Well I certainly opened up a can of worms with my last posting didn’t I? Seems like my readership will be arguing that one for a while. So today I wanted to take a look at the law, and off leash dogs.
I feel qualified to write about the situation in Barrie as it is my home town, and I and my dogs are subject to the bylaws that currently exist. We follow them, a) because it is the law, and b) because they keep our dogs safe from harm.
Barrie bylaw states that a dog must be leashed in public INCLUDING in a person’s UNFENCED front yard as it gives access to public walkways and roadways. Now since it is also illegal to allow your dog to run at large, this bylaw makes perfect sense.
Thing about laws is this, even if you do not agree with them or can not for the life of you think why it might be necessary to put some of them in place, you still have to follow the law. They are not merely suggestions for how to behave, but rules about what society will and will not accept from you. Society will NEVER accept a cavalier attitude towards dog laws. Responsible dog ownership is what is expected of EVERY citizen that owns a dog. Responsible dog ownership means following the existing laws in place, even if you do not agree with them.
Believe me here in Ontario there are many laws governing dogs that dog owners do not agree with. When this happens owners band together to fight the bad legislation, but they do NOT flaunt the law while fighting it! Do you honestly think that EVERY pit bull owner in Ontario ENJOYS having to muzzle their dog in public? I assure you they do not. However, they comply with this law because doing anything else will put their dog’s life in danger. They comply, but they fight for a day when going for a walk will not mean muzzling their pet.
Since yesterday’s post we have received messages from just about every group in Ontario that deals with pit bulls in danger. All of them reached out to Jenna Rodrigues when she put up her petition, she ignored them all! But these people have been fighting this law for years, they have seen many a good dog leave Ontario to save it’s life, and they don’t just melt into the woodwork when a person who claims their dog is in danger of euthanasia because of it’s breed. They investigate, they ask questions, and because they are well known pit bull advocates they get answers from the agencies involved. As an example here is the text of a comment received to yesterday’s blog.
You see? We check things out when we think a dog might be in danger! And THIS was Jenna’s downfall. She wanted to scream “BSL is targetting my dog!” She just didn’t realize that when you do so in this province, pit bull advocates will take up the fight whether you contact them or not! Someone screaming “don’t let them euthanize my innocent dog!” is going to get attention. In this case the attention garnered backfired because Jenna Rodrigues was and still is lying through her teeth! There was never any danger to her dog, but I can not confidently say it will remain that way if she continues to persecute her neighbors and continues to refuse to comply with provincial and municipal laws.
I have also received several comments attempting to defend Jenna’s actions. At no time was the dangerous dog act EVER enacted on this woman’s dog. The dog is a pit bull and as such was already subject to dangerous dog restrictions because Ontario is a BSL province. BSL means that any Staffordshire Terrier, American Pit bull terrier or any mix thereof is restricted under Ontario law. No one may breed pit bulls in the province of Ontario, and no one may own a pit bull that was not born before the ban came into effect in 2005. No one may acquire a pit bull from outside the province. A pit bull already living in Ontario can not leave the province for more than three months or it will not be permitted to return. A person moving to Ontario from outside the province may not bring their pit bull with them. All pit bulls MUST be muzzled and leashed in public, and pit bulls are not permitted to use off leash play areas. We may not like this but for now it is the law! It applies to EVERYONE who owns one of these dogs, there are NO exceptions!
Now don’t get me wrong, I do not agree with BSL in any form. I fight to eradicate this bad legislature on a daily basis, But flaunting the law while fighting it helps no one! Jenna Rodrigues either needs to comply with the laws that exist or rehome her dog to someone that will do so! It really IS that simple!
WE ARE THEIR VOICE!