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November 3, 2004
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Dear Michael Bryant,

I've got an idea.  Instead of outlawing 'pitbulls' in Ontario, why not enact a law banning ignorance?  Granted, you'd have to move but here in Alberta we accept all kinds of questionable intelligence in our leaders.

You called pitbulls as a breed 'inherently dangerous'.  Mr Bryant, any dog can be inherently dangerous if it is not brought up or treated properly.  I interact with dogs everyday at my job and have so far been bitten by two Shih Tzus and a German Sheperd puppy who was a little too eager to receive his goodie from my fingers.  Staffordshire Terriers and American Staffordshires were bred by people to fight other dogs for our entertainment.  People started the problem behavior in these dogs and competant breeders since then have focussed on dispelling it, while retaining the breeds' courage and appearance.

More than a hundred years of history has passed since the laws changed and made dog-fighting officially a socially unacceptable pasttime.  There dogs are not for everyone and responsible owners will agree.  When they end up in the hands of a person who does not understand what owning them entails, trouble can brew.  However, bully breeds can be perfectly fine with other dogs, kids, cats and other animals if they are well-socialized as puppies.  This goes for any dog, really.  Of course, this is a huge responsibility and some people are not up to the task, aware that they should or desirious of curbing any aggressiveness in the dog.  The owners and breeders who ARE responsible are the ones who will suffer if Bill 132 is passed.

If you manage to ban bully breeds, irresponsible owners will find another breed to corrupt.  You might as well start banning anything over 20lbs.  I'm sure Ontario owners of German Sheperds, Rottweilers, Mastiffs, Great Danes, Rhodesian Ridgebacks and Bulldogs are nervously watching this bill as well and wondering when it will be their dog that must go out to the dog park wearing a muzzle.

Banning pitbulls is the lazy, quick-fix solution to a human problem.  Educating bully owners, having breeder's dogs temperment tested, outlawing the sale of these breeds or crossbreeds in pet stores are all possible answers to your perceived problem.  Please do not pass this law because you are afraid of and misunderstand these dogs.  There are many people who love them and you can't pass a law to muzzle them in public.

Yours Sincerely,
SJK
Bill 132 is a proposal to ban pitbulls in Ontario. It's leading advocate, Attorney General Michael Bryant, supplied the the quote, fear supplies the fuel and a bunch of angry pitbull owners, breeders and fans supply the opposition. I'm here to add my two cents.

I never knew a pitbull personally till I started my (fabulous!) job in July. One of my co-workers has an American Staffordshire Terrier, one of the breeds commonly referred to as a pitbull. I had no idea what breed she was, just thought she was very handsome and well-mannered and was impressed by how well she listened to her owner. (My own dog, Rega, a Belgian Tervuren, has rather selective hearing even at 12 and a half.) Through my co-worker, I met several other AmStaff's and continued to be delighted by their personalities. Through work, I met a few English Staffordshires as well, smaller than the American version but with the same temperment.

Then I met Angel, the coffee-drinking Bull Terrier. That was the breed of dog I had always known as a 'pitbull'. She was manic, hilarious, sharp as a tack, playful and eager to learn and please her people. After a couple more visits by Angel to the store, I was smitten and went out and did my homework on her breed (and the Staffie and AmStaff since they all come from common ancestors).

I learned that they were bred originally for bull-baiting, then dog-fighting. After that was outlawed, breeders turned to breeding for a temperment that would make them into good companion dogs without losing their courage and loyalty. I learned that they are NOT the dog for everyone since they do require extensive training and socialization as puppies (well, all dogs do but for them it's imperative). I talked to owners whose bully breed dogs lived peacefully with other dogs of all sizes, cats, toddlers, birds and even rabbits. They told me about earning Canine Good Citizen Awards, therapy pet status and temperment testing.

Then I read this SHIT in the Edmonton Journal last week about banning 'pitbulls' in Ontario. I researched it. This meant banning the American Pit Bull Terrier (which from what I gather isn't an actual breed), AmStaffs and Staffordshire Terriers. Michael Bryant is quoted as saying, "Don Cherry's dog is safe!" Now, Don Cherry has typically owned Bull Terriers, which aren't included in the ban. Currently, Mr Cherry owns an AmStaff. His daughter owns Staffordshires.

