Monday, October 18, 2004

This is how silly Ontario is

This article appeared in Toronto's "Star" Newspaper on August 30, 2004 but I just found it yesterday. I have to disagree with what the article says because I know tons of women who own pit bull dogs. I myself own a rottweiller mix, and I definitely don't own her so that I can look tough. I own her because no one else would take a chance on her. And I can pretty much guarantee you that the percentage of pit bull dog owners in Ontario who own them for that reason is going to be rising exponentially over the next few months as they are dumped in shelters or abandoned on street corners because the goombas who DID get them to look cool get rid rid of them. The dog holocaust that's going to be happening in Ontario - and maybe across the whole country is going to be scary - media frenzy is powerful.

But actually - maybe I do agree with this article because it is the owners and not the dogs who are the idiots usually. And it is the OWNERS you should fear and not the dogs. And it is the owners you should be putting legislation in about, not the dogs in general.

I agree that there are dangerous dogs out there - but you don't need to annihilate a whole species of animal to make yourself feel better and more safe. Especially when the dog bites are going to continue - even without pit bulls on this earth. How will you feel when you have all that dog blood on your hands and children are still dying? Because that's what's going to happen.

Anyway, so on to the article I found - and I've also included a picture of Lucy the pit bull puppy that I helped place a couple weeks ago that I took last night at Seaview. She and her new owner are completely in love and Lucy is just getting cuter every day. When you look at the picture I think you'll agree. This dog is the same one that they're going to be putting to death in Ontario. And here too if the ban comes here.

Aug. 30, 2004. 06:15 AM

We fear pit bull owners, residents say
`Don't mess with me' the message
Experts urge municipal action


Pit bull owners are mostly young, brash males with an attitude, who strut like they own the sidewalks, say some dog owners who feel terrorized by pit bulls in the area of Isabella and Church Sts.

The underlying message, they say, is: Don't mess with me or my pit bull.

Dog owners interviewed yesterday in the area where a savage pit bull attack occurred in a back alley early Saturday morning — in which a 25-year-old man who was walking two pit bulls for their out-of-town owner was mauled by the dogs and sent to hospital with extensive leg, back and arm wounds — weren't mourning the loss of the two dogs, who were destroyed by police.

Dog owners, along with experts in animal training and safety, said that, as dangerous as pit bulls can be, the owners are sometimes the main problem. "Guys who want to look tough and want a macho-type dog sometimes get a pit bull, and they have no idea what they have," said Liz White of Animal Alliance, an organization committed to the protection of animals through political action and education.

She doesn't advocate banning pit bulls but wants to see municipalities exert more control so that "irresponsible breeders don't sell to irresponsible buyers."

White would like to see the owners rather than the dogs licensed, "But I don't think that will ever come to fruition."

Naomi Kane, a trainer and chair of the Canadian Association of Professional Pet Trainers, said the incident on Saturday "makes her sick."

She said some owners of pit bulls "like the idea that their dog is scary. It's like walking around with a loaded gun in the hands of a 5-year-old because they don't know what they've got."

Some dog owners interviewed yesterday believe that pit bull owners choose the dog as "a status symbol" more than as pets or even guard dogs.

Sylvia Mina, 30, characterized pit bull owners in the area of Church and Isabella Sts. as "tough boys with their tough dogs."

"You don't see women walking pit bulls," said Chris Pegg, 43, who has two Jack Russell terriers. "I see a woman with a German shepherd, but that's probably for protection."

Don Knox, 49, who has a Rottweiler, said his type of dogs are "bred to protect," not to attack.

"I would never get a pit bull."

Many said the dogs should be banned.

Yesterday, most dog owners said that the type of dog often reflects the owner's personality.

While police have not identified the pit bulls' owner or victim, witnesses described the owner as abrasive, and several reported having had run-ins with him over failing to control his animals' aggression on walks.

Artist C.B. Johnson told the Star on Saturday that one of the pit bulls chewed up his $400 art portfolio, and the dog's owner never so much as apologized.

Another, Denis Powell, said he called the police about the owner, but nothing came of it.

"Pit bulls are a status symbol for their owners," said Erwin Weinhofer, 60, who was walking his 5-year-old German shepherd mix, Libby. "Like the dogs, you never know about their behaviour."

Paul Adams, 50, of Kitchener also believes the dogs reflect the owner's personality.

He has a boxer, Jeopardy, who is 4.

"She's extremely loyal and loving, like her owner," Adams said.

People who own pit bulls, he added, are "like guys in their hot cars."

The pit bulls who died in the attack on Saturday were described by witnesses as large, weighing about 41 kilograms each and having thick, studded collars.

Matt Howell, 24, who was walking his Doberman-German shepherd mix, said "I never blame the dog when this happens. I blame the owner."

Asked if his dog, Gidget, reflects the owner's personality, his companion, Danielle Johnson, said, "Totally."

"He's happy, but he knows when it's time to take action, and he's super-confident."

Luke Curtin, 28, who owns a beagle named Socrates, described pit bull owners as having a "macho" demeanour.

The message these dog owners send out, Curtin said, is "respect me, I've got a big dog, so piss me off and I'll let him off the leash."

But Zandra Pernica, 26, who was with Curtin, said she took Socrates to a park earlier in the summer and a pit bull started to bite the dog. "My dog was a little hurt, but (the pit bull's owner) was very apologetic and offered to pay the vet bill," she said.

So, what do you do if you feel you are in danger of being attacked by a pit bull?

"Call 911," said Staff Sergeant Norm Marshall of 51 Division.

But will police do anything? "Sure, if the dogs are running at large," he said.

"We instruct the owners to put the dogs on the leash or if they don't, we can cite them under the city bylaw."

Lucy the pit bull puppy Posted by Hello