THE BREED Specific laws enacted by the Ontario Liberal Government at the end of October had a very public effect on one of the province’s major canine spectator events last week, when one of the leading stars - a Staffordshire Bull Terrier – was banned from taking part.
For over 28 years the Super Dogs show has been entertaining audiences across North America, with a mixture of agility, obedience, heelwork and sundry other canine disciplines. But this year at Ontario’s Royal Winter Fair, one of the crowd favourites is missing.
Tadpole is one of the most popular Super Dogs. But as he is an English Staffordshire Terrier he has been banned from attending. According to Toronto Animal Services, they received a call from an attendee at the fair allegedly complaining that a ‘pity bull type dog’ was taking part. As a result, the city informed the show that Tadpole had to go.
Tadpole's breed falls under the province's pit bull ban, legislation that fully came into effect October 28th. The breed, according to the Attorney General Michael Bryant is inherently dangerous.
"It doesn't really matter whether we specifically agree or disagree. We still have to enforce it," said Eletta Purdy of Toronto Animal Services.
Super Dogs producer Chase was dismayed by the decision.
"They're not dangerous," she claims. "They're our family pets. They are our pets first."
Attorney General Michael Bryant stood firm. "We're not going to loosen the definition. The definition is what it is, and pit bulls are banned in the province of Ontario," he said emphatically.
The owner of the Super Dogs show wouldn't comment on Tadpole's removal from the performance.
Penalties for not complying run anywhere from $60,000 to a jail sentence.
As previously reported in OUR DOGS, a legal challenge against Ontario’s breed specific laws has been launched by leading lawyer Clayton Ruby.
A spokesperson for the Dog Legislation Council of Canada decried the ban on Tadpole as "totally ridiculous" and said " This is an example of how Michael Bryant’s ill-conceived and unjust law is affecting harmless dogs."