the injury was, at a minimum, two to four weeks old.

Let’s just all recap, for a moment, shall we?

Rambo was seized from inside his owner’s fenced yard, because a passing animal control officer thought he ‘looked like a Pit Bull’, and found Rambo’s habit of sunbathing on top of his dog house to be somehow ‘threatening’ towards people passing by the yard.

Not content just to seize Rambo, Brampton Animal Control also seized his sister, Brittany, from a separate home. Did I mention that animal control didn’t bother with a warrant, in either seizure? And did I mention that Rambo’s owner is an elderly woman, with limited English?

The owners gave the city proof that Rambo wasn’t a Pit Bull, but the city rejected it. Instead, the city sentenced Rambo and Brittany to languish in their Animal control facility, under threat of euthanasia, and they also threatened to press charges against their owners for owning unlicensed Pit Bulls (even though the city still hadn’t managed to prove that either dog was a Pit Bull, and the owners had proved that they in fact aren’t).

While holding the dogs in custody, the city of Brampton refused the family’s repeated requests to have their own veterinarian examine the dogs. They said it was a ‘security risk’.

Finally, fourteen weeks later, when the city basically started to freak out over the protests, the boycotts, the international press, and the all round reputation as big huge jerks that they were getting, they agreed to release Rambo and Brittany.  But they couldn’t just say ‘sorry, our bad’ – instead, the city of Brampton essentially blackmailed the Gaspar and Branco families into signing a ridiculous agreement that has them allowing the dogs to be designated as ‘potentially dangerous’, keeping them muzzled at all times, and posting huge, idiotic red signs on their property warning people that ‘dangerous dogs’ live there.

The Branco and Gaspar families also got one more thing out of all this – $20,000 in legal bills, all for trying to protect the lives of dogs who had never done anything other than look vaguely like a breed that someone had arbitrarily decided was ‘vicious’.

And now, in a final coup de grace, the city that designated Rambo as ‘vicious’ sent him home with broken ribs. It’s not easy to break ribs on a dog. It’s pretty difficult, in fact. Bumping into something won’t do it. Falling probably wouldn’t, either. Kicking a dog, though – kicking him viciously – that will sure break some ribs.

I’m not saying Rambo was kicked – I’m just saying that kicking a dog is a surefire way to break some ribs, and broken ribs are what Rambo now has. Draw your own conclusions – I know I have.

Welcome to your Ontario, people. An Ontario where little old ladies can have armed goons with no warrants swarm her house, steal her dog, threaten her with charges, harass her until she agrees to their conditions, and then give her back a dog who has been abused and battered, all while claiming to be doing so ‘for the public good’.

The City of Brampton, they sure taught that maybe kinda sorta possibly Pit Bull a lesson he won’t soon forget.

But guess what? They taught it to their voters, too. They taught it to all of us, to the point that even the people who were initially for this stupid ban are now waking up and saying “How did this all happen?”.

If you feel like it, you might want to ask the City of Brampton “What happened to Rambo?”. Here’s their contact information. Me, I’m going to start with city councilors and work down from there.

Dangerous Dog Act FAIL

Prime Minister Gordon Brown, still denying that Britain's Dangerous Dog is a complete and utter failure...

Prime Minister Gordon Brown, still denying that Britain's Dangerous Dog Act is a complete and utter failure...

From BBC News

Mr Brown told MPs that it was important that dog owners were aware of the risks that certain breeds posed and that they were equipped to deal with them.

The announcement comes a week after a four-year-old boy was mauled to death by a dog at a family home in Liverpool.

Many MPs have criticised existing regulations governing dog ownership.

At prime minister’s questions, Mr Brown announced extra advice and training for those owning certain breeds identified as posing a particular risk.

Many MPs regard the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act, which was supposed to prevent attacks by dogs on their owners and families, as flawed.

This is the part that gets me – “Mr Brown told MPs that it was important that dog owners were aware of the risks that certain breeds posed “

Certain breeds? About the only thing that Britain’s Dangerous Dog act has proved is that BREED has nothing to do with whether a dog is dangerous or not.

To me, this sounds like a precursor to simply adding more breeds to the act, rather than just accepting the fact that it’s been a total failure at reducing bites and fatalities in any form whatsoever. In fact, the study I saw said that bite incidents in Britain had INCREASED since the act went into affect.

Repeal BSL in Ontario – Rally at Queen’s Park

Cheri and Miss Vickie - Courtesy Fred of One Bark at a Time

Cheri and Miss Vickie - Courtesy Fred of One Bark at a Time

As many of you realize, this ban has affected not just Pit Bulls, but ALL Bully breeds in Ontario, including Frenchies. French Bulldogs came dangerously close to being included in the last version of the ban, and without our involvement, it could actually come to pass next time around. Frenchies across Ontario have been targeted by ignorant ACs and the general public, with a KW owner being harassed recently for not muzzling their ‘pit bull puppy’.

It’s time to stand up and say “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH”, and to call for end to this ridiculous legislation that has killed so many innocent dogs in Ontario, and put so many others at risk.

Oh, and if you’re still ‘on the fence’ about this whole issue, meet one of the people who the government of Ontario allowed to testify in favor of BSL. Tom Skeldon is the Dog Warden of Lucas County, Ohio, and has made it his goal in life to kill as many Pit Bulls (including puppies under 3 months of age) as possible. He sees his job as ‘protecting people from dogs, not the other way around’, which goes a long way towards explaing a kill record that, for this year alone, includes:

131 German shepherds, 88 Chows, 38 Beagles, 31 Cocker Spaniels, and 16 Shar-peis, to the 16 Chihuahuas, 12 miniature pinschers, 11 Jack Russell terriers, 7 pugs, and 5 Lhasa Apsos.

