"Barking Up The Wrong Tree" Nov 28/04

Toronto, Nov 28/04
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Neither wind, nor rain,
nor sleet, nor hail 
can keep me from fighting
our Attorney General's proposed "BILL".
  These were the words going through my mind today, as I sped toward Ottawa to join the demonstration.  Arriving approximately 1/2  hour behind schedule, I spied the crowd gathered in front of 161 Elgin St.          
   Frantically, I searched for somewhere to park my beast of a truck.  (One thing I must comment on, Ottawa's one-way streets and no turns really suck!)
   I scanned the interior of the cab, trying to figure out what to take...the crowd of demonstrators were already starting their journey along the sidewalk.  I quickly grabbed my rain pants, billboard, keys, cigarettes and ran across the street, attempting to catch up with the crowd.
   I reached the other side of the road, removed my jacket and proceeded to scramble into my rain gear.  As I was clumsily pulling up my yellow rubber trousers, a reporter from the Ottawa Sun decided to interview me...(talk about being caught off guard)  I was not quite prepared for that.  With  my preparatory notes still in the truck, forgotten in my haste to join the group (unfortunately, my camera was also left behind), my self confidence wavered a bit...but, I managed to stumble through her barrage of questions. 
   I just hope I didn't sound too incredulous!
  I met some people there who travelled all the way from Windsor, Ont. to be there.
The spokespeople were informative...
There was
- The "town crier",
-Candice O'Connel from NCCPD,
-Steve Barker and Gatean Couturieur from DLCC's Ont. and Que. chapters,
-a lady in a wheelchair (I believe she was from one of the Staffie clubs) Squibs Mercier,
-a director/speaker from the CKC('can't remember his name)
-and a few other speakers, of whom I am at a loss for names.(apologies)


photo by Suzanne Bird of the Ottawa Sun

Mon, November 29, 2004

Protest for the pooches
Dog owners rally against proposed pit bull ban
By TOBI COHEN, Ottawa Sun

THE PROVINCE is barking up the wrong tree in its bid to ban certain dog breeds, according to some 200 dog owners who protested on behalf of their pooches yesterday. While most left Fido at home for his comfort and safety, dog owners young and old braved the wet weather to tell Attorney General Michael Bryant that Bill 132 banning pit bulls and Staffordshire terriers hurts responsible dog owners and won't work.


Drafted in response to a vicious pit bull attack on a Toronto man last August, the bill has been criticized for giving sweeping search and seizure rights that contravene the Charter and force a "reverse onus" on dog owners to prove in court that their dog is not a pit bull.

"I do not believe that Michael Bryant's bill is fair and just. It leaves too many open doors," said Jordy Jennings, who owns a Havelock Rottweiler and is a member of Canadian Dogs at Risk.

"How will you distinguish what breed of dog your dog is without having registered papers?"

Besides, she said: "You cannot blame dog bites on any one breed. Any breed has a tendency to bite once it's provoked."

Another dog owner, Gregory Barrett, said he fears the legislation will turn nuisance neighbour complaints into self-fulfilling prophecies because police who enter a home in response to a complaint could face a dog simply protecting its territory and family.

"That would give them the evidence they need to support the allegation and the dog could be euthanized before the end of the day."

Barrett, who marched from the Elgin St. courthouse to Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park on Wellington St. with his two Kuvasz dogs, Triumph and Phantom, also fears this type of legislation could lead to the banning of all large dogs.

"There's not one person here who doesn't disagree that we need to address the problem, but not in this fashion," said Candice O'Connell, of the National Capital Coalition for People and Dogs, which organized the event.

"It won't work," she said. "We want to protect people from dog bites and we want to encourage public safety. We want to encourage responsible dog ownership."

The NCCPD is calling on legislators to "ban the deed, not the breed" by imposing stiffer fines on owners with biting dogs, tighter controls on breeders and with incentives for owners to spay or neuter.

Steve Barker, Ontario director of the Dog Legislation Council of Canada, said his group is prepared to draft more suitable legislation.

more to come.....


waiting for more pics.....

CANADIAN DOGS AT RISK * Jordy Jennings * Havelock, ON * K0L 1Z0