Dreambarks All Breed Gifts
IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM BANNED AID - PLEASE CROSSPOST

Ontario.
Twice the size of Texas.
Three times the size of Germany.
Five times the size of the United Kingdom.
Home to a breed-specific legislative ban covering the largest geopolitical area in the world.


A ban that discriminates not by action or deed, but by physical appearance.


A ban that targets not only "pitbulls", American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers and Staffordshire Bull Terriers", but haunts *ANY* pure- or crossbred canine bearing a substantial physical resemblance to one of the aforementioned. The 2004 brainchild of the province's Attorney General, Michael Bryant, the now-infamous Bill 132 was conceived as a vote-grabbing safety measure; a poorly designed and ill-appointed law geared to target the public's visceral fear of dog attacks. Implemented in August of 2005, retribution against innocent canines and their owners was swift.


Walking your pet without a muzzle now means risking seizure without warrant. Visitors and residents alike travelling without certified documentation face the spectre of breed (mis)identification looming around every corner.


Pets showing natural protective tendencies within the boundaries of their home turf may now be turned in on the suspicion of being 'menacing'. This last is particularly frightening; simple barking at passers-by can be interpreted as 'threatening behaviour' by control officers with no training in either animal behaviour or breed identification. Failure to pass muster on any of the above can and will result in a one-way trip to the official's choice of humane society, pound or research facility. There are few second chances.


This ban has raised both the conscience and ire of dog lovers from British Columbia to Prince Edward Island . It's not just a 'pit-bull' issue. It's a Rottweiler issue, a Doberman issue. It's about Boxers and Bullmastiffs, Bull Terriers, Neapolitan Mastiffs and Boston Terriers, Great Danes and Vizslas...are you surprised? These are but a handful of the breeds that have come under scrutiny and endured public censure following the implementation and subsequent over-broad interpretation of A.G. Bryant's Bill.


From the beginning, concerned groups and individuals questioned the feasibility of a legal challenge - a challenge directed at the violation of constitutional rights, yet still allowing for the punishment of those who wilfully put animals and people in harm's way. Prominent trial and constitutional lawyer Clayton Ruby was immediately retained.


With the help of the American Staffordshire Terrier Club of Canada, the Golden Horseshoe American Pit Bull Terrier Club, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of Canada and Advocates for the Underdog, a coalition was formed including the Dog Legislation Council of Canada and aptly named "Banned Aid". This group played a prominent role in the ensuing months, bringing the plight of Ontario's dogs to those who otherwise might never have considered the gravity of the situation. Their determination paid off; the spring of 2006 saw a trial date set, and on May 15th, 16th and 18th, Justice T. Herman heard final arguments from both sides in Ontario's Superior Court.


The battle, however, is not quite over. Government-initiated delays have resulted in the near-doubling of our legal fees, which have long passed initial "guesstimates" and are closing in on the 1/2 million mark. In this, we are running out of time. Generous time allowances by Clayton Ruby's offices have merely slowed the inevitable, that being we MUST come up with $ 100,000 in two weeks' time for this case to continue.


The importance of being present to rebut a new government motion cannot be overestimated. Lacking an opposing legal presence gives government lawyers carte blanche, while countering from our side greatly increases the chances of any further introductions being struck down as frivolous. Ruby strongly believes this attempt to be a last-gasp 'smoke screen' effort by our opposition, carefully orchestrated to bring us to our financial knees. We cannot let this happen. If we have come this far, it is in large part due to the faith of our members, friends and allies - individuals who possess the same gritty determination hallmarking the breeds this Bill seeks to eliminate forever.
We are so very, very close. For the latest updates and news briefs, we urge you to visit the Dog Legislation Council of Canada website at:

www.dlcc.ca


If you believe - as we do - that victory is a mere leash-length away, then please help by donating to the Ontario Legal Challenge of Bill 132 through the following agents:
1. Banned-Aid Coalition - www.BannedAid.com <http://www.bannedaid.com/> - Click on Donate to use PayPal.
2. Send a cheque or money order payable to Banned Aid to:


Cathy Prothro
National Secretary/Treasurer - Banned Aid Coalition
351 Pleasant Street
Dartmouth NS B2Y 3S4


3. You can also make an online payment from your financial institution's web site by sending a bill payment to treasurer @ doglegislationcouncilcanada.org (without the spaces).

