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Canadian anti-BSL auction a ‘huge success’
-and a book On Rats’ nets $200!

Dawn Deeley pictured at this year’s Crufts with OUR DOGS Chief Reporter Nick Mays

ANTI-BSL campaigners in Canada raised over $5,000 in an auction organised to raise funds for the ‘Banned Aid’ legal challenge to Ontario’s ill-conceived breed specific laws due to come into effect later this month.

The auction took place in a church hall in Barrie, Ontario on Saturday, July 23rd and attracted a great deal of interest from dog lovers across the region and also from overseas, many of whom donated items for auction as well as taking part in bids on the day. Several dogs accompanied their owners to the event, which attracted a fair amount of media interest.

Lori Gray, the Events Coordinator for the Dog Legislation Council of Canada spoke to OUR DOGS about how successful the event was adding modestly that her mother, Beverly, who is Minister of the church in question, arranged the venue for the auction!

"I’m pleased to say that we made $5,225.00 on the auction and $52.75 from the raffle on the day," said Gray. "I don't know what was made from booth sales but we will find out when all is added up, so the grand total will be even more, but it’s $5,277.75 more than we had on the Friday!

"I’d like to thank everyone who helped out," she added. "Everyone worked so hard to make the whole event such a huge success. Everyone had a great time. There was a whole lot of networking happening there… I had many people most families come up to me, some of them brought their dog, and say how nice it was to go to an event, and not be looked at as if they are a criminal! I have to say, that brought tears to my eyes."

Amongst the guest attending was Ontario MPP Joe Tascona of the Ontario PC Party, who represents the Barrie-Simcoe-Bradford riding. Mr Tascona has opposed the Ontario Liberal Government’s Dangerous Dog laws from the very start. He was happy to play ‘catch’ with a dog using a Frisbee that had the face of the despised Attorney General Michael Bryant’s stuck to it.

Candice O'Connell who runs the National Capital Coalition for People and Dogs in Ottawa, Ontario added her prised to the Banned Aid event, saying: "On behalf of responsible dog owners in Ontario, I want to thank Lori Gray for the phenomenal job she did in organising the Banned-Aid Auction in Barrie, Ontario. The event was incredible and I believe that everyone had a fabulous time. There were others who contributed so much to the success of the event and although I am unable to name them, I want to acknowledge their hard work, generosity and spirit in pulling off a tremendous team effort on behalf of responsible dog owners in Ontario and Canada.

"I was delighted to finally meet many people face-to-face that I previously only knew through e-mails and the Internet. I was blown away by all of the dogs that were happily socialising in one location without incident. Clearly we were very fortunate that there were no serious attempts to maul or kill by the representatives of the so-called ‘pit bull’ breeds (she says tongue firmly planted in cheek). There were American Staffordshire Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Terriers, Dobermanns, Boxers, Mastiffs, Labradors, an English Bull, a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel and even a stunning Dogue de Bordeaux that was a therapy dog. They all got along and played nice, probably better than some of their human companions.

"While attending this event, I saw such amazing camaraderie and unity in the common goal of defeating breed specific legislation that I left Toronto more convinced than ever that the Liberals will regret the day that they foolishly targeted responsible dog owners with discriminatory laws. I am not certain they fully understand the power and tenacity of those who love the animal we call ‘man’s best friend’ but there is no mistaking that they will."

Amongst the items donated for auction was a copy of ‘The Proper Care of Fancy Rats’, often billed as the definitive guide to keeping Fancy Rats, written by OUR DOGS Chief Reporter Nick Mays, who is a long-time ‘rat fan’ as well as dog lover.

"Personally, I find the whole style that I wrote the book in a bit cringe-making nowadays," said Mays with a smile, "But it was written a long time ago – several years before I joined OUR DOGS and honed my writing style thanks to the example of the august writers working for this noble periodical, such as Robert Killick, Peggy Grayson and, of course, former Editor Bill Moores. But however badly written it is, if it helps raise money for the cause, then I’m happy to donate it."

The book was won for $200 by long-time anti-BSL campaigner Dawn Deeley, who said: "I’m mighty chuffed to have Nick‘s book, as I collect rare, out of print and ‘first’ dog books," said Deeley. "I haven’t had a book about rats before, but as Nick says that the Rat Fancy and the Dog Fancy share a common ancestry in the rat pits of old London town, I just know I shan’t be disappointed with his! I hope he puts a suitably cheeky inscription it when he signs it for me!"