Sunday, January 31, 2010

Brampton animal control wants to kill senior's dog

From Brampton Guardian, Rambo on death row as city, owners battle over breeding:

Gaspar is heartbroken. The senior citizen can't understand why Rambo was seized. She said the confusing part is, the city has licensed Rambo as a boxer/American bulldog cross for the past two years. His vaccination certificate from North Town Veterinary Hospital classifies his breed as a boxer cross. And, no one who has seen the dog has ever thought he was a pitbull, according to the distraught Gaspar.

The city told Gaspar that no one had complained about Rambo. He had not escaped the back yard. If anything, he made passersby laugh the way he would jump up onto the roof of his dog house to look over the fence, she said.

But it was that quirky little habit that led to him being removed from his home and held by the city under threat of euthanasia.

A passing animal control officer spotted Rambo on his perch in December, looking over the six-foot fence, and told Maria Gaspar she had to move the doghouse because Rambo could escape. Gaspar agreed, but then the issue of Rambo's breed came up. She was told to get a letter from her veterinarian attesting to the dog's breed, and to have him neutered. Gaspar said she got the required letter, and an estimate for neutering, and gave both to the city.

In response, the city sent a letter telling Gaspar there is no completed certificate from a veterinarian, and that "Rambo has been confirmed to be a pitbull by his parentage as well as the characteristics as defined in the City of Brampton Dog By-law..."

The bylaw defines a pitbull as a pitbull terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, American Staffordshire bull terrier, American pitbull terrier, or "a dog that has an appearance and physical characteristics that are substantially similar to those dogs."

"It's not, it's not pitbull," said Gaspar emphatically, struggling for the English words to describe her upset. She can't talk about Rambo without crying.

"This problem is like a son problem," she said, emphasizing how important Rambo is to her. "Now, I no have dog, I no have money, I no have nothing... It's not fair."

Here's the Facebook group you can join or you can contact Brampton animal control directly (475 Chrysler Drive, 905-458-5800, and tell them to shove off and stop trying to kill innocent family pets.

But please do it nicely or as nicely as you can. Tonight I'm all about tempered responses. Tomorrow, who knows.

More here.


House of the Discarded said...

Although I think it's bullshit that this dog is threatened with euthanasia due to breed specific paranoia...

...I'm compelled to say that it's horrific that this dog remains unneutered AND sitting in a dog house. If he's her "son"..why isn't this poor dog inside with the family? Why is he stuck out in the cold?

Don't kill the poor thing, but he definitely deserves a better home.

Fred said...

HOTD, yeah, there are certain aspects of this story that make me feel uncomfortable. I suspect there's more to it than just what's in the article but regardless, the dogs don't deserve death.

Erin said...

Thanks for the heads up Frank, I signed the petition since I cannot stand by and allow them to put innocent dogs to death without at least saying something. I promise I was polite about it!

I also don't agree with leaving a dog out in the yard all the time, but I can somewhat understand the perspective of an older lady not neutering her dog (my Grandmother was the same way, they just didn't do it). Rambo's sitting on his house though isn't that odd to me now that we have Mabel. She loves to hop up on the patio table and see what's going on over the fence when she's out in the yard. That being said, she's in the middle of the yard and unless she's hiding the fact that she can fly, she's not at risk at making it over the fence. Nonetheless, I don't think Brampton has any solid reasons for taking these dogs out of their homes and I hope they're returned soon!

Ian said...

Where does it say that the dog lives outside?
We have a backyard and a dog house.
Our dog likes to sit on the dog house but she lives inside.

The only issue I see here is if the dog house was too close to the fence and the dog could jump over the fence.

This is very sad.If there are some issues that we don`t know about why are they making it about pit bulls.Why not just deal with the issues?Was the dog roaming or bothering people or barking all the time?

