The Reality of Breed Specific Legislation

I've created this blog as a voice for the families who have been affected by Breed Specific Legislation in Ontario. Wonderful people have shared their stories and pictures with me regarding BSL and I thought they should have a permanent home somewhere. Some stories will break your heart and some will make you angry. This blog will never be open to comments or discussions of any kind.

If you would like to share this blog, please do. If this blog makes you want to act out against BSL, please write your MPP and voice your concerns.

If you have a story specific for Ontario, please share with me by writing to me at : and I will put your story on this blog.

Lynda Crawford

Friday, July 27, 2012

Alex & Hurley

I would like to talk about my APBT and how he came into my life. A very good friend of mine had two of them, Justice and Diamond, who were 2 of the nicest and most docile dogs I had ever been in contact with. I instantly fell in love with them and consequently the breed. I soon found out Justice and Diamond were going to have a litter of pups (my friend thought Diamond had been spayed) to the surprise of everyone which caused a problem. That problem turned out to be 6 beautiful APBT puppies in a city and a province that hates them (Ottawa, ON). So, now ensues a mad scramble to find good homes for the pups which was easier than anyone would have thought. Once the pups were of age to be re-homed they had all found excellent families to live with. The public seems to believe in the stereotype of "only gangsters and bikers have those dreadful beasts" but each one of there puppies with to average citizens. One to a enlisted man in the Canadian Army, one to a paramedic, and if I wasn't 2 weeks from leaving for basic training for 6 months at Depot Division at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police training academy in Regina, SK one would have been coming home with me. 

Now let's fast forward those 6 months. 

In my last few weeks of training I had made a trip to the Regina Humane Society with some dog food and supplies to donate. Being a dog person I was also there to check out any possible dogs for my future posting. I instantly fell in love with an old APBT who had come in as a stray. He was red nose but seemed to be more grey given his age. His name was Handsome Rob and he was not in the best shape as it had appeared to everyone that he had been on the street for quite some time. He was very skinny and had significant evidence of frost bite. Being that I was still a few weeks from graduation I was unable to give him a home right away but continued to visit and take him for walks and spoil him as much as I could. 

When the time came to bring him home, much to my disappointment, he was gone. He was an old dog and his fight had ended. Knowing how fond of the old guy I was the staff at the Regina Humane society introduced me to a 13 week old little brown and white APBT named Hurley who had been brought to the shelter by the Regina Police Service as what I was simply told was a seizure. When he got to the shelter he had a broken leg and a fairly severe skin infection. The day I met him he was as happy and playful as one would expect any little pup to be. He ran though everyone in the room and head-butted me in the shin and proceeded to looking me in the eye and giving me one single bark as if to say play with me. Needless to say I fell in love with him instantly and he had found his new home. 

Hurley is now 3 years old and is perfectly legal in the province of Saskatchewan, yet every single day people will walk on the other side of the street when they observe Hurley and I out for a stroll through this small town in the middle of the prairies. We have even experienced someone crouching down to pet him and when they are told he is a Pitbull they picked up their kids and walked away. Others look at me and say "you're a police officer and you have a pitbull?!?!" Most of this town now have a special soft spot for my little friend as I have spent countless hours walking him around town and stopping to chat with people and talking about how loveable and goofy the breed really is. I make sure to tell them a particular story about my friend's 3 year old (at the time) twin girls who were riding him like a horse and pulling on his ears like the harness and how happy he was to oblige their play time. 

I love Hurley as much as I would love my future children and someday when the law changes I will put in for a posting back to Ottawa where he will be able to live as a free as any other K-9 companion. The opinion of any other Police officer I have ever spoken to is that a dog is what you train him to be.. if you want a monster you will have a monster and if you want a loveable best friend... then you will have a loveable best friend. Breed has absolutely nothing to do with the upbringing of any dog. This is coming from Police Officers who are known to have German Shepherds, Rottweilers, dobermans and Pit bulls. 

