Two years ago today Justice for Bullies was founded.
My mother Susan Mackney and I were sitting on the couch talking about “pit bull” type dogs and the unfair treatment they received and my mother basically said do something more than complain (in the most encouraging, motivational and motherly way possible). So after trying to figure out the who, what, where, when and why we put our goal into an action.
The first step was creating a name for our Facebook group. We contemplated a few things, bounced around a few ideas as with my mother’s suggestion we came up with “Justice for Bullies”. To learn more about the name Justice for Bullies please click the link.
We started off with the goat to obtain support from every populated area in Alberta. We asked members to state their names, where they were from and that they support Justice for Bullies and want BSL to end. We received 1000's of support posts from all across the world and quickly learned just how many people wanted an end to canine discrimination.
While we asked for support posts to come in we did our very best to learn, to study, to do research and to pass all information on to you in hopes that more people would join us is in becoming educated on the topic of breed specific legislation. We were building an “army” of dedicated individuals who were ready, willing and able to fight back with the best tool we could arm ourselves with and that was knowledge. Knowledge is power, and education is key.
After months of reading, researching and studying I felt that I was able to finally delegate with the council of Chestermere, Alberta, Canada. On March 16, 2015, in an information packed, 10 minute long presentation I pointed out the problems with BSL and offered a solution to achieving a safe and harmonious community. The solution was simple a responsible dog ownership bylaw that was breed neutral. After a successful delegation, history was made on June 1, 2015, when BSL was repealed.
On July 1, 2015 after months of talking to my bosses about breed neutral bylaws they made the decision to remove all breed specific regulations from their private campground and presented a new breed neutral bylaw to their tenants.
On July 24, 2015 we received fabulous news; Justice for Bullies was no longer just a Facebook group. We received our Certificate of Incorporation and were now able to function as a non profit society. We established a dedicated board of directors that work very hard behind the scenes Anita Baillargeon, Carrie Boucher Longbottom, Steve Barker, and Susan Mackney to ensure that we operate a non profit with honesty, integrity, pride and knowledge.
August 17th, 2015 is a day that brought hope to Justice for Bullies, and in the same breath changed our worlds forever. On the evening of August 17th we were granted the opportunity to delegated with the Council of Redliff, Alberta and received a motion to move forward with repealing BSL. As we celebrated a well received presentation and the promise of a BSL free future, I was being charged for a crime my dog did not commit.
My life will forever be changed from this moment. Mr Magoo and I were wrongfully accused of a dog biting a human, and failure to restrain a dog in a City that we did not live in. After receiving our disclosure we could not help but feel that this was a malicious act that was done due to our involvement with Justice for Bullies. This group pulled together for Magoo and I, stood by our side, helped us raise almost $7,000.00 for a lawyer bill and waited for us to go to trial. While we tried to remain positive we were reminded daily of the negativity that BSL brings out in others. In February of 2016 after what felt like an eternity we were found not guilty.
Shortly after this we put our efforts into releasing the first ever Canadian wide map of BSL. A considerable amount of effort went into this and we will be required to do some updates to reflect the year of 2016. It was my hopes that we could get enough people together to remove the markers from this map. Sadly in June due to news coming out of Quebec these efforts came to a halt.
Unfortunately our 2nd year has not been as successful as year one. It has been a year filled with fear, panic, disbelief, confusion and one that took a toll on the Anti-BSL community.
On June 18th the whole world felt as if it has stopped when Mayor Coderre released the news of moving forward with the 2nd largest ban to hit Canadian soil. Immediately we tried our best to support, and help the pet owning population of Montreal. Many of us worked around the clock to make sure information was reaching a global audience, educational material was being sent out, awareness was being created, and proper, informative information was being distributed.
The community came together and put all differences aside for the sake of the dogs.
Unfortunately despite global efforts the elected officials of Montreal ignored all logic, data, and the pleas of some of these most profound animal welfare organizations in the world and made rash decision to move forward with the ban of “pit bull” type dogs.
As the fate of Montreal pet owners lies in the hands of legal battles and an upcoming election we have realized that despite government resistance, we the people will will have the ultimate say come election time.
It may feel that this battle has been lost, but this is far from the truth. The fight will continue.
“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.” – Margaret Thatcher
As our second year wraps up I would like to take a moment to thank each and every single one of you for making Justice for Bullies what it is today. Despite the ups and downs of the last year we remained united and remembered what was at stake.
Thank you for turning my one voice into approx 90,000 voices and growing. Eventually we will be heard and responsible dog ownership paired with breed neutral bylaws will be in our future.
Chantelle Mackney & Mr. Magoo
"Together we stand, to watch BSL fall"