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I have sent the following to the Ontario Attorney General http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/e...sh/comments.asp

"As a person who works with dogs professionally, I am against the proposed pit bull ban and any breed specific legistlation. My experience with dogs includes: Obedience trainer - 22 years, All Breed Dog Groomer - 18 years, Showing dogs - 23 years, breeder (basset hounds) - 12 years. I believe you will find that most people who work with dogs professionally will not be in favour of breed specific legislation.

"With an estimated 50,000 pit bulls in Canada, and only a handful of attacks, you are condemning an entire breed for the actions of approximately 0.1%.

"I do strongly support well thought-out, properly enforced dangerous dog legislation and I believe that owners of dogs who harm people or other animals should be held criminally responsible, whatever the breed of dog involved, with huge fines or even jail time. If you "accidentally" kill or injire someone with your automobile, you are criminally responsible, so should you be if you "accidentally" kill or injure someone because of the way you manage your dog."

Miriam Dalfen
 

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One of the problems around here is that pits are quite frequently trained specifically to attack and kill. They're the critter of choice for meth dealers and users, and in some areas of the south, are trained for dog fighting (which is a very big off-the-books money maker).

I have a friend who had a 20 or 40 acre farm in Kentucky, for example --- she made a good living off her farm, selling high quality chickens and ducks, and organic food products (soaps, etc.).

But some meth people moved in next door to her a couple of years ago, began breeding pits and would let their pits run on her property. The pits killed many of her critters --- my friend and her family had to start carrying guns on their own property, for fear they would encounter the pits and be attacked.

The end result, because law enforcement would do nothing, is my friend has put her farm on the market, sold or rehomed all her chickens, ducks, goats and cows, and is now anxiously searching for someplace to relocate where she won't run the risk of having her home and livelihood ruined by irresponsible pit owners and breeders.

This is not necessarily such an unusual situation.

Granted, banning breeds is an over-reaction. But until people come to understand that many of the people who own pits own them specifically for the purpose of training them to attack and kill --- and until people begin to understand that other people's lives really are being profoundly and negatively impacted by all of this --- I'm afraid these laws banning certain breeds will continue to pop up.

Biscuit, AKALinda Jordan :D
 

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True, but firstly, these people are already involved in illegal activity, I'm sure ownership of a banned dog won't phase them a bit. And then even if it does stop them from having pits, they'll just move on to another breed, there's no shortage of medium and large scary dogs.

On the other hand, if they can be prosecuted and do jail time for their dog harming someone, maybe they will have to keep them under control.

Miriam Dalfen

[ October 17, 2004, 06:07 PM: Message edited by: Soundtrack ]
 

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One of the most compelling arguments for me in this debate is that pits have been intentionally bred for aggressiveness for so very long --- and badly bred by many people, at that --- meaning that the risks are simply higher with this breed.

I suspect chihuahuas attack much more than pits --- but the kind of damage a chihuahua can sustain is much, much less than the damage a pit can do.

In addition, legislation like this actually DOES work in places like the Southern US. For example, sales of certain decongestants above a certain amount are now regulated, because of our meth problem. This has proven much more effective than imprisonment. And many stores now regulate even the sale of matches because they're used in meth production --- once again, more effective than imprisonment.

Both of these actions have raised a complete ruckus in this area. But they've worked.

Imprisonment and fines don't work because it only puts the meth users and dealers in contact with even more meth users and dealers --- and it's pretty easy to get out of a fine. Just don't pay it. Penalities by home insurance going up? No problem --- lots of people in the south don't even have home insurance.

Pits in my community have caused enough problems that they are now immediately subjected to what's known as SSS -- shoot, shovel and shut up. Much more than most other dogs, they create havoc for livestock and for people with children.

Cruel, yes, and not something I would do. And it's sad that it's come to this, yes. But it has.

Finally, and back to the issue of aggression, here's this:

According to a study by the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and  Prevention, covering the years between 1979 and 1994, pit bulls were involved  in 57 fatal attacks  --  well over twice the number for the next breed on the  list, rottweilers, with 19, and more than German shepherds (17), huskies (12)  and malamutes (12) combined. A 2000 study by the Journal of the American  Veterinary Medical Association concluded that pit bulls \"were involved in 65  fatal attacks between 1979 and 1998 ... twice that of rottweilers and more  than three times German shepherds.''

Even more damning are the statistics kept by Clifton, a dog activist who  has been keeping meticulous records since 1982 of dog attacks severe enough to  have been reported in the media. It should be noted that Clifton excludes  attacks by guard dogs, police dogs and trained fighting dogs and does not  chart cases where the breed is uncertain.

The numbers are stunning. As of last week, meaning Mabel Wong's mauling  would be included, pit bulls were cited in 831 attacks. The next closest was  the rottweiler with 373. No other breed made it out of double digits.  
Whenever there is an account of a mauling by a pit bull, there is a howl  of protest from those who love the breed. There are no bad dogs, just bad  owners, they say. Or they ask how the media reporting the incident knew the  dog was a pit bull. Pit bulls, they insist, are no more inherently dangerous  than any other breed of dog.

That's not true.

\"What I usually say is that it is not uncommon to spend thousands of  dollars breeding a good hunting dog,'' says Gamez. \"With a good hunting dog,  that is not something you teach  --  he's got it in his genes. The pit bull is  bred for fighting.''

\"You can't make a German shepherd stop herding,'' says Merritt Clifton,  editor of the Washington-based Animal People magazine. \"You can't make a  Chihuahua stop barking.''  
Both quotes from here.

