3.14.2011

breed-specific insanity continues in ontario; tea partiers support animal abuse in missouri


Breed-specific insanity continues in Ontario, under the radar of the media and most of the public, but inflicting lifelong pain on the families it tears apart.

Someone claims your dog is a banned breed, and it's up to you to prove she's not. And how do you prove such a thing? You can't. So your dog is taken from your home, and killed. Now, with a later amendment to the law, the dog can now be re-homed out of the province. But what will happen to the dog? And what of your family?

This almost happened to me, a week after we moved to Canada. In the story below, note the day the law went into effect: August 29, 2005. That's the day before we landed. Two days earlier, and we would have been safe. As it was, we were at the mercy of a kind Animal Services person, who may have showed leniency because we had just moved to the country.

Without this, I can't imagine what we would have done. We spent years healing Buster from the tortures he endured, and nursing him through his many chronic illnesses. To think our life with him could have been ended just days after we moved to Canada...! It's too terrible to contemplate.

A family in Cobourg, Ontario, is suffering this way right now. The dog Chaos (pictured above) has caused no trouble. He is not aggressive. He's not even a banned breed! But if you read the story carefully, you might discover what is really going on. The dog is barking. And someone found a way to fix the problem.

Stop K9 Profiling - End BSL (here on Facebook) is asking people to contact Ross Barth at Animal Services at 905.885.7808 and politely ask that Chaos be released.

Those of us who oppose breed-specific dog laws are asking for only one thing: that all dogs be treated equally. It's illegal to arrest people and lock them up because they might do something wrong in the future. (It happens, but it's still illegal.) Why can we do this to dogs?
Dog lovers protest breed ban after pet seized
By Pete Fisher, Northumberland Today

COBOURG/PORT HOPE - Punish the deed, not the breed: that was the message of a protest Saturday in front of the Northumberland County courthouse in Cobourg.

Tracey Van Slyke organized the protest after Animal Control officer Ross Barth and four Port Hope Police officers served a warrant at her home on Wednesday, March 9, and subsequently seized her 11-month-old dog, Chaos.

Officers said Chaos appears to be a pit bull, and therefore falls under banned breed legislation which states that no pit bulls are to be born after the legislation was enacted in August 2005.

"So, we've got an 11-month-old dog that shouldn't be here based on what I determined as to be a pit bull-type dog," said Barth, who was acting as a result of a complaint he received.

Though the dog wasn't at the home, it was later seized at a Cobourg residence.

"I don't believe I ever had an illegal dog," Van Slyke said at Saturday's protest.

Approximately 30 people from Cambridge to Kingston took part in the rally to call for changes to the Dog Owner's Liability Act.

As of Aug. 29, 2005, that restricts ownership of American pit bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers and any dog that is deemed to be substantially similar can be seized.

All pit bulls born before August 2005 were to have been sterilized, tagged and registered. Any dog born after can be seized and destroyed or sent to a research facility for animal testing.

Van Slyke said she has two dogs and is doing her best as a "responsible dog owner," but has also been informed her dogs are "interrupting the enjoyment of other tenants" with their barking.

"My dogs occasionally bark," she said. "I've been working with them to get them to stop.

"I have contacted the legal clinic and they are going to assist me in my eviction notice.

"We need our dog back," she said.

"He's never done anything aggressively other than bark and we've been working on behavioral management with him. He doesn't deserve to die just because someone doesn't think he should be where he is."

. . .

Barth said he has to act under the law when a complaint is made, and if the owners can prove the animal is not a pit bull it would be released back to them.

"I can't say whether I agree with the law or not," he said. "That's not for me to decide. The law is in place and I have to enforce the law."

Barth said nobody involved in this incident wants to see the dog destroyed, "but we know if the court decides we have no option."

Chaos is currently being housed at the Shelter of Hope on Theatre Road in Hamilton Township because Barth couldn't find another place to keep the dog.

Some shelters are shipping the dogs like this to Quebec because that province has no ban on the breed.

Barth is an animal lover himself said it's a disturbing case for all involved.

"It's breaking my heart. I had the dog in my lap. I watched the police officers doing their job and I don't think anyone of us want to see the dog taken away from its owners."

Elsewhere, anti-government freaks will bring suffering and death to countless puppies and dogs, because even the most basic, bare-bones animal protection laws are really just "government meddling" in citizens' lives.

