How you can help Ontario
1. Email/speak to your local MPP and find out their position on BSL.
To find out who your local MPP is please click the following link:
Sample letter the following photo must be inserted with your letter.
Dear Member of Ontario Provincial Parliament;
In 2005 the Dog Owners Liability Act was amended to include breed specific language that targeted dogs of three separate breeds as well as any dog deemed substantially similar being subject to harsher penalties than dogs not specifically named.
This move created discrimination toward individuals owning dogs of these three breeds, as well as dogs of other purebred athletic, short-haired breeds, and mixed breed dogs that have a “similar” appearance, mistakenly identified by the public or by officials as the three targeted breeds.
All three breeds are among Canada’s rarest breeds and were rare before they were included in the legislation in 2005.
This breakdown shows QC because it was prepared by the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) for the most recent outburst in Montreal but it shows you the last ten year national average for registrations for both American Staffordshire Terriers and Staffordshire Bull Terriers. American Pit Bull Terriers are not included here because they are not a breed recognized by the CKC. Registries that do recognize the American Pit Bull Terrier as its own breed (the APBT registry, and American Dog Breeders Association) show similar numbers to the Staffordshire Bull Terrier in Canada.
The dogs most often and incorrectly identified as “pit bulls”, based strictly on an opinion of their physical appearance, are mixed breed dogs of unknown lineage. Scientifically, a dog’s physical appearance and aggressiveness are unrelated. In fact, one of the most dangerous aspects of breed specific legislation (BSL) is the false impression that it gives the public that some dogs are “safe” strictly based on appearance.
Since aggressive dogs can be found in any breed, mixture or appearance of dog, it would be more effective in terms of public safety to enact legislation that applies responsibilities and consequences for owners of any dangerous dog, regardless of what the dog looks like.
BSL punishes dog owners who wish to be law-abiding and happen to end up with a mixed breed dog that someone thinks looks like a “pit bull”. Some of these people hide, out of fear, thus avoiding proper vet care, socialization and training for fear of being a target. Sadly, many innocent family pets that have never bitten or shown any level of aggression have been removed from loving families or killed so their concerns are not unfounded.
Province-wide BSL prevents tourists with dogs that could possibly be targeted from travelling through Ontario and people from relocating to Ontario. Dogs are family members, fully integrated into family life, and people are not willing to leave them behind or take the chance that their dog will be removed and put to sleep for nothing more than a complaint that they look similar to a “pit bull”.
BSL is not an effective method of creating a safe community; in fact, it has never been proven to reduce dog bites or contribute to public safety – the reality is that it’s been proven to do the opposite.
Dog owners in Ontario want dangerous dogs dealt with. We want to see an increase in public safety. But breed-specific legislation is not the way to accomplish this. It is costly to implement and ineffective, and it is clogging an already overloaded court system.
The simple way to achieve this increase in public safety is to remove the breed specific language from DOLA, while still keeping it intact.
We need to enforce DOLA fairly and equally across the board and treat all dog owners with the same respect. Owners of dangerous dogs must be dealt with. We need to maintain and enforce adequate and appropriate penalties which make it a deterrent to own a dog that has behaved aggressively.
If a Bill were to be tabled following the next provincial election can we count on your vote to support the repeal of breed specific language in DOLA and begin to treat Ontario dog owners fairly and equally?
If you require any further information about this issue please contact me.
Thank you for your time,
Constituent of your riding
2. Participate in your local events educating about BSL. Please stay tuned for information on upcoming events.
3. Join and support the following groups who are working towards a BSL free future in Ontario.