Those against breed bans seek effective enforcement of breed-neutral laws that hold dog owners accountable for the actions of their animals.

June 9th, 2008, Holland lifts its breed ban against Pit Bulls after discovering that fifteen years of BSL did not decrease the number of dog bite incidents. After euthanizing many puppies that had Pit Bull appearances, they concluded that physical traits did not pre-determine temperament.

June 30, 2009 Italy lifted its breed ban and replaced it with a law that holds owners accountable for their dogs. In September of 2003, Italy placed into effect laws that banned or restricted 92 breeds including not just controversial breeds such as the Rottweiler and Pit Bull, but breeds such as the Corgi and Border Collie.

In light of the new BSL free law, Health Undersecretary, Francesca Martini said “This is an historic day because we have established for the first time the responsibility of the owner or the person who is momentarily in charge of the animal.”

Dog advocates and experts globally have argued that dogs are individuals and aggression cannot be pinned on specific breeds as a whole. Many share the thought that banning an entire breed is nothing but a costly band-aid fix to quiet the hype caused by the media. Unbeknownst to many tax payers, BSL is very costly.Until owners are held responsible for their negligence, incidents will continue to occur even if specific breeds are eradicated.

Ignoring statistics and efficacy of BSL, Canada remains firm on their stance to ban specific breeds. On June 9th, 2009 the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear the appeal to remove their ban on Pit Bulls. In the past 45 years, there has only been 1 reported fatality resulting from a “Pit Bull” attack in Canada, out of 47 cases of fatalities involving at least 100 dogs, most of which were sled dogs. The one listed incident of attack by a pit bull was the result of provocation by a drunken roommate.

There are factions of the populace that would have you believe these dogs are monsters. These people (let’s call them the lunatic fringe) feel that all pit bulls and dogs that share similar physical characteristics are inherently vicious. They believe that eradicating the breed will end bite incidents, despite the fact that countless studies on the subject have clearly shown that BSL does nothing to improve bite statistics. 

Why does the world seem to hate pit bulls? A large part of the problem is sensationalized media hype. Main stream media reporters love to exaggerate a bite story, especially if they think there is a pit bull involved. We have all seen these tactics at one time or another. We see the way every bite incident involving a pit bull is splashed across the front page. Headlines like “pit bull mauls toddler” or “pit bull attacks unprovoked” are spelled out in bold face type across the top of the page and are usually accompanied by a photo of a vicious snarling pit bull.

Meanwhile, stories with headlines such as “pit bull saves family from fire” or “pit bull takes bullet meant for owner” are buried somewhere in the back of the paper and barely noticeable. The media sensationalizes the random bite incident and will even attribute bite incidents to pit bulls when breed is undetermined.

What’s Wrong with Breed-Specific Laws? BSL carries a host of negative and wholly unintended consequences:

Dogs go into hiding
Rather than give up their beloved pets, owners of highly regulated or banned breeds often attempt to avoid detection of their “outlaw” dogs by restricting outdoor exercise and socialization and forgoing licensing, microchipping and proper veterinary care, including spay/neuter surgery and essential vaccinations. Such actions have implications both for public safety and the health of these dogs.

Good owners and dogs are punished
BSL also causes hardship to responsible owners of entirely friendly, properly supervised and well-socialized dogs who happen to fall within the regulated breed. Although these dog owners have done nothing to endanger the public, they are required to comply with local breed bans and regulations unless they are able to mount successful (and often costly) legal challenges.

BSL imparts a false sense of security
Breed-specific laws have a tendency to compromise rather than enhance public safety. When limited animal control resources are used to regulate or ban a certain breed of dog, without regard to behavior, the focus is shifted away from routine, effective enforcement of laws that have the best chance of making our communities safer: dog license laws, leash laws, animal fighting laws, anti-tethering laws, laws facilitating spaying and neutering and laws that require all owners to control their dogs, regardless of breed. BSL may actually encourage ownership by irresponsible people.

If you outlaw a breed, then outlaws are attracted to that breed. Unfortunately some people take advantage of the “outlaw” status of their breed of choice to bolster their own self image as living outside of the rules of mainstream society. Ironically, the rise of Pit Bull ownership among gang members and others in the late 1980’s coincided with the first round of breed-specific legislation.

