About The Author

I live with a pack of rescued mutts in a little house by the bay from which I run my company, J Hamilton Media & Management. I have been involved in animal rescue and rehabilitation for over twenty years. I firmly believe there are no lost causes and have dedicated my spare time to giving difficult rescues a second chance at a great life! My "day" job will find me discovering and promoting Canadian musical talent, and working with some of the most amazing people in the business to put Canada on the map musically!

Flaunting BSL Laws Does Not Help The Fight Against BSL…

A while back I talked about the Global Anti BSL Walk that took place all over the globe in many places. I also talked about the sparse turnout we had here in my home town, and how it clearly illustrated the reasons why BSL does not work. What I didn’t speak about in that blog was the fact that we had to turn away two bully breed owners who brought their three illegal underage “pit bull” dogs to “help support” our fight against BSL.

But here’s the thing…the Ontario Anti BSL community agreed YEARS ago, that we would muzzle our dogs when rallying in public to fight for them. We do not like the fact that BSL exists, but we were damned if we were going to flaunt the law and put our dogs in danger. For the most part, those attending rallies and walks have always followed the law even though they disagree with it. Apparently this family and their dogs didn’t get the memo, or so I thought…

When I got a second to speak with the owner of these “illegal dogs” I asked him why his dogs were not muzzled, his answer was that they were good dogs and did not need to be as they had done nothing wrong. He went on to exclaim that back home in Toronto he walked them offleash all the time and had no problems. (at this point I began wondering why he had traveled all the way from Toronto to Barrie to participate in the walk as Toronto was staging it’s own walk that day.)

“You do understand that BSL is NOT an optional thing right?” I asked. “You do understand that your dogs, being under the age of twelve years are considered illegal in this province, right?”

“Of course it is optional!” was his reply. “My dogs are good (they weren’t, in fact the owner and his wife were having trouble controlling them on leash) and the law doesn’t apply to good dogs.” he answered smugly. “I only have to muzzle my pit bulls if they are a danger to society, and they are not!” he exclaimed as his largest dog jumped on me and he did nothing to correct it or apologize for its behavior.  Luckily, I am not one of those people who is afraid of pit bulls or big dogs, so I just shrugged it off and put it down to irresponsible dog ownership.

I went on to explain to this family that BSL restrictions are NOT optional, they are the law. (even though we completely disagree with said law) I tried to explain that if someone (anyone really) called animal control and reported his three unmuzzled pit bulls, his dogs could be confiscated on the spot, and would likely end up euthanized unless a rescue agency could find a spot for them outside Ontario. His answer? “Over my dead body is anyone taking my dogs!”

This dog owner continued to ignore the Ontario statutes as they pertain to ownership of pit bulls, saying he would do as he pleased with his dogs. It was at that point our group drifted away from the family with the illegal dogs, and much to our relief they didn’t follow us. It isn’t that we agree with the law, or that we don’t like unmuzzled pit bulls, in fact we think it is ridiculous that dogs who have done nothing wrong are restricted because some legislative idiot decided against all pertinent evidence to the contrary, that pit bulls are inherently dangerous. It’s just that we do not see flaunting the existing laws as a way to end them.

Meeting these unmuzzled, underage dogs on the beach front reminded me of how may underage dogs I have seen on the streets in the past year alone. We as advocates know that there are still breeders out there in Ontario who are breeding pit bulls and selling them to an unwary public.

The public are UNWARY, the other day I overheard a conversation in which two people were discussing Ontario’s BSL. One of them said “no, you can have a pit bull now, they overturned that law years ago.” For the record, “they” didn’t overturn that law, it is still going strong despite 12 years on the part of advocates to attempt to have it overturned. Truth is that most Ontario residents are not even aware that BSL restrictions are present in Ontario law, or what breeds are banned under said legislation. When you mention BSL in public the most common question you hear is “what’s that?” Once you explain BSL many people say things like “well it’s a good thing Ontario doesn’t have that!” or “well at least I am not affected by it, my dog is a lab.” That’s usually the point at which I launch into the story of how my 100 lb husky/lab cross was labeled a pit bull by animal control, and how it took me five years to have that determination overturned.

