Monday, November 29, 2004

Bite Me

Well, it looks like council is going to wait for the province before they decide what to do about 'dangerous dogs'.

"We're just going to wait until the province tells us what we can do and what they're doing," said committee chairperson Coun. Roger Caranci.

"The biggest issue is enforcement. If we don't have the tools to enforce, (a bylaw) is not going to help us at all."
"If there's no mechanism (the threat of jail time) for the city to collect fines, there's no accountability," Caranci said. "We need the province to make things tougher."

Caranci said Calgary's dangerous-dog bylaw is one he'd like to see mirrored in London.

The Calgary bylaw allows for fines up to $2,500 and six months in jail if unpaid.
Council has sure spent alot to time talking about a bylaw they aren't even sure they can enforce. Mass hysteria strikes again in Ontario! In my thirty years on this planet, I have never been bitten by a dog and truly, I don't see too many pit bulls in a given day for that matter. People surely should take responsibility for their dogs, and not just for those breeds the politicians deem dangerous. As usual though, the emphasis is shifted away from responsibility and instead the focus is control and nannying.
And what does the province suggest?
Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant last month announced legislation to ban pit bulls, following a series of horrific attacks on humans by the squat, muscular dogs.

Bryant's proposed Dog Owners' Liability Act would ban all pit bulls, muzzle existing ones and raise fines and sentences for offenders. Existing owners would be allowed a "transition period" to comply.

The proposal, which Bryant hopes will be passed by Christmas, doubles the maximum fines for irresponsible dog owners to $10,000 and, for the first time, includes potential jail terms of up to six months.

The city has been considering several options, including a ban on four dog breeds: pit bulls, Rottweilers, Presa Canarios and Akitas. Existing dogs of those breeds would be allowed if owners applied for an extension within 90 days.

The bylaw could also include stringent controls on any dog deemed dangerous if it charges someone or appears menacing, even if it hasn't bitten anyone. Those dogs would be muzzled and be put down if their owner refuses.
Well, if this isn't bad enough, the city would like to add to this:
New regulations being considered include a tiered licensing fee structure based on whether an owner has taken preventative action, such as obedience training.

As well, enforcement issues such as staffing needs, plus public training, education and awareness plans, and the possibility of mandatory spaying and neutering for all dogs are being examined.

Stanford said many elements of a new or amended bylaw would encourage good pet ownership. For instance, he said, the benefit of mandatory neutering or spaying is two-fold.

"Once a dog is spayed or neutered, they tend to become less agressive," he said. "And it's also important to control the population. There are a lot of unwanted pets in London."

Owners whose pets are spayed or neutered would pay significantly less for a licence.
I propose that in order to hold office, at any level, that politicians be neutered and spayed - perhaps like dogs, they would be less aggressive and hey, maybe they would stop trying to 'control the population'. I also propose that all politicians be required to produce a certificate proving they have successfully completed obedience training.