4. Mark a cheque "Banned Aid - In Trust' on the memo line; make payable to "Ruby and Edwardh" and send to:

Ruby and Edwardh
11 Prince Arthur Avenue
Toronto, ON M5R 1B2


No donation is too small, no suggestion unimportant. Each and every contribution is humbly appreciated - indeed, more than can be possibly expressed. We know the dogs this saves would thank you if they could.
Respectfully,

Banned Aid Coalition
351 Pleasant Street
Dartmouth NS B2S 3Y4
Canada

DREAMBARKS HOME

 

Lawyer Edward L. Greenspan is a promininent member of the Canadian
defence bar and he practises in the Province of Ontario, where BSL has
just received Royal Assent and will come into full effect. This will
mean muzzling, sterilization, no new dogs allowed, euthanizing
shelter "pit bulls" and any dogs resembling "pit bulls", (specfically
AmStaffs and Staffies) with the onus on the owner to prove their dog
is not a "pit bull". Police and municipal workers will have the power
to search and seize without warrant.

Please read this article with care and follow where it leads. Even
those who are not disposed to dogs, can see the illogical nature of
breed banning. As Mr. Greenspan writes, we live in "hysterical
times."

Hucklebutter in Ontario


March 11, 2005

Edward L. Greenspan
Banning pit bulls is not the answer--dogs will still bite kids and
adults.

If I were the Premier of Ontario, I would outlaw all dogs. For me,
all dogs are "Cujo"--not the goalie, but Steven King's very scary
story abut a dog whose eyes give away its maniacal madness.

I believe that movie to be a documentary. As a youngster growing up in
Niagara Falls, I was once bitten by a dog (not a pit bull). Since
that day, I cannot tell you how far I have walked in order to avoid a
confrontation with any dog coming towards me on a sidewalk or road.
Just walking to school, I put on blocks and blocks to avoid crossing
the path of a potential "Cujo".

Once while I was playing road hockey, my neighbours' little barking
dog ran at me, ready to go for my throat and out of absolute fear I
hit the mutt with a wild defensive swing of my hockey stick,
momentarily knocking it out. To my horror, the dog lived and
frightened me for years to come.

The dog lived on my school route and I had to walk past its home to
get to school, as the dog barked at me from inside the house. I will
never forget that dog looking out the window with that killer look,
killer eyes and a murderous bark. I believe the dog was a terrier-
ist. And that is why I never thought for one minute that I would come
to the defense of pit bulls (even though I am a defense lawyer).

I find them ugly, scary and evil, but no more so than the politicians
who have banned the pit bull by imposing a war crime of sterilization
of all current pit bulls and prohibiting new pit bulls (born 90 days
after the law is proclaimed) from sharing Ontario earth with us or
breathing Ontario air.

And all of this from an attorney general who, from all accounts, is a
human rights activist. (I won't go there). Now pit bulls will have to
find a home outside of Ontario or be put down. Opponents argued breed-
specific bans are unfair and useless and called for legislation that
targeted owners and dangerous dogs, no matter what breed.

It is interesting to note that in all of North America, only Ontario
has passed such a law. First of all, the best evidence tells us that
the pit bull is not a breed. Secondly, there does not appear to be
much evidence other than myth that the pit bull is so ferocious.

As my friend George Jonas recently wrote, "Why . . . ban a breed that
doesn't exist? Why . . . ban one that does? You ban a breed because it's
vicious but . . . breeds don't bite. Individual dogs may bite, but
breeds don't."

