Still think your Labrador Retriever is safe? Think again!

I recently released this picture of our Niki. Niki is an  “SS” (significantly similar) dog if you believe our local SPCA, who informed me five years ago that they felt she was a “pit bull” and as such was subject to BSL. Niki weighs in at 108 lbs. currently. Yes, before you all start screaming at me I KNOW she is overweight we are working on it and to date she has lost four pounds. However Niki’s weight is not what I wish to speak about today.

When BSL was introduced in Ontario in August of 2005, I did not worry for my dogs. After all none of them were “pit bulls”, so we weren’t affected directly by this heinous legislation. Our dogs were safe, or so we thought. But that was back when we didn’t really know what BSL would mean for Ontario dog owners. We could not have been more wrong!

The first time someone told me that Niki could be in danger because of her looks I scoffed at the notion. “That’s ridiculous!” I replied. “Niki is NOT a “pit bull”, she’s a husky/lab cross.” I put it down to that person being an alarmist and thought no more about it.

A few months went by, and we continued on as we always had, walking Niki sans muzzle like the docile mutt we knew she was. Then, disaster struck in the form of a five foot two blue haired old lady! Niki and I were calmly walking along the beachfront when we heard “Why isn’t that “pit bull” muzzled?” I turned to find little Ms. Bluehair staring hard at Niki and pointing.

“My dog?” I asked innocently. “Ma’am my dog is not a “pit bull”, she is a husky/lab cross breed.”

“I know a “pit bull” when I see one young lady!” was the old lady’s reply. “I have already called the pound, and the SPCA is coming to get your dog. You people can’t be keeping these vicious beasts around innocent citizens! Your dog will be taken from you! Good thing too, no one has any business owning one of these dogs! I’ll fix you!” She waved her cell phone at me.

“Good Lord!” I thought, “this poor woman needs glasses!” Thinking nothing more of her threats I continued my walk. About fifteen minutes or so later I looked up to find an SPCA truck driving slowly alongside me. The passenger side window was rolled down and I heard “Excuse me, but can we talk to you about your dog?” I stopped, put Niki in a down stay position and turned toward the source of the voice.

“Can I ask why your “pit bull” is not muzzled?” came the question from the SPCA investigator.

“Because she isn’t a “pit bull” I replied.

“Ma’am, I know dogs, and that is CLEARLY a “pit bull”. You are of course aware of the BSL legislation recently passed in Ontario?”

“Yes, I am.” I replied becoming just a little worried. “But Niki is a husky/lab cross, and not a “pit bull”. She is far too big to be mistaken for one.”

“Can you prove that?” asked the SPCA officer. “Is she registered as such?”

I looked at him wondering how he expected my cross breed dog to be “registered” as anything, she was after all for lack of a better term, a mutt. To the best of my knowledge there is no registry for mutts. “Um?. . .if you mean is she licensed with the city as her true breed mix of course she is! Her breed mix is also noted with her veterinarian.”

“Ma’am, we are telling you that this is a “pit bull” dog, and as such is subject to BSL. I will not take your dog today, as it is clear to me that you were not aware that she is a “pit bull” however, if I see her without a muzzle again I will take her from you!”

Suddenly, just like that, our dog and our family were subject to BSL, and life for Niki changed drastically. Gone were the trips to the dog park to play with other dogs. Niki had been labeled “pit bull” and “pit bulls” are not allowed in off leash parks. Gone was the freedom of walking down the street sans muzzle to meet and greet people and dogs. Niki, up until that point had been my advocacy dog. She had traveled with me to promote animal interaction education for children, and explain why spay and neuter is so important. Now I couldn’t take her with me in my advocacy work. With that Hannibal Lecter mask they insisted she must wear she scared everyone. No one wanted to be near the “vicious pit bull.” On several occasions Niki was actually assaulted by rocks thrown at her and shouts of “get rid of that vicious thing!”

It was the muzzle that changed things. No one had ever been afraid of Niki before, they would see her smiley face headed for them, and a smile would break out on their face. She is just that kind of dog, she loves everyone, and up until she was forced to wear the muzzle everyone loved her.

