Thursday, February 28, 2008

To ALL responsible dog owners

February 2008

Dear Fellow Dog Owner,

"I was just looking at my dog, Jack.

He has a short coat, a short muzzle and a deep chest. He's about knee-high. I think he's a brown Labrador mix but who knows? I got him from a friend when he was just a pup. There was a case in Toronto just last week where a dog that looks like Jack is at the pound because animal control thinks he's a 'pit bull'. I am nervous when I take him for a walk these days, people stare at us and make comments.

I worry a lot, being a dog owner living in Ontario. Is my dog safe? Can I be sure? Well, not really because nobody seems to know which dogs fit the law and which dogs don't. And that's one of the big problems with Ontario's dog ownership ban. Every dog and no dog is a 'pit bull'."

--Ontario citizen, received via email
Breed banning is spreading across the continent. Mandatory sterilization and complex ownership rules complete the hat trick used to limit the breeding and ownership of dogs. Using outright lies and distortions, the anti-pet owner groups have been busy. Their aim is openly stated: they want to end the domestication of animals, including dogs.

In Europe there is mounting pressure to restrict breeding and pet ownership. Unfortunately, what starts there often comes here - as we saw with the infamous Dangerous Dogs Act.

California, Ontario, Ohio, Illinois, Louisville, Albuquerque - with each passing day another town or district is talking about or enacting a new law targeting dog owners and breeders.


The Dog Legislation Council of Canada (DLCC) in partnership with other Banned Aid Coalition members, has been one of the driving forces in the constitutional challenge to Ontario's confusing legislation.

We realize that our goal, while simple, may not be clear:

We are determined to fight for the rights of every dog owner across the country. We oppose breed bans, mandatory spay/neuter laws, elitist property requirements, limit laws and other anti-breeder, anti-owner legislation.

We know that even some dog owners have fallen prey to the media hysteria and political lies that allowed the passing of the Ontario law and others like it. We know that myths about pet overpopulation, uncaring profit-driven breeders, dangerous breeds and more are widely believed.

We are fighting the Ontario ban through the courts, not because of a breed or mixed breed but because the Ontario government has taken away the rights of people who have done no wrong - people like us.

Dog owners in Ontario, regardless of their pet's breed, are now subject to warrantless entry and unreasonable search and seizure. They can be charged if a dog is considered to be 'menacing' - with no definition of it in the law. They are open to mischief and harassment.

Owners of some dogs are now subject to the above plus restrictions on mobility, presumption of guilt, reversal of the burden of proof in a hearing, discrimination, intimidation and stigmatization. How long will it be until more breeds are added to the restricted or prohibited lists? As we have seen, the Ontario law already casts a very wide net indeed.

The precedent for the banning of purebred dogs and dogs that are 'substantially similar' in appearance has been set into provincial law and was upheld in a recent Superior Court decision. Three purebreds, two CKC-recognized, one recognized by other registries, are restricted and prohibited in Ontario. As a dog owner, that should alarm you as much as it alarms us.

We cannot allow governments to take rights away from people on a whim or to decide what type of dogs we should own. We cannot allow governments to prosecute citizens, not because of their actions but because of the physical appearance of their living, breathing pets.

The case is extremely expensive and we need your help. We cannot fund a constitutional challenge against an opponent with bottomless pockets (the Ontario government) alone.

To date, we have raised and spent over $525,000 on this legal action and our costs continue to mount as we prepare for the Appeal.

The Dog Legislation Council of Canada is an all-volunteer, all-breed, not-for-profit corporation with members in every province. All funds raised, including membership fees, are put directly into the legal fund.

We need your contribution now to carry on the fight for dog owners' rights. Please help us win the battle to protect dog ownership in Canada.

It's time for dog owners to stand together and speak with one voice.

It's time to say 'No!' to anti-dog owner legislation.

You can contribute in one of four ways:

1. Send a cheque or money order payable to Banned Aid to:
Attention: Cathy Prothro, National Secretary/Treasurer

Banned Aid Coalition, 351 Pleasant Streetm Dartmouth NS B2Y 3S4

2. Send a cheque or money order payable to Ruby & Edwardh with
"Banned Aid - In Trust' on the memo line to:
Ruby and Edwardh
Barristers and Solicitors, 11 Prince Arthur Avenue, Toronto, ON M5R 1B2

3. Contribute online at

4. By online banking transfer to treasurer @ (no spaces)

Every dollar counts.

Thank you for your support - together, we can win this.

The DLCC Executive
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

Want to be heard? Join us!

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