For me, this is unassailable logic. There is no such thing as bad
breeds. Some dogs may be bad; some may have bad masters, but surely
you can't eliminate dog attacks by the total elimination of pit bulls.

We are living in completely hysterical times.

Pit bulls are being treated like the witches of Salem. For example,
the clearest, hysterical stupidity that has come out of the mouth of
anyone, came out of the ex-Toronto chief of police, Julian Fantino,
who said the pit bull is "the dog of choice for criminals." He
doesn't say whether it's male or female criminals or wrongfully
convicted criminals or shoplifters or murderers.

What is he talking about? Eliminate pit bulls and the criminal's dog
of choice will be gone? I'm sure they will replace them with
Rottweilers if there is any truth to his unscientific, unsupportable
claim.

When we finally live in a pit bull free Ontario, the newest most
dangerous breed will become either the Parro De Presa Canario,
otherwise known as the Canary Dog, which is twice as big as the pit
bull and weighs up to 48 kilos.

When the attorney general eliminates most dangerous dogs, the next in
line will be the English Mastiff, then the Chow, Akita and then the
Rottweiler and then the German Shepherd and once we have eliminated
all the breeds, we will be left with seeing-eye dogs and God help us
all if one of them happens to bite somebody.

Remember, the two dogs that scared the pants off me were none of the
above. I have no doubt that a good breeder, a good master and a good
dog can make a "love-a-bull." I'm sure many so-called nice dogs can
be badly trained as bad dogs.

Banning a breed is a war crime for people to do to people. Not that I
am equating dogs to people, but it should be impermissible for people
to do it to animals, lest they make future claim that we do it to
animals, why can't we do it to people?

This is no way to treat man's best friend.

Edward L. Greenspan, QC,

is the senior partner of the Toronto law firm of Greenspan, White


Anti-BSL Shop
Punish the deed, not the breed!
I'm an Individual

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AN APOLOGY TO BREED BAN ENTHUSIASTS

I'm sorry you are frightened of my dogs and are trying to have them killed because they are pitbulls.

I'm sorry you lack the understanding of this breed's true history,
gentleness with people, wonderful temperament, intelligence and
behavioral conformation. I'm sorry you won't read the ATTS stats
regarding our breed's true temperament, putting it in the top four
for temperament, scoring better than breeds like Golden Retrievers
and Cocker Spaniels.

I'm sorry that you side with and protect animal abusers by marking
the breed of dog and not the irresponsibility of the owner. I'm
sorry that by your logic I could steal a car, run some people over
with it, and then you can blame the make of car for the accident as I
walk free.

I'm sorry you generalize one breed of dog with one group of people.
I'm sorry you can't see the love and determination that many often
highly educated, non-criminal, and "normal" types of people show
towards this breed and the great personal sacrifices that they make
to take care of their dog responsibly.

I'm sorry you cannot go into the shelters and see the hundreds of
abandoned and abused pitbulls, dying only for the inane "crime" of
being born the breed they are. I'm sorry you cannot see the look of
disappointment in their eyes as someone walks by their kennel, and
refuses to consider adopting them based on an ill-educated fear
mongering reporter. I'm sorry that you cannot be there when the
animal looks at a human for the last time, and in spite of being betrayed
by all humans they have met, their tail still wags as someone
approaches with the syringe of Euthinol.

I'm sorry you cannot be there when law enforcement shoots one of your
dogs dead inside its own home in front of the children it mutually
loves for simply getting off the dog bed and walking over to say
hello with its tail wagging. I'm sorry you cannot be there to rescue
pitbull puppies from a plastic bag in a dumpster, dumped there by
someone switching their illegal and inhumane activities to another,
more lucrative breed.

I'm sorry you cannot understand the difference between canine and
human aggression in the way that this breed can. Yes, I'm saying my
pitbull is smarter than you.

