IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM BANNED AID - PLEASE CROSSPOST
Twice the size of Texas.
Three times the size of Germany.
Five times the size of the United Kingdom.
Home to a breed-specific legislative ban covering the largest geo-political area in the world.
A ban that discriminates not by action or deed, but by physical appearance.
A ban that targets not only "pitbulls", American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers and Staffordshire Bull Terriers", but haunts *ANY* pure-or-crossbred canine bearing a substantial physical resemblance to one of the aforementioned. The 2004 brainchild of the province's Attorney General, Michael Bryant, the now-infamous Bill 132 was conceived as a vote-grabbing safety measure; a poorly designed and ill-appointed law geared to target the public's visceral fear of dog attacks. Implemented in August of 2005, retribution against innocent canines and their owners was swift.
Walking your pet without a muzzle now means risking seizure without warrant. Visitors and residents alike travelling without certified documentation face the spectre of breed (mis)-identification looming around every corner.
Pets showing natural protective tendencies within the boundaries of their home turf may now be turned in on the suspicion of being 'menacing'. This last is particularly frightening; simple barking at passers-by can be interpreted as 'threatening behaviour' by control officers with no training in either animal behaviour or breed identification. Failure to pass muster on any of the above can and will result in a one-way trip to the official's choice of humane society, pound or research facility. There are few second chances.
This ban has raised both the conscience and ire of dog lovers from British Columbia to Prince Edward Island . It's not just a 'pit-bull' issue. It's a Rottweiler issue, a Doberman issue. It's about Boxers and Bullmastiffs, Bull Terriers, Neapolitan Mastiffs and Boston Terriers, Great Danes and Vizslas... are you surprised? These are but a handful of breeds that have come under scrutiny and endured public censure following the implementation and subsequent over-broad interpretation of A.G. Bryant's Bill.
From the beginning, concerned groups and individuals questioned the feasibility of a legal challenge - a challenge directed at the violation of constitutional rights, yet still allowing for the punishment of those who willfully put animals and people in harm's way. Prominent trial and constitutional lawyer Clayton Ruby was immediately retained.
With the help of the American Staffordshire Terrier Club of Canada, the Golden Horseshoe American Pit Bull Terrier Club, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Club of Canada and Advocates for the Underdog, a coalition was formed including the Dog Legislation Council of Canada and aptly named "Banned-Aid". This group was to play a prominent role in the ensuing months, bringing the plight of Ontario's dogs to those who otherwise might never have considered the gravity of the situation. Their determination paid off; the spring of 2006 saw a trial date set, and on May 15th, 16th and 18th, Justice T. Herman heard final arguments from both sides in Ontario's Superior Court.
The battle, however, is not quite over. Government-initiated delays have resulted in the near-doubling of our legal fees, which have long passed initial "guesstimates" and are closing in on the 1/2 million mark. In this we are running out of time. Generous time allowances by Clayton Ruby's offices have merely slowed the inevitable, that being we *MUST* come up with $ 100,000 in two weeks' time for this case to continue.
The importance of being present to rebut this new motion cannot be overestimated. Lacking an opposing legal presence gives government lawyers carte blanche while countering from our side greatly increases the chances of any further introductions being struck down as frivolous. Ruby strongly believes this attempt to be a last-gasp 'smoke screen' effort by our opposition, carefully orchestrated to bring us to our financial knees. We cannot let this happen. If we have come this far, it is in large part due to the faith of our members, friends and allies - individuals who possess the same gritty determination hallmarking the breeds this Bill seeks to eliminate forever.
We are so very, very close. For the latest updates and news briefs, we urge you to visit the Dog Legislation Council of Canada website at:
If you believe - as we do - that victory is a mere leash-length away, then please help by donating to the Ontario Legal Challenge of Bill 132 through the following agents:
Banned-Aid Coalition - http://www.BannedAid.com
Send a cheque or money order payable to Banned Aid to:
National Secretary/Treasurer - Banned Aid Coalition
351 Pleasant Street
Dartmouth NS B2Y 3S4
Mark a cheque "Banned Aid - In Trust' on the memo line; make payable to "Ruby and Edwardh" and send to:
Ruby and Edwardh
11 Prince Arthur Avenue
Toronto, ON M5R 1B2
No donation is too small, no suggestion unimportant. Each and every contribution is humbly appreciated - indeed, more than can be possibly expressed. We know the dogs this saves would thank you if they could.
Banned Aid Coalition
351 Pleasant Street
Dartmouth NS B2S 3Y4