Niki doesn’t understand why people avoid her now. She doesn’t understand why people throw things at her or yell out nasty names. You can actually SEE the hurt in her eyes when someone doesn’t like her. Her world has changed because one person with authority doesn’t know a “pit bull” when they see one. Still think your Labrador Retriever is safe? Think again!

Until Next Time Remember,

Peace, Love & Freedom for Pit Bulls

Everydogsmom

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175 thoughts on “Still think your Labrador Retriever is safe? Think again!

  1. I hope BSL never becomes a problem in in Oklahoma as I have 3 pitties and one pitties mix all 4 of whom I love wholeheartedly my heart aches for so many pups doomed by BSL

    • uhhh first off that old lady would have been knocked out dont care her age. Second if someone threw rocks at my dog I’d take that rock and throw it right back and lay them out. I have a lab mix pit and I would hurt someone trying to hurt my dog or taking my dog. Should we muzzle all kids that bully others or euthinize all the murders and rapist. We sure don’t instead they still breath, eat, and get educated in prison for free. I read nothing about this lady standing up for her dog….I would have moved there are other opportunities out there. As one has said we live in a age with smart phones but with stupid people…my lad mix is the BIGGEST baby ever is almost ten years old and has never harmed one person.

      • Quite frankly, the only stupid person I see here is you if you think that violence was the answer in this case. Violence is NEVER the answer. I do stand up for my dog by having the PROPER reaction and NOT getting violent with her accuser I more than likely saved my dog’s life. I will not uproot my family because of bad legislation I will fight it! The STUPID thing to have done here would have been to get violent and make the situation worse for my dog then it already was!

  2. This is a shame! I am so sorry Nikki HOWEVER NO dog should be subject to having such limitations, instead the owner of ANY breed who is vicious or acts aggressively in repeated manners should be subject to heavy fines and or jail time!!! I have 3 pit bulls and trust me, if you’d like to fear anyone in my house, fear ME when you try and enact BSL in my Minnesota town!

  3. I’m so sorry you are going through this. BSL is crap, and we all know it. It doesn’t do what it was intended to do, and unfortunately, the government in many areas has had a very difficult time admitting that.

    As far as using DNA tests to prove a dog a “pit bull” or not — although I understand many people’s sentiment in trying to prove the government wrong on breed identification, I truly don’t think DNA testing solves the bigger problem, which is BSL and what it means for dogs and dog owners everywhere. And sure, a DNA test may exonerate your dog from being labelled a certain breed, but not another person’s dog who has done nothing wrong who’s DNA test happens to come back as having something identifying him as a “pit bull.” And the bigger issues at hand with DNA testing is really that it means we are agreeing with them, and letting them choose which dogs to steal from their families and destroy based on breed alone, without any regard for the temperament of the breed.

    On top of all of that, DNA testing for dog breed is not 100% accurate at present. If anyone has done a DNA test for their own mixed breed mutt, they would find that most of the time, the DNA test might say, “Your dog’s primary breed is Labrador Retriever, but we can not identify the remaining breeds as there is not enough genetic material to match to a specific breed profile.” That happens because the same breed in different parts of the state, country, and the world can have substantially different DNA. And, breed databases at this point are only so large — there are certain breeds that they do not have enough information on to include in the registries. I have also seen many DNA tests for dog breed come back extremely wacky. And in the case of “pit bulls” that is often true because they classify so many different breeds into that far-reaching category, and irresponsible breeders all over the world are breeding larger, more muscular dog breeds into the “pit bull” line that the breed’s genetic makeup is very hard to pin down. I also volunteer in rescue, and as an example, we had a mom and dad dog come in — mom was pregnant and gave birth to 12 healthy puppies after only a few weeks. The dogs were owned by one family, and the female had not been around any other males — meaning, the male we had was the father of those babies and there were not multiple fathers. Both adult dogs and the puppies looked like “pit bull type dogs,” and 5 different people who adopted puppies from that litter did DNA tests. ALL 5 tests came back different from one another, and some of them didn’t even have any breed in them that would be considered “pit bull” in any BSL area.

    The reality of it is that I would prefer, at this point, they don’t start using DNA to exonerate dogs from death row due to breed — it won’t be effective because the science is not there yet. And, in addition to that, as I said above, it doesn’t help with the bigger problem, BSL.