And remember, that’s not including all the “Pit Bulls” and “Pit Bull mixes” he’s had summarily executed.

Mr. Skeldon also refuses to co operate with breed rescue groups, and dismisses the idea of a No Kill sheltering system as ‘ludicrous’.  This is the man that the Ontario government turned to for ‘professional advice’ when crafting our breed specific laws – a dog killing, un repentent monster, who has refused to step down from his post even in the wake of outspread cries for his resignation. Way to go, Ontario – I feel so proud.

Please come out on November 18th, and show your support for Cheri Di Novo, and for all of the other people who have tirelessly fought against DOLA.

I plan to be there, and it would be great if some other Frenchie owners could come out to support us. Heck, come even if you’re still just THINKING about getting a Frenchie!

By the way, the ever excellent Fred over at One Bark at a Time has an audio interview with Cheri Di Novo. Turns out Cheri is a Bull Terrier owner, and is actually quite up to speed on all of the issues involved with DOLA. Wow, another politician who actually examines facts! It’s starting to feel like my birthday.

On November 18th, 2009 a BILL will be put forth by MPP Cheri Di Novo to
Queens Park removing the breed specific part that is currently in Ontario’s Dog Owner’s Liability Act.

If possible, attend the morning PRESS RELEASE at the front of Queens Park
on November 18th, starting at 9:30 am and ending around 11:30 am.

Cheri will be presenting the Private Members Bill in the house around 3pm,
for those who would like to stay for the afternoon and would like to sit  in
the gallery.
PARKING.  For those who need parking and do not want to drive to the
Queens Park location,  attached is a list of subway stations where you can park cars.  One would have to check if there is a cost involved at their preferred station.

Please see Cheri Di Novo’s blog page for further information.

Cheri’s interview on newstalk1010, November 7th, 2009 on “The Ben Mercer

We have also designed a poster for people to put up in all areas of  Ontario
and the link to the poster is below.   We are in the middle of designing a
web page called “stopcanineprofiling” in support of the private members
bill.  It will be added to the poster as soon as it is decided if it will
be either dot com or dot ca.  When this is done (anytime now) the poster will
reflect the change and the support web site will be added to the poster.


In the meantime face book has a support page up and running.  The link to
it is below.  In the discussion pages are samples of letters.

If people, on face book, want to attend, please go to this EVENT page to confirm.

In the meantime, PLEASE feel free to write Cheri a letter of support.

We ask that you also phone, fax or write your local MPP’s and ask THEM to
support Cheri’s private members bill.  A full list of Ontario’s MPP’s is below.

Looking forward to a end of legalized discrimination and profiling in Ontario.

Score One for the Good Guys

Leeon and Lorriane Stecher can now walk their pit bull-chocolate lab mix, Angel, in Oak Harbor city limits without a muzzle

Leeon and Lorriane Stecher can now walk their pit bull-chocolate lab mix, Angel, in Oak Harbor city limits without a muzzle

The citizens of Oak Harbor, Washington, should be very proud of their city council today. Thanks to their willingness to question facts, rather than just blindly accepting stories about killer Pit Bulls who eat babies, they’ve repealed breed specific legislation within Oak Harbor city limits.

From the Whidbey News Times

Oak Harbor’s breed-specific ordinance went into effect in 2006 and required pit bull owners who live within city limits to house the controversial canines in a secure pen and muzzle the animals while on leash, among other restrictions. Pit bull owners who didn’t follow the ordinance ran the risk of having their dog impounded or earning a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, jail time up to 90 days, or both.

Now the animal control officer will rely on the “Dangerous Dog and Potentially Dangerous Dog” chapter of the animal control ordinance that deals with animals based on behavior, not breed.

Before the council made their final decision, Councilman Jim Campbell questioned whether the “Dangerous Dog and Potentially Dangerous Dog” chapter was enough to protect the citizens of Oak Harbor.

“We don’t need this because we have sufficient coverage in the one that we already have? Does it also have the hard rules for the owner that has a dog with biting habits?” he asked Police Chief Rick Wallace.

Wallace said yes, and proceeded to read from the “Dangerous Dog and Potentially Dangerous Dog” ordinance that requires the owner of these dogs to keep the animals in a proper enclosure, post a visible warning sign that a dangerous dog is in the area, purchase a surety bond of at least $250,000 or a liability insurance policy, have the animal microchipped and register the dog with the city.

Councilwoman Beth Munns made the motion to repeal the breed specific ordinance, and Campbell seconded her motion. The council unanimously voted to support Munns’ motion, 6-0. Councilman Danny Paggao was not at the meeting.

Like many of us, I’ve heard the stories, but I’ve almost always dismissed them as fairy tales, on par with stories about Bigfoot, Chupucabras, and the Loch Ness monster. Little did I think that within my lifetime I’d get to hear about an actual, verified instance of a politician with working brain cells, one who asks questions, rather just blindly accepting all those stories about killer Pit Bulls.

And, Holy Hell! Their Chief of Police testified against breed specific laws! He didn’t rave about how it’s necessary to shoot all Pit Bulls on sight, or tell stories about babies being stolen from their cribs and eaten. Instead, he pointed out how the town’s existing, non breed specific laws already make more than adequate provisions for the control of dangerous dogs within city limits. Politicians AND cops with brains, in one single city? I know where I want to move to.

In a statement so shocking that I almost felt light headed on reading it, Oak Harbor city council said that they hope the repeal of the law will “decrease the number of pit bulls surrendered to island animal shelters, and possibly increase their rate of adoption”.

When pigs flyGood lord. If this sort of logical thinking catches on outside of Washington state, there’s a chance that even Ontario’s fiberal goverment might re think their idiotic DOLA laws.

Oh, and look, a pig just flew overhead.