Edward L. Greenspan is a promininent member of the Canadian
defence bar and he practises in the Province of Ontario, where BSL has
just received Royal Ascent and will come into full effect. This will
mean muzzling, sterilization, no new dogs allowed, euthanizing
shelter "pit bulls" and any dogs resembling "pit bulls",
AmStaffs and Staffies) with the onus on the owner to prove their dog
is not a "pit bull". Police and municipal workers will have
to search and seize without warrant.
read this article with care and follow where it leads. Even
those who are not disposed to dogs, can see the illogical nature of
breed banning. As Mr. Greenspan writes, we live in "hysterical
March 11, 2005
Edward L. Greenspan
Banning pit bulls is not the answer- dogs will still bite kids and
I were the Premier of Ontario, I would outlaw all dogs. For me,
all dogs are "Cujo" -- not the goalie, but Steven King's very
story abut a dog whose eyes give away its maniacal madness.
believe that movie to be a documentary. As a youngster growing up in
Niagara Falls, I was once bitten by a dog (not a pit bull). Since
that day, I cannot tell you how far I have walked in order to avoid a
confrontation with any dog coming towards me on a sidewalk or road.
Just walking to school, I put on blocks and blocks to avoid crossing
the path of a potential "Cujo".
while I was playing road hockey, my neighbours' little barking
dog ran at me, ready to go for my throat and out of absolute fear I
hit the mutt with a wild defensive swing of my hockey stick,
momentarily knocking it out. To my horror, the dog lived and
frightened me for years to come.
dog lived on my school route and I had to walk past its home to
get to school, as the dog barked at me from inside the house. I will
never forget that dog looking out the window with that killer look,
killer eyes and a murderous bark. I believe the dog was a terrier-
ist. And that is why I never thought for one minute that I would come
to the defense of pit bulls (even though I am a defense lawyer).
find them ugly, scary and evil, but no more so than the politicians
who have banned the pit bull by imposing a war crime of sterilization
of all current pit bulls and prohibiting new pit bulls (born 90 days
after the law is proclaimed) from sharing Ontario earth with us or
breathing Ontario air.
all of this from an attorney general who, from all accounts, is a
human rights activist. (I won't go there). Now pit bulls will have to
find a home outside of Ontario or be put down. Opponents argued breed-
specific bans are unfair and useless and called for legislation that
targeted owners and dangerous dogs, no matter what breed.
is interesting to note that in all of North America, only Ontario
has passed such a law. First of all, the best evidence tells us that
the pit bull is not a breed. Secondly, there does not appear to be
much evidence other than myth that the pit bull is so ferocious.
my friends George Jonas recently wrote, "Why...ban a breed that
doesn't exist? Why...ban one that does? You ban a breed because it's
vicious but . . . breeds don't bite. Individual dogs may bite, but
me, this is unassailable logic. There is no such thing as bad
breeds. Some dogs may be bad; some may have bad masters, but surely
you can't eliminate dog attacks by the total elimination of pit bulls.
are living in completely hysterical times.
bulls are being treated like the witches of Salem. For example,
the clearest, hysterical stupidity that has come out of the mouth of
anyone, came out of the ex-Toronto chief of police, Julian Fantino,
who said the pit bull is "the dog of choice for criminals."
doesn't say whether it's male or female criminals or wrongfully
convicted criminals or shoplifters or murderers.
is he talking about? Eliminate pit bulls and the criminal's dog
of choice will be gone? I'm sure they will replace them with
Rottweilers if there is any truth to his unscientific, unsupportable
we finally live in a pit bull free Ontario, the newest most
dangerous breed will become either the Parro De Presa Canario,
otherwise known as the Canary Dog, which is twice as big as the pit
bull and weighs up to 48 kilos.
the attorney general eliminates most dangerous dogs, the next in
line will be the English Mastiff, then the Chow, Akita and then the
Rottweiler and then the German Shepherd and once we have eliminated
all the breeds, we will be left with seeing-eye dogs and God help us
all if one of them happens to bite somebody.
the two dogs that scared the pants off me were none of the
above. I have no doubt that a good breeder, a good master and a good
dog can make a "love-a-bull." I'm sure many so-called nice dogs
be badly trained as bad dogs.
a breed is a war crime for people to do to people. Not that I
am equating dogs to people, but it should be impermissible for people
to do it to animals, lest they make future claim that we do it to
animals, why can't we do it to people?
is no way to treat man's best friend.
L. Greenspan, QC, is the senior partner of
Toronto law firm of Greenspan, White