The real problem here in Ontario is not clueless dog owners who don’t know the law exists, but breeders who simply do not care that the law exists. These breeders continue to breed dogs illegally, and sell them to Ontarians that are unaware that they are breaking the law simply by owning a pit bull born after the August 29, 2005 date.

The moral to this disjointed tale is this: If Ontario dog owners continue to flaunt the BSL statutes, it makes it very difficult for us as advocates to convince the Ontario government that BSL does not work.

On another note, the number of illegal pit bulls in Ontario is another clear illustration of the fact that BSL does not work. Politicians stating that BSL works because there are not many pit bulls left in the province, and that bite stats have gone down since the introduction of the legislation, are wrong. Bite stats have pretty much remained the same since 2005, but of course there are very few bites by pit bull type dogs since there are so few legal pit bulls left in the province.

The government decided getting rid of pit bulls was the answer, they did not count on the number of illegal dogs that would still be in the province twelve years on. While these dogs are not supposed to be here, their presence proves that pit bulls are not the problem. There are THOUSANDS of illegal dogs in the province, yet bite stats have remained the same. Clearly a single breed (even though “pit bull” is not technically a breed.) is not responsible for all the dog bites that happen, so why single out a single “breed” and expect it to eliminate dog bite incidents? Simply put, it makes the public think that politicians are doing something. It also makes the public believe that all other breeds of dog are safe, and that is a serious problem.

We don’t need breed bans in Ontario, we need responsible dangerous dog legislation that puts the onus on the dog owner and not on the dog. After all, humans chose to domesticate dogs and bring them into society as companions, it is our job to see that they do no harm.

Until Next Time Remember

WE ARE THEIR ONLY VOICE

Namaste’

Everydogsmom

 

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Global Anti BSL Walk 2017 Barrie, ON

IMG_3513This past Saturday I headed out to Heritage Park in Barrie, Ontario for the Global Anti BSL Walk. I grabbed my camera and left the dogs at home. I figured I wanted to capture as many pictures as possible during the walk, and that Nikki, as old and pudgy as she is would prefer to be left home on such a warm sunny summer afternoon. She like all short haired black dogs, does not do well in hot weather.

To say we were a small group is almost an embellishment. Soon after we met in the parking lot we realized there were only four of us, and two dogs, and there weren’t going to be any more than that. Just the four of us and two dogs, and our resolve to fight something we think is wrong. We’ve been fighting for so long we know each other and each other’s dogs even though the only thing that connects us is the fight against BSL.

Out in the non dog world, when only four people show up for a “global” protest of something, they stare at each other for a while until someone says “forget it. Let’s call it a day and go have a beer!” Not us! We headed out for a walk with the aggressive unmuzzled Jack Russel/Chihuahua, and the muzzled marshmallow of a pit bull in search of anyone who would talk to us about this draconian legislation.

While at first I was disappointed that more people hadn’t come out to represent for their dogs, (I’m used to the large groups that attend Toronto rallies, and I guess I expected the same sort of response here in my hometown.) it wasn’t long before I realized that despite our small numbers, the two dogs were the perfect pair to illustrate the ridiculousness of this legislation. The pit bull (the BANNED breed) was shyly greeting people, at times even hesitant to approach them, and he never once gave out a growl, a bark, or showed any signs of aggression whatsoever. The small cross breed (a dog people deem “safe” because it isn’t a pit bull) spent his time snapping and snarling at anyone who even dared to look in his direction. The small breed dog owner warned people off as they approached, the pit bull owner welcomed them in encouraging them to meet her dog.

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Brixx the mild mannered pit bull is only muzzled because the law says he has to be.

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Billy G is considered a “safe” dog by government standards, but shows aggression toward everyone he meets.

These two dogs could not have illustrated more perfectly that we can not base a dog’s bite probability solely on breed alone. Here we had a pit bull, a dog which according to the Ontario government is genetically predisposed to aggression, a breed BANNED for the “safety of the public,” and he was as calm as a lamb, friendly, and at times shy, but never once aggressive in any way. The small cross breed dog on the other hand…well, he hated everyone, and had multiple incidents of aggressive behavior when approached. These two dogs clearly illustrated that breed has nothing to do with aggression.