I've watched the debate about this and considered it for a while now. And I understand the concern that the ban will extend to other breeds. But I don't think it would.

Biscuit, AKA Linda Jordan
 

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http://www.goodpooch.com/MediaBriefs/GPcan...pitbullsinparks

***Myth: "Some dogs are genetically predisposed to attack."

While we would love to dispute every angle of that kind of erroneous comment, we don't need to. We can easily disprove the misguided notion that some kind of genetic abnormality is what causes dogs to attack, by simply looking at the actual dogs involved in serious biting incidents.

The Lab/Beagle cross and the purebred Doberman involved in biting incidents 5,000 km and 10 years apart do not share relevant genes, other than those that make them both dogs. The purebred Dalmation that killed another dog and the Golden Retriever that killed a child are not genetically related, either. In fact, even the purebred Rottweiler that killed a child in one province and the purebred Rottweiler that attacked a person in another province share no common ancestors in their pedigrees. In short, the dogs involved in biting incidents are no more closely related than dogs in general.

There is no scientific evidence for a genetic cause for aggression, and there is no evidence that the dogs involved in attacks share relevant genetic information, even if there were.


In fact, no breed of dog has more than 0.1% of it's members involved in serious attacks. It would be absurd to say that 0.1% of the dogs in any breed are 'merely fulfilling their genetic destiny' by attacking someone or something, and that the 99.9% of all dogs who never attack, are behaving somehow "abnormally" by not behaving aggressively. Most dogs never attack anyone, and that includes the often maligned breeds, too! If any breed were 'genetically predisposed to attack', certainly more than 0.1% of them would!

Next is the issue of original breed purpose as causational. In fact, whether the attack was against a person or another animal, every single breed of dog has been guilty of serious biting incidents of one kind or another. When a Soft-Coated Wheaton Terrier (Terrier group) attacks another dog, it is for the same reason that a German Shepherd Dog (Herding Group), Rottweiler (Working Group), or an American Pit Bull Terrier (UKC, Terrier Group) might attack another dog.

The overwhelming majority of dogs who attack other dogs are from breeds that were NOT originally bred for fighting. That is important enough to repeat: Most of the dogs ACTUALLY involved in unprovoked attacks on other dogs are from breeds that were NOT originally bred for fighting! This thoroughly disproves the notion that breeds originally bred for fighting are somehow destined to attack other dogs.




>>>And I understand the concern that the ban will extend to other breeds. But I don't think it would<<<

http://www.goodpooch.com/news.htm#Italy

Currently, Italy has restrictions on NINETY-TWO kinds of dogs. It makes the mind reel when one considers the fact that there are only about 150 breeds recognized by the AKC and CKC. The latest entries to Italy's list of "dangerous breeds" are the Border Collie and the Corgi. Already on the list are breeds like the Doberman, German Shepherd Dog, Newfoundland, and "pit bulls". Surprisingly, one of the breeds considered synonymous with "pit bulls" (after the American Pit Bull Terrier), namely the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, is not part of the breed restrictions.
 

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I believe that bans on pit bulls in Ontario would only shift the problem south.Not get rid of fighting dogs and the gambling that goes with the breed.
It is the $$$$$ that keeps this breed alive,if there were no dog fights the number of pitbulls in NorthAmerica would decline.
As long as there are people breeding pit bulls there will be dog fights/gambling.To think those 50,000 pit bulls in Canada are not being used for dogfighting is not reality.
M.W. Fulkerson
 

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i have to go with Miriam on this.you start banning one thing than you start with something else.Biscuit,your friend in Kentucky,should have went about things differently,don't want to get into it here,but the dope heads would have been moving if i was there neighbor.
 

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It is a very sad fact that pit bulldogs are inbred and aggression trained by some people here in the south. It is a problem in the south GA area, as well. But I also know people in our town who have them, and they are as gentle and loving as our bassets. I just don't think it is a good thing to condemn an entire breed for the actions of a few. Just my opinion, of course.
Cindy Swearingen

[ October 18, 2004, 08:56 PM: Message edited by: momof2slobberslingers ]
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ontario's Attorney General has now publicly stated that if he is successful in banning pit bulls, he will attempt to add any breed causing human fatalities to the list.

Here is a list breeds that have caused at least one fatality within the past two decades:

Akita; Australian Shepherd; Boxer; Bulldog; Bullmastiff; Chesapeake Bay Retriever; Chow Chow; Cocker Spaniel; Collie; Coonhound; Dachshund, Doberman; Golden Retriever; Great Dane; Hound-"type" (may include crossbreeds); Husky; Japanese Hunting Dog; Labrador Retriever; Lhasa Apso, Malamute; Mastiff; Mixed-breed (where dog was known to be a mixed-breed, does not include dogs whose breed was not known); Newfoundland; Pit bull "type" (may include crosses or misidentified individuals); Pomeranian, Rhodesian Ridgeback; Rottweiler; German Shepherd Dog; Saint Bernard; Sheepdog; Sled-"type" (may include crossbreeds); Terrier-"type" (may include crossbreeds); West Highland White Terrier; Wolf/Dog hybrid, Yorkshire Terrier.

Miriam Dalfen

[ October 25, 2004, 11:08 PM: Message edited by: Soundtrack ]
 

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That's an impressive list. Some of those breeds I would never have associated with a fatality. Maybe I'm wrong, but I just cannot see condoning the condemnation of a breed of animals for the actions of a few. Sounds like Hitler, doesn't it?
Cindy Swearingen
 
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