    Janette, I wish you and Nikki the best of luck at your review. Sorry for my tangent on DNA, but there seemed to be a lot of discussion about why they can’t simply use DNA to prove your dog isn’t a “pit bull,” but that also doesn’t seem to be a solution, either. I hope your dog is safe, and your story continues to reach people all over the world so we can end the BSL madness.

  4. Good for you to Challenge that SPCA office.
    As has been said, most representatives are Volunteers and do amazing wonderful work.
    However, there are Administrators that are way “over the top”.
    It’s up to them to prove that your Dog is anything other than what you tell them it is.
    Particularly when it’s clearly “Not” what they are suggesting it is.

    The best of luck.

  5. So I guess the SPCA wants us to just go to breeders and buy a pure bred…..because that is exactly what will happen if a person can’t even own a lab without the risk of loosing their dog. If BSL comes to my neighborhood…then my days of adopting from a rescue will end. I know awful…but I will always own a dog and taking them away because I can’t produce paper work proving their breed would be to much. Sorry…but why adopt a mut if someone is just going to turn around and take it from me.

    • I understand your reaction, but that is not the answer. The answer is fighting to eliminate BSL on a global scale. If we all begin buying our pets from breeders just so we can have a piece of paper that says they are not “pit bulls” we are just feeding the governments blood lust against dogs.Besides that while BSL exists even those purebred papered dogs are still in danger of being added to a breed ban if the government so desires.

  6. People can be complete idiots when it comes to breed identification. I had someone call my Boston Terrier a pitbull once. My response was, “Are you on crack?” I had someone ask if my Dutch Shepherd was a hyena?! If cities, states or provinces are going to do BSL, than the burden of proof should be on them. You think a dog is a pit? Prove it with DNA! BSL does nothing helpful, it punishes the responsible owner while the irresponsible jackass type will just go get a Cane Corso or something.

  7. Actually looking at her she looks like a 3/4 lab ie a lab crossed with a lab cross.didnt see the Husky there.but she looks absolutely nothing like a pit Bull and the ontario dog SPCA must employ people who have defective eyesight.And as for not allowing DNA perhaps i should come over to Ontario,commit a crime and say DNA means nothing in law.No dog should be muzzled unless its nasty,and should be done on the crime not the breed.

  8. They think every dog that has 4 legs is a pit bull. None of us are safe, no matter what kind of dog we have, while BSL is still the law.

  9. totally agree with Ace – make laws that limit who can own a dog! I also have met many…many sweet pits, some of the nicest dogs.

  10. Awwww sucks and it’s ugly ! but you know I still love Nikki muzzle and all ! They refuse to re visit BSL because they do not want to admitt to the fact they were wrong. Then again I see all kinds of dogs that could be identified as “substantially similar” in the Ottawa and surrounding areas Janette. And most of them are under the age the “should” be. I would never report any of them, and to make matters worse, most of the time they are not wearing muzzles, another thing I hate, but if its the law are they not taking their dog’s life into their own hands ? The OSPCA has too much power as it is, with warrantless entry never mind the fiasco in Newmarket a few years ago, well none of which I need to remind you of. Give Nikki a hug from me and know I am always with you in the fight against BSL !

    • Thank you for bringing this up I totally agree! It IS the law, and while we are fighting to change it and do not agree with it we are still obligated to follow it. People who do not are only putting their dog’s life in danger. A review and overhaul of OSPCA powers is most definitely needed!

  11. Niki’s face is a spitting image of my dog, a 7 year old lab/shepherd mix. My girl is black (well, greying now) and short haired. It’s the stigma of the dark, stocky, shorthaired mix- I’m always afraid of someone going schitzo on me like your blue-haired witch did to you and Niki. I know what she is, my vet does, she’s registered with the city as a lab/shep, but all it takes is one idiot to fly off the handle and you’re fighting for your dog’s life.

    What I don’t understand though, why isn’t a DNA test acceptable? In this society are we not innocent until proven guilty? If under this circumstance it is the opposite that’s true then why do we not have access to that which would prove our innocence? Going by looks alone and you have nothing you can say? What? This is scary… And as long as we’re going by looks who knew former AG Michael Bryant would be a road-ragey cyclist killer? I mean, he didn’t have the look, right? We should probably ban middle-age white Ontario government members from driving on Toronto streets since they pose a real danger. Just to be safe.

