Caiman Caught in London


London, Ontario residents recently found something more interesting than ducks and beavers at their local reservoir – a five kilogram common Caiman, relative of the Alligator.

Locals had spotted the Caiman over the weekend, but Animal Control were unable to catch it.

Area resident John Stephan had heard about the creature, and decided to have look for himself while walking his Shih Tzu, Gunner, near the reservoir last evening. The film crews were apparently a dead give away that something out of the ordinary was going on.

From the London Free Press

“I asked what was going on and I was told there was a small crocodile or alligator in the pond,” he said. “There had been sightings and it had been filmed.”

Stephan decided to look for the creature on the south side of the pond, “because I noticed it was reedy over there.”

When he got to the reeds, he followed a slithery trail in the muck until he found an alligator sunning itself on a bed of weeds.

Stephan is apparently quite the amateur crocodile hunter, because his first reaction on spotting the caiman wasn’t to run screaming in circles (my probable reaction), but rather to simply reach down and grab it.

“It wasn’t moving,” he said. “I came up to it from behind, reached down and grabbed it with my bare hands.”

“I think it was a bit listless because of the cold. But when I picked it up, it struggled to free itself. I wasn’t going to let go, though. I’ve got big strong hands and I kept a tight grip on it.”

Stephan walked with the caiman, a relative of the alligator, about 75 meters to an A Channel truck, where he asked television reporter Nick Paparella to get some duct tape and tape the mouth of the creature shut.

The Caiman was later “identified by an exotic wildlife specialist as a “spectacled or common caiman”. It’s been speculated that someone bought it as a pet, and turned it loose in the pond when it grew too large.

*Shortly after the Caiman was caught, Sarnia Animal Control Officer Brad Loosley arrived on the scene and insisted that the Caiman was actually a Pit Bull.

“Check out those locking jaws!”, a frothing at the mouth Loosley exclaimed to bemused television crews. “That’s a Pit Bull, alright. The beady eyes give it away”.

When Loosley was informed that reptile specialists had identified the creature as a Caiman, he scoffingly replied “Those guys aren’t experts on Pit Bulls – me, I’m a Pit Bull expert. I’m an Animal Control officer, dammit. Bow to my authority”.

Loosley then noticed Gunner, Mr. Stephan’s Shih Tzu, and attempted to nab Gunner with a snare pole. When asked what on earth he thought he was doing, Loosley shrieked that Pit Bulls come in all sizes, and that Gunner was obviously a miniature, long haired Pit Bull. “Oh, sure – they look like family pets”, a wild eyed Loosley was heard to exclaim. “Until the day they snap and savage your ankle, and then it’s all over, buddy”.

An A Team technician then wrestled a hysterical Loosley to the ground and duct taped his mouth shut, commenting that he ‘seemed a little bit irate, and was ranting something about being denied his due measure of death dealing. He seems a bit nuts, honestly’.*

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The dogs are safe – for now

Media release:

Dear Members of Council,

The City of Sarnia is arranging for the release of the three mixed-breed dogs that were detained on the basis of having similar characteristics to a “Pit Bull” as outlined by the Dog Owners Liability Act (DOLA).

Following the detentions, the dogs Capone, Maddie and Carter were examined by an expert of the owners choice and one of the City’s choice.

Both examinations found that the dogs were not “Pit Bulls” nor do they have the appearance or physical characteristics of the “Pit Bull” breed.

While the dogs were detained, extensions were given to the euthanasia of the dogs to allow for the examinations.

The City wanted to get the necessary information to ensure the right decision was made and that is now the case.

Following discussions with the owners’ lawyer, the dogs will be released to their owners subject to them being spayed and neutered in accordance with the recommendations of the owners’ expert.

The city is satisfied that the release of the dogs back to their owners is the right decision and will work with the owners to ensure that the recommendations are followed in the release.

Lloyd Fennell
City Manager

We can’t any of rest easy, however. The law which allowed – encouraged! – this stupid, money sucking, owner and dog traumatizing circus o’ stupidity still stands, and until it’s knocked down, none of us are safe.

You’re not even safe if you’re just traveling through Ontario, on your way to someplace else, as this letter posted on the DLCC website, from former Ontario tourism minister Jim Bradley, makes abundantly clear.

Ministry of Tourism and Recreation
9th Floor, Hearst Block
900 Bay Street
Toronto, ON M7A 2E1
Tel: (416) 326-9326
Fax: (416) 326-9338

File Reference Number: XXX

April 7, 2005

Dear Ms. XXXXX :

Thank you for your e-mail messages about the Ontario government’s new legislation banning pit bulls. I appreciate the opportunity to address your concerns, and I apologize for the delay in responding to you.

