Examples of Results of BSL
Toronto, Nov 28/04
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Below are some RECENT examples of acts of terrorism and fear created by BSL.

A Vile Threat
(copied from Toronto Star)

It’s an issue that just won’t go away. Attorney General Michael Bryant spearheaded the new pit bull law that was introduced at Queen’s Park recently. Since then, both sides of the heated argument have voiced their opinions.

Someone took things a frightening step further, however, after a disturbing find in a popular children’s park.

A Riverdale resident found a bag of bullets with an apparent threat against pit bulls while walking her dogs in the park near Broadview and Gerrard. The bag was left beside a tree at the bottom of a tobogganing hill.

“It disturbed me,” admitted area resident Margo Martin. “It bothered me a lot. I have a concern that there's live ammunition in my local park. I don't think that this is the type of attention that we want to attract to the pit bull issue.”

Detectives picked up the evidence on Thursday and will be deciding whether to investigate further.

December 23, 2004


a few  weeks prior to this ---in the SAME park...

(copied from CityTV Community Board)

Man bites dog-owner
Disputes about pit bulls are turning city parks into battlegrounds

Saturday, November 6, 2004 - Page M1

Not long ago, Darlene Reid looked forward to walking her dogs through the
streets of Toronto as a peaceful interlude from big-city life. Now, she
considers it an ordeal.

In the past two weeks alone, she has had shouting matches, nasty looks and
one physical battle. In the interests of safety, she no longer allows her
13-year-old daughter to walk the dogs.

"The whole situation sucks," says Ms. Reid, the owner of three Staffordshire
terriers. "It can't go on like this."

Like many other Toronto dog owners, Ms. Reid has found a dramatically
changed environment since the province announced that it would pass a law
banning pit bulls and related breeds. Her dogs, which would be affected by
the proposed law, have become a red flag.

"It's brought the dog-haters out of the woodwork," she says.

Two weeks ago, she was confronted in Riverdale Park by two young men who
told her she had no right to be out in public with her "killer dogs." When
she tried to reason with them, things went downhill.

One of the men kicked one of her dogs. When she tried to stop him, he
knocked her to the ground. As this went on, her dogs looked on from the
sidelines, according to Ms. Reid -- "so much for the killer dogs," she says.

"I don't feel safe in my own city now," says Ms. Reid, who suffered minor
injuries in the attack. "People seem to think they can do or say whatever
they want because you've got a dog."

Ms. Reid is not the only dog owner who has faced hostility since the breed
ban was proposed. The announcement has clearly heightened the social
tensions that surround urban dog ownership.

Although there are no official numbers (Toronto Police don't keep statistics
on minor assaults and confrontations), officials with the Toronto Humane
Society say there have been numerous disputes.

"Dog owners just can't deal with what's happening," says Romeo Bernadino,
managing director of animal care services at the THS. "It's not a good

M.T. Kelly, a Toronto writer who owns a pit bull named Maggie, says the past
three weeks have been marked by outright intolerance: "When we go into a
park now, it's like we're wearing the Scarlet Letter," he says.

Susan Coutts, who lives near North Bay, says the tension surrounding dogs
isn't confined to the big city -- or to owners of pit bulls. Last week, she
and a friend got a tongue lashing from a woman outside a shopping mall
where they were with their dogs -- a black Labrador and a German shepherd.

"She told us that it was illegal for us to have them in public without
muzzles," says Ms. Coutts, whose dogs often visit seniors homes as part of a
community outreach program. "It was ridiculous."

Ms. Coutts feels that a handful of highly publicized attacks have driven the
political process, and that the proposed ban will do nothing to protect the
public. "I feel like every person in Ontario who has a dog is being made to
pay for the mistakes of a few irresponsible dog owners."

Casey Conklin, a member of the Withrow Park Dog Owners' Association, says
the ban on pit bull breeds has affected virtually all breeds, and has
divided Toronto into two camps: those who like dogs and those who don't.

"I used to get just about zero reaction," she says. "Now, I see both
extremes. Some people go out of their way to pat my dogs. And some people
yell at you -- 'get your goddamn dogs out of here.' "

Ms. Conklin has three dogs. None of them are pit bulls (two are retrievers,
the other is a Lakeland terrier).

Last week in Withrow Park, she found herself in an ugly confrontation with a
man who told her she had no right to bring her dogs out in public. Although
she tried to remain composed, the man's continued intransigence wore her
down, and the exchange ended in a full-on screaming match.

"I'm from New Jersey," she says. "At some point, Jersey girl kicks in."

"This seems to have given carte blanche to people who hate dogs," Ms.
Conklin says of the breed ban. "It validates their intolerance. They feel
like they have a right to express ignorant views."

Ms. Conklin sees the pit-bull ban as pure demagoguery, and accuses Ontario
Attorney-General Michael Bryant of playing to people's irrational fears. Mr.
Bryant has referred to pit bulls as "ticking time bombs" and "inherently
dangerous animals."

"Every time he has a press conference, he has a pit bull that's attacked
someone," Ms. Conklin says. "He's created the impression that if you have a
pit bull, you have no regard for other people. He makes it seem like you're
walking around with a loaded gun."

Teresa Rickerby, a Coburg pet shop owner who belongs to an advocacy group
called People for Pit Bulls, says the politics surrounding the breed ban
have made it impossible to hold a meaningful debate about the

"No one discusses the facts," she says. "It's all driven by emotion and

Ms. Reid says the attack in Riverdale Park was just one part in a much
larger picture. Since the ban was announced, she has been subjected to nasty
looks, lectures and profanity-laced tirades.

"People come up and yell at you," she says. "They tell you that you've got
no right to be out in public with a dog. They say, 'Get your killers off the
street.' "

In one instance, one of her dogs was kicked while he was tethered to a
lamppost outside a restaurant on Danforth Avenue.

"There's harassment that has been going on for a long time," she says. "But
now it's way worse. You never saw anything like that before. No one kicked
my dogs until now. What we're seeing here is prejudice. . . . We're being
treated like criminals and we haven't done anything wrong."

For Deoin Greaves, a 26-year-old Toronto man, the hostility he has
encountered with his pit bull Red since the breed ban was announced has been
too much. On Wednesday, he took his dog to the Humane Society for adoption.

"I didn't want to give him up," he says. "But I can't stand it any more."

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