Throughout the afternoon I watched as several people along the waterfront walked around the muzzled pit bull with caution and approached the smaller dog only to be stopped in their tracks by a snarl and a warning from the dog’s owner that he didn’t play well with others. This confused a few people and gave us an opportunity to talk to them about Ontario’s BSL and why it doesn’t work.

These two dogs in fact are the personification of the reasons why BSL does not work. The small breed dog owner is a perfect example of why we always say that responsible dog ownership is the only way to prevent dog bites. She knows her dog’s temperament, and she is conscious of where he is at all times, and always ready to warn strangers off when they try to approach her dog. She controls access to a dog she knows is volatile. She’s a responsible dog owner.

We have known for years that what we need in place of BSL are Dangerous Dog Laws that put the responsibility on the dog owner, and not on the dog. On Saturday our canine companions helped us to get that message across to everyone we met on our walk. DEED not BREED!

In just over a month BSL will have been in effect in Ontario for twelve years. That’s twelve years that innocent dogs have been restricted in public and demonized in the media. Twelve years for the government to realize that this legislation has done absolutely nothing to prevent dog bites from happening. Twelve years in which we the pit bull community have watched our dogs die off until few are left. When will this madness end?

If you would like to learn more about the fight against BSL in Ontario hop on over to the Ontario Pit Bull Co-op page on Facebook.

Until Next Time Remember,

WE ARE THEIR ONLY VOICE!

Namaste’

Everydogsmom

In the Case of Omar Khadr….

The most polarizing discussion taking place amongst Canadians these days is the case of Omar Khadr. Canadians are at odds about the federal government’s recent settlement payout to Khadr, but many of those people are sadly misinformed and show no inclination to actually examine the facts of the Khadr case.

I must say I am rather saddened by how uninformed Canadians are on the subject, but that hasn’t stopped them from having an opinion, or from attempting to shove that opinion down the throats of those who have examined the facts, and come to the opposite conclusion. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind people with a differing opinion, they have a right to freedom of speech, this is Canada, and our Charter of Rights affords us certain freedoms after all. What I have a problem with, is people who form an opinion based on their personal feelings about what they THINK they know instead of on the actual facts of the case.

You see the $10.5 million paid to Khadr was actually a settlement in a lawsuit against the Canadian Government. In 2004 Khadr filed a $20 million lawsuit against the federal government for violation of Khadr’s Charter Rights. It was a suit the federal government had no hopes of winning, so they settled (saving Canadian taxpayers $9.5 million in the process.)

Many Canadians seem to be laboring under the misconception that we paid a terrorist for his crimes. That is not the case, we paid a Canadian citizen because our government left him incarcerated in Guantanamo Bay where he was tortured and mistreated until he confessed to crimes he may not have committed. When you add in the fact that Khadr was in fact legally a minor at the time of his incarceration, you realize that our government abandoned a Canadian CHILD to be mistreated by the US military.

Whatever Khadr may or may not have done while forced to fight has no bearing on the lawsuit settled by the federal government. While many people say they don’t care if Khadr’s human rights were violated because he is a killer and should have no rights, that is not the way the world works. Khadr has never been proven guilty in a court of law because Khadr has never been given a fair trial for the “war crimes” he is accused of. The Supreme Court has agreed (on three separate occasions) that Khadr’s Charter Rights were violated, and had Khadr’s lawsuit against the federal government gone to a hearing Khadr would have won. Anticipating this the federal government settled with Khadr for a lesser amount. From a legal standpoint, a smart move.

Of course, as soon as you label someone a terrorist, people decide that person should not have rights. The problem with this philosophy is that putting a label on someone is not the same as proving them guilty. We believe that an accused is innocent until proven guilty, but no one has ever proven Khadr’s guilt. Forcing someone to agree to a plea deal in order to receive decent treatment is not proving their guilt. It is basically the act of creating a guilty person so you don’t have to actually prove their guilt in a court of law. This method works particularly well if you are given years in which to abuse and torture the accused into submission.