I'm sorry that the medieval witchhunting genetics of intolerance,
generalization, and racism make you feel the need to vilify a breed
of dog. I'm sorry that justice, equality, tolerance, common sense are
all things you hold dear as a fellow Canadian and expect from
others, but do not yourself offer toward a pitbull or its
caregiver. I'm sorry that you don't take the constructive time to
petition changes in the Canadian animal cruelty act and in the
criminal code that would deal out serious punishment to the real
animal abusers.

I'm sorry you cannot see the disappointed look on a puppy's face when
the people petting it quickly frown and walk away when you tell them
it is a pitbull. I'm sorry you feel the need to terrorize my family
and my dogs for crimes we never have and never will commit. I'm sorry
you don't have to live in fear of your dog's safety from hysterical
and mentally unstable people trying to inflict all manner of evil
upon your dogs.

I'm sorry that you cannot see my breed working in some of the best
Search and Rescue groups in the world, saving countless lives each
year. I'm sorry our media censors and refuses to print the breed
name "pitbull' when in connection with a positive act such as saving
a person or child from a burning house, drowning, wild attacking
animals, etc. I'm sorry you cannot see the many pitbulls registered
as therapy dogs and bringing so much joy to another misunderstood,
neglected demographic in our society, the senior citizen.

I am sorry you can't see a pitbull kiss a child, step carefully over
a kitten, or play in a sunbeam. I'm sorry you cannot wake in the
morning to feel a warm pitbull cuddled next to you in bed, and know
that you are their total world, and even if the house caught fire and
trapped you, they would stay with you to the end.
But, now that I really think about it, I'm not at all sorry you don't
own a pitbull--you do not deserve one.

Rob MacBean
The Mongrel Hordes
Lake Cowichan BC
(Permission granted by me the author to crosspost as long as it stays
intact, and with my name on it.)

DREAMBARKS HOME

The Family Dog

The family dog was bought to guard
chained to a post in a chilly backyard;

Housed in a shed that was airless and dark,
and every few weeks had a run in the park.

When boredom set in with no fun and no work,
one day it broke loose and then went berserk,
Pa couldn't fathom just why it went wild,
as it flattened his wife and then bit his child.
The police were called in to sort out the mess,
and the whole sorry tale was revealed in the press.
The Rescue Society was really annoyed,
so the dog was re-homed and the owners destroyed.

(Author Unknown)

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Interview at the Dog Pound


As a journalist, I decided to go to the dog pound and interview some
of the "inmates". I wanted to know what it was like in there from
their perspective. What follows is not for the faint of heart.

I entered the building, and one of the workers accompanied me to the
holding area. This is where dogs are kept before they are allowed up
for adoption … IF they are allowed up for adoption. If the dogs are
found to be aggressive in any way, euthanasia is employed.
Fortunately, if "fortunately" is the word to be used here … this is a
Canadian establishment, and they use lethal injection, not a gas
chamber.

The pound worker led me past a big steel door that says "Employees
Only". "What is in there?" I asked. From the look he gave me, I knew
that this is where dogs go in, and never return.


We moved on to a row of kennels. The dogs were barking loudly, there
was the acrid smell of urine and feces, and a feeling of despair
seemed to permeate the room.


"Go ahead," the worker said. "They're all yours."

PETEY

I looked into the first kennel, and saw only the back of a medium
sized dog who was curled up in the corner of his kennel, shivering.
He was mostly white, with some black spots. "Hello?" I said. "May I
come in?" He lifted his head, as though it weighed more than he could
bear. When he looked at me, I could see he was a Pitbull. His eyes
were gentle, but filled with grief. "Enter," was all he said.
I stepped in, closing the gate behind me. He put his head back down,
facing away from me. I crouched down a few feet away.


"My name is Pete. Petey my Master called me," he said, still not
looking at me.


"Why are you here Pete?" I asked.


