Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Carnival of Madness: Canada

Pit bull madness, in its fullest expression, has not yet arrived in Canada. To witness the extremes of pit bull advocacy a Canadian would have to venture south of the 49th parallel.

Those who dare to travel there may discover that extreme pit bull advocacy is not simply an animal welfare movement. It is a collective madness that crosses educational, economic, sexual, social, and political boundaries. In short, extreme pit bull advocacy is the newest battleground of the culture wars.

Canada has not yet experienced the cultural disorientation that accompanies pit bull madness, but careful observers will find signs of early onset madness in recent Canadian news.

Take, for example, the case of Loki, a pit bull with a history of aggression who eventually mauled one of his owners. On April 1st Loki's case arrived in the Kelowna courts where, predictably, the owners wanted Loki returned to their care.1

A similar but even more bizarre case occurred as April drew to a close on the other end of the country. The story of Krista Mader of Debert, NS, reads like an Oliver Sachs' case history. Ms Mader was admitted to the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax where she remained for six days after being mauled by her pit bull. Many advocates of fighting breeds believe attacks are caused by irresponsible owners. Ms Mader cannot resort to that excuse; she is a responsible owner, some might say obsessively so. Ms Mader jokes that she pays more for her pet food than she does for her mortgage. So she has devised an alternate excuse: the cause of her dog's attack was poor breeding. We believe Ms Mader may be on to something.

In May Canadian animal news erupted with accounts of pit bull attacks in Calgary; for a time it seemed there were one or two attacks a day. This news came from the city that had been the showplace of BSL-free animal ordinances. The advocates of fighting breeds have been noticeably quiet.

Also in May came the bizarre account of the 14-year old girl who was sent to the hospital after being attacked by a "coyote" in a London, Ontario park. The girl was walking with her boyfriend, who happens to own a pit bull. The pit bull often accompanied the boy but, according to the boy, did not accompany the youngsters on the day of the attack. The girl was attacked from the back, and the attacking animal repeatedly bit the girl's neck and face. The police and animal control have accepted the "coyote" account, even though neither the girl nor the boy claim to have seen the animal.

Throughout these late spring, early summer weeks the now customary attacks on our more vulnerable animal companions continued. An unknown number of Canadian companion animals were attacked and killed, often while their horrified owners looked on.

Fortunately, voices of reason can still be heard in Canada. The Montreal Gazette published Pit bulls are inherently high-risk dogs (Opinion, by Barbara Kay); The Calgary Herald published Pit bull ban is logical next step (Opinion, by Naomi Lakritz); and the Alberni Valley Times published Pit bull dog breed is a danger to general public (letter, by Mia Johnson). Jesse Ferreras managed to sneak Canada, Get Rid of Pit Bulls Once and For All past the censors at Huffington Post.

There's still hope for Canada.

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Canada (Index of posts and resources)

Coast to Coast

1   For full details of stories mentioned in this article see Sources, below.

Canada Sources:
Adopters of imported rescue dogs must consider liability
by Dr Rebecca Ledger
June 29, 2015; Vancouver Sun

Love your pit bull, but pay the price
June 26, 2015; Calgary Herald

Dogs rescued from the U.S. causing problems in B.C.: animal advocacy group
June 23, 2015; Vancouver Sun

17 bully breed dogs on 'death row' in California sent to Calgary
June 22, 2015; Calgary Herald

Wings of Rescue takes Bakersfield pit bulls to Canada
June 22, 2015; Bakersfield Now

Pit bull accused of biting 5-year-old girl won't be put down
June 19, 2015; CBC News

Pit bull bans work
by Barbara Kay
June 19, 2015; The National Post

Membertou pit bull ban working
June 17, 2015; Cape Breton Post

Pit bull dog breed is a danger to general public
by Mia Johnson
June 16, 2015; The Alberni Times

Enforcement needed for pit bull-type dogs in city
   June 16, 2015; Nanaimo Daily News

Pitbull seized after attack
June 15, 2015; Castanet Times
Her insides were all over, my two friends were covered in blood.