    My heart breaks for your family Ms. Hamilton, I will continue as always to hound my provincial MP (who ignores me on everything anyways, like writing to a brick wall) and I wish you all the best of luck.

    • I understand exactly what you are saying and that line of thinking is most logical, but our government has never been one for logical thinking. The problem with doggie DNA is that it is still in the testing phase and is not completely accurate, therefore just as it took the authorities years to trust DNA in human cases it will take them years to accept it as fact in canine cases. Thanks for you support I know it seems futile but keep writing that M.P of yours every little bit helps!

  12. According to the AKC website “The Purebred Alternative Listing/Indefinite Listing Privilege (PAL/ILP) is designed to allow dogs that are ineligible for registration, but are distinguishable as a member of an AKC registrable breed, to participate in certain AKC Events.” I wonder if Nikki would quality as she’s a mix. It’s worth looking into at any rate.
    http://www.akc.org/contact/answer_center/faq_dogreg.cfm

  13. Those people are just ridiculous!!! If they’re so stiff with all of their rules and regulations, they ought to do something productive about it… ie: list breeders of pit bulss, but with the intention of simply following how these dogs are being treated/ trained (in the dogs’ best interest), educate the public on the behaviors of dogs in general, and crack down more on animal abuse.

    • Yes but that is just it, there are no “breeders of pit bulls” because “pit bulls” are not actually a breed. The government definition of “pit bull” as it currently exists is a description of a “type” of dog. That definition is broad and far reaching, and can encompass many dogs like mine who have not a drop of the blood the government says makes up a “pit bull” but the government has covered that angle with the little addition of a sentence that says “or any dog resembling” which pretty much includes ANY short haired mutt depending on your interpretation and your eyesight!

      • PITTBULLS R A BREED. A BREED THATS EXPLOITED BECAUSE OF THEIR TRUST IN HUMAN BEIINGS THEY WERE SPECIFICALLY DEVELOPED TO BE THE UNTIMATE FAMILY DOG AS WELL AS A CATCHDOG USED ON RURAL PROPERTYS IN THE 30’S TO CATCH AN HOLD(NOT KILL) ANIMALS FOR HANDLER TO HUMAINLY KILL FOOD FOOD TO FEED THEIR FAMILIES. IT’S UNFORTUNATE THAT THEY WERE LABELED WHICH THE WRONG NAME AS THEY COULD ALSO BE EXPLOITED BY GAMERS AS YOU SEE TODAY. THIS HUMAN DEVOTED BREED DOES ONLY AS THEIR OWNER FORCES THEM TO DO AN THOSE THAT DONT WANT TO FIGHT ARE USED AS BAIT FOR THE DOGS THAT WILL. THE U.K,C. KENNEL CLUB WAS ESTABLISHED FOR THIS BREED AS THE A.K.C. WOULD NOT AS THEY CHOSE TO DEVELOPE THE AMSTAFF WHICH IS A LARGER VERSION OF THE STAFFORDSHIRE THE TRUE DOG AGGRESSIVE BREED. BSL HAS TO EBD ON ALL AN ANY BREED AN PUNISH THE GUILTY THE PEOPLE NOT THE DOGS.

      • No…APBT’s are a registered breed, and then only in SOME countries. “Pit Bulls” as a breed do not exist. Also, NONE of these breeds are inherently dog aggressive. Dog aggressive dog’s are TRAINED to be that way not born to be that way.

      • I own a Pitbull mix and she is thee sweetest dog I have ever had. She has never bitten anyone she’s very submissive. I also have a Pomeranian and my pom beats her up. It is so wrong to ban such an amazing breed. Just because a few stupid people breed them to be mean.

  14. All the other insanity of this aside, it is absolutely insane to me that they do not accept DNA as proof that the dog is not a pitbull. The was a pretty extensive study that proved that shelter employees guessing the mix of dog by appearance were wrong over 80% of the time. The indicates to me that it should be the ONLY way to determine a dog’s ancestry. ,Really though, all “pitbull” laws need to be broadened into dangerous dog laws, so this kind of thing does not happen. It’s really sad, especially knowing that you are not unique in your struggle to keep your well-behaved dog.