"I am here because Master cannot afford to move to another province.
I am here because someone with power said I am vicious, and a killer.
Someone who never met me. Master took me for a walk one day, and some
lady started to scream when she saw me. I got frightened, and barked
at her. The dog police came, and they took me away. I have been with
Master for 10 years. The last time I saw him, he just held me and
cried. He kept telling me he was sorry. I worry for him. Whatever
will he do without me?" Pete shivered even more. A tear slid down my
face. I am supposed to remain objective, but this was wrong … so wrong.


"Thank you Pete." I said. He said nothing as I got up and left his
kennel.

DREAMBARKS HOME

Popper

The kennel next to Pete's held a very young looking dog. Pure Border
Collie by my guess. He stood on his hind legs, looking at me through
the gate.


"Hello. My name's Popper. He tilted his head. "Are you here to take
me home?"


"No, I'm sorry," I replied. "But I would like to talk with you."
"Sure. What would you like to talk about?"


"Popper, how did you come to be in this place?" I asked.


Popper dropped down from the gate, with a perplexed look on his face.
He walked to the back of the kennel, then back to the front. I
noticed he had one blue eye, and one brown. He was quite beautiful.
His black and white coat was shiny and thick.


"I am not certain WHY I am here. I think maybe my family will come
back for me. They bought me when I was only 6 weeks old. I remember
they said how smart Border Collies are, and how it would be so easy
to train me. They were very excited at first. The little ones played
with me all the time. But the trouble with little Masters is, they
refuse to stay in a group. I constantly had to nip their heels to
keep them together." He looked confused. "Why won't they stay in a
group?" he sighed. "So I did what I thought I should do. I am not
quite sure why the little ones screamed when I did my job, but they
did, and the Masters got very angry at me. They also got angry when I
had to relieve myself, and did so in the house. I am not sure where
they expected me to go. All they said was that I was the smartest
breed in the world, and I should just KNOW better. Then they left me
in the yard for a month or so. I got bored a lot, and I dug holes in
the grass. The next thing I knew, the Masters brought me here."


Popper jumped back up on the gate, his white paws protruding through
the links. He looked at me with his lovely eyes, and asked "Will you
please let them know I want to come home? Please tell them I promise
I will be good?"


"I will Popper," I said.

DREAMBARKS HOME

Spartan

My heart was breaking. I was beginning to regret coming here, but
their stories had to be told. I moved along. The next dog I saw
looked to be easily 100 lbs., a Rottweiler. He was handsome indeed,
except for the scars on his face and back. He tilted his head, and
looked me right in the eyes.


"Hello. Who are you?" he asked.


"I am a reporter," I replied. "May I speak with you for a little
while?"


"Most certainly. My name is Spartan. You can come in, I won't bite,"
he said.


"Thank you Spartan. I will."


I entered his kennel, reached out and stroked his giant head. He made
a loud grumbling noise, and closed his eyes.


"Spartan, why are you here?"


Before he could answer my question, he was suddenly in the grip of a
nasty coughing spasm. It sounded painful.


"Please excuse me," he said when it passed. "Kennel cough. It seems
all of us who come in here get it.


"Why am I here? Well, about two years ago, I was born in the backyard
of some person I can't even recall. I had 11 brothers and sisters. I
recall a day when a big man came and gave that person some money, and
took me away from my mother. They had to chain her up, as she was
very angry that he took me. They chained her and beat her. I came to
know the man by the name of Jim. I overheard him telling his friends
that I would grow up to be big and mean like my mother. But as I grew
older, all I wanted to do was play and be friends with everyone. Jim
said I needed to be taught how to be mean, so he chained me up in the
yard. No more house for me, he said, I was too spoiled. When people
came by to visit, I was so happy to see them. I wanted them to come
and play. But that made Jim angry, so he beat me with sticks and
chains. When he came near, I would roll onto my back so he would know
I wasn't a bad dog. That made him beat me more." Spartan's eyes
clouded with grief. "Then he brought me here."


I reached out and stroked Spartan's massive gentle head once more. "I
am so sorry Spartan. Some people are just plain evil." I gave him a
kiss and left his kennel. As I walked away, Spartan called out, "What
will happen to me, nice lady?"