What’s the Alternative to Breed-Specific Laws? Many other factors beyond breed may affect a dog’s tendency toward aggression—things such as heredity, sex, early experience, reproductive status, socialization and training. These last two concerns are well-founded, given that:

More than 70 percent of all dog bite cases involve unneutered male dogs. An unneutered male dog is 2.6 times more likely to bite than is a neutered dog. A chained or tethered dog is 2.8 times more likely to bite than a dog who is not chained or tethered.

97 percent of dogs involved in fatal dog attacks in 2006 were not spayed/neutered: 78 percent were maintained not as pets, but rather for guarding, image enhancement, fighting or breeding. 84 percent were maintained by reckless owners—these dogs were abused or neglected, not humanely controlled or contained, or allowed to interact with children unsupervised.

Recognizing that the problem of dangerous dogs requires serious attention, those against breed bans seek effective enforcement of breed-neutral laws that hold dog owners accountable for the actions of their animals.

Until Next Time Remember,



Saved from BSL once…now in danger AGAIN!

I was calmly sitting there having my morning coffee when a good friend popped up in my IM window.

“Please take a look at this” she said sharing the following link:

I clicked the link (as I imagine most of you have done by now) next thing I knew there I was reading an amendment to law that was clearly introducing BSL. “Where did this come from?” I asked my friend. “Trinidad” was her answer.

Buster and Sacha's owner moved them out of Ontario when BSL came calling. Now BSL has followed them...

Buster and Sacha’s owner moved them out of Ontario when BSL came calling. Now BSL has followed them…

Suddenly all the alarm bells in my head were ringing, and I knew why my friend was so concerned. You see she lives in Ontario the land of scary BSL rules. When BSL came to our province this woman sent her two Staffordshire Terriers back home to Trinidad to live with her son where she thought they would be safe from BSL legislation. For the most part they were free, until now.

The dogs are getting older and moving them may not be an option. My distraught friend (whom I might add is not thinking clearly at the moment) says she would rather put her dogs down than see them subjected to the restrictions of BSL. I must confess I am at a loss for a solution to this one!

You see the problem is finding the dogs a safe haven. They are in Trinidad and can not be brought home to Ontario because they are not welcome here due to the province’s BSL So where do we turn, how can we save the lives of these two dogs yet again?

I am asking for your help. If you have an inkling of an idea please DO comment on this blog and let us know. We are kinda stumped on this one!

Until Next Time Remember,



Dispelling Common Myths About Pit Bull Terriers


The pit bull terrier is the breed most likely to bite.


NO! According to the American Temperament Test Society, in 2012, 86.8% of American Pit Bull Terriers passed society tests that measure stability, aggressiveness, friendliness, and protectiveness. 85.2% of golden retrievers and 80.1% of collies passed these tests.


Pit bull terriers bite or attack more than any other breed of dog.


NO! Despite all the studies on dog bites, the American Veterinary Medical Association has found that no single breed is more dangerous than another. Rather, studies show the most popular breeds at any given time tend to top the list because there are more of those dogs in the general population.



Pit bull terriers have locking jaws.


NO! According to Dr. I. Lehr Brisbin, Ph.D., senior research scientist at the University of Georgia and an expert in training, handling, behavior, and the anatomy of bull dog breeds, “The few studies which have been conducted of the structure of the skulls, mandibles, and teeth of [American Pit Bull Terriers] show that, in proportion to their size, their jaw structure and thus its inferred functional morphology, is no different than that of any [other] breed of dog. There is absolutely no evidence for the existence of any kind of ‘locking mechanism’ unique to the structure of the jaw and/or teeth of the American Pit Bull Terrier.”

Source: American Dog Breeders Association


Pit bull terriers have more bite pressure than any other breed.


NO! According to Dr. Brisbin (referenced above), “To the best of our knowledge, there are no published scientific studies that would allow any meaningful comparison to be made of the biting power of various breeds of dogs. All figures describing biting power in such terms can be traced to unfounded rumor.”

Hmm something to think about, no?

If you still believe the myths by all means cite your CREDIBLE sources!

Until Next Time Remember,




It Was Karma…(TISSUE ALERT!)