I drew the Bull Terrier there before learning it wasn't included in the ban. :) So, anyway, the following is my letter to our hysterical Attorney General stating my opinion. It took a couple re-writes to remove the snark and harsher comments on Mr Bryant's intelligence.
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:iconjauclyn-productions:
Jauclyn-Productions Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2012  Professional Photographer
Support my pitbull volunteer club to create pitbull awareness & fund pitbulls in shelters.
Like us on facebook here.
We're just setting up, but we'll have some awesome tshirts & such up for purchase soon.
All proceeds go to pitbulls in particular, in shelters. Just the support of liking our page & spreading words of current pitbulls in shelters with us would be great!
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:iconxxvintagexx:
XxVINTAGExX Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I completely agree with you on this because you know what? It's the exact same thing as racism. People always complain about how bad it is to be prejudiced against someone because of what they look like or what their skin color is, but then they turn around and do stuff like this. It's not the dog, it's the owner. Just like people aren't born serial killers, they're made serial killers. Are we going to put a ban on people too?
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:iconqwertyoasis:
QwertyOasis Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2011  Hobbyist
Thanks god that law didn't come to pass in Australia or else my staffy will go *waah*
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:iconme-and-mojo:
me-and-mojo Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2011
This is terrible, i hope it doesnt pass, it did here :( there goes my dream of ever owning a pit bull :(
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:iconrodneyskinnerfan:
rodneyskinnerfan Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2011
i say amen to your letter pitbulls are not the mean awful cretures pepole they can be vary kind sweet temperd dogs. i have met a few pits and now to those who say they are bad i say this
he or she who is owner and trainer to the dog is the big influence on how a dog will be.
what it means is this this if you hit a dog and abuse it will be frightend of you and huemans if you teach it to atack and fight the likely outcome is aggrestion but treat a dog well and train it right you will have the most greatist thing a fury four leged tail waging best friend. the one who is responseable for how a dog is. is the owner.
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:iconteegeetiger:
teegeetiger Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
save the pitbulls <3 and any other breed affected by bill 132! They deserve to live freely! :D
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:iconnikipixie:
nikipixie Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2011
So true! I absolutely love bull terriers and love your picture!
After working with rescue dogs for coming up four years now i still find it amazing that no matter how they are treated they still love everyone that they meet and are always so happy to see you every morning.
I have never met a dog breed that is as loving, devoted, loyal and adoring as a bull terrier.

They are beautiful dogs and can bring a smile to your face no matter how bad you feel. Just wish that everyone else could see what the dogs are really like instead of how the media paints them =[
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:iconamyatomic-x:
AmyATOMIC-x Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Hi there.
Sorry I just found this but I wish I'd been a member of deviantart when you posted this.
I agre completely, the dog owner is the one responsible for how it's dog behaves, dogs can be trained as puppies and if that isn't done properly, they can turn nasty.
I have two Stafforshire Bull Terriers and they're lovely with people and small dogs, though they get scared around bigger breeds.
Overall though, all Bull Terriers and Bull Mastiffs are nice dogs. I work at a kennels and even yesterday I got bitten by a whippet cross collie. Just goes to show, any dog can be aggressive, it just depends on the training.
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:iconcanisenthusiast:
CanisEnthusiast Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2008
Great article, but you seem to be confused on the breeds.

The American Pit Bull Terrier is a breed. Here's the breed standard:
[link]

Also, there is no such breed as the 'Staffordshire Terrier.' I think you meant to say Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
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:iconkdrees:
KDRees Featured By Owner May 23, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
She's not confused. When writing "Staffordshire Terrier", she's referring to the American Staffordshire Terrier. You can argue that the American Pit Bull Terrier is the same thing- but AKC will tell you otherwise.

In saying that, you're still 100% correct though. The Staffordshire Bull is also included in this bill.
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