I wrote about this back in October, when tea-party activists were trying to block legislation that would limit some of the most egregious abuses of puppy mills in the state of Missouri. Despite those efforts, that legislation passed. And now they're trying to get it repealed.
For years, Missouri earned the dubious distinction as the nation’s “puppy mill capital” because its lax humane regulations and enforcement allowed dog breeders to raise puppies at low costs in terrible, overcrowded conditions. Last fall, Missouri voters approved a referendum to finally solve this problem — the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act — which mandates regular veterinarian inspections of breeding facilities and ensures a basic level of treatment for dogs, such keeping temperatures between 45 and 85 degrees. Tea party groups stridently opposed the referendum, arguing it was “just another example of big government meddling in people’s lives.” Now, capitalizing on the big gains they made in November, Republicans in the state legislature are poised to repeal the regulations Missouri’s voters enacted. . . .

The bill still has to make it through the state House, and Gov. Jay Nixon (D) has not yet said whether he would sign or veto the bill. Editorializing against the state Senate vote, the Kansas City Star wrote that the “senators showed an arrogant disrespect for Missourians” who voted for better treatment of the animals. “The state legislature, held hostage to interests that regard dogs as just another form of livestock, has ignored the problems for years,” the paper added.

By this light, we should be well on our way to repealing child labour laws, fire codes and minimum wage laws (a cruel joke in most US states anyway).

For more on puppy mills, go here. "Overcrowding" doesn't begin to describe the tortures these dogs are subjected to.

31 comments:

allan said...

The Republican party -- demanding the right to torture dogs.

James said...

By this light, we should be well on our way to repealing child labour laws

Missouri Congresswoman Jane Cunningham has introduced SB 222:

This act modifies the child labor laws. It eliminates the prohibition on employment of children under age fourteen. Restrictions on the number of hours and restrictions on when a child may work during the day are also removed. It also repeals the requirement that a child ages fourteen or fifteen obtain a work certificate or work permit in order to be employed. Children under sixteen will also be allowed to work in any capacity in a motel, resort or hotel where sleeping accommodations are furnished. It also removes the authority of the director of the Division of Labor Standards to inspect employers who employ children and to require them to keep certain records for children they employ. It also repeals the presumption that the presence of a child in a workplace is evidence of employment.

laura k said...

This is a new low. Even for them.

Family values, eh.

James said...

Ever since the mid-term elections, the GOP has seemed to be in a competition to see who can propose the most appalling legislation. Turn miscarriages into homicides? Hey, how about make it legal to murder doctors! Gut unions? Hey, how about gutting child labour laws! Other recent ones include:

- Mandatory state-issued ID to vote -- unless you're a senior or a gun owner
- Criminalizing the hiring of undocumented immigrants -- unless it's for gardening or housework
- New restrictions on students' ability to vote

Other suggestions have included things like restricting the vote to land-owners, though this hasn't made it into proposed legislation.

allan said...

Other suggestions have included things like restricting the vote to land-owners

In their defense, this is an original American value. ... And slaves are going for as low as $40 each! Get yours now!

laura k said...

That link Allan posted re slavery is excellent, but their claim that "There are more people in slavery now than at any other time in human history." is misleading. There are more people on the planet than at any other time in human history. Considering how common slavery was in ancient times, it's likely that a smaller percentage of living people are slaves now than at most other times.

laura k said...

Meaning, slavery is less common now, not more so. However and obviously, slavery should not exist, anywhere.

James said...

Another example: a new Michigan law allowing for the appointment of a Roman-style dictator at the municipal level in times of "emergency":

The governor, on his own initiative, can declare an economic emergency in any town and appoint an administrator. The administrator can be any person, including a corporate person.

The administrator has the power to do anything in the name of economic stability, including void contracts, void collective bargaining agreements, dissolve the town council, dissolve the school board, fire anyone including elected officials, hire private security, unincorporate the town, and sell off public property.

laura k said...

I've seen several posts with headlines like "If you think Wisconsin is bad, check out Michigan" (and similar). I haven't looked into it, but this must be part of what they're talking about.

johngoldfine said...

LD941 would end mandatory immunizations in Maine for schoolchildren, returning us to those glorious days of yesteryear: smallpox, whooping cough, polio and so on. Apparently, poor families are getting free immunizations for their children and breaking the state budget....