So, those who hate the liberal party (and are somehow ignorant of the fact that this case is a leftover from the Harper era), those who were unaware the Canadian Charter of Rights existed, those who form an opinion based on nothing more than reading a headline, and those who can’t be bothered to consider the actual facts of the case are “enraged” by the governments settlement with Khadr. That is no surprise, people who are uninformed tend to take sides quickly without knowing all the facts, or caring to know all the facts. Sticking to their uninformed opinion is easier if they completely ignore the facts and substitute their own version. These people need to grow up and learn that the legalities of a situation and the moralities of a situation are NEVER the same thing.

As for Omar Khadr, I hope that he can move on from here and become a productive citizen. We may never know if he is guilty or innocent of the crimes of which he is accused, and given that fact we as Canadians need to move on, and allow Omar Khadr to do the same.

Use Your Powers for Good…be kind to others!

11700585_728597287249221_3642230714094415372_oWhen Frank Nelson (Glowing Hearts Community Give and Get Barrie Ontario) learned he was dying of cancer he decided he wanted to spend the time he has left helping strangers in need Frank, like many of us has noticed that while technology has connected us to everyone, it hasn’t done much for the dwindling sense of community Canadians once enjoyed. Pop culture is always telling us it takes a village to raise a child, as far as we’re concerned it takes a village to ensure that we all have what we need, we are losing our village so to speak. People are no longer possessed of the community spirit. Frank Nelson is trying to change that by bringing our community together to help each other,

I got the chance to speak with Frank yesterday when my husband and I dropped off a trunk load of canned and dry dog food for Frank and other local organizations to distribute to those who need it to feed their pets. During our chat we discussed Frank’s plans to bring Give and Get Centers to a few other cities in Ontario. I can understand his drive. We are given two jobs in life, to cause no intentional harm to others, and to leave the world a better place for our having been here. Frank Nelson is well on his way to accomplishing both.

At times in my life I came across people who helped me when I had no one to turn to. Having left home at 16 I had many low points in my life, and it always seemed that when a situation seemed hopeless along came a guardian angel that provided me with exactly what I needed. When I established myself later in life there was no way to repay those people for their kindness, so instead I paid it forward by helping others whenever I could. Frank Nelson is working on the same sort of principle, paying the small kindnesses forward is something he is passionately serious about.

As I watched Frank for a while interacting with the clients of the Give and Get, I realized he truly is at his happiest when helping others. At a time when most people would be focused on themselves Frank does as much work with those who need him as he can. He truly is a remarkably selfless person, and I look forward to working with him in the future. My husband and I will continue to drop off pet foods whenever we can, but Frank has inspired me to get involved on a deeper level, to do more. I don’t know what that will mean going forward, but whatever skills I possess are at his disposal.

If you would like to know more about the Community Give and Get Centre or Frank Nelson here’s the link to the Centre’s Facebook Page

Please remember; Use your powers for good…be kind to others!

Until Next Time

Namaste’

Happy Pride Month Everybody!

A while back I explained that this blog would become my only blog, and that I would start talking about things that had nothing to do with dogs. Brace yourselves, that moment has arrived, and I figured the least I could do was give you a little warning…a “heads up” so to speak. If you are an extreme right wing religious nut you probably won’t want to read any further (and I’m not quite sure how you ended up here in the first place?) because everything I am about to say will probably offend you in some manner, but…I’m okay with that.

Over the weekend, from time to time I check my social media accounts to see what people are talking about, what’s trending, that sort of thing. As you all know it’s pride month (if you DON’T know that, you’ve been living under a rock and should probably think about coming up for air…jus’ sayin’.) As they do every year at this time my awesome contacts from the LGBTQ community are out in force speaking out for their rights and freedoms. Aand…..as they do EVERY year at this time the extreme right wing religious nuts are also out in force, haunting the online LGBTQ community with their taunts and hatred, spouting bible verses in supposed support of their ridiculous assumption that their persecution of the LGBTQ community is justified by God. (For the record, it isn’t justified, but you know, if you take short quotes out of just about any book you can use them to justify your stance on just about anything. The dictionary could prove my stance on abortion if I quoted it in the right way.)

