Monday, September 26, 2011

Support Hershey's Bill - join the rally at Queen's Park this Saturday, Oct. 1

On August 25, 2005, a great wrong was perpetuated by the Liberal majority - an amendment to the Dog Owners Liability Act ("DOLA") was amended to include Bill 132 (Breed Specific Legislation). Based on innuendo, media hysteria and rumour, dogs who, in the opinion of unqualified personnel met the criteria of "pit bull" (a NON-breed) were categorically condemned to die.  From that point on, any innocent pups born that roughly met the description of "pit bull" were slated to die (or worse, sent to research facilities) based entirely on suppositions that overwhelming evidence has shown to be erroneous.  

Despite being faced with testimony that clearly and emphatically showed (a) there IS not a "pit bull breed" - but in fact the so-termed "pit bull" encompasses a variety of breeds, including:

 Staffordshire Bull Terrier,

an American Staffordshire Terrier


an American “pit bull” Terrier.

Further, expert after expert has testified that the BREED of a dog is NOT the issue; that ANY dog can and will bite dependent on the circumstances.  It is the OWNERS who are the issue, NOT the dogs.

As case after case has shown, arbitrary designations of "pit bull" and subsequent seizures have meant innocent dogs have been wrenched from loving, responsible owners and condemned to death.  It wasn't that long ago that Ginger was in the news (as eloquently put by Brindle Stick) or the infamous bungling of Hamilton Animal Control, when for no discernible reason other than the officers thought they "looked like pit bulls", two affectionate, loving and non-aggressive BOXER mixes were seized and Rambo and Brittany's owners were launched into a maelstrom of "proving" their dogs weren't on the banned list.

What's the common denominator in this and most of the other stories that have made it to the news over the past many years?  The dogs seized were seized based on their LOOKS alone - not because they were aggressive, not because they were considered dangerous, NOT because there had been any complaints.  They were condemned to death ONLY because a loosely couched law says they could be.

Take a look and see if you too and Find the pit bull:  - bet you can't!

MPP Cheri diNova has courageously stepped up and spoken for all the silent voices. She has refused to back down from the ill-informed, bullying Liberals with their hysterical, crowd-pleasing tactics to create fear and hysteria and garner votes and said STOP.  Introducing as a private member's bill, Bill 60 (known as Hershey's Law) would repeal the BSL portion of the DOLA.

Go to for more information. Among the recommendations are the following:
  • We support responsible legislation that holds irresponsible owners adequately accountable for their dogs’ actions.
  •  We support MPP Cheri DiNovo who has tabled Hershey’s Law (aka) Bill 60
  •  We support the recommendations of the Dog Legislation Council of Canada (DLCC).
  •  We support the research of the National Canine Research Council.
  •  We support the By Laws and Programs of the Calgary Animal Services
  • We  call for Bill 132 to be overturned and replaced with responsible legislation that promotes responsible ownership for all breeds, and places the blame where it clearly belongs, on irresponsible dog owners, animal abusers and those who participate in dog fighting or support it. (my emphasis)

 It just makes sense.  NO dogs are by nature born mean. NO Dogs are born "naturally" aggressive.  Owners are the issue - NOT the dog- and certainly not the breed.
Join the rally this weekend, Saturday, October 1 at Queen's Park and let your voice speak for the innocent voices that cannot speak for themselves.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

CENSORSHIP ... and by a foreign NATION?

CTV (and by virtue of being its boss, BellMedia) - you WUSS - the Saudis whine and cry and bully you and you back down???  An ad which labels Saudi oil as the "unethical" choice in view of their poor record with womens' rights (or lack thereof) was pulled at the last moment when the Saudis made threats and created a scene.  At - the full article.

This is a brazen act of domestic political interference by a foreign dictatorship that neither understands nor respects the rights of women or freedom of speech,” said Alykhan Velshi, executive director of, a grassroots advocacy organization that educates consumers about their choice between ethical oil from Canada’s oil sands and conflict oil from dictatorships like Saudi Arabia. “Each time we buy Saudi conflict oil we are funding their oppression – and now their attempts at Saudi-style censorship of Canadian TV. This is the ad Saudi Arabia doesn’t want Canadians to see.”


A FOREIGN nation decides what CTV viewship is 'allowed' to see?

Kudos to Sun News Network for taking up the gauntlet and fighting this outrageous curtailment of our Canadian commitment to free speech.  See that story here.

Social Mange has an excellent rant here about this.

I was also encouraged to see that Immigration Minister Jason Kenney is not taking this outrageous curtailment of freedom of speech sitting down:
"Apparently (the Saudi) government has threatened Canadian broadcasters if they run a particular ad by a Canadian non-profit, non-governmental organization," Kenney said during a stop in Brampton, Ont. "Canada is a country that is a champion of freedom of speech. That is a constitutional right. And we don't take kindly to foreign governments threatening directly or indirectly Canadian broadcasters or media for giving voice to freedom of speech."
As noted by SM - frankly, I have a HUGE issue with the Alberta oil sands and their undeniable impact on the environment (in a very negative way).  The reality that Alberta has refused to address the adverse environmental effect of its oil sands is NOT the issue here, however. The issue is the right Canadians have to their opinions, a right to talk and discuss those opinions, a right that is entrenched in our Canadian constitution.

