A group of dog owners set up camp at Sarnia’s city hall Monday to protest Ontario’s ban on pit bulls.
“Basically, it’s not right to be cruel to animals,” said Josh Atkinson, organizer and owner of Justice, a five-year-old pit bull.
“The City of Sarnia and a lot of other cities in Ontario are killing dogs for no apparent reason whatsoever, just because of the name pit bull. It’s ridiculous.”
A dozen people were on hand with their pets and homemade signs, reading: “Stop the killing of our pets,” “Pitbulls have rights, too,” and “Pitbulls are family.”
The group also planned to protest at the Sarnia and District Humane Society.
Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley said the demonstrators were barking up the wrong tree.
“It’s provincial legislation — not the city, or the humane society. They should be at the MPP’s office, he said.
“I don’t even agree with the legislation myself, but we have to enforce it.”
The 2005 Ontario Dog Owners Liability Act says any Staffordshire bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, American pit bull terriers and any dog that looks “substantially similar” is illegal, and only those already living in the province at the time of the ban are allowed.
Bradley said the law has been a stress on animal control workers, noting that he preferred the city’s previous ‘dangerous dog’ bylaw, which dealt with the animals on a case-by-case basis, rather than by breed.
Last year Sarnia made a pledge to consult an expert before putting any more dogs on death row. The move followed a number of confusing cases hinging on whether or not the dogs were pit bulls, or boxers, while officials admitted to euthanizing at least one dog every month, because of the ban.
“It’s very fuzzy legislation; the province passed it, but now they have no involvement in the law itself,” said Bradley. “In fact, I’d like to go join those protesters, myself.”
Article found at: http://www.theobserver.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2540872