We also have a right-to-work bill before the legislature to shaft my union even more than it has already been shafted by the state reneging on its pension promises and another protecting a woman from her own flighty thinking by demanding she wait 24 hours before undergoing a certain surgical procedure. We have a bill to expand the number of hours teens can work to nearly unlimited. We have a bill to refuse aid to legal immigrants and another to limit aid to anyone. Bills to end bottle deposit, bills to allow more pollution, bills to cut top rates on state income taxes, bills to allow Sunday hunting (very important to defeat for dog owners who now only get one day a week in the woods in deer season.) Bills to require teaching of creationism in schools, bills to allow me to carry a gun to class, awww have we got bills in the Maine Legislature these days....

laura k said...

Holy crap. Holy holy crap.

Bills to end mandatory immunizations make me rethink my commitment to reproductive freedom. Fuck with your own health, that's your choice, but fuck with your children's health and the health of their classmates... something else entirely.

allan said...

the phrase "circling the drain" keeps coming to mind ...

... man, that dog in the post is cute.

James said...

Several child and infant deaths have already been attributed to breakouts of diseases which are controllable through vaccination. The current anti-vaccination fad -- started by a fraudulent paper by a British doctor which should never have gotten past review -- has resulted in significant outbreaks of measles, whooping cough, mumps, and other childhood diseases which had been under control until recently.

One of the most important things to know about vaccines is that they are not 100% effective, and some people cannot be vaccinated due to allergies or immune system issues. In order to keep a disease out of the population, you have to reduce the number of viable hosts below a threshold (usually something around 5-10% of the total population). Then, even if one person gets sick, there aren't enough susceptible people out there to allow the disease to spread.

Jenny McCarthy's rebuttal to that is "Herd immunity? We're not cows!"

laura k said...

Yup. I think it's widely known but always worth repeating.

started by a fraudulent paper by a British doctor which should never have gotten past review

Purposely fraudulent, it should be noted - data was falsified.

impudent strumpet said...

Children under sixteen will also be allowed to work in any capacity in a motel, resort or hotel where sleeping accommodations are furnished.

Within the internal logic of the people who came up with this, what problem is it meant to address? Because it just sounds really creepy...

bills to allow Sunday hunting

Why isn't hunting allowed on Sundays anyway? I don't know anything about hunting, but it seems arbitrary from where I'm sitting.

Mandatory state-issued ID to vote -- unless you're a senior or a gun owner

Following this line of logic to its natural conclusion, that would mean that if you show up with a gun in hand, you can vote. And since you don't have to have any ID, you can step outside, hand the gun to someone else, and they can vote.

But what happens if you're a senior without ID but they don't think you look old enough to be a senior?

laura k said...

Over Thanksgiving, we were talking with some people who are very into holistic and natural health practices, and who feel many things are overmedicalized. They have a very valid POV, made very good points.

When the subject turned to mandatory vaccinations, I could see how the anti-government, populist views could (and do) easily dovetail with the natural-remedy / holistic crowd, and how potentially dangerous it could be.

The people we were speaking with are smart, critical thinkers. But if they weren't, I could see the whole mess getting all jumbled up with dangerous results.

Many of the homeschooled kids in the US are not vaccinated. It's quite scary.

James said...

Wakefield is still considered a brilliant martyr to the cause by the anti-vax crowd, in spite of:

- Deliberately skewing his subject pool in his favour
- Performing unethical experiments on children without permission
- Falsifying data when even those two things didn't give him the results he wanted
- Misrepresenting the conclusions of his paper to the press when even faking his data couldn't get him the results he wanted.

The single number one rebuttle the anti-vaccination groups will level at anyone who criticizes them is that their critics must be Big Pharma shills. Yet Wakefield did all this to discredit the three-in-one Measels/Mumps/Rubella vaccine in favour of a three-single-shot alternative -- which he'd just patented.

Charming fellow.

allan said...

Oregon Senate Bill 250 would allow school districts to secede from their regional service districts, which provide special education, migrant education, technical services and professional development.

According to this thread, Oregon legislature is pushing two bills that will gut special ed services in the state. One bill gets rid of the ESD system -- the entity that employs the special ed teachers, nurses, speech teachers, autism specialists, behavior specialists, etc. If one of the bills passes, the services are shut down. If the other bill passes, services will be cut 25% next year and to 50% the year after.

***

laura k said...