Back before the Christmas break we did an article on a group called Bikers Against BSL. In an interview with Chris White the founder of Bikers Against BSL we learned exactly what the group stands for and how they want to go about eradicating BSL

After my interview with Chris I asked him to send me the story of his pit bulls Karma, Trinity and Neo. Here below in Chris’ own words is the story of his dogs:

A few months after I was in a motorcycle accident, and still off of work recovering, my girlfriend (now wife) and I went to the local shelter. We each had our own dog. She had a Shepherd mutt, I had a Rottweiler. We decided that since I was not working, getting a new dog would be a little easier to deal with. What we found, by going there on a whim was a litter of 8 Pit Bull pups. They were just 8 weeks old and had been put out for adoption that morning. These pups had been found in a crate, in a shed with no ventilation. It was the first part of September, so that means these dogs were found in the hottest part of the year. The people at the shelter were confident none of them would survive. They were so young when they were found, and full of fleas. The shelter had to bottle feed them. The general consensus from the shelter was that these were an unwanted litter from a fight ring.



We fell in love with the only brindle pup in the bunch. She was a blue brindle, and the sweetest dog of the bunch. I called a few friends, and within a few hours, all of the pups went to good, loving, responsible homes.

We decided to name the new addition to our family, Karma. We though that since all of those pups had a rough start, and they were now all in great homes, it was Karma bringing balance back to the world.

Life with Karma was interesting to say the very least. She was the greatest, most mischievous dog I’ve ever had. I could tell you hundreds of stories, but I’ll stick to just a few. Being that Christmas just happened, we were reminded of the time that while Karma was living at my house (she went back and forth between my house and my wife’s house, as we hadn’t moved in together at that point).

I was in my office, doing something or other on the computer, and my Rottweiler, Billie started whining and making all sorts of noise. I went out into the living room to find that Karma had not only pulled several ornaments off the tree and promptly removed all of the extremities of every ornament, but she grabbed ahold of the garland that was on the tree, and drug said tree half way across the living room.

There was no doubt that Billie had just “told on” her sister, and there was also no doubt that it was Karma that had done it. When I got into the living room, the garland was still in her mouth, and she was actively pulling the tree.

There was a time that Jess, my wife, had gone downstairs to do a load of laundry, and when she came back upstairs, she was missing a dog. Her Shepherd mutt, Jack was sleeping in his chair, but Karma was nowhere to be seen. She called for her, and could hear Karma’s collar and tags, but couldn’t see her. Then Jess looked out her picture window to see Karma in the front yard, staring up at the tree she had just chased a squirrel into. That’s right, Karma figured out how to open Jess’ front door, and went outside to tree a squirrel.

Everybody loved Karma. Karma loved everybody. In true Pibble fashion, she was super excited to see everyone for all of 25 seconds. Then she couldn’t care less that you were there, and just sat across the room and stared at you. We had our fair share of ignorance peppered into our life with Karma, as anyone with a Pibble has. Mostly, though, she was accepted by everyone, and changed more than one person’s mind about Pibbles.

As they say, all good things must come to end. It’s a fact of life, and a fact of bring dog’s into your life, that you will eventually have to say good bye. We just weren’t prepared to do so this quickly. We adopted Karma in September 2006. She started to get sick in March 2008. It started off with her not eating as much as usual. Then it quickly turned into her not being able to keep any food down at all.

We took her to our vet. They kept her overnight, and gave her fluids and some anti nausea medication and sent her home. We tried to get her to eat. She wasn’t interested in food. We boiled a chicken breast, and Karma ate that, and was keeping it down. She managed to keep it down for a few hours, but it eventually came back up rather violently.

We rushed Karma back out to the vet. They kept her there for 5 days, and ran a battery of tests on her. The vet’s office loved Karma so much, she had free reign of the office. The whole time she was there, the only time she was in a kennel was at night so they could keep giving her fluids.

We got a call that said they had done several tests, and taken several x-rays. They were hoping to find a blockage of some sort, but what they found was a “spot” on her lung. We went out that night to talk to the vet and see Karma.

We weren’t prepared for anything that happened that night. Karma was skin and bones. She had lost 15 pounds in 5 days at the vet’s office. That’s not the kind of thing you expect when you show up. (I must interject here, and say that I do not blame the vet for anything about this. They did everything they could, and a whole lot more for Karma. We love our vet and continue to take all of our animals there.)

