I've been reading through the information the ASP left for us, which includes a copy of new Ontario law banning pit bulls or any dog that anyone might ever think might be even partly a pit bull.
I blogged about the law while it was being debated, before it passed. And there's great information on breed-specific legislation, from a Canadian perspective, here at dogwatch.net.
Here are some choice excerpts from Dog Owners' Liability Act, R.S.O. 1990, Chapter D.15:
4. (1) A proceeding may be commenced in the Ontario Court of Justice against an owner of a dog if it is alleged that,"Behaving in a manner that poses a menace"? This is an extraordinarily vague term. As ASP said at our door the other day, a person who doesn't understand dogs can walk by a fenced yard, see a dog barking at a fence, and feel threatened and menaced - although the dog is just being a dog, safe behind its fence, and doing no harm. Here's more:
(a) the dog has bitten or attacked a person or domestic animal;
(b) the dog has behaved in a manner that poses a menace to the safety of persons or domestic animals; or
(c) the owner did not exercise reasonable precautions to prevent the dog from,
(i) biting or attacking a person or domestic animal, or
(ii) behaving in a manner that poses a menace to the safety of persons or domestic animals.
Onus of proof, pit bullsSo some asshole neighbor alleges my dog is a pit bull, and I have to prove he is not. How does one go about proving a mutt is a mutt?
(10) If it is alleged in any proceeding under this section that a dog is a pit bull, the onus of proving the that dog is not a pit bull lies on the owner of the dog.
Under this law, it is illegal to take in a stray dog that you think might be a pit bull. So when I saw Buster on that cold and rainy December night in 1999, covered in wounds and sores, frightened and cold, I would have had to call Animal Services and have him killed, rather than take him into my home and make him part of my family. Very humane. Indeed, the Humane Society of Canada opposes all breed specific legislation, and strenuously opposes the Ontario ban.
Read more here, and if you want to debate breed-specific legislation, please do it on your own blog. Sympathy and support are welcome, alternative perspectives can take a hike.
Also, in case you are very new to wmtc, Buster is not a pit bull. He's a mutt I found on the street. He reacts aggressively to other dogs (except his sister Cody). Solution: we keep him well away from other dogs.