Condemned dog allowed visit from owner

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  1. Woman prohibited from seeing Rambo, alleged pit bull awaiting fate in pound since Dec. 25
    Apr 10, 2008 04:30 AM
    Prithi Yelaja
    Staff Reporter

    The ongoing saga of Rambo, the alleged pit bull condemned to death by provincial law, moved to Mississauga City Council yesterday, which spent 45 minutes on the issue before voting unanimously to let the dog's owner visit him at the pound.

    "City-owned pounds should be showing people how to treat dogs by example. It's not going to be thousands of people. We only have one incarcerated dog right now," said Councillor Carolyn Parrish, who proposed the motion.

    Visits are currently prohibited at the city pound.

    Rambo has been in custody since Christmas Day, when he ran out of owner Gabriela Nowakowska's backyard.

    Authorities say Rambo is a pit bull, a breed that has been prohibited since 2005, and must be put down. Nowakowska is contesting that judgment in court, but was not at city hall yesterday and could not be reached for comment.

    Council directed city staff to come up with a visitation procedure before its next meeting in two weeks. Meantime, a visit will be arranged for Nowakowska.
    Parrish, who has two dogs, has visited Rambo twice and said he is being well cared for.

    "That's not the issue. The issue is that Gabriela, his owner, is fairly frantic. If she were to see how well he's being cared for it would go a long way to relieve the anxiety she's living with," Parrish said.

    "Humans and dogs have very strong bonds. I am very concerned about the dog, but I am more concerned about the human being."
    Councillors heard from Selma Mulvey, of an owners' group called the Dog Legislation Council of Canada, who presented research on the stressful effects of long-term kennelling. Keeping dogs cooped up without much human contact, particularly beyond six weeks, can have physiological and behavioural side effects, making dogs fearful and aggressive, she said.

    "When the owner finally does regain custody of their pet, there can be a lot of work for them to do to rebuild the relationship."
    Parrish said it would be unfair to release into the community a dog that's more testy and protective.
    Councillor George Carlson agreed that allowing visits is "a measure of our humanity."

    "One year of jail for a dog is seven or eight years for us. That's a long time to be away from your pet."
    Visitation "is the right thing to do," said Councillor Maja Prentice. "The same thing goes for people that are incarcerated, waiting for their hearing or judgment."
    However, she asked for information on whether a new policy would involve extra work or cost for staff.

    Attached Files:

  2. Ah lovely. Yet another thread where people can rant about how horrible pit bulls are. :rolleyes:
  3. Pit bulls are not terrible. They are lovely dogs. In the rare occasion where they seem to be aggressive, I think the owners are to blame. Dogs are like children. they grow up to be what you teach/train them to do.
  4. That is so sad for the owner & the dog!
  5. ITA. We had a lab-pitbull cross as kids that was the nicest dog ever. He had been an abused shelter dog that we got at the age of 8, that after all that still let us put halloween costumes on him and we would accidently roll off the couch onto him and I don't think he ever snapped once.

    Funny thing is that when we got him from the pound my mom didnt want shepherds, dobermans, rotties, that sort of thing and his clipboard said lab/terrier. About 6 months later he'd put on some weight and the vet told us he knew what type of terrier it was :tup:

    I'm so totally against this idiotic breed ban (as are many ontario residents) and things like this just break my heart.
  6. This makes me so angry- not that she is allowed visitation, that is great- but that a class wide basis is applied labeling a breed a "bad" dog. Yes, there are pits with bad temperaments and I do believe the breed has a natural disposition that CAN be induced to bring about aggressive behavior, but this is not the answer. Certain dogs, like pits, shepards, mastiffs and others NEED strong handlers and consistent discipline, but they can be wonderful pets. It is the owners who create the problems- many people that have such dogs have no business owning them, or any pet, period.