Once we were over the shock of seeing Karma, we went to look at the x-ray that showed the “spot”. I keep putting “spot” in quotes because that was term the vet used. I disagree with that term. What we saw on the x-ray was a mass in Karma’s lung that took up over half of the lung. She was diagnosed with a rare form a Juvenile Lymphoma.

We were then given a choice. Karma was too sick for any kind of radiation therapy, so we either let her starve to death, or ease her suffering and say goodbye. The vet then offered, free of charge, to do an exploratory surgery, just to make sure they didn’t miss something in the x-ray that might be blocking her intestines. They said that they couldn’t, in good conscience, put Karma down without trying one last thing.

Then I had to do the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life. I had to sign that piece of paper consenting to have Karma put to sleep. The vet asked if I wanted a phone call to let me know if they found anything or not. I told them to only call if it was good news.

Jess and I started to walk out, and then I had to do the second hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Karma started walking with us. She wanted to go back home. (It’s been almost 6 years, and I can barely see the screen through my tears as I type this) We said our goodbyes to Karma and left her standing in the vet’s office, tail wagging, wanting to come back home. The next day came and went, and I never got a phone call with good news.

I’ve never forgiven myself for not being there with Karma when she passed. I know that it was impossible for me to be there because of the exploratory surgery, but it has haunted me from that day. I’ve been searching since that day to find a way to make that up to her. Bikers Against BSL is my solution.

The story doesn’t just end there, dear reader. There is more.

To say that Jess and I were devastated is an understatement. We knew we wanted to get another dog, it was just a question of when. I let Jess decide when, as Karma’s death hit her the hardest.

About a month had passed and Jess started looking around for Pibble pups. Now, before you start jumping our shit about not adopting, read the rest of the story.

We found a woman through the paper that had pups for sale. I believe she was charging $150. Jess called her, and she told us she had a male and a female available. Jess’ Shepherd mutt, Jack doesn’t handle other males well (he just stops eating), so we went to go look at the female.

This is where things got shady and weird. We had to meet her in a gas station parking lot because she said she was moving. A little odd, but we proceeded anyway. When we go there, she had two females, not a male and a female. She told us that the person who was going to take one of the females decided to take the male instead.

These dogs were tiny. She told us they were six and a half weeks old, and were eating solid food. Jess and I didn’t make any decisions right there. We told her we would call her back if we decided to get one of the dogs.

Once we got back home, I started thinking about some of the things she said. It was April 15th, and she told us the were born on March 14th. March 14th was the day that Karma passed away. That was not just a mere coincidence in my mind. Then I remembered she had told us that the dogs were 6 1/2 weeks old. I pulled out the calendar, and realized that the dogs weren’t 6 1/2 weeks old, they were 4 1/2 weeks old. Then I realized that this woman didn’t ask us a single question. She didn’t ask about our yard, if we had any other dogs, if we were going to use the dogs as bait dogs for fighting, etc.

This all started to make me very uneasy about the quality of “breeder” she was. Jess and I talked it over for about 15 minutes and decided that since these dogs were born on the same day our Karma died, and this woman obviously didn’t give a shit about where these dogs went, we had to get both of them. That way at least 2 of them didn’t end up in a horrible situation.

We called the woman back, and told her we would take both pups. She was insistent that we do it that evening. It was already 10 PM, but she wanted those dogs gone. We met her at the same gas station with our $300.

She asked us what made us decide to get both dogs. I told her that these two were born the same day our last Pibble had died, and that we thought it was Karma’s way of telling us we should get both dogs. I meant that statement in two ways. 1, that our dog that had passed was sending us a message to get them both, and 2, the cosmic force know as Karma was telling us the same thing.

Never once did I tell this woman that our first Pibble was named Karma (this is an important point).

When I told her it was Karma’s way of telling us to get both pups, the first words out of her mouth were, “Karma? That’s their mama’s name.” I just stared at her for a minute. I asked, just to make sure I heard her correctly. “These two pup’s mom is named Karma?” “Yep. I’ve got her picture on my phone, hold on.”

She went though the pictures on her phone until she found the picture of the dog and then showed it to us. I swear to you on everything I hold sacred in my life that the picture she showed Jess and me was the spitting image of our Karma. These two pup’s mom was a blue brindle as well. At that point, I knew we were making the right choice.