- One person can make a difference.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


I do have something to say, although I don`t own a pittie, my extended family has, and because of BSL, they too have lost their family member because of BSL. My opinion when I see a dog wearing a muzzle to me it makes me think the dog is mean and vicious , when in turn its because the dog is a pittie, and assumed by Ontario Government aggressive and dangerous, the Ontario Governement has to get into the 21st century, and scrap the BSL Ban, Myself, and my 2 GSD`s Clover and Bella, do support Hershey`s Bill.

Rebekah, Shadow & Roxy

This is our story and how BSL has affected our lives.
Shadow is our 2 and half year old APBT (black) and Roxy is our 9 month old APBT (tan and white). My name is Rebekah and my fiance is Rey, and baby #1 on the way.
Shadow came into my life about 2 years ago. She has been through an abusive relationship with me and is my partner in crime. Shadow was hit constantly by my ex and also was screamed and yelled at. She is one of the best dogs I have ever known and has grown to bring people to love her dearly. I always thought that because of being hit that if Shadow had the chance and another dog started a fight with her that it wouldn't end nicely. But to my surprisment Shadow was attacked by another dog last year and all she did was stand there and look at me with a scared and helpless look in her eyes just screaming help me. It took a lot to get this other dog off of her and thankfully for her pink spike collar there wasn't any damage done to either dog. Unfortunately ever since that situation Shadow is very unsure of other dogs but is completely content with being with her human family and our other dog Roxy. According to the law here in Ontario both my dog's shouldn't be alive. I live in constant fear everyday that I will walk outside and have my dogs taken away from me.
Roxy wasn't supposed to stay permanently but I mean, you can't put a little puppy in someone's lap and say "OKay, we will give her back tomorrow, she just needs somewhere to sleep." Yeah, I didn't think so. As I previously said, Shadow was apprehensive of other dogs so I wasn't really sure that this would work, but we would keep a close eye on it. Well, Shadow took right to Roxy and loved her to pieces. She was a little rough at first but Roxy learned how to play back and they are best friends. Roxy loves every dog that comes around and all she wants to do is play. She's a little scared of people for reasons that are unknown to us but will play with your dog in a heartbeat. BSL has ripped families apart, and killed innocent dogs for no reason. Living in an apartment building I make sure that people I come into contact to know about my dogs, that they are friendly, that Shadow doesn't play with other dogs and Roxy wants nothing to do with you, but would love to play :) .
Roxy and I had a recent confrontation with my neighbor's wife. From what I understand from what my enighbor has told me, his wife has never been attacked or bit by a dog, has never known anybody that has been attacked either. So, Roxy and I walk into the hallway to bring her outside to use the bathroom and my neighbor and his wife happen to be in the hallway as well locking up their apartment. Roxy lets out a little bark letting me know they are there, ANDDDD then his wife starts screaming. Now just so you know I can hold my 50lb dog with no problem and she always sits the second she comes into the hallway. His wife keeps yelling in the hallway and Roxy tries to hide behind me, tailed tucked between her legs and trying to get away from this woman. It was completely unnecessary. Her fear is completely based upon the stories that she sees on the news and reads in the paper. She is only scared of PITBULLS. The golden retreiver that lives across the hall from her is perfectly fine, EVEN THOUGH the owners can't hold it whatsoever and are dragged everywhere by it. Little does this woman know that I could give her page upon page of information and research showing her that my dogs are just as dangerous as that golden retreiver. That according to temperment testing my dogs have a better rating than the majority of breeds in my apartment building. Ignorance must really be bliss. BSL is destroying Ontario and my fiance and I are really considering moving out of this province until they do something about this stupid law. If they hadn't noticed it hasn't reduced dog bites, it HASN't reduced the amount of pitbulls in this province, it is just simply putting a not needed fear into peoples eyes.
My dog's are not a dangerous breed if they were I wouldn't still have them, as we are expecting a child in December. What people need to realize is that the monster isn't the one with the collar around it's neck, it's the one at the other side with the leash in his hand. BSL is BS, it's like the holocaust where they tried to wipe out the jews but now they are trying to wipe out one breed of dog. It's racism for dogs, breedism if you will. Take a stand for the dogs that have no voice, speak for those that cannot.

