bsl madness in brampton, your help is needed

From the Brampton Guardian:
Rambo wasn't hurting anyone.

No one had complained about the young dog, he hadn't escaped 75-year-old Maria Gaspar's Vodden Street yard, and he had never bitten anyone.

But Rambo and his sister, Brittany, are on death row at the City of Brampton's Animal Shelter right now while their owners are embroiled in a battle to get their beloved pets back before they are euthanized. The deadline - Feb. 5.

Both dogs were seized from separate homes on Jan. 13 by city animal control officials who said they believed the dogs to be pitbulls.

Their owners say that's not true, and both say they have proof from veterinarians tracing their backgrounds as boxers/American bulldogs.

The city's veterinarian has a conflicting opinion, according to a letter sent to the Branco family, who own Brittany.

Gaspar is heartbroken. The senior citizen can't understand why Rambo was seized. She said the confusing part is, the city has licensed Rambo as a boxer/American bulldog cross for the past two years. His vaccination certificate from North Town Veterinary Hospital classifies his breed as a boxer cross. And, no one who has seen the dog has ever thought he was a pitbull, according to the distraught Gaspar.

The city told Gaspar that no one had complained about Rambo. He had not escaped the back yard. If anything, he made passersby laugh the way he would jump up onto the roof of his dog house to look over the fence, she said.

But it was that quirky little habit that led to him being removed from his home and held by the city under threat of euthanasia.

A passing animal control officer spotted Rambo on his perch in December, looking over the six-foot fence, and told Maria Gaspar she had to move the doghouse because Rambo could escape. Gaspar agreed, but then the issue of Rambo's breed came up. She was told to get a letter from her veterinarian attesting to the dog's breed, and to have him neutered. Gaspar said she got the required letter, and an estimate for neutering, and gave both to the city.

In response, the city sent a letter telling Gaspar there is no completed certificate from a veterinarian, and that "Rambo has been confirmed to be a pitbull by his parentage as well as the characteristics as defined in the City of Brampton Dog By-law..."

The bylaw defines a pitbull as a pitbull terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, American Staffordshire bull terrier, American pitbull terrier, or "a dog that has an appearance and physical characteristics that are substantially similar to those dogs."

"It's not, it's not pitbull," said Gaspar emphatically, struggling for the English words to describe her upset. She can't talk about Rambo without crying.

"This problem is like a son problem," she said, emphasizing how important Rambo is to her. "Now, I no have dog, I no have money, I no have nothing... It's not fair."

They can't fight the city because her family doesn't have any money for a lawyer, she said, but Rui Branco is taking on the fight for both dogs. [More here.]

This is what breed-specific legislation leads to: the loving companion of a senior citizen, a dog who has done no wrong, removed from its home without due process and murdered. Because someone says the dog appears to be a certain breed. And the citizen, a taxpayer, has to fund this murderous madness!

This is why Ontario's dog laws make no sense. Imagine if this were your dog. It was almost my dog.

I hope you will take a moment to email the City of Brampton about this injustice: animal.services@brampton.ca. Please send a quick note of protest to try and help save these dogs, if not for the dogs themselves (who have done nothing to a death sentence!), for the people who love them.

I especially urge residents of Peel Region (Mississauga, Brampton, Caledon) to write.


allan said...

I'm fairly sure if I stole my neighbour's dog out of its yard -- a family pet who did nothing wrong and posed no threat to anyone -- and killed it, I would be arrested.

I can only imagine the hate that would be directed my way. And with good reason. It is criminal and inhumane.

Steal and murder innocent dogs? And mentally torture a 75-year-old woman? What the fuck is wrong with these people?

laura k said...

To commenter whose post I just rejected:

I do not debate this either. I oppose it wholeheartedly.

I did not vote for anyone who put BSL into law. I wasn't even living in Ontario when the law was passed, and I wouldn't have voted for anyone who supported BSL.

You are welcome to comment here, but please be civil.

selwyn marock said...

My first question I always ask "Who are the Terrorists" The problem in Canada is only about 30% of the Voters vote.I understand the problem is that you have Scum like Harper on one side who is trying to convince the world that Baby-seals do not mind their heads being bashed in,on the
the other Adolph Mçguinty who is murdering the Family-Pets and pretends that the Canadians do not mind his phychotic behaviour.
Canadians must start VOTING again and rid their country of Neo-Nazis.

selwyn marock said...

Sorry L-Girl not sure if it was me that offended you.
I have been suggesting for many years that the voting public must get off their butts,not arrange Protests but get out there and Canvass for Decent Human Being Candidates.


laura k said...

Thank you, Smarock10. There are many ways to try to tackle this problem. Better candidates, more voting, letter writing, emailing, meeting with MPs, protesting - all work cumulatively. There's no one way to solve this.

However, blaming people who are fighting the good fight is not a good idea!

Thanks for coming back and thanks for your thoughts.

selwyn marock said...

L-Girl I am pleased we are friends again.Let me suggest something.1stly I am not blaming anyone but there are 3 areas that this law will never be defeated without change of government,Miami-Dade County,Denver Colorada,Ontario Canada,the 1st 2 because they have had the law in for 20 years plus and it would be political suicide to admit they Murdered 1000's upon 1000's of family pets and they were wrong.In Ontario's case Mçguinty who has through the media spread the FEAR syndrome has lost 2 of his advisors/allies Michael Bryant who should be up on Murder charges for killing a cyclist in cold blood
(the mastermind of bsl in Ontario)purely for furthering his political ambitions at the time, and Tom Skeldon the Dog-Warden of Lucas County who at last has been FIRED for excessive force murdering puppies and any 4 legged
family-pet that walked.So Mçguinty is out in the cold,an embarrassment to the Fiberals,he will fight tooth and nail to keep this Heinous and Evil Law in place.
Remember most politicos have only 2 interests "GREED and POWER" smarock10@yahoo.com

johngoldfine said...

When I was a little boy, I read the collie stories Albert Payson Terhune wrote in the 1910's. He had a number of hobbyhorses he rode: he was upset about cars blithely running over dogs; he hated mongrels (this was the heyday of 'scientific' eugenics); and he waxed eloquent about the insanity of mad dog pogroms.

People apparently got it into their heads that any panting stray might be rabid and must be destroyed. Terhune describes crazy mobs killing hapless strays in order to 'protect' their communities.

Obviously, more than a half-century after I read the books, I still remember those scenes of mobs tormenting overheated dogs, and I still fear the stupidity, cruelty, and madness of mobs with an 'idea.'

Which is what your post is all about, of course.

Not that there's anything wrong with pitbulls, but this photo shows a dog looking very little like a pitbull....

laura k said...

Thank you, John. Truly.

Do you blog? I see you have some teaching-related blogs, and you have a random blog started and abandoned long ago (but who doesn't). Do you have an active, personal-thoughts kind of blog? Your comments here are so trenchant and thought-provoking, often profound. I'd sign up for a blog full of them.

Of course I understand the many reasons not to blog, especially time constraints. But... still.

johngoldfine said...


Thank you! I do blog! Since it's on a school server, I focus on teaching, students, class, colleagues, dogs (see, training and education have some crossover, or so I imagine telling an outraged administrator if I'm ever asked.)

laura k said...

Cool! Glad I asked.