Use data, not anecdotes to judge pit bull problem
June 12, 2015; Nanaimo Daily News

St. Michel man and dog attacked by pit bull terrier
June 8, 2015; CRV News Montreal

Pit bulls will always be a bit of an easy target
June 2, 2015; Nanaimo Daily News (Editorial Opinion)

This is not a pit bull issue
by Rosie Mullaley
May 30, 2015; The Telegram (Montreal)

Number of incidents with pit bulls a concern
by Mia Johnson
May 30, 2015; Nanaimo Daily News

Nanaimo woman says pit bull attack caused death of small dog
May 29, 2015; Nanaimo Daily News

Central Alberta judge orders pit bulls destroyed after attack
May 28, 2015; Canadian Press

Newfoundland teen terrified by pit bull attack
by Rosie Mullaley
May 27, 2015; New Glasgow News (Pictou County, NS)
“If this wasn’t a pit bull, it would’ve been put down right away. They’re only concerned about giving (the breed) any more of a bad name than what they have now. If it was a German shepherd, a Shih Tzu or a beagle, do you think people would be coming forward fighting to keep it alive? No, they wouldn’t.
Pit bull owner charged after two attacks on teenagers
May 26, 2015; NTV

Pit bull controversy reignites after boy is mauled by two dogs
May 22, 2015; Global News

Pit bull ban is logical next step
May 20, 2015; Vancouver Sun

Paul Johnston mourning Copper killed by pit bull cross
May 19, 2015; CBC News

Owner of dog killed in attack weighs in on Calgary breed debate
May 18, 2015; MSN News

Recent dog attacks has bylaw services suggesting policy changes
May 13, 2015; 660 News

Calgary teen taken to hospital after 'pit bull-type' dog bites her legs
May 13, 2015; CBC News

Pit bulls are inherently high-risk dogs
By Barbara Kay
May 13, 2015; Montreal Gazette (Opinion)

Time to debate pit bull ban
May 13, 2015; Calgary Herald (Editorial)

Canada, Get Rid Of Pit Bulls Once And For All
By Jesse Ferreras
May 13, 2015; Huffington Post

Dog attacks in Calgary under investigation
'Aggression from animals will not be tolerated,' says animal services manager after 3 separate attacks
May 11, 2015; CBC News

Questions raised about London, Ont., coyote attack on girl, 14
May 11, 2015; Calgary Sun

Two small dogs are dead following two unrelated, but nearly “identical” attacks by two other dogs over the weekend
May 10, 2015; Calgary Herald

Debert woman mourns pet pit bull that attacked her
April 29, 2015; Chronicle Herald

Small dog fatally attacked while stunned owner holds leash
April 22, 2015; CTV News
“My dog was just laying limp on the ground and I cuddled him. Of course I started crying because I knew he was dead.”

No charges against owner whose pit bull killed therapy dog in Vancouver
April 16, 2015; Vancouver Sun

Pit bull shot by OPP after attack on mother and child in Rockland
April 13, 2015; CBC News

Kelowna judge orders pit bull destroyed after ‘savage attack’ on its owner
April 9, 2015; Edmonton Journal

Pit bull attacks nine-year-old Penticton girl
April 9, 2015; Global News

Pit bull shot after it attacks police service dog
April 8, 2015; Edmonton Journal

A Gruesome Attack by a Pitbull Lands in Kelowna Court
April 1, 2015; Kelowna Now

Statistics quoted on SRUV are from the nation's authoritative source for current dog attack statistics, the 30+ year, continuously updated Dog attack deaths and maimings, U.S. & Canada.
View or download the current PDF

2014 Year-end report of dog attacks
   Animals 24-7; January 3, 2015
32 years of logging fatal & disfiguring dog attacks
   Animals 24-7; September 27, 2014
How many other animals did pit bulls kill in 2014?
   Animals 24-7; January 27, 2015

This page may also include information from Dogsbite &Fatal Pit Bull Attacks.

Google News: Today's pit bull attacks

2014 Dog Bite Related Fatalities on Daxton's Friends
Index of canine fatalities on Daxton's Friends

SRUV uses the definition of "pit bull" as found in the Omaha Municipal Code Section 6-163. As pit bulls are increasingly crossed with exotic mastiffs, Catahoula Leopard Dogs and other breeds, the vernacular definition of "pit bull" must be made even more inclusive.

Sources cited by news media sometimes refer to "Animal Advocates" or sometimes "Experts." In many cases these words are used to refer to single-purpose pit bull advocates who have never advocated for any other breeds or species of animals. Media would be more accurate to refer to these pit bull advocates as advocates of fighting breeds.

Similarly, in many cases pit bull advocates refer to themselves as "dog lovers" or "canine advocates" and media often accepts this usage. The majority of these pit bull advocates are single-purpose advocates of fighting breeds.