"My kids are around pit bulls every day. In the '70s they blamed Dobermans, in the '80s they blamed German Shepherds, in the '90s they blamed Rottweilers. Now they blame the Pit Bull."
- Cesar Millan (The Dog Whisperer)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

John and Rex

My family adopted a male puppy from the Niagara Falls Humane Society back in 1998 at the age of 3 months old . This dog was so cute and playful he was a Pit bull/Husky who loved children and his family.
I gave him the name Rex because it means King he was my best friend  for 14 years. In 2005 Ontario passed a law banning all "pit bulls" for the mistakes of humans. My dog was affected because now when i walked him i had to muzzle him out of fear. As he grew older his legs were starting to give out and he had cancer we had to let him go July 7 2012. As much as i loved my dog he couldn't be here living in pain. For the 14 years we had a loyal, smart and loving dog a dog is the way it's raised no matter the kind it is. How i am coping his death is by becoming a voice for all animals and attending protests to change this law. I can never replace this dog he holds a special place in my life.
End Ontario's ban on "pit bulls' and stop living in fear.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Sarah & Buffy

I just wanted to share an experience. Disregard my bad grammar I'm just typing as I would talk. I woke up this morning and had a feeling that the fence blew over again, and I was right. Luckily my dogs were sleeping safe beside me, It brought me back to what happend to our Buffy almost 6 years ago...There was a bad wind storm and one part of our fence blew over. My dog Buffy got out and she wandered into someone's backyard. When I realized she was missing I had the sickest feeling in my stomach and immediately started running around asking people if they've seen her. I was unsure what would happen if animal control picked her up, after all she is a "PITBULL". She didn't have her dog tag on because I had given her a bath the day before and I took all her tags off! It was just bad luck! The people who found her said she was really sweet and didn't do anything wrong, they even thought about keeping her but she had a collar on so they called the SPCA. I called animal control hoping to find her explaining what happened and what breed she was, surprisingly they treated me like a criminal, had no sympathy or understanding just flat out told me that her roaming free without a muzzle and a leash I can get charged and her euthanized. "well you can come down and look for her if you want, but you better bring evidence and proof that she is registered in Ontario before the ban".We rescued her from Mississauga which is a ways away from where we live so she wasn't in their system. We grabbed all her papers and our muzzle and leash and flew down there. We waited in line for a long time and witnessed that another lady had lost her dog. It seemed there was no problem, they just gave her dog back no questions asked, and she walked out with a smile. However our experience was much different. Before we could even look for Buffy they demanded they see evidence that our dog was legal in Ontario and told us we'll have to pay a fine before we can take her. Kennel staff escorted me to the kennel wards to look for her and told us "it's not often pit bull owners come back for their dogs". We finally found her after looking through rows and rows of dogs and It was one of the happiest moments of my life. I thought I'd be able to just take her home, but instead they took me back to the front desk and THREATENED ME. "If this happens again You will NOT get your dog back and she will be euthanized. They also demanded we have a longer leash, so we had to drive all the way home and get the bigger one. By the time we got back they were closing and said she'd have to spend the night in the pound and we could pick her up when her papers are confirmed by so and so officer and the Mississauga SPCA . Now if this was any other breed of dog, there would be no problem, however because my dog has a boxy head, almond shaped eyes, and is a bit muscular she is an illegal breed. So my life since has been full of worry for my dogs, especially Buffy. I dont go on long vacations, I don't like to go anywhere because I fear that one day one of my dogs will get out again. It's a constant sick worry feeling. Thats why BSL has to change. Its NOT FAIR to dog owners and it's NOT fair to dogs. We were guilty until proven innocent. THIS NEEDS TO CHANGE.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Rosana's Story