    • It is heartbreaking for responsible dog owners to be told that their mutt is a “pit bull” and must be treated like a criminal. I completely agree that dangerous dog legislation is the way to go. Breed bans do not work and only serve to cause heartache among dog owners with good dogs.

    • I agree and the should never be a specific animal breed law. Wish we could make some specific human laws for idiots that make these kind of laws and for the ones that allow them to pass.

  15. How very sad for Nikki, for you and your family, and for society as a whole!! It has all gotten so out of control!! The media is so happy to sensationalize on stories that villianize “pitbull” types, and they ignore the thousands of stories that portray them as the loyal, loving dogs that they are. I’m so sorry that your sweet baby has fallen into a stereo-type that she doesn’t deserve. May God Bless Nikki, and your family!!!

  16. shouldn’t have to , shouldn’t have to muzzle any breed. some of the nicest sweetest dogs I have ever met were pits. No dog is naturally mean it is all in how it is raised. Don’t make laws predjudice to one breed, make laws that limit who can own the dog.

  17. Contact DNA my dog. I believe they are in Calgary. They will do DNA test on your dog and then there will be no denying she is not a pit. It will cost I think 50.00 but then you have proof to the idiots of the world and Nikki, you and your family can go back to your “ordinary life” Good luck
    Jackie

    • While DNA results would satisfy most people with a brain, they are not proof of breed or breed mix as far as the Ontario government is concerned. This makes absolutely no sense to me as we have been using DNA science in law enforcement for years, but there you have it.

      • The unfortunate reality is that DNA tests for dog breeds are entirely inconclusive. There’s just no way to test for that and so most of them are wildly inaccurate. DNA can match up if an individual did something (e.g. some country was using such tests to find out which owners weren’t picking up after their dogs), but it just cannot map out what breeds really make up a dog.

        I sure wish it were more accurate just for cases like this. I’m so sorry for what’s happened to Niki. She reminds me so much of my dog’s buddy (who I always suspected was some sort of Lab/Husky/Shepherd type of mix). I cannot believe ANYONE would think Niki has pit in her. Her face and body type are all wrong. I wonder if you could talk to another officer about her and get someone to sign off that she is NOT a pit.

      • The original officer who made the declaration on Niki no longer works for the local SPCA and a review of his determination is under way. Niki will be meeting with the local SPCA branch manager in the very near future and we have reason to believe the declaration will be overturned.

    • Actually it does no good to own a purebred unless it is registered as such. There are many people out there with purebred dogs that were not registered by the breeder or owner, they are just as susceptible to having this happen to them. Breed only counts if you can prove that it is registered with either the CKC or AKC.

  18. If that is truly how your dog looks then those people need their eyes checked.

    • Well we didn’t disguise her for the picture so I am pretty sure that is what she looks like and an not entirely sure what you mean by “if that is truly how you’re dog looks”

      • nat probably just meant if that picture depicts your dog correctly then those people need their eyes checked.

  19. So sorry to hear of your troubles. Niki doesn’t look at all like a pit bull nor even a “bully.” I have a dog whose a mastiff, boxer, rhodesian mix in which ignorant people insist is a pit bull (which he is NOT) and its a shame your family and Niki have to deal with the ignorant opinions of others. We had someone down here in CO shout for BSL due to being attacked by what the man called a pit bull, but the dog and owner were never found as far as I know, so it was simply this person’s opinion that it was a pit bull that attacked him in the first place. It was a shame he was attacked, but we should never consider BSL as an answer to a bigger problem; untrained, un- or under-socialized dogs and ignorant people. It only increases fear and kills innocent animals. I hope you’ll be able to get your situation resolved shortly so Niki and you can return to the life you both once had. Take care.

    • It amazes me how every short haired mutt is identified as “pit bull” if and when it bites. If you believed the number of people who claim they have been bitten by “pit bulls” we must have no other breed in Ontario!

      • Oh boy, how true…I have a yorkie-maltese mix (10 pounds)…long story short, he bit a vet after being horribly mishandled at a microchip clinic…When the health unit showed up at my door, he laughed saying “THAT’s him?!?! The Vet said it was a Pit Bull-Mix”! And that was coming from a VET! It was a really awful situation, but I totally agree with your comment that the pit bull label is tossed around as a catch-all.

