Ontario’s controversial ban on pit bulls — now five years old — is under fire once again as a coalition of dog-loving groups rallied yesterday to support a local MPP’s efforts to have the law changed.
“They’re ripping family pets away from people based on very vague legislation,” said Rui Branco, who successfully fought the City of Brampton earlier this year by proving his dog, Brittany, was not a pit bull.
The American bulldog-boxer mix was seized and held by the city for three months before an independent veterinarian was able to determine it was not a pit bull.
“An animal control officer looked at her and said she was a pit bull. Then she was taken away from us.”
A few hundred people and dozens of muzzled pit bull-type dogs gathered at Coronation Park to protest Ontario’s ban on pit bulls and to demand the repeal of “breed specific legislation.”
The Dog Owner’s Liability Act was amended in 2005 to ban the breeding, sale and ownership of pit bulls. But since “pit bull” is not a specific breed of dog, the province’s definition includes pit bull terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, American pit bull terriers and any dog “that has an appearance and physical characteristics that are substantially similar” to those breeds, such as large heads, broad shoulders and muscular builds.