Rosana's Story

I am just a simple dog walker devoted to helping the neediest animals. My journey started in 2007 when I first stepped foot in the Toronto Human Society (THS) to help the animals. I instantly fell in love with their beautiful little faces and I will never forget the look in their eyes crying out for love and help. I instantly developed a strong connection with the animals and quickly began volunteering during most of my free time. During my volunteer experience I focused my attention and time towards dog walking; the breed that quickly captured my heart was the Pit-bull.
The Pit-bull breed stood out in my eyes because of their unusual level of loyalty, affection and devotion. In my five years at the Toronto Humane Society I walked many dogs which were absolutely lovely that I would love to adopt but knew because of legislation I could not. This is when I met my precious Captain.
I met Captain in early 2009; he was abandoned by his owner with a broken leg. To his advantage he ended up at the Toronto Humane Society (under old leadership) and was quickly cared for by a veterinary team. At this point the THS would take in abandoned and/or abused Pit-bulls; the ones with status were adopted out in Ontario and the ones without status were sent to a training centre in Chicago, U.S.A.
Every three months the staff at THS would send five Pit-bulls away to Chicago; Captain and a few other Pit-bulls were waiting for their turn. This is about the point, in November 2009, that the THS was raided by the Ontario Society for the Protection of Animals (OSPCA). At this point I began to feel the pressure of the Pit-bull ban and I instantly sensed that under the care of the OSPCA, Captain’s life was in danger. It was devastating to think that my best friend could be killed at any moment without intervention from the people that loved him most.
At the shelter you see the best and the worst of people; the people working under the surveillance of the OSPCA completely ignored and disregarded the importance of Captain in my life and in the lives of other volunteers that loved him unconditionally. For the OSPCA staff Captain and the other Pit-bulls were just a banned breed of dog that didn’t have the right to life; for me and the other volunteers these banned Pit-bulls were our best friends.
The day I greatly feared arrived and on March 26, 2010 Captain along with five other Pit-bulls lost their lives. What was so shocking about the whole situation was the manner in which the staff carried out the euthanization. Captain along with the others were dragged by pole to their death and after being euthanized their bodies were put into garbage bags, symbolizing their worthlessness to staff that carried out this inhumane act.
On this day my heart and my soul broke forever. I witnessed loving, beautiful, loyal and healthy animals be euthanized for no reason other than being labelled a Pit-bull.
This event has negatively characterized my life and not a day goes by where Captain’s beautiful smile doesn’t cross my mind. I remember all the times we spent together; particularly I remember that each time I would walk up to his cage his intense excitement would leave him gasping for air. He was so happy to see me that I could see and hear his little heart beating through his fur. As excited as he was to see me, I was of him; he was the best thing to ever happen to me in all my life. The day those four little paws walked into the shelter I knew my life would never be the same but I never expected it to end this tragically.
A great dog lost his life because of his breed and not his behaviour. I lost my best friend because of breed-specific legislation that robbed me of right to help him.
He just lived a year but the love he gave us and the love we gave him will last an eternity. All I wanted was him by my side my side.

“If tears could build a stairway
And heartache make a lane
I’d walk the path to heaven
And bring him back again”

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter. I sincerely appreciate it and I know all those other Pit-bulls whose lives depend on this movement do as well.


Anonymous Story

Person Chooses to Remain Anonymous.....

Hi there. My name is ..... I am a hard working tradesman living in Calgary, Alberta, originally from Peterborough, Ontario. BSL is affecting my life right now. I was forced to come west 6 years to chase employment that was not available in my home province. My fiance and I long to move home to start a family close to our family in Ontario. We have a beautiful male Pit bull who we consider family and who has brought so much love and enjoyment into our lives and who is also illegal in Ontario due to this ridiculous ban. BSL is literally keeping our family apart. I am amazed that this ban even exists. It is "dark aged mentality". Ontario you could truly learn something from Alberta responsible dog owners laws. Wake up and stop ruining families. No one breed of dog is dangerous or evil. And certainly not Pit bulls. Statistics prove this fact. WAKE UP.