And CTV backs DOWN???  SHAME on you! BOYCOTT CTV and make your views known; don't just turn them off, but pick up your 'pen', flex your fingers and COMPLAIN:

Email:  •CTV Programming:

By mail/phone:

Contact Information here:

CTV Television Network
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 9, Station 'O,'
Scarborough, Ontario, Canada
M4A 2M9

Bell Media
Mailing Address:
299 Queen Street West
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M5V 2Z5

Telephone: (416) 384-5000
TTY/TDD: 1-800-461-1542

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Media Hype and Let's KILL the DOGS - Police Dog Wyatt

It is no surprise to anyone involved in animal welfare that one of the most prevalent, vindictive and pervasive influences on the public mindset and perception of dogs is the media hype that accompanies almost every story which deals with these companion animals. Studies have shown repeatedly that particularly with respect to pit bulls, dogs that might be pit bulls, dogs that somewhere in their genetic history had some pit bull, dogs that have a pit bull living next to them and thus by proximity are pit bulls ... well you get the picture. Often wrongly, the headlines bleat and cry and shout "Pit Bull slaughters ...."

But that aside, the media loves to hype dog bite stories. It attracts readers, shapes public perception and sells papers.  If the breed involved is NOT a pit bull, it is highly likely that the incident will be relegated to a minor story whereas if a "pit bull" (or a dog perceived to be a pit bull - it is astonishing how many dogs that have no relation to pit bulls get labelled as such - it seems if you have a whippy tail, short hair and a big head, you're one of "those dogs") it is hyped through every form of media.

However, if there are no pit bulls to revile and denigrate, any dog bite will do.

A recent article in The Toronto Star REALLY pissed me off - story is here.  Note the headline: Dog bit police employee before attacking student

Now, first, I feel for the kid that got bitten - dog bites are painful and the experience itself must have been terrifying. BUT, then look at the FIRST paragraph:

A Peel police dog that bit an innocent woman twice during a search for robbery suspects on June 28 has bitten people 14 times — including a civilian police employee earlier the same month.

But let's look at the FACTS here.  The dog had bitten 14 times - 13 of which came in the course of his duties, Saliba told the Toronto Star.  In other words, the dog was doing his JOB. Further, the one other bite which involved a civilian police employee was investigated and determined that it was a training issue with the dog handler, which has since been addressed, Saliba said

But what is the overall thrust of the article? What will strike MOST people who read it? That this dog is visicious, out of control and should be destroyed - and in fact several commentators say exactly that!


This dog has been involved in 73 police occurrences, 46 of which resulted in apprehensions and ONLY 13 of which involved BITES.  This is not a litany of mayhem and horror by an out of control dog. This is an admirable record of a hard-working, highly trained POLICE dog.

The fact that Wyatt bit the girl is unfortunate - it is also very clearly based on the reported facts, a HANDLER issue:

According to the SIU, the dog only released its grip on Rosales after repeated commands from its handler. Seconds later, the dog again bit Rosales, who was taken to hospital with severe cuts.

Whether the handler was inexperienced, whether he failed to reaffirm and keep Wyatt's training current is unknown.  Certainly, there had been already a previous incident that was handler-related.  From the actions themselves, it tells me this is a dog that was trying to do what it perceived as its job with a "partner" that it neither trusted nor completely respected (which is not to say Wyatt doesn't love his handler, but respect and love in a dog's eyes are two very different things). 

Wyatt does not sound like an out-of-control dog that needs euthanizing.

Wyatt sounds like a dog trying to do his job and perhaps getting conflicting demands from his partner.

I bloody hate the media at times. Wyatt has already been tried and convicted in the public forum - with inflammatory language, biased reporting and a very obvious propensity for hype, a mis-step on the part of a hard-working dog has resulted in his public pilloring.

Read the facts and draw your own conclusions - I've drawn mine.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

LAST week for shelters and rescues to register at reduced rate at Blessfest 2011

Go to Blessfest home page here for more information! A fantastic opportunity to showcase your rescue or shelter.  Participating shelters and rescues will be entered into a draw with a portion of the fees to go towards your cause!

Until September 10 it costs only $40 to reserve your 10x10 space (maximum) - after that, fees increase to $75 so register soon!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Good work THS Volunteers!! $2800 raised at Garage and Bake Sale

Thank you to everyone who donated, everyone who sorted and got sweaty and dirty and worked themselves to the bone to get all prepared and to sort it all and clean it up after. 

Thank you to ALL the amazing bakers who donated such delicious home-baked goods - for humans and pups!  The many baked goods were absolutely scarfed up in NO time.

And thank to Starbucks, 81 Front Street for your generous donation of coffee, amazing Starbucks baked goods and the services of my kid - kudos to Rowan the Barrista for serving coffee to all the wonderful people who stopped by on your one day "off" (after 10 days working!)

Good boys. Good girls!!

Special needs animals will benefit!