I shook my head. "I can't say Spartan. Maybe someone kind will come
and get you. We can only hope."

DREAMBARKS HOME

Patsy

I walked a little further down. I could see a shape moving at the
back of the next kennel. "Hello?" I called out. Suddenly the shape
lunged at the gate in a fury, barking and gnashing its teeth. I
stumbled backwards, and crashed into an adjacent kennel. The other
dogs began barking loudly and jumping at their gates.


"Don't go near her," a small female voice came from behind me. "She's
mad."


I gathered myself back together, and saw a little Jack Russell
Terrier behind me.


"Thanks for the warning," I was still trembling. Across the way, the
other dog, apparently a Husky and German Shepherd cross, was glaring
at me, lips curled back revealing brown stained teeth. Her ribs and
hips showed through her dull, matted grey coat.


The little dog invited me into her kennel, and I gladly went in.


"Who are you?"


"My name is Patsy." The little brown and white dog held a paw up to
the gate in greeting.


"My owner surrendered me. She said she wanted a cute little dog like
the one on the TV show, Frasier. She didn't bother to look into the
type of dog I am." Patsy heaved a sigh.


"I suppose she expected me to just lie about and only need a short
walk each day, just like Eddie, but my energy was so high that I
needed to run and play." She glanced at her surroundings. "Now I am
here. I suppose it could be worse. I could be like…her." Patsy looked
towards the still growling dog across the way.


"What happened to make her so vicious?" I asked.


"From what we could gather," she replied. "she was found tied in a
back yard. She only had a three foot chain. Some days there was no
water. Rarely was there any food. One day a nice neighbour came by
and brought her some meat. By then it was too late. She was already
mad. She broke off her chain, and bit the poor man badly. We know she
will be going behind the steel door. I am sad to say, I think it will
be best. Perhaps then she will know some peace."


Just then, the door at the end of the building opened, and a woman
stepped inside. All the dogs began to bark wildly, then one by one,
they went quiet. I whispered to Patsy, "Who is that? Why have all the
dogs gone quiet?"


Patsy breathed deeply through her little nose, and closed her
eyes. "SHE is a Rescuer. Can't you smell it?" she asked.


"Smell what?" I was confused.


"Compassion. Love. Sorrow. It emanates from her pores. She is here
for one of us, but nobody knows who just yet." Patsy looked hopeful.
The Rescuer moved from kennel to kennel, looking at each dog. I sat
quietly watching. I could see tears in her eyes as she made eye
contact with each one. She stopped at Spartan's cage and spoke
quietly to him.


"No more beatings my man. No more. You are coming with me. From here
on in, it's all going to get better." The Rescuer produced a leash,
opened the kennel door, and took Spartan away. As he walked beside
her, his little stubby tail wagged with delight.


Patsy sighed again. I could see the disappointment in her eyes, and
it grieved me. They all had the same look, as they watched The
Rescuer depart.


"I am so sorry Patsy," I said in a whisper. "But you are a little
dog, and everyone loves little dogs. I am convinced you will be
rescued soon." Patsy's brown eyes twinkled at me, a little bit of
hope returning.

I had heard and seen enough. I needed to tell people how it was for
these unfortunate creatures. They were all here through no fault of
their own. I stood to leave. I passed by many other dogs I did not
interview, looking at each one, wishing I could take them all home
with me and give them the love they deserved.


I stood by the door taking one last glance back, when it opened, and
one of the pound workers came in. His face was drawn and sad. He
walked by without a word, and stopped at Pete's kennel. I heard him
take a deep breath, then he paused, and opened the kennel door. The
words were muffled, but I am sure I heard him say "I'm sorry old boy."
He came out, with Petey in tow. The old dog's head hung down in
resignation, and they both disappeared behind the big steel door.

Copyright: Sally Hull, July 6th, 2006
selahv@shaw.ca

 

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