Wakefield is still considered a brilliant martyr

For a second I thought this comment was on the wrong blog! (Tim Wakefield)

Yet Wakefield did all this to discredit the three-in-one Measels/Mumps/Rubella vaccine in favour of a three-single-shot alternative -- which he'd just patented.

Gah. I didn't remember that bit. Criminal.

James said...

Over-medicalization is certainly a legitimate concern, as are unethical practices by pharmaceutical companies, assembly-line-style patient processing by GPs, and other problems with modern medical practices.

Unfortunately, there's a huge baby-with-the-bathwater effect with a lot of such things. Bad practices in one area make the whole field suspect -- to everyone's detriment.

Vioxx is actually a really interesting case study. It's been taken off the market because its manufacturer hid serious problems when it's administered to people with heart conditions -- but that has deprived people who don't have heart conditions of a potentially very useful treatment. Had Merck actually said, "Here are our results. Good for these people, bad for these other people. Do not administer to anyone with the following conditions: [etc]", there would be people now benefiting from Vioxx. But Merck was concerned that a "do not administer" notice would cut into their profits, and people died as a result.

johngoldfine said...

Imp.strump.--the law against Sunday hunting is a government-support-of-religion law, a law promoting Christian Sabbath observance and discouraging people from ordinary enjoyments and pursuits on the Lord's day.

Under ordinary circumstances, I would be against such laws with all my secular soul.

But hunting season in Maine is the time when my dogs start to go crazy from inactivity. Because they are liable to be shot by hunters, six days a week they can only be walked in a one boring, circumscribed field.

Sunday is a different story. Anyone with a gun in the woods on Sunday is violating the law, and so, albeit with a certain trepidation, we run those pups to hell and back to make up for the previous week of somnolence.

I support Sunday hunting in theory, but in fact it would add so much unhappiness to my dogs' lives and mine that, hypocrite that I am, I am against it.

James said...

One piece of good news on the legislative front: one state (Oregon, maybe?) has recently repealed the religious exemptions to child health care responsibilities. Under the old law (and current law in many states), Christian Scientists (for example) who want to skip chemotherapy for their child and just pray until she dies are not liable for her death.

laura k said...

Unfortunately, there's a huge baby-with-the-bathwater effect with a lot of such things. Bad practices in one area make the whole field suspect -- to everyone's detriment.

That was my main argument.

And unfortunately, people can't be trusted to make critical, informed decisions with their children's health, and there's only one mechanism to make them do so, and that's the government. When there's zero trust in the government as there is in the US (for very good reason), that becomes very problematic.

laura k said...

Good ruling from the US: Oklahoma state supreme court rules breed-specific ban is unconstitutional: link.

Important ruling, thanks to a pit-owner who fought the ban.

laura k said...

Children under sixteen will also be allowed to work in any capacity in a motel, resort or hotel where sleeping accommodations are furnished.

Within the internal logic of the people who came up with this, what problem is it meant to address?


Cheaper labour. These are usually the same people who support a two-tier minimum wage, with an even lower one for teens.

Following this line of logic to its natural conclusion, that would mean that if you show up with a gun in hand, you can vote.

That sounds about right. :)

I'm guessing the exception for gun owners is because they've already been ID'd for their gun?

* * * *

John, I like your hypocritical, canine-centric logic on those Sunday hunting laws!

James said...

I'm guessing the exception for gun owners is because they've already been ID'd for their gun?

Exactly. Though, of course, the same people pushing for requiring an ID to vote also believe you should not have to have an ID to get a gun.

James said...

Another piece of anti-democracy insanity: apparently the Wisconsin senate Republicans have announced that the 14 Democratic senators who left the state to prevent the union-busting bill from passing will no longer be allowed to vote on anything.

"...when taking roll call votes on amendments and bills during executive sessions, Senate Democrats’ votes will not be reflected in the Records of Committee Proceedings or the Senate Journal. They are free to attend hearings, listen to testimony, debate legislation, introduce amendments, and cast votes to signal their support/opposition, but those votes will not count, and will not be recorded."

David Cho said...

Oh man, that dog in the photo looks like Noah except Noah's markings were brown.

laura k said...

Aww. He does look kind of like Noah.

Hi David, nice to see you :)

David Cho said...

I got your blog on your google reader now. Used to use bloglines which I didn't like very much. Now I can totally monitor you. And oh I may bring my blog back to life again.

laura k said...

That would be great! If you do, please drop me an email - I've taken it off my feed.