Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Rick Howe talks about Blumenthal again

Last night I was reading Halifax Newsnet and I came upon a Rick Howe column and he was talking about Mr. Jerry Blumenthal, our newly re-elected city councilor who seems to be fascinated by dogs. He talked about what I mentioned in a previous post a few days ago - the fact that he tried to ban "vicious dogs" in 2000. I'll paste the article below, it's pretty interesting.

When I was poking around the HRM's website a few days ago, I found minutes from 2001 - when Mr. Blumenthal was deputy mayor and he called for the following -

i) By-Law Changes
Deputy Mayor Blumenthal requested a staff report regarding amendments to the Municipal Government Act, and noted that it is his understanding that By-Law Enforcement staff are currently working with Legal Services regarding some possible changes to the Act. The Deputy Mayor suggested some issues that need to be addressed in these changes which included the following: people not paying their fines, removal from streets of vicious dogs, dog owners not purchasing dog licenses, HRM cleaning unsightly premises and charging the property owners, increased fines for by-law infractions and advertising on trees, poles and in the ground. Deputy Mayor Blumenthal stated these changes need to made as soon as possible. MOVED by Deputy Mayor Blumenthal, seconded by Councillor Sloane, that this matter be referred to staff for a report on possible amendments to the Municipal Government Act to address the concerns raised. MOTION PUT AND PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.

Here is Rick Howe's article - and I have to say again - I love it whenever Lloyd Hines opens his mouth. In this article he says about the valley bull dog who bit the kid up in Stellarton - “Whatever the heck the solution should be, it doesn’t seem right there’s an eight-year-old kid in the IWK torn to pieces.” I don't think that child was "torn to pieces" from the news reports I heard. This is the same man who said -

"I don't want to be the warden of the Municipality of Guysborough and have to go to the funeral of some kid who was eaten."

Now that is a man who loves all breeds of dogs equally. And he's a really balanced guy to get a quote from whenever you're talking about banning breeds, or dog attacks, or anything like that - he is the unmitigated face of evil when it comes to breed banning in Nova Scotia. Luckily we've able to keep it strictly at him so far. He's a one off. He's been the only one able to pass a breed ban - there's a couple other breed restrictions down in his area - but he's the only big winner in our province. We just have to make sure Mr. Blumenthal doesn't get too many tips from him.

Not all Rottweilers are vicious animals

Vicious dogs, not vicious breeds, are the problem

The recent dog attack on two adults and a child in Stellarton has those within the canine-rescue community concerned about renewed efforts to ban certain dog breeds.
Earlier this month, a Valley bulldog was shot dead by a police officer after it had mauled an eight-year-old boy and attacked the two women who came to his rescue. North-end Halifax Coun. Jerry Blumenthal, who tried unsuccessfully in 2000 to have the city ban vicious dogs, says there are too many of these attacks taking place and he plans to revisit the issue in the new year.

He wouldn’t get breed specific, but generalized by saying there should be a ban on “vicious breeds.”

Blumenthal was reluctant to name any particular breed because he doesn’t want a battle on his hands right now with dog activists only too willing to mobilize and fight any effort at a ban.

It may be too late. Local dog activists like Joan Sinden are already warning the councillor not to go down that road. “We will be watching this councillor very carefully,” she said in an e-mail.

Annette Armitage of Animal Rescue in Halifax says people like Blumenthal are too quick to blame breeds like pit bulls and Rottweilers. She points out poodles are more inclined to bite humans, yet no one is calling for a ban on poodles.

“No dog attack is acceptable,” she told me in response to a question about the Stellarton incident. “There are so many triggers that could have provoked the dog. There’s not enough information out before the public to see if this dog was at fault. For example, those Rottweilers in New Brunswick that attacked, the female dog was in heat. There are extenuating circumstances.”

Armitage says breeds are getting the blame when in fact it should be a case-by-case look at individual dogs involved in attacks.

“There are dog bites that happen in our city on a regular basis, but not much actually gets to the media. Breeds get a bad rap verses the actual dog; breeds are not necessarily inclined to violence.”

Ontario, however, banned pit bulls in 2005, the first province to take such a breed-specific step. Winnipeg has also banned pit bulls and Vancouver’s bylaw automatically considers pit bulls a vicious breed. Here in Nova Scotia, Guysborough County has banned pit bulls and Rottweilers. County Warden Lloyd Hines would like to see more onus on dog owners. He says incidents like that in Stellarton require a solution. “Whatever the heck the solution should be, it doesn’t seem right there’s an eight-year-old kid in the IWK torn to pieces.”

A rash of dog attacks in Westville two years ago prompted the town’s police chief to recommend a drastic increase in fines for animal infractions in an effort to force their owners to deal with their pet’s aggressive actions. Don Hussher says he sent a report to the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities, but it fell on deaf ears.
But that’s the kind of effort Armitage and the armies of others opposed to specific-breed bans say is necessary to make dog owners more responsible. She says it’s the irresponsible owner, not the dog breed, that is to blame for many of the dog problems so much in the news these days.

Other posts relating to this post:

Why I'm glad bill 138 didn't pass in Nova Scotia

We Need to Keep Watch over Councilor Blumenthal

Blumenthal says he was Misquoted

Does Jerry Blumenthal Hate Dogs now like he did 9 Years ago?


  1. Anonymous7:27 AM

    Hmmmm Quite interesting .......with regards to the Valley Bull attack can you post a link a to that story. I searched and found nothing.

    I was told yesterday that the breeder of the " vicious valley bull" was a member of one of the pet groups on facebook.....just looking to verify, as this person is still breeding.

  2. There was a child murdered in Bridgewater last year by her mother!
    I propose a bylaw that bans mothers!

  3. Anonymous3:57 PM

    perfectly stated Silvia--jm

  4. Anonymous8:28 AM

    Those fighting breeds need to all be put down. Your a fool if you think you can control them. You control them completely, right up to the point at which they decide that you don't. Then someone gets attacked.

    I have been a dog lover all my life and I despair whenever I hear someone defending those killers.