    • I too have a Rhodie/Bullmastiff cross and I get the same stupid questions all the time. NO, Max is NOT an AMPBT, Stafforshire, etc. He is what he is and that’s that. But now I am truly frightened at the thought that he could be taken away from me at any time. I am going to have his DNA done. Just in case!!

  20. Ur story is so sad. Ur dog looks as much like a pit bull as my beagle does. I hope to God things work out for u and ur dog and that some one with a brain from the SPCA will see that ur dog is NOT a pit bull.

  21. Those dna tests are a gimmick, scam if you will. Sure your vet may promote them, but they also peddle Science Diet. All you are testing is to see if your dog is related to a small sample group of purebreeds. Highly non-scientific. I’m not related to Hitler nor Hasselhoff but I’m still German. Go figure. Furthermore to the author my heart goes out to you. Being a PitBull sure ain’t easy, especially when your not! There was another case such as this where an Ontario senior couple was threatened at their home with their fat lab getting seized. Turns out they were able TO PROVE THEY WERE INNOCENT (which IS not constitutional, not that Ontario supreme court cares. The court also doesn’t care that your labx can be seized without a warrant, when even pedophiles and drug lab operators have the right to due process).. only because they bought a purebred and had ckc papers it was in fact a purebred lab. The genocide of pits has turned into a sideways attack on adopting or owning anything that isn’t an inbred purebred, with papers. For shame. Out west we call you worst case Ontario. Banning balls, rainbows and playground equipment in some school districts I can see how 50lb athletic dogs never stood a chance. But have an estimated 500 unregulated pet tigers, seems logical!? One guy died in Canada from a pit breed in the 60s, yep that’s it. Two people died of tiger in the last five years, but whatevs?! One can also see exactly why Ontario’s economy is in the crapper. Spending cash hand over fist harassing mutts. Too bad people vote for political grandstanding. Liberals will just keep spending your money and dig their hole deeper rather than admit error and move on.

    • I too am stymied by the fact that it is illegal to own a dog that “looks” like the government definition of a “pit bull” but one can keep truly vicious animals such as tigers with virtually no regulation whatsoever. It makes no sense. I can not take my dog out unmuzzled but these people can keep large carnivorous cats on their property in substandard enclosures and no one bats an eyelash. I am pretty sure if their tiger escapes it is going to do a lot more damage than my “pit bull” ever could, but no one in government seems to give two thoughts to that!

  22. Most of our SPCA people are volunteers, the people who do get paid – think they know it all – act like they know it all- and are really overpaid, uneducated ( seriously have you seen the SPCA’s application) – some of them can’t even spell here. I am not saying that they are all bad – but in my opinion they have much much more ‘control’ and ‘law enforcement’ when – firstly they don’t have the qualifications and aren’t properly trained, and second because they don’t have the critical thinking skills one needs to be a ‘law enforcement or animal control OFFICER’

    • As you say they are not all bad. However when the province gave the SPCA powers of warrantless entry, those who worked for them found themselves on a power trip in a position of authority no charity worker should ever be privileged to have. Yes we need animal welfare laws and dangerous dog laws are a neccessity, however those powers should not be given to a charity organization.

  23. Do you have access to Niki’s parents to get a DNA sample from them?

    While the court probably won’t accept DNA as proof of breed, they’ll have a damn hard time denying proof that one specific individual (Niki) is the offspring of two other specific individuals (her parents), and if both parents are clearly not pitbulls/mixes it makes it even harder to sustain the lie.

    Coincidentally, if this worked it would also throw more doubt on these arbitary opinions about dogs “looking like a pitbull”. Good luck with the review with or without DNA – a win for Niki would be another black eye for BSL everywhere!

    • I AM Niki’s parent, and a DNA sample will do us no good, it is not accepted as proof of breed in Ontario. We offered to have her DNA tested after the initial declaration that she was a “pit bull” no dice!