Ontario’s Public Safety Related to Dogs Statute Law Amendment Act, 2005 became law on March 9, 2005, and it amends the Dog Owners’ Liability Act. The new legislation will come into effect on August 29, 2005, banning pit bulls and their importation into Ontario. The new law also places restrictions on existing pit bulls and toughens penalties for the owners of any dog that poses a danger to the public. Pit bulls already legally resident in the province before the date the law comes into force may remain legally in Ontario, subject to certain conditions, such as compliance with leash, muzzle and sterilization requirements. Accordingly, law-abiding owners of existing pit bulls in Ontario need not give up their dogs.

Importing pit bulls into Ontario will be prohibited after August 29, 2005. Pit bulls not legally resident in Ontario prior to this date will be subject to seizure, and persons found to have imported a pit bull into Ontario will be in violation of the law and may be subject to fines and/or jail. There are no exceptions for tourists, including those simply passing through Ontario with their pit bulls, apart from a limited exception for individuals participating in a recognized dog show. You can find further information about the legislation on the Ministry of the Attorney General’s website at:

Ontario greatly values its visitors from Canada, the United States and abroad. We are proud of the many world-class tourism attractions and experiences in Ontario, and we are working hard to provide a safe and welcoming province for visitors and residents alike. For more information on traveling in Ontario, please visit, or call toll free 1-800-Ontario (1-800-668-2746).

Again, thank you for advising me of your concerns, which I will share with my Cabinet colleague, the Honorable Michael Bryant, Attorney General of Ontario.

Yours sincerely,

Jim Bradley

You’re not safe in Ontario, no matter what breed you own, and no matter how much you want to believe that this law has nothing to do with you. It is, quite simply, a concerted effort to curtail our rights to own the dogs of our choice, and to exterminate the dogs that the puppet masters find ‘unacceptable’.

Sarnia is still on my ‘do not visit list’, and I suggest they stay on yours, too. In fact, that might apply to the entire province, if this kind of stupidity keeps up.

Tell Sarnia ‘Enough is Enough!’

The city of Sarnia Ontario thinks THIS is a Pit Bull. Morons.

The city of Sarnia Ontario thinks THIS is a Pit Bull. Morons.

My own, personal opinion? Boycott Sarnia, starting now. Don’t cross their border, don’t shop in their town, don’t gamble at their casino. Hit them where it hurts – their pocket books.

Posted with permission —

The Dog Legislation Council has been dealing with an issue that, up until yesterday, was kept under the radar in the hopes that things could be worked out amicably between the dogs’ owners and Sarnia Humane Society.

The city of Sarnia is fast becoming one of Ontario’s most lethal cities for dogs , even when the owners can provide ‘proof’ of their genetics;

a.. The first occurred in March 2006.Tidus who was identified as a “pit bull” and ordered destroyed under the Dog Owners’ Liability Act. The dog’s owner took the case to court and, in April, the destruction order was set aside.
“This legislation is very vague because it doesn’t give direction,” said Justice of the Peace Helen Gale in making her ruling to release Tidus following the two-and-a-half hour trial. She noted that the Canadian Kennel Club does not even recognize pit bulls as being a specific breed. “There needs to be a clear definition,” said Gale. “There are some real problems with the act.”
a.. The second incident in Sarnia occurred also in April 2006, only a few days after the ruling. A Hungarian Vizsla (a purebred hunting dog) was identified as a “pit bull”. The owner had papers from the United States identifying the dog as a Vizsla. Ultimately, this dog was released to the owner on a “gentleman’s handshake” on the condition that the dog leave the province immediately.
b.. The third incident, which attracted attention across North America, occurred in June 2007. Sarnia Animal Control (again, Mr. Brad Loosley) confiscated three seven week old puppies and their mother (yes that’s SEVEN WEEKS OLD) who were identified as Staffordshire Bull Terriers and confiscated for being a “threat to public safety”. They were scheduled for destruction that same week.
The public outcry in this case, the significant assistance of their pro bono lawyer, Mr. Chris Avery, as well as offers of help from Advocates for the Underdog and the Dog Legislation Council of Canada, persuaded the city of Sarnia to eventually change their mind. Note, however, that even with that change of heart, the dogs still had to be shipped out of the province in order to stay alive, as was the case with the Vizsla.

a.. Now we have puppies whose breeding has been proven as required under DOLA to be that of a Labrador ( unregistered sire ) and a CKC registered Boxer (dam).
On the record, Mr Loosley glibly stated that they are euthanizing at least one “pit bull” a month.
Since the story hit the local newspaper yesterday, September 18, it’s now necesary to let everyone know what’s going on.

OK, so here’s the story:

In this latest case, it certainly seems that Sarnia Animal Control has gone on a “witch hunt” to confiscate and destroy all three of dogs, two are puppies and one being the father of said puppies. NONE of these dogs have shown any aggression or been involved in any biting incident and TWO of them were confiscated directly from their owners who were doing nothing different than what millions of dog owners across Canada do every day with their dogs.