I practically threw the money at her, grabbed the dogs, and we sped away. Even though we went through a breeder, and I use that term very loosely, I still feel that we rescued these two dogs. God only knows where the rest of that litter went.

Now we have a Shepherd mutt, a Rottweiler, and two Pibbles from the same litter. We worked very hard to keep those two alive in the first few weeks. Our vet has told us time and time again that they’re amazed we were able to keep them alive due to them being taken away from their mom so early.

Trinity and Neo as pups.

Trinity and Neo as pups.

Trinity and Neo now.

Trinity and Neo now.

We named them Trinity and Neo (yes, after the Matrix). Trinity is black, and had a little white triangle on the back of her neck. There was no other name that would fit. We wanted to keep their names related, and Neo immediately started responding to her name.

Karma has influenced quite a few decisions I’ve made over the years since her death. Starting Bikers Against BSL is one of them. I am forever grateful to have had her in my life for the short time she was here.

Souls that leave this earth too soon are known as teaching souls. Karma has taught me a lot. If starting Bikers Against BSL in memory of her ends up saving just one dog, then I know everything was worth it. It’s my way of trying to repay the debt I owe her for teaching me the lessons I needed to learn, and it helps me feel better about not being with her when she crossed The Rainbow Bridge.

This is why fighting BSL is so important to me. This is why I will not give up until every dog is safe all over the world. This is for Pibbles, but more importantly to me, this is for Karma.

I believe that Chris and Jess white DID save Trinity and Neo from an unknown fate. I believe they encountered a puppy mill operation that clearly had no regard for the dog’s health but only cared about the money they would bring once sold. Now you may ask yourself “what does this story have to do with BSL?” The answer lies in the fact that we all know that puppy mills pumping out pit bulls in such a manner don’t care where the dogs are going. The only thing they care about is the money the dogs are making them. They will sell to anyone with cash no questions asked. This makes it easy for dog fighters to pick up these pups to use as bait dogs or to train as fighters.

We all know that dog fighters perpetuate the myth that these dogs are bred to be killers, after all it does them no good to have their dogs seen as loving family pets now does it? As long as puppy mills breeding pit bulls exist it will be a BSL issue because it is one of the main reasons dog fighters still exist. We are not just fighting bad legislature, we are fighting the people who turn these dogs into monsters in the eyes of the public. If we want our pibbles to be seen as the loving intelligent family pets we all know they can be, we have to realize that there is a lot more to this fight then just convincing the government to overturn bad legislation.

DO join the fight against puppy mills! Don’t know where to start? Head over to our friends at National Mill Dog Rescue and ask a few questions, they will be glad to help you understand the problem, and aid you in becoming part of the solution.

Know nothing about dog fighting and it’s impact on the pit bull breed? Our friends at the Anti-Dogfighting Campaign will be more than happy to inform you!

Want to join Chris and Jess White in their fight against BSL? Head on over to the BABSL Facebook Page show your support and join the cause!

As Always Remember



What’s in a Name?

Hey everybody, I hope you all had a great holiday season. Here at our house we were busy decking the halls and trimming the tree. The dogs got out their Christmas stockings and dreamed of meaty bone treats and turkey dinner. Our home was abuzz with holiday preparations. This was our dog Minnie’s first Christmas with us. Minnie? You say, who’s that? Did you get another dog? The answer is no, but one of our dogs did get a new name.

Now in order to make you understand this let me explain. In my twenty years of rescue work, I have always changed the names of the dogs that come through our home (that is if they had a name before they got here, some didn’t.) It is something I have always done in order to allow a rescued pet to have a completely fresh start.

minnieThis is Minnie the five pound Chihuahua we rescued approximately six months ago. You might recognize her as “Peanut” which is the name she came to me with. I didn’t change her name when I brought her into our home. It didn’t seem necessary, but I was wrong. Minnie did need a name change. Turns out changing her name was imperative to her full recovery.

Now I know that right now some of you are probably frowning at your computer screens thinking “what’s in a name?” I am about to explain it to you.

Dogs do not speak your language. They don’t speak English, or Spanish, or German, or any other language known to man. They speak dog. What makes them associate a word with a command or request is the syllabic sound of that word as it is spoken, no matter what language the speaker is using.