  24. Oh, this infuriates me! The ignorance of society. American Staffordshire Terriers (pit bulls) are wonderful dogs! It is the OWNER than makes them aggressive. At one time years ago, Dobie’s were the breed that so many feared. Now it is pits – and that is only because many are trained as guard dogs or for fighting (which we have a lot here in New Mexico). You can take several breeds, train them the same way, and they’ll be just as aggressive and mean as the pit. There’s a woman in my dog club who is a professional American Staffordshire Terrier breeder and every single one of her dogs are babies! And I mean very passive. One night when doing agility practice, a heavy board was accidentally dropped. I thought one of her pits was going to have a heart attack. Cowered under her chair. She didn’t stay there long. When she realized it wasn’t going to happen again, out she came all full of energy. And hit that course perfectly.

    It’s the ignorant people that make it rough for the legitimate people.

    • Why do you say “American Staffordshire Terriers (pit bulls)”? Yes, some people know AmStaffs as Pit Bulls (incorrectly), but even if you consider AmStaffs to be Pit Bulls, not all Pit Bulls are AmStaffs.

      • Yes we know not all “pit bulls’ are AmStaffs. I was raised with Staffordshire Terriers I am VERY familiar with them. If you live in Ontario however AmStaffs are one of the dogs cited in our BSL, which is why they are included.

      • It’s my understanding that the term “pit” is simply what many people call them. There official name is Amer, Staff. Terrier. I don’t breed them and don’t know much about them, but like I mentioned a dog club member does, and she knows her stuff. Movies often use her dogs all the time when they’re shooting locally here and need dogs in the scene. Perhaps the term “pit” is an offshoot of crossbreeding as AKC does not recognize the breed “pit bull.”

    • AMERICAN STAFFORDSHIRES ARE NOT AMERICAN PITBULL TERRIERS!!!! TWO TOTALLY DIFFERENT BREEDS. JUST BECAUSE AKC DOESNT ALLOW THEM THEY ARE REAL AN THERE HERE WE NEED TO PROMOTE GOOD DOGS OF ALL BREEDS AN PUNISH PEOPLE THAT EXPOIT THEM. THERE ARE NO AMSTAFFS IN FIGHTING RINGS AS THEIR AKC RECOGNISED. IF THE APBT WAS RECOGNISED IN THE US AN CANADA MAYBE THEM THINGS COULD CHANGE FOR BOTH BREEDS ESPECIALLY OUR BELOVED PITTS AN CHANGE THE BREED NAME WOULD BE A GOOD START.

      • Um . . .several AmStaffs have been rescued from fighting rings, dog fighters don’t care if it’s a purebred or not they just want a powerful dog. Also no one said that APBT was Staffie, just that AmStaffs and Staffies ARE included in the Ontario ban.

  25. Praying for you and Nikki. It is unbelievable that people act so horribly because of a stupid law that shouldn’t even exist. I realize that NO dog should be subjected to this discriminatory stupidity, but now that your precious girl has been labelled a vicious dog, please, please be careful and just do what you have to do to keep her safe- even as ridiculous as it is. Let’s just keep fighting to get rid of BSL and the idiots who uphold it.

  26. maam, how about you sue the SPCA for putting you and your dog through this. looking at the photo, your dog doesn’t look like a pitbull to me. i cried after i read your story. that is just so sad. and why would they pass that law? it’s the owner that makes a dog vicious or not. and to that old hag who called the SPCA, may she realize what she did was wrong and cause pain to the dog and the family. and her conscience nag her for the rest of her life.

  27. if you took it to a court of law they would accept a proven Lab test over someones opinion!!

    • Actually they would not, DNA testing is not significant proof of breed as far as the Ontario government is concerned and in some cases is not permitted to be entered as evidence unless a judge makes that ruling.

  28. How awful. It makes no sense to make a certain breed wear a muzzle if the individual dog hasn’t done anything wrong. And I can’t believe that mean old lady turned you in. Peoples have nothing better to do with their time than to create stupid laws that don’t protect anybody.

    I was attacked by a loose Boxer once. Does that mean all Boxer’s should be muzzled. NO. Should the one that ran out into the road and attacked me. Probably…

  29. why aren’t you suing the morons and the old lady for ruining your job/livelihood????