According to previous reports, the Mayor of Sarnia, Mike Bradley, is not in favour of the breed-specific Dog Owners’ Liability Act. He and the city councillors need to be made aware of this situation immediately. They must intervene, not only in this case, but in their city’s Animal Control policy, to ensure that law-abiding citizens with safe, non-threatening dogs are left in peace to enjoy their pets.

First, the contact information for Sarnia .

Mr. Brad Loosley, Deputy City Clerk
519-332-0330 ext 351

Mr. Loosley has been identified by the dogs’ owners as the Chief Animal Control Officer, although the city’s website identifies him as the Deputy City Clerk.

Mike Bradley, Mayor
519-332-0330 ext 312

Dave Boushy, City Councillor

Jim Foubister, City Councillor

Bev MacDougall, City Councillor

Anne Marie Gillis, City Councillor

Andy Bruziewicz, City Councillor

Jon McEachran, City Councillor

Mike Kelch, City Councillor

Terry Burrell, City Councillor

If you choose to contact these people, keep in mind a few things:

1.. Other than Brad Loosley, the people listed above may not have any idea what’s going on.
2.. Treat them with respect and politeness, simply requesting their intervention in this matter.
3.. Point out that there is no requirement in the Dog Owners’ Liability Act for a city to identify a dog as a “pit bull”. The only reason to do so is to kill the dog, period.
4.. Stress that Alan Bennett has looked at these dogs and determined them to NOT be Staffordshire Bull Terriers or any other breed banned under the Ontario law. Mr. Bennett is a Canadian Kennel Club judge, qualified to judge ALL 175 breeds registered by the CKC, and a former Director of the Canadian Kennel Club.

Sarnia Ignores Expert – Still Claims Death Row Dogs Pit Bulls

Sarnia's New City Crest

Sarnia's New City Crest

The idiocy in Sarnia continues, with talking head Brad Loosley now claiming that Sarnia Animal Control Officers are “highly trained professionals”, with opinions that outweigh those of internationally respected breed experts with decades of experience judging and assessing Pit Bulls.

Alan Bennet has been a dog breeder for 30 years, and a show dog judge since 1993. In that time, he has, in his own words, “Judged (American Staffordshire Terriers) all over the world”. AmStaff, by the way, is the fancy kennel club name for the dogs the rest of the world calls Pit Bulls. Mr. Bennet recently donated his time and expertise to the owners of the death row dogs in Sarnia, examing the dogs, and submitting a written report to the city of Sarnia. The dogs, says Bennet, are NOT Pit Bulls, or anything ‘substantially similar’.

From the article in the Observer:

“These dogs definitely don’t look pitbullish. Their chests are too narrow and they’re much taller than the bull breed.”

Not good enough for Sarnia Animal Control, however, who won’t back down from their own assessment, and who claim that their own ‘experts’ knowledge of Pit Bulls outweighs that of a man who has been paid to travel around the world judging them professionally. No, Sarnia AC is sticking to its guns, and now also plans to murder the sire of the two puppies originally seized:

..the city has not returned the dogs despite Bennett’s input, says Sonya Pimentel, owner of an 11-month-old pup impounded by the city’s animal control officers nearly three weeks ago.

Her dog and another pup from the same litter, as well as the puppies’ father, will be euthanized unless the owners can prove their pets are not pitbulls or look “substantially similar” to one.

So, the owners have been told that they must ‘prove that their dogs are not Pit Bulls’, which they’ve attempted to do by retaining an actual, real live, honest to God expert on Pit Bulls. “Not good enough!” claims Sarnia AC.

I think that the only thing now that can possibly save these dogs is an outpouring of public anger and outrage. I suggest you direct yours to Sarnia City Hall, since Animal Control has obviously circled the wagons and is not backing down. I’ve heard that they’re no longer answering the phone in their department – a luxury that I doubt City Hall has.

Why not let them know how you personally feel about their city’s policy of seizing dogs off the street, unprovoked, and sentencing them to death?

Sarnia is a major border crossing between Canada and the USA – perhaps a refusal to use that crossing, with the concurrent drop in city income from travelers, might hold some sway with Sarnia’s powers that be. After all, are you willing to take the chance of driving through Sarnia with your dogs? Are you confident that your dogs could escape being labeled as ‘substantially similar’ to Pit Bulls, when ‘substantially similar’ for Sarnia Animal Control seems to mean only slightly blocky headed and short coated?

Contact information for Sarnia City Hall

City Manager – Located on the 2nd Floor at City Hall

Lloyd Fennell, City Manager

519 332-0330 Ext. 230

All departments report to the City Manager, by the way. Oh, and look what else I found – seems that Brad Loosley wears a few hats for the city of Sarnia.

Brad Loosley, Acting Deputy City Clerk

519 332-0330 ext. 258

That’s Brad’s direct line and extension. Go nuts.