    Is it a problem that he got out of the yard- yes- but punish the OWNER, not the dog. Force her to enclose the yard w/ a high fence, fine her, make her go to dog obedience classes, whatever, but doing this to a dog who did nothing other be born a pit and then leave her property b/c she did not confine him properly is just cruel.
  7. The problem is that there is a (rediculous) breed ban in Ontario right now. Anything that is or looks like a pitbull.

    If they are born after a certain date they are put down (this happening in Toronto maybe a month ago) and have to be fixed and muzzled in public. No new dogs can be brought into the province and several other stupid regulations. And there arent many exceptions made for breeders because no new dogs are supposed to be born.

    The issue here is they are claiming the dog is a pitbull and due to its age falls under the "we have to put it down" category. She claims it isnt a pitbull and is fighting them.
  8. This is hearbreaking. The dog is being punished for being what it was born as - a pitbull. and all it did was get out of her backyard. :sad: I am glad she said that 'it's a measure of humanity' to let the owner visit. But by what measure of humanity do they condem an entire breed?
  9. Hi he432! You seem well educated on the breed ban. Do you happen to know the specifications of the ban? Pit bull is a generalized term. Does this apply to American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Stafforshire Terriers, Cane Corsos and other misc. breeds? I wonder how they determine it is pit bull like? There are similiar bans in several US cities (like Cicero, IL and Denver, CO) but I always wondered how it works. It seems like it leaves a lot to the decision of law enforcement officers as to what would be considered pit bull like.
  10. LisaG719 I LOVE your avatar.

    The breed ban is very all-encompassing. Pitbull Terriers for sure, Staffordshire I'm 99% sure, Cane Corsos probably. It's not so much specific breeds as it is "pit bull characteristics" eg the wide head, stature. It's a very subjective judgement on the part of animal control, and there was a case recently where the court determined that essentially they needed a better definition.

    The Toronto Humane Society ( has very good information about it, and if you google ontario pitbull ban there are many many people against it.
  11. § The law defines a "pit bull" as a pit bull terrier, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, an American Staffordshire Terrier, an American Pit Bull Terrier, or a dog that has an appearance and physical characteristics that are substantially similar to those dogs. If your dog appears to be in this category and your dog lived in Ontario on August 29, 2005, or was born in Ontario before November 27, 2005, you own a "restricted dog". Restricted dogs must be muzzled, leashed, and sterilized. If your dog appears to be in this category and it was born in Ontario after November 26, 2005, or was brought into Ontario after August 29, 2005, your dog is illegal. It could be confiscated and destroyed and you could be fined up to $10,000 and sentenced to up to six months in jail.

    This was the best summary I could find.
  12. I hate things like this; to condemn a dog just because of its breed. Like Danica said, this dog is punished for what it was born as.

    I only believe that dogs should be put down if they have a bad temperament that is beyond training. Did this dog display any sign of aggressiveness when it ran out of the backyard or attack anybody? If not this shouldn't be happening!

    I feel bad for the owner but I really feel sad for the innocent dog. :crybaby:
  13. Wow. Thanks for the info. It's still a wonder to me that laws like these are able to be passed. If I knew something like this was on the docket in my area I would start hoarding APBTs. :nuts: DH was just mentioning how he wanted another one last night. Reading this makes me want to even more.
  14. I really hate this ban. I have heard nothing but good things about pits when they are owned by responsible owners. The only times that I have heard about 'vicious' pits are in the news and the owners are usually irresponsible teenagers/macho men that 'trained' the dogs to be aggressive. It's really unnecessary to ban a whole breed because of a few bad owners.

    I think that you need a license to own a pit because they are potentially dangerous IF they owners are not trained. I think the owners should go thru some sort of course and pass tests before allowed to own them. Banning them is just plain stupid.

    If Chihuahuas had stronger jaws and a higher pain tolerance they would be banned for sure. I have met a few aggressive Chis and Poodles but never a bad pit.
  15. Quite honestly, when they proposed it I don't think a lot of people thought it would pass.

    Politicians should not be responsible for legislating things they know NOTHING about.