    • Firstly, animal advocacy is not my job, it is what I do to protect animals in danger. Secondly, I was taught to fight for what I believe in, and i do not believe that a lawsuit is appropriate here. This is not about being compensated monetarily for the idiocity of someone who has no idea what a “pit bull” looks like. Suing the old lady is not going to give my dog the freedom that was taken from her, neither will a cash settlement. This is about something much bigger than just one dog, it is about a law that should not exist, it is about owner responsibility. It is about a lot of things, but money isn’t one of them.

      • The media? The media is solely responsible for giving these dogs a bad rap! I really don’t think the media is looking to help us end this! Although there are a few journalists out there who still have some integrity.

      • Winning a cash settlement isn’t the goal. The goal of such a lawsuit would be to make such nonsense BSL laws too expensive for a city/province to keep on their books as enforceable law. When it becomes more expensive (in money or ability to remain in elected office) to keep such discrimination as law, BSL will be repealed in quick order. It certainly works that way with police brutality suits.

      • All it does is make good people go into debt for bad laws. The government holds all the cards here and when you fight they make it so expensive that you can’t continue. There are other ways to lobby for change, I just don’t feel that going bankrupt to prove a point is one of them!

  30. One thing is obivious to me, in this whole mess you are facing, not once did I hear any mention on what features make it a ‘pitbull.’ This sounds like there is no set definitions, so anyones opinion is valid? I would approach it on that basis, then research the matter further to see based on the features they use to define a ‘pitbull’ to see what other breeds fit the description. For example, what if their criteria also described a poodle? You might also want to look at some of the Pitbull ID tests that challange the viewer to pick the Pitbulls, and even moreso to pick the pitbull mixes. Finally there is a ‘whose your daddy’ DNA test. I glimpsed over what was written to this point, but this may help sort out what is there without it becoming official. Ohhhhh,,,,, when claims are made about genetics, talk to someone with a degree in molecular and cellular biology for citable information on this. (My son happens to have a masters in that field.) When someone told me that the genetics make them agressive, I contacted my won who knows where to look. He informed me that there is no research that ever determined that! I hope this helps…

    • I am aware of all that. I have been working in rescue for over twenty years and was fighting against BSL long before someone labeled my dog a “pit bull” but I thank you for your comment it makes many good points.

  31. We stand with you…we’re sorry to hear of this indeed. I hope Niki finds understanding…If you move to Northern Ontario it’s much more understanding towards dogs. Here’s what the members have to say
    http://www.dobermantalk.com/general-off-topic-chat/72110-still-think-your-labrador-retriever-safe.html

    Perhaps get the http://www.dnamydog.com/ test done…carry it with you and show it to anyone who contests that she’s a Pitty. If they have more to say tell them you’ll GLADLY DNA test her again at their expense as many times as they want. Even if it’s not completely accurate, it’s still SOMETHING. They can’t claim you’re trying to hide if you’re willing to volunteer for the DNA test. Also have your vet sign a statement stating that your dog is a Lab/Husky mix and show that as proof if you’re harassed again.

    I wish you and Niki the very best and I hope you guys can find a niche with smarter people who wear glasses.

    Also on a side note…would anyone like to play a game? It’s called find the pitbull. I frequently hand stupid people my smart phone so they can play the game. I haven’t had one person get it right yet.

    http://www.understand-a-bull.com/Findthebull/findpitbull_v3.html

    • Got it right at first try! Nice one though, will pass it on.

    • We live north of Toronto, still think people in the north are more tolerant?

      • Anywhere near Toronto is Southern Ontario. Try a few hours North of Barrie. There are MANY pitties up near where I live (However avoid Sudbury IN the city, outlaying towns like Chelmsford and Azilda are alright though). No one bothers about them, unless someone has an actual altercation with proof.
        Up here the pitties hang out at the playgrounds with kids…although it may not be tolerance, just laziness!

        I know you likely just can’t up and go…Wish there was something we can do…Is there anyone specific we can direct letter to at the minumum?

      • For the moment we have a review pending. i think we will let that go through and see what happens. If any letters are needed I will surely let you know and greatly appreciate the offer. We are currently attempting to redecorate and renovate our home in order to sell and move outside of the city where neighbors are few and far between.

      • Maybe YOU should work for animal control instead of the idiots they presently employ!

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