Several dog owners say the premier has indicated he’ll go even further, Ford’s office did not comment
Doug Fords government has eased regulations related to the provinces pit bull ban, allowing seized dogs that look like the prohibited breed to be released — and several dog owners say the premier has indicated hell go even further.
Ontario banned pit bulls in 2005 after two of them attacked a Toronto man. The law angered many canine lovers who argued it punished dogs rather than their owners.
Several owners said they complained directly to the premier over the past month about their dogs being seized by animal control services on suspicion of being pit bulls.
The premiers office did not comment, but a spokesman for the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said recent regulatory changes allow animals seized solely on the basis of their alleged breed to be returned to owners while a breed designation is conducted.
“Ontarians expect the rules that protect people and animals to be rooted in evidence,” said Jack Sullivan. “By making this change now, our government is returning impounded pets, that have not caused harm, to their owners under certain terms and conditions.”
Under the Act, if a dog is found to be a “pit bull” – which includes American Staffordshire Terriers, American Pit Bull Terrier or Staffordshire Bull Terriers – the dog would either be transferred out of the province, euthanized, or turned over to a research facility, even if the dog has no prior offences.
What is the penalty for owning a pitbull in Ontario?
Ontario’s ban requires owners to muzzle, leash and sterilize their pit bulls and outlawed the breeding and import of them in a bid to eradicate them from the province. Owners can face fines of up to $10,000 or six months in jail for not complying.