“But then why does my dog sit when I tell him to?” you may ask. Simple, he has associated the syllabic sound of the word “sit” with the action of his butt hitting the floor. He has absolutely no clue what the word “sit” means he just knows what response you require from him when the word “sit” is used. To him the sound of the word “sit” means plant your butt on the floor and look up at your owner expectantly, and you will be praised. Dogs learn that association quickly because there is usually a treat involved during training.

So, now we have established the fact that dogs don’t actually known the meaning of the words we use with them they associate the syllabic sounds with certain actions. Dogs don’t know their own names either, they associate the syllabic sound of the name you have given them with the fact that you want them to approach you. For most dogs with happy homes and loving owners the sound of their name brings thoughts of cuddles treats and special time with their human. They come when they are called by name not because they recognize the name but because they associate the sound of their name being called with positive experiences.

When we take in a rescue that has been abused, one of our first acts is always to change the name they came with.  We do this in order to avoid creating associations to abuse when calling the dog. Let me explain. For many abused animals, the syllabic sound of their name is a source of fear. When they hear that name called their mind automatically looks for the bad association that they have made with that syllabic sound. When you change their name it is the first step in creating a safe happy environment for them.

Now this may seem silly to some of you, after all what really is in a name right? Well for that dog there could be a lot behind that name that you simply do not know about.

19021_314760945311259_796742446_nWhen we took on Phoenix (who came to us as “Kent”) many people said he could not be helped. He was a fear biter, and a BIG dog capable of doing some serious damage if not rehabilitated. One of the first things we did was change his name, and as you can see Phoenix took to my husband and began to learn to trust humans. We have had him for three years now and he has never bitten anyone or showed signs of aggression. Guess the “experts” were wrong again! Or perhaps they just needed a lesson in handling frightened dogs.

Changing Phoenix’ name erased the past for him and gave him a fresh start. Since the sound of his name no longer inspired his fight or flight response we were able to work with him and he is one of the most disciplined well behaved dogs in our pack.

I really can not stress how important a simple name change can be to the recovery of an abused or abandoned dog. Most people don’t see a name as something to worry about, or they figure that since the dog came with a name changing that name will confuse the dog. This is untrue and the product of the way humans think. Humans form an attachment to their name, they can not conceive of changing it for any reason other than perhaps marriage. To a human their name is WHO they are. To a dog a name is just a sound that means “come here I want you.” Begin calling them by a different name and they simply accept that the new “sound” now means “come here I want you.” However there are no negative associations to this new name therefore they do not begin to expect abuse every time they hear the sound of their name. This creates a calmer dog and therefore helps that dog’s rehabilitation move along more quickly.

It is a very simple thing, but it could be the turning point in your rescued dogs road to recovery.

As always until next time remember,



Make 2014 the year YOU get involved.

1463232_568263733267555_1912566077_nEvery year at this time we make resolutions. We set ourselves up to quit smoking or spend more quality time with family, we resolve to diet and lose that extra ten pounds that’s been plaguing us since last new years. New Year’s resolutions are usually personal and seldom last long unless you are a really self disciplined individual. I confess mine never seem to make it into February. So this year I thought that my New Year’s resolution should be something I was really passionate about, something that could stand the test of time and not fall by the wayside before the month of January ended. The only thing I am truly THAT passionate about of course is my work with animals. Therefore it makes sense that I have decided to spend this year encouraging people to get involved.

Change does not happen without those willing to work for it! Haven’t you spent enough time sitting in front of your computer trolling through the stories of rescue and typing comments such as “I hope someone helps this dog” or “gee, someone should do something to stop BSL.”? I think you have!

Here we are, the first day of a brand new year! A chance to make changes to our lives, to become more involved in the society that surrounds us. Whether you decide to volunteer at your local shelter, bring a foster pet into your home, adopt a dog or cat, or become a voice for persecuted pit bulls, you will be a part of the solution, and therefore no longer a part of the problem.

I encourage all like minded animal welfare groups to put aside their differences and agree to work together for a common goal. After all, are we not all on the same side? OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Whatever you decide to make your New Year’s resolution, I wish you luck in keeping to it.

The one thing that I ask you to always keep in mind is this:


Happy New Year Friends!