Right about now you are all wondering “where is she going with this?” Don’t get your panties in a bunch I’m about to get to the point…I’m just waiting for the last extreme right wing religious nut to exit the building…ah…there we go!

So, I was perusing social media when I saw this:

wfc

So being who I am, and being of the belief that people are born into their sexuality and don’t DECIDE to become gay simply because they have made a choice to live that lifestyle, I felt the need to answer this ridiculous posting publicly…so here we go…

Just wanted to throw this out there real quick on the day after Father’s Day…

If people are able to write a comment or drop a rainbow on this post, it is because they have two working arms and know how to use a keyboard, something that does NOT require you to be the product of a heterosexual union. For some people life started in a test tube, and an embryo was implanted into a womb without sexual intercourse EVER taking place. It is called science. No hetero or any other type of sexual encounter required.

Just think, if there were no gay people on the planet, who would adopt all the babies abandoned by heterosexual women who don’t get how birth control works? You say life can not be created by a homosexual union, yet many lives are created by homosexual unions. True they may be created in a test tube and carried by a surrogate, but those lives were created because a homosexual couple wanted to form a family. Who are YOU to judge how they go about that process? If life is as sacred as you claim, then that means ALL life is sacred, not just those created by a heterosexual union. Your logic is flawed.

Since people are born gay, and don’t CHOOSE to be gay, the likelihood of EVERYONE on the planet suddenly deciding to TURN gay is a fantastical prospect at best, but let me indulge your crazy for a second here…even if ( and that is a VERY strong IF) the entire planet suddenly woke up gay, life as we know it ( with some obvious changes) would still continue because…SCIENCE. (Remember the last paragraph in which we discussed test tube babies?)

You refuse to admit that people are born gay because that does not support your theory that homosexuality is unnatural. The truth is that God gave us more than one way to procreate. If you believe your theory that God is in control of all things then all scientific breakthroughs must come from God. Therefore when scientists discovered how to create life WITHOUT sexual contact it must have come from God. That pretty much says that God is okay with gay people and has given them a way to carry on the human race. Or are you saying that medical science is not a gift from God?

Following this theory it would seem you are in fact wrong when you say that it takes a biological mother and father to create life, what it takes is a sperm, and an egg, and those can be donated. There is far more to being a parent than the ability to procreate sexually. God is well aware of this fact, why aren’t you?

You seem to think that our sole purpose for being is to procreate. That however is not the purpose of life. We are given this life, it is a privilege not a right. Our only purpose is to do no intentional harm while we are here, and to leave this planet a better place than we found it. Disseminating hatred of that which you do not understand harms others, and does not make the world better in any way. God gave you one job, and you have failed already.

P.S.: Every rainbow flag and positive comment associated with this post proves that your position is not supported by the majority, and that irritates the hell out of you doesn’t it?

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Happy Pride Month Everybody!

 

Changes Are Coming

For years now I have written this blog, and you, my faithful readers have read every word. The content has always been focused on dogs in general, and I write several other blogs on different subject content. As you may have noticed as my life gets busier posts become fewer and further between. The same can be said of the rest of my blogs, but then a friend pointed out that THIS blog could cover everything the others do AND my dog related content. I could bring it all together in THIS blog, my longest running blogging effort. I thought about it for a while and I realized she was right. She was right because, Everything Worth Knowing…I Learned From My Dogs! Therefore from this point forward this blog will cover anything I choose to write about. That may often be the same dog content you’ve come to know, or just about anything else. Comment, tell me what you think, let’s start discussions that matter!

Namaste’

Everydogsmom

Sir Patrick Stewart is fostering a pit bull, and netizens are losing their minds over the sweetness…

Actor Sir Patrick Stewart’s social media is blowing up, not because he’s starring in a new movie or television show, but because he is fostering a homeless pit bull named Ginger recently rescued from a fight ring, and the internet is losing it’s mind over the sweetness of photos and posts featuring Ginger the pit bull.

Watching these two interact with each other has the internet rescue community wishing for a “foster fail” we figure Ginger and Sir Patrick Stewart belong together! What do you think?