It looks like this is going to blow up into something very messy.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Ian...we don't know for sure that the dog was always outside...maybe she left him outside for an hour or two but he was inside the rest of the time. I don't think we should judge her until we know the whole story.
What is really disturbing are these animal control officers who go around deliberately looking for dogs they think look like 'pitbulls' they not have anything better to do? These innocent dogs have not bitten or harrassed anyone...just because some idiot 'thinks' it looks like a pitbull...that's all it takes?
Even documentation from a vet is not enough...they know better than him, right? These people would have made great SS officers during WWII. I hope they feel proud of themselves for taking away a 75 year old woman's dog and killing him just to make themselves feel like they're relevant (because they're not).

Btw, love the new blog heading. Stella & Rocky look adorable (and very chic) in their winter scarves.

House of the Discarded said...

Good point re the dog house, Ian! It's probably best for us not make too many assumptions, but to save the life of this dog.

Thanks for pointing that out.

Anonymous said...

Call fax & write Mayor Susan Fennell - they'll just delete emails. The Petition won't do anything. Remind Mayor Fennell that November 2010 is election month for Brampton - if she wants in again (please, no) - she better fix this situation now!

I'd sign my name but, as a citizen of BramHELL who owns a "substantially similar" dog, I'm worried about retaliation from Animal Control - they are known to be very spiteful & vindictive.

Social Mange said...

Does Brampton not have a law against bad bleach jobs and cheap haircuts? Damm, looking at city council gave me hives.

Seriously....The City of Brampton accepted the dog license fees and the owners' breed IDs for the dogs. I wonder whether the owners have a breach of contract suit against the City of Brampton for reversing its acceptance.

MichelleD said...

It is absolutely incredulous to me that some of you people are so self righteous, that the fact this dog was seized and possibly killed is a side note to the fact it has balls and is outside.

Having balls = not a crime. Being outside = not a crime.

Fred said...

Well, actually, MichelleD what made me uncomfortable, if the information in the article is all there and correct, is that Rambo was unneutered and could have escaped out of his yard via his dog house - at least that's what his owner and the ACO both agreed was possible. Having unaltered male dogs running around loose is obviously not desirable when it comes to unwanted pregnancies.

Having said that, though, at most a simple warning about animals at large to the owner from the ACO would have sufficed. The penalty of death for this non-infraction is plainly ridiculously barbaric.

Something about this article still bugs me, though. Why did the ACO target Gaspar in the first place? Why take the time to stop and warn a dog owner about something a dog might do? Had the dog been reported at large before? If not, then why assume it would be at large in the future despite the placement of the dog house? If a dog were lounging around unleashed in an unfenced front yard should an owner expect a visit from an ACO warning him that this dog might run off? Since when has it been a crime to have a dog loose on one's own property?

And if the ACO's intent all along had been to target the supposed breed of the dog, then why bother with the dog house too close to the fence warning? Was it used as some sort of pretext to initiate the seizure? This whole incident just seems kind of random but then maybe that's just the way a lot of these things happen.

Heather Houlahan said...

Why should the ACO warn about "dogs at-large?" This dog was not "at large."

Should the cops pull me over and give me a "warning" about speeding because my car is capable of exceeding the posted limit?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking the time for this blog. I too get more confused as I read more posts on the subject. Its time we hear from the Animal Control and our politicians. Brampton is being made to sound like a horrible place. Im getting really annoyed at the whole situation (when I read) dont live in brampton look at what they are doing. I am not a dog hater but I'll be damned to put my family or friends in possible harm from a muscle dog. I do feel for the lady who has had her dog removed, however this has gone far beyond that now. Its time for our politicians to buy a spot in the Guardian and explain the uproar. (same as the pro non breed banners buying a spot in the Guardian)

Anonymous said...

lol well all this is caused by allowing untrained and qualified personal to make unjust accusations and then not admitting that they had mad a mistake in the first place .. if you understood how most Cities conduct themselves in such matter you would be outraged .. they all have a no fault policy (its never their fault).

As people we all should